"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

John Ashton on original meaning of a text

Reading through a section of John Ashton'sUnderstanding the Fourth Gospel, I ran across a classic Ashton comment that I can't pass up. Ashton sides with the hermeneutic of the original audience/original meaning of the text against postmodernism.

"The greatest challenge [to the theory of the Johannine community], according to Kysar, is 'the question of the locus of meaning'. Perhaps it is true that 'a text means differently as it is interpreted by different readers'. Nevertheless, swimming as strongly as I can against the tide of postmodernism, I still believe that it makes sense to look for the meaning that the first readers of a text would have found in it. There is no obvious decline in the study and composition of books on history, and these are still separated from fiction and historical novels in all the bookshops that I know. I trust that the worst of Kysar's fears are ill-founded." -- pp. 23-24.

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