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Unread 06-28-2005, 09:04 AM   #1
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Interesting Literary Comment on the Bible

http://www.leithart.com/archives/001364.php

What do you think?

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Unread 06-28-2005, 11:45 AM   #2
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I agree with the general idea of high context low context but I'm not sure about applying it to the Bible. In the Bible we find writings in an ancient Jewish context, and Greco-Jewish context (apocrypha), and even in the NT we find writings written to Jews, Gentiles, and both. Thus, the communities of John and Mark may be quite different.

However, the writings do seem to take many cultural things as assumed and understood (high context). But I don't know if it like as if America was so similar that one could write something it would be assumed (America = all NT) or if it is like an Amish writing to the Amish (John writing to John's community, Paul writing an epistle).

Just some thoughts.
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Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opnions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although 'they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion
(St. Augustine The Literal Meaning of Genesis I.19.39)

Note: (due to confusion) Augustine here is writing against those who interpret Genesis "literally" (i.e. 6 day creation)
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Unread 06-28-2005, 11:54 AM   #3
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Oh, yes, I'm sure it's going to vary a lot, and I think there is a singular "biblical times" context. There are certain things that tend to run through most of the bible (Hebrew context), and there are others that are only found in a couple places (references to Greek philosophy, gnosticism, etc.).

I just thought his general point was interesting, as I had never thought of it precisely in that way. I think there are many meanings to certain parts of the Bible that we will never grasp, and really don't need to.
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