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Adobe — the company that originated the pdf file — offers an excellent and free pdf viewer called Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Not to be confused with the similarly-named Adobe Acrobat DC, the Reader is free and offers a robust desktop solution for viewing and working with pdf files, although it doesn’t support editing. Editing pdf files requires Acrobat DC.
Installing the Reader, Part 1
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Installing the Reader, Part 2
Once the downloading process is finished, simply follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. When finished, the program will likely launch automatically whenever you double-click or otherwise attempt to open a pdf file. There are a lot of features in Acrobat Reader DC, including commenting and signing, and it should make working with pdf files simple and quick.
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Reader Response Criticism
by ISHANESU GUSHA
Free Related PDFs
2001, The Clarity of Scripture
The short version is this - reader response theories are essential to explaining what Christians have called 'the clarity of Scripture' although the idea is threatening to most. When we speak of Scripture’s clarity we refer to the relationship of the text and the readers; we confess that the text’s relationship with Christian readers and Christian readers’ relationship with the text is described in terms of the light of the text and the enlightenment of the readers. We seek to occupy the landscape of the text’s vision—to live as those whose way in the world is created by the text itself. In this respect Christians have been interested in the ethics of the interpreter, not just the ethics of interpretation.
Fallacies abound in the struggle to control the ‘good book’ – and in every variety they share the goal of hiding from contrarian and truly critical reading. In a word, fallacies are weapons to defend the indefectibility of Christianity. Intentional fallacies - especially authorial intent - is the most damaging, deluding and heretical fallacy for any who claim to honor the text as text and not just some portal or code to something beyond, beneath or behind the text. That is, for all the bluster from Christians, they treat the text of Scripture as a reference to something else and practically lose the text so respected.
2012, Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies
This article argues that the Qur’an is, among other thing, a literature, and therefore can be approached with literary interpretation. In order to support this idea, the article starts with demonstrating the literariness of the Qur’an; showing the characteristics of literary interpretation of the Qur’an; and ends with discussing the debates on literary interpretation of the Qur’an. The approach used in this article is literary to argue for the literariness and literary interpretation of the Qur’an
Michal Beth Dinkler
Today, scholars employ the label ‘narrative Christology’ with relative frequency, though they mean different things when they do so. In this article, I argue that to date, narrative Christology has not yet fully explored the parameters of what it means to attend closely to the narrative form of the Gospels’ presentations of Jesus. I propose, further, that recent developments in literary theory’s so-called ‘New Formalism’ offer useful tools and concepts for moving in that direction. The first part of the article briefly outlines previous scholarship, identifying similarities and differences between various approaches labelled ‘narrative Christology’. The second section introduces the major concepts of New Formalism and how they might extend narrative Christology’s capacity to take narrative form seriously as an object of analysis. The third section of the article offers a case study of a passage that appears in the triple tradition – the intercalated healing stories of Jairus’ daughter and the haemorrhaging woman in Mark 5.21–43; Luke 8.40–56; and Matthew 9.18–26 – in order to explore narrative structure on the micro-level. My ultimate goal is to show how New Formalism can contribute to a more robust narrative Christology and, in so doing, advance our understanding of the distinctive ways in which the Synoptic Gospels construct the figure of Jesus.
