By John David Dawson

ISBN-10: 0520226305

ISBN-13: 9780520226302

ISBN-10: 0585468796

ISBN-13: 9780585468792

This ebook makes an illuminating contribution to at least one of Christianity's valuable difficulties: the knowledge and interpretation of scripture, and extra in particular, the connection among the outdated testomony and the hot. John David Dawson analyzes the perform and concept of "figural" interpreting within the Christian culture of Biblical interpretation via taking a look at writings of Jewish and Christian thinkers, either historical and smooth, who've mirrored on that type of conventional Christian Biblical interpretation. Dawson argues Christian interpretation of Hebrew scripture initially used to be, and will be, geared toward no longer lowering the Jewish which means or changing it yet relatively at development on it or sporting on from it.

Dawson heavily examines the paintings of 3 in demand twentieth-century thinkers who've provided influential versions of figural interpreting: Biblical student Daniel Boyarin, philologist and literary historian Erich Auerbach, and Christian theologianHans Frei. Contrasting the interpretive courses of those sleek thinkers to that of Origen of Alexandria, Dawson proposes that Origen exemplifies one of those Christian examining that could recognize Christianity's hyperlink to Judaism whereas additionally respecting the self reliant spiritual identification of Jews. via a clean learn of Origen's allegorical interpretation, this booklet demanding situations the typical cost that Christian non-literal analyzing of scripture unavoidably undermines the literal that means of the text.

This hugely interdisciplinary paintings will enhance debates approximately diverse equipment of interpretation and approximately kinds of textual that means which are appropriate for plenty of disciplines, together with old Christianity, Jewish and Christian suggestion, literary thought, spiritual stories, and classical studies.

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In other words, what the gentiles do not have, they presumptuously claim to be for themselves. So according to Boyarin, Paul does not claim that Jews and gentiles partake of one law in two different ways (as the RSV translation suggests); rather, Boyarin’s translation makes Paul claim that the gentiles are providing for themselves precisely “the law”—the law as practiced by the Jews—that they themselves do not practice. As a result, when Boyarin later interprets Paul as saying that the gentiles, while lacking “the Law,” nevertheless have “a law,” the following dilemma emerges.

The heart of Hays’s interpretation is found in his account of Paul’s transformation of the image of Moses, from a metaphor for a person whose understanding of Scripture is veiled, into a metaphor for the enlightened Christian reader of the text. 2 Cor. ” By verse 15, the transformation from person to text is complete. ” Observing that verse 16 is a free quotation of Exod. 34:34: “But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he removed the veil [until he went out],” Hays argues that Paul’s restatement of this verse results in a startling reversal: Exodus 34 is troped: no longer is it only an account of Moses’ evasiveness and Israel’s timid incomprehension.

Paul’s “hermeneutics of transparency,” as described by Hays, is not a hermeneutic of figural extension. By presenting the work of the Spirit as forming community independently of the text (ideally, without the aid of any texts at all), Hays’s notion of transparency—seeing through the text—falls short of figural meaning as an extension of the text. Boyarin is not off target, therefore, in seeing little practical import in Hays’s invocation of the classic contrast between typology and allegory. If for Hays one can get to the tevlo~ of the text by going through the text (a text that will one day be dispensable), Boyarin makes tevlo~ the text’s true meaning that can fully exist only in the text’s absence.

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Christian Figural Reading and the Fashioning of Identity by John David Dawson


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