Sunday, January 20, 2008

John Nolland on the Writing of Commentaries VII (Final Installment)

Insight #7: The reader is just as important to the task of interpretation as is the commentator.

Commentaries exist to enable their readers to engage more successfully with biblical texts. They should be helpful companions for the journey of engagement with the text, and they should provide stimulation and assistance in the task of coming to terms with the challenges of the text. We should not, however, expect too much of them. In the end it is each reader who needs to make sense at the deepest level of the biblical text with which they are engaged. The commentator provides a thoughtful and well-informed instance of how, at a certain level, one person coming from one place, in conversation with many others from various places has travelled the journey for themselves. (311, italics mine)

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