Dale R Hoskins
2017, Translating Intertextuality in Scripture (thesis text is just a supplement to the PowerPoint and its notes)
Bible translators can be tempted to limit their focus to a specific verse. Better translators look more broadly and use insights from discourse grammar to ensure their translation coheres and flows naturally at the paragraph level and above. However, a translation can be more illuminating if it provides its audience with effective access to much of the intertextual context that the original authors likely expected of their audiences. This research develops principles from hermeneutics, literary and communication theory, and translation studies, and then proposes textual and paratextual strategies that can be used for almost any translation style and should especially benefit communities whose only resource is a print Bible. The project includes an extensive PowerPoint that presents these principles and strategies in a pedagogically helpful way in tended for translation consultants and educators. The notes to the PowerPoint comprise the script for the audio-visual modules. Four slides contain links to brief video illustrations. 1 - The Illuminated Bible: Translating Intertextuality in Scripture 2 - Scripture Illuminating the Common Frame: Accessing contextual data 3 - Scripture Illuminating the Textual Frame: Hearing the dialogue 4 - Hermeneutical Considerations: Illumination without manipulation 5 - Textual Strategy: Representing markers that achieve relevance 6 - Paratextual Strategy: Contextual benefits worth pursuing 7 - The Way Forward: From theory to practice 8 - Bibliography
This work is concerned with some basic problems which historical criticism poses to biblical interpretation. The first chapter deals with historical criticism in relation to problems of the text’s historical distance and contemporary significance. Certain key figures from the field of philosophical hermeneutics are briefly introduced (Schleiermacher, Gadamer, Hirsch, Ricoeur), but attention is also paid to the ways how historical criticism was actually practiced (Wellhausen, Mowinckel). It is maintained that historical criticism is a tool in interpretation and does not impede possible appropriation of the text by those who read it with deep affection. The second chapter faces historical criticism as a theological problem, which has become most apparent in the inerrantist milieu and which was more or less successfully answered by canonical approaches. A special attention is given to the canonical approach of Brevard Childs, which is understood against the backdrop of Barth’s doctrine of the Word of God and Frei’s view of biblical narratives. A special attention is given to distinction between approaches of Brevard Childs and James Sanders. It is maintained that Sanders’ canonical criticism provides better interpretive platform, because it wants to address the needs of contemporary interpretive communities through a self-aware historical critical enterprise. The third chapter takes up the problem of violence in the book of Joshua and the problem of theological meaning of the exodus story. Biblical theological insights of James Sanders, James Barr, and Walter Brueggemann are applied. An eye is kept also on Pixley-Levenson debate and it is maintained that traditions of the exodus and conquest must be understood together as literary devices which invite communities of faith to freedom. As a result of the present research, historical criticism is presented as a hermeneutical tool which can help to rescue text’s significance for the contemporary communities of believers.
The purpose of this study is to explore “who is saying what to whom for what purpose” in the text of 1 Samuel 8-12 through an analysis of the manifestations of ideology in this text. The emphasis of this thesis lies in the application of multiple methodologies in biblical interpretation with a view to (a) reconstructing the material and ideological conditions under which the biblical text was produced in order to determine which group produced the text and whose socioeconomic interests it served; and (b) investigating how these conditions are encoded in reproducing a particular ideology in order to determine how the texts incorporated the particular ideologies or interests of the time. The present research, for this reason, combines an extrinsic and an intrinsic analysis to read the world of 1 Samuel. The extrinsic analysis makes use of a social-historical and a social scientific approach to explore the particular circumstances. It indicates that the biblical writing should be regarded as conscious writing which aims to interpret historical incidents and construct specific ideologies. 1 Samuel 8-12 might therefore have been constructed by exilic groups to provide reasons for their difficult past. The intrinsic analysis makes use of narrative criticism, especially the theory of conflict plot, to do an in-depth investigation of the rhetoric of 1 Samuel 8-12. This analysis indicates that these chapters highlight the ambivalence of the monarchy, although the surface structure might tell a different story. The findings of the research have led to the conclusion that 1 Samuel 8-12 appears to present no clear position with regard to the future of the monarchy.
The Clarity of Scripture was my 2000 project published by IVP and consigned to obscurity... this is the first chapter describing the complicated problem of clarity.
