24 June 2010

A Semantic Tension

Just finished Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation, edited by Joel Green (2d ed, Eerdmans, 2010). Helpful stuff I guess. Thanks for your hard work, gentlemen (and Holly).

Can't help but scratch my head, though, about (on the one hand) the semantic pessimism some biblical scholars commend about accessing the Bible's meaning combined with (on the other) the semantic optimism these same scholars assume about their readers' ability to access their own work.

How would some of these guys feel about my reading their essays with the caveat ever on my mind that they are socially located in a different place than me, wondering to myself at each page-turning what personal and historical baggage they bring to their laptops, incorporating a hermeneutic of suspicion lest I be unwittingly duped by their hidden misogyny or androcentrism, and reminding myself frequently that I as the reader am producing (not merely receiving) meaning as I read?

Let's treat the Bible with the reverence it deserves.

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