The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
01st of September, 2014

Streett Meets McGilchrist… Or How the NPP Happens

Daniel Strett is doing it for me again:

This is rather strange. It might be helpful to realize that people do not normally approach literature this way. I did a search on Google Books the other day for the term “exegesis.” I found that every book on the first ten pages that came up was a Biblical Studies book. Literary critics don’t really talk much about exegesis, nor do classicists, surprisingly. Why is that? Those groups talk a lot about interpretation and hermeneutics and context, but not “exegesis.”

forest-for-treesI would like to propose that much of what people mean by “exegesis” is artificial, atomistic overanalysis of little bits of texts that were originally intended to be heard as wholes, not analyzed, labelled and translated. That kind of exegesis results from an approach to texts that I like to call ‘the Bible Code mentality.’
Well, as you know by now, this is what one schooled at the feet of Iain McGilchrist would call “left-brain madness” or something.

I think that some modern heresies, like the “New Perspective on Paul” are a direct result of this, and it is very embarrassing. They yack away and away about “subjective genitive” and so on, but:

So, I find that that the question, “what about exegesis?” presupposes that to interpret a text, one must be able to label, diagram and translate it into another language. I disagree with this. When I read and discuss English literature, I do not analyze syntax or diagram sentences. I also do not label each element using linguistic metalanguage. Rather I discuss meaning, themes, characterization. I summarize. I paraphrase. I make connections with other parts of the text. I tease out logical implications. I examine elements of literary artistry. All of this can be done, indeed, is best done, in the language itself.

Yeah, which is why “pistis christou” is as much “faith is Christ” as it is “Christian faith”.