Scott S. Elliott
As readers, we are captivated by the resemblance of literary characters to actual persons. But it is precisely this illusion that allows characterization to play host to dominant ideologies of both ‘literature’ and ‘the self’. This is especially true when we confuse narrative figures and historical persons. Over the last thirty years, New Testament narrative criticism has developed into a major methodological approach in Biblical Studies. But for all its ingenuity and promise, it has been reluctant to let go of conventional historical-critical moorings. As a result, one is hard pressed to find any substantive difference between reconstructions of the historical Jesus and narrative-critical readings of the character Jesus. Reconfiguring Mark’s Jesus endeavors to reorient and advance narrative criticism by analysing the Gospel of Mark’s characterization of the figure of Jesus in relation to three other fundamental aspects of narrative discourse: focalization, dialogue, and plot. This intertextual reading, in which Mark is set alongside two ancient novels—Leucippe and Clitophon and the Life of Aesop—problematizes implicitly modern notions of literary characters as autonomous ‘agents’, as well as ‘naturalizing’ treatments of literary characters as historical referents. Highlighting the inherent ambiguity of narrative discourse, particularly with regard to referentiality, human agency, and the complex relationship between literature and history, Reconfiguring Mark’s Jesus illustrates the diverse and complex ways that narratives, of necessity, produce fragmented characters that refract the inherent paradoxes of narrative itself and of human subjectivity.
FREE RELATED PAPERS
Ted D Manby
All of the popular English Bible translations lead the reader to approach the book of Ecclesiastes from the pessimistic philosophical reading approach even though a number of Bible scholars argue for an optimistic approach while other scholars recommend a dialectical approach to this Bible book. Which of the three philosophical reading approaches (pessimistic, optimistic, or dialectical) of the final form of Qohelet (as it was placed in the Hebrew canon) is best supported by the evidence discovered from a Rhetorical critical and inter-textual analysis of the book? Does an exploration of the socio-historical contexts of the times of origin of influential English Bible translations offer insights into available translation options for key terms in Qohelet?
Chapter Six of Reading with a Passion: Rhetoric, Autobiography, and the American West in the Gospel of John (Continuum, 1995)
This is a paper that I wrote for OT Exegesis class, just slightly edited. In the first part, I attempt to triangulate the mentality of historical critical approach by reviewing work of Spinoza, Eichhorn, and Wellhausen. In the second part, I'm reviewing reception of historical criticism in conservative camp, by "close reading" school (Cassuto, Clines) and by theological exegesis movement (Barth, Childs, Moberly, Hays). I contend that whereas historical critical approach is essentially modern, theological exegesis is essentially postmodern. I think that Childs, in a sense, was a prototype postmodern scholar. In the concluding chapter I'm contemplating proper places of synchronic and diachronic approach and giving an example.
Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of its Interpretation (ed. Magne Sæbø; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), pp. 148-69. Completed and posted online, August 2012; published January 2015.
2017, Journal of the Bible and its Reception
The episode of the Bethlehem massacre (Matt 2:16-18) uses many levels of intertextuality as a rhetorical device, to solicit an emotional response powerful enough to influence the reader's worldview. What effect do these intertexts have on Matthew's readers? How is this affective appeal concerning Rachel's tears intended to impact the reader's response to Matthew's story? Rachel weeping is an emotionally charged image that somehow merges two opposites: hope and sorrow. The intertextuality of this figure can influence readers encouraging them to criticize imperial ideologies that have used violence against innocent people in the past, and oppose those which do so currently.
The introductory chapter to Silent Statements: Narrative Representations of Speech and Silence in the Gospel of Luke (BZNW; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2013).
Peter Matthews Wright, PhD
published in Biblical Reception, 3 (2015)
Chapter Three of Reading with a Passion: Rhetoric, Autobiography, and the American West in the Gospel of John (Continuum, 1995)
Chapter Two of Reading with a Passion: Rhetoric, Autobiography, and the American West in the Gospel of John (Continuum, 1995)
2003, ch. 6 in Bible translation: Frames of Reference, T. Wilt, ed.
