Saturday, August 12, 2006

Quote of the Day - Interpretive Paradigms

"Thus, the distressing unwillingness of many interpreters to relinquish their sense of certainty is the result not of native close-mindedness but of imprisonment in a hermeneutic circle. Literary and biblical interpreters are not by nature more willful and un-self-critical than other men. On the contrary, they very often listen patiently to contrary opinions, and after careful consideration, they often decide that the contrary hypotheses “do not correspond to the text.” And of course they are right. The meanings they reject could not possibly arise except on the basis of a quite alien conception of the text. It is very difficult to dislodge or relinquish one’s own genre idea, since that idea seems so totally adequate to the text. After all, since the text is largely constituted by the hypothesis, how could the hypothesis fail to seem inevitable and certain?"

E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Validity in Interpretation (New Haven: Yale University, 1967) 166, as quoted in Walt Russel, Insights From Postmodernismís: Emphasis On Interpretive Communities In The Interpretation Of Romans 7 Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Volume 37(2), p.517

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