Thursday, March 27, 2008

The problem with 'textual surgery'

From JSNT:

The contemporary biblical scholar Stephen Moore, who has jettisoned the source- and form-critical scalpels of his former training in textual surgery, confesses his disenchantment with mainstream critical methods in this way:

For seventeen years I have aspired to be a biblical scholar. By the end of my first year I had learned to use a knife, although not a table knife. I had learned not to devour the book, nor even the Word, to internalize them, to become one with them. Instead I had learned to dissect the book and the Word (Moore 1996: 39).

This sums up my wariness about beginning academic study of the biblical languages, though I would say--or at least hope--that dissecting can be one way to, as Eugene Peterson says, "eat this book."

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