Jesse B Coyne
2020, STM Thesis at Yale Divinity School
Mary Ann L Beavis
1987, The Catholic Biblical quarterly
In the new critical studies series of Ashgate Press, 2007 A penultimate draft of the third chapter of the book
The twentieth century has been something of a watershed for biblical interpretation in the Catholic Church, coming of age and growing to maturity after an exuberant childhood in the patristic age, and a long troubled adolescence that lasted nearly four hundred years from the time of the Counter-Reformation. In the century under review we see the Church emerging with hesitant and faltering steps from a method of interpretation akin to fundamentalism (Fitzmyer 1995:132) to embrace the historical-critical method, and eventually to advocate a plurality of scientific and literary methods which shed light on the sacred text of Scripture.
Postcolonial criticism is a relatively new approach to New Testament studies. This methodology focuses on ideological power struggles between natives and imperial forces. In the first century CE the Roman empire exercised political authority over Jewish authorities such as the High Priest and the Pharisees. The gospel of Mark represents a form of resistant literature as the portrayal of Jesus is not an attempt to abolish the structure of "Empire," but to replace the emperor with the true Lord. Postcolonial criticism is attempts to explore how ancient authors negotiated power dynamics as members of a subjugated group. This thesis assesses the usefulness of postcolonial criticism using Tat-siong Benny Liew's model as its case study. The goal is to explore both the limitations and possibilities presented by this methodology.
This thesis employed a contemporary criticism by Stanley Fish and some other theorists call "Reader response criticism." Psalm 80 was utilize to practice a contextual reading from a Tonga perspective. The objective is to show the richness and density of Tongan cultures and tradition store on it's language (formal and poetical). This suggested contextual eye lens can nurture and enhancing our understanding of a biblical poetry like Psalm 80.
1997, Religion and Theology, 4
B. J. Oropeza
Intertextuality has been influential in the field of literary studies ever since Bulgarian philosopher Julia Kristeva coined the term in the late 1960s. This draft paper surveys major intertextual works, especially those related to New Testament interpretation.
Paulian Timotei Petric
The paradigm shifts that have taken place in the field of literary criticism – particularly in the twentieth century – have challenged traditional views of the relationship between author, text and reader. With the different forms of reader-response criticism, the emphasis has been placed on the reader and on the meaning that he or she brings to the text. In our study, this emphasis is discussed in the light of the community's role in a particular type of interpretation, namely the interpretation of the Bible. After a general presentation of the history and types of reader-response criticism, this article would limit its discussion to the reader of the biblical text and the role his or her interpretive community plays in the process of interpretation. Through the relationship between a Christian – as believer and 'reader' – and the interpretive community (i.e. the local manifestation of the Church), the community becomes the place where both worship (liturgy) and interpretation take place.
This thesis explores the identity of translation as its power of reference through an analysis of audio-visual adaptations of Biblical narratives. The central problematic of translatability between word and image is examined through the "translation strategies" used by producers and translators. These strategies reveal a philosophical binarism that underpins an assumption that source and target texts are autonomous entities. The polarities of binary thinking are implicit in a perception that translation functions as a representation of a prior text. The language of representation that is central to theories of representational equivalence raises the question to what does representation refer exactly? This question provides the focus for a critique of the epistemology and ontology of representation and its artificial separation of language and vision, or word and image, in our perceptual experience of the world. The criticism is essential to an exploration of the referential power of translation understood in semiotic and narrative terms as its ground of interpretation, or the cultural and social contexts in which texts acquire contemporary coherence and significance. The central descriptive part of the thesis employs three conceptions of context: the context of texts themselves as narratively and semantically coherent units; their cultural contexts, or the irreducible intertexuality on which they depend for the recognition and interpretation of their significant features; and the social and economic conditions which underpin the work of production and provide the social contexts within such works circulate. In rejecting the notion that translations are an image, however impure, of an antecedent text, my thesis excludes a notion of conventional limits to translation based on structuralist conceptions of semantic or narrative form as the principal carriers of meaning.
