Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Université catholique de Louvain, Peeters
Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses. Louvain Journal of Theology and Canon Law vol:83 issue:4 pages:281-318
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 pre-understandings 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.