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Document Details :

Title: Truth and Prejudice
Subtitle: A Theological Reflection on Biblical Exegesis
Author(s): NATHAN, Emmanuel
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 83    Issue: 4   Date: 2007   
Pages: 281-318
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.83.4.2025339

Abstract :
Is biblical exegesis nothing more than the eliciting of meaning from historical texts, unobstructed by prejudices, unconcerned by influences to their reading or reception? At the same time, can theology ignore a careful exegesis? Section one of this article articulates the hermeneutical problem of preunderstandings in biblical studies. Two concrete examples are briefly considered to demonstrate how differing pre-understandings of the same passage lead to different conclusions. However, it is then suggested that there is perhaps a more fundamental condition of “prejudice” at stake. This allows for the exploration of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutical insights on prejudice in section two. Section three incorporates these insights towards entering the plea for a “meaning-full” exegesis. This latter phenomenon locates historical-critical exegesis within a larger framework of exegesis as commentary and allows truth to be seen as unfolding itself in our prejudices. The aim is to see a biblical exegesis that is integral to, and integrated within, theology, one that is not afraid to be creative in its receptivity; not just a passive receiver of meanings but an active dialogue partner in the conversation of revelation.

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