The academic study of the seven-headed sea beast symbolism in the Apocalypse has proceeded along contemporary historical lines since the modern period. This approach seeks to locate the meaning of this symbolic reference within the historical context from which the book derives. While it remains true that careful historical analysis has advanced our understanding of the world in which the seer of Patmos lived and wrote, a strictly contemporary historical focus threatens to confine the significance of this apocalyptic symbol to the environs of the first century. In seeking to recover the theological and contemporary relevance of this symbol as a critique of imperial ambitions, this thesis argues for a reading strategy which locates the Book of Revelation foremost in the context of "canon." Such a reading stance illuminates the meaning of the symbolic beast in relationship to the deep intertextual and theological history which the final book of the Bible shares with the canonical corpus of Christian Scriptures.
"FOREWORD—Prof. Johan Thom PREFACE 1. The theory and practice of oral proclamation 1 1.0 Introduction: Do we need another “criticism” in biblical studies? 1 1.1 Survey of the field of “performance criticism”—theory and practice 4 1.1.1 Some assumptions of “performance criticism”: 4 1.1.2 Some applications of PC: 24 1.1.3 Some assessments of PC: 32 1.1.4 Some aspects of “performative analysis”: 48 1.2 Conclusion: On the need to distinguish “performance” from “proclamation” 53 2. The dramatic orality of James in terms of form and function 57 2.1 Introducing the “dramatic” character of the epistle of James 58 2.2 What sort of “drama” does James deliver? 60 2.3 On the communicative relevance of James’ dramatic discourse 67 2.4 Survey of the dramatic features in James and their rhetorical significance 70 2.4.1 Discourse category (text-type/genre) 71 2.4.2 Discourse structure (thematic organization) 78 220.127.116.11 A deductive or inductive text arrangement? 79 18.104.22.168 A topical display of key concepts in James 85 2.5 Discourse texture (compositional style) 94 2.5.1 Formulaic opening expressions, including commands and vocatives 95 2.5.2 Sound play: rhythm, rhyme, paronomasia, assonance/alliteration 97 2.5.3 Proverbial/sapiential sayings and maxims 98 2.5.4 Rhetorical and leading questions 99 2.5.5 Graphic imagery, vivid figures of speech, setting-specific analogies 100 2.5.6 Forceful language—imperatives, jussives, hyperbole, irony 102 2.5.7 Sharp contrasts and antithetical pairings 104 2.5.8 Modified word order for special effects 106 2.5.9 Embedded direct speech 108 2.5.10 Pervasive intertextuality 109 2.5.11 Local and global reiteration 111 3. Applying the oral-rhetoric of James in Bible translation 117 3.1 Epistolary communicative function 117 3.2 Case studies of an oral-rhetorical approach to text analysis and translation 119 3.2.1 Analyzing the Greek text (2:14-26) 121 3.2.2 Analyzing the Greek text (3:9-18) 126 22.214.171.124 Linguistic overview of the discourse 126 126.96.36.199 Literary overview of the discourse 128 188.8.131.52 Discussion of the linguistic and literary analysis charts 131 3.3 Translating the texts for oral proclamation 132 3.3.1 Samples of English and Chewa translations for 2:14-26 133 3.3.2 Samples of English and Chewa translations for 3:13-18 138 3.4 Formatting the text for oral articulation 141 3.5 Evaluation: On the need to know “for whom?” and “for what purpose?” 142 4. The rhetoric of reassurance in 1 John and its oral re-presentation 147 4.0 Introduction 147 4.1 Why the great need for reassurance? 