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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


VAN ECK, Ernest. One text - multiple meanings: how do we read the Bible?. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2008, vol.64, n.3, pp.1155-1185. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article discusses three ways of reading the Bible that are evident in the current theological debate in South Africa: a fundamentalist, foundationalist and critical reading. A brief description and evaluation of the three reading strategies are given. It is indicated that a fundamentalist reading of the Bible essentially operates with a canon in the canon, and a foundationalist reading with a canon outside the canon. A critical reading, which roots can be traced back to the Reformation, is put forward as possibly a more responsible way of reading the Biblical text, especially since it takes cognizance of the historical and cultural distance between text and reader. It is argued that readers who take this "differentness" seriously, are enabled to read the Bible afresh and anew, especially in terms of some burning ethical questions of our day. Attention is also given to a critical reading of metaphorical language of the Bible.

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