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HTS Theological Studies

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


LOADER, James Alfred. The problem of money in the hand of a fool. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2012, vol.68, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article focused on a single proverb, viz. Proverbs 17:16. The syntax and stylistic features were analysed to demonstrate the extreme polyvalence that can characterise terse aphorisms. Fifteen readings were examined and evaluated, resulting in the distillation of four equally valid clusters of meaning. This informed the argument that the terseness of aphorisms is conducive to multiple legitimate interpretations which constitute the 'readings'. The implications were considered in terms of intentionality and text-immanence in detailed exegesis. It was concluded that a combination of sophisticated linguistics and stylistic sensitivity in proverb exegesis can, in the sense of Herderian and Gunkelian 'Einfiihlung' in minutiae, uncover a richness in ostensibly simple texts - which is to be distinguished from traditional methods claiming to probe 'under the surface'.

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