148 4.2 Is John too among the rhetors? 151 4.2.1 Four distinct but integrated aspects of Johannine oral rhetoric 153 184.108.40.206 Recursion 154 220.127.116.11 Contrast 160 18.104.22.168 Focus 165 22.214.171.124 Mitigation 169 4.2.2 The rhetoric of epistolary speech acts 175 4.3.0 Implications of Johannine oral rhetoric for biblical studies and contemporary communication 180 4.3.1 Form-Content 181 4.3.2 Function 189 126.96.36.199 Bible translation 192 188.8.131.52 Text supplementation 194 184.108.40.206 Public proclamation 196 220.127.116.11 Media transposition 203 4.0 Conclusion: Just focus on the Light/Life 204 5. Performing Philemon: A study in ancient and modern communication techniques 207 5.1 Introduction 207 5.2 Ancient communication techniques: Aspects of literary-rhetorical text analysis 211 5.2.1 Genre Selection 215 5.2.2 Compositional Shifts 221 5.2.3 Patterned Recursion 228 5.2.4 Artistic Highlighting 233 5.2.5 Rhetorical Shaping 243 5.3 Modern communication techniques: Producing an oratorical Bible translation 258 5.3.1 What is an “oratorical” (LiFE) translation? 259 5.3.2 An oratorical translation technique applied and compared 268 5.4 Conclusion: Some implications of an oratorical-performative approach for translation production (project administration, management, and assessment) 275 6. Proclamatory structure and style in 1 Peter 283 6.0 Introduction 283 6.1 The purpose of this epistle 284 6.2 Five stylistic techniques and their compositional function in 1 Peter 286 6.2.1 Recursion 287 18.104.22.168 Suffering 288 22.214.171.124 Steadfastness 289 126.96.36.199 Salvation 289 188.8.131.52 Sanctification 290 184.108.40.206 Priesthood 291 6.2.2 Contrast 293 6.2.3 Comparison 296 6.2.4 Review 298 6.2.5 Disjunction 303 6.3 A topical and structural outline of 1 Peter 306 6.4 So what? Applying the structural outline 319 6.5 On the rhetorical significance of macro- and micro-form in 1 Peter 325 6.6 A rhetorical model of the “argument” of 1 Peter 336 6.6.1 Introduction 336 6.6.2 The model applied 337 6.6.3 Concluding “argument”: 1 Peter as a whole 346 6.7 The contemporary relevance of 1 Peter for God’s “holy priesthood” living in an African “Babylon” 348 6.7.1 On the need for a contextualized communication of this epistle 348 6.7.2 Proclaiming 1 Peter 2:1-10 oratorically to an African audience 360 7. Conclusion: The implication of PC studies for Bible translation 367 7.1 Underscoring the importance of a performance-critical approach for biblical exegetes 368 7.2 Encouraging translators to prepare oral-aural-oriented vernacular translations 371 7.3 Promoting the oral proclamation of Scripture among contemporary audiences 375 APPENDIX 383 BIBLIOGRAPHY 385 INDEX 409 "
Diachronic and synchronic approaches to biblical scholarship have long been characterized as diametrically opposed to one another. Diachronic readings investigate the historical context of the world "behind the text" while synchronic readings explore the world "in the text" and seek to read it in its final form. This paper suggests that rather than being diametrically opposed to one another, a complementary approach can chart the way forward by drawing upon elements of both methodologies for productive biblical studies. The paper utilizes the book of Ezekiel as a case study, demonstrating how both methods have been used and also how a complementary approach might work for prophetic literature.
Dr. Frantz de Santiago Peretz i Bennazar, Ph.D.
Dissertation on the theology of Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth קהלת). The methodology is Biblical Theology.
