The Defenseless Text

Today, I am reading for a biblical Hebrew poetry class in the spring.  I came across this sentence, which reminds us as readers (and preachers) of the biblical text not to take advantage of the “innocent and defenseless” biblical text in our interpretation (or preaching):

“The text is completely defenseless against any form of abuse; for the text, the reader is either a blessing or a curse.”  (J.P. Fokkelman, Reading Biblical Poetry, Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, p. 207).

While I understand his point: to be a tad clearer: “The text is completely defenseless against any form of abuse; for the text, the interpreter (or preacher) is either a blessing or a curse.”

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