NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ909429
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1361-7672
Reading Paul in the Light of Differing Frameworks of Thinking
Ehrensperger, Kathy
Journal of Beliefs & Values, v26 n3 p317-323 Dec 2005
In a not very distant past one method of interpretation has dominated New Testament (NT) studies almost totally. The historical-critical method and its application in so-called appropriate exegesis has often uncritically been perceived as the means via which "the original and thus right" understanding of a text could be found. More recently this domination has been challenged by a variety of differing approaches to the NT, particularly in Pauline studies. The increasing number of publications that propose alternative readings of the Pauline letters demonstrates the growing significance and recognition of the value of a methodological widening in NT studies. Common to these approaches is the critical reflection on the frameworks of thinking upon which a particular reading is based. The hermeneutical presuppositions in interpretation are explicitly recognized, which ensures that the reader is clearly informed about the author's starting point and particular perspective on the text. Nevertheless, the tradition of critical thinking that has been, and still is, one of the strengths of the "traditional" historical-critical method is not abandoned by these alternative perspectives, nor is the historicity of the Pauline letters ignored. The move is not towards an uncritical literal reading of texts but towards a critical reflection on the perspective and methodology applied to texts that have scriptural authority within the Christian tradition and which, at the same time, are historical documents of a particular time and context. What is challenged is the domination of one particular perspective and its claim of objectivity. Acknowledging that all reading is a reading from a particular perspective applying a specific methodology means that no one single approach can claim to be the only true and objective one. Also, to regard one approach as driven by special pleading (and thereby implying that others are not) is thus an anachronism since either all approaches are "particular" approaches and thus can be said to be driven by special pleading--or else none is. This article provides examples of different approaches to Paul's letters from different publications.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A