J. Scott Jackson
N.T. Wright famously has claimed that historical study of Christian origins should be a vital, even constitutive resource for contemporary theology; consequently, the Bishop of Durham has criticized Karl Barth and other 20th century theologians for divorcing doctrinal theology from historical scholarship. Interpreting the theology of Paul, however, is another matter; both Barth and Wright have offered creative and provocative readings of the Apostle’s thought. Spanning the divide between the two thinkers in methodology, specialization, and situation, one finds striking parallels between their respective interpretations of Paul. In particular, both Wright and Barth read the Apostle as reinterpreting traditional ‘monotheistic’ notions of God in light of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In what follows, I will illustrate some similarities and differences between Barth’s and Wright’s views on Paul, specifically by comparing their respective exegeses of the “Christ hymn” in Phil. 2:5-11. I will not evaluate their exegeses per se, but instead will focus on how they draw strikingly similar conclusions about the character of Jesus’ divinity and his salvific vocation. I will focus primarily on the first half of the Christ hymn, which depicts Jesus as the one who was and is eternally equal with God the Father but, in a radical movement of condescension and humility, assumes the form (morphē) of the fallen human servant (doulos) and carries out his vocation to his obedient suffering of death on the cross. I will only secondarily refer to the second movement of the Christ hymn (vv. 9-11) in which the crucified and risen Servant is exalted as the Lord (kyrios) over the cosmic powers. Wright, as I will show, preserves key Christological and soteriological motifs from Barth’s exposition while proposing a helpful correction of the latter’s interpretation of the Philippians passage. Both interpreters find in Paul’s appropriation (or composition) of the Christ hymn the following theological claims: 1) The atonement between God and humanity occurs when, in the person of Jesus, God takes on human flesh in a free self-emptying (kenosis); 2) this descent of the Son into human flesh reaches a climax in Jesus’ obedience in facing death on the cross; 3) this occurs without detriment to Christ’s essential deity (as this is vindicated in his exaltation to the right hand of God). (Follow the link below to navigate to the compete article at the Princeton Theological Review website.)
1996, Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology
... He is the author of a number of articles on the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of social-scien-tific interpretation of the Second Testament, including "Is the Emic-etic Distinction a Useful Tool for Cross-cultural Interpreta-tion of the New Testament?" Religion & ...
Gary L Comstock
1987, Journal of The American Academy of Religion
Chapter Four of Reading with a Passion: Rhetoric, Autobiography, and the American West in the Gospel of John (Continuum, 1995)
Argues for literary and theological readings of biblical narratives as the basis for ecclesial reading of Scripture, as an alternative to over-reliance upon historical-critical studies.
'In Pursuit of a Singular Text' surveys developments in the field of New Testament textual criticism, exploring the underlying desire for a transcendent text that informs this work. In the nineteenth century, New Testament text critics and their rivals, defenders of a traditional or Byzantine Greek text, set out to restore the original and, therefore, true text of the New Testament. Identifying the original with long-lost autograph copies and assuming that a fixed, standardized text must form the basis of Christian faith, these scholars reinforced culturally specific notions of true text in order to restore the link between diverse, particular manifestations of text and the sacred, abstracted text of the New Testament. Yet, worries about textual corruption and claims about the necessity of correction are not exceptional or new, they are fundamental to the maintenance of a belief in a stable textual ground upon which interpretive claims can be legitimately based. Interpretation, especially interpretation of sacred texts, is often rooted in the fantasy that there is a transcendent text, which stands apart from any particular physical manifestation of that text (Dane 2003). In the case of texts sacred to Christians – transmitted for two millennia in every conceivable media, in multiple languages and across vast stretches of both time and space – faith in a transcendent text has required regular recapitulation and reconfiguration in light of historically situated challenges to textual authority and even to the very concept of 'sacred text'. Thus, each generation has produced its text critics, experts perceived to be capable of 'correcting' physical texts so that they conform more closely to a hypothetical trans-cendent text that is stable, fixed, and true in all its particulars. Malicious interpreters, ignorant copyists or other instruments of corruption dangerously threaten the text, or so it is claimed. Since the transcendent text is by definition hypothetical, however, such assertions suggest not that the pure text has been threatened but that a longed-for, imaginary link between available texts and the transcendent text has been challenged in some way. The precise content of the true text has always been, and will always be,
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