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Ancient Laws and Contemporary ControversiesThe Need for Inclusive Biblical Interpretation$
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Cheryl Anderson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305500.001.0001

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Biblical Authority and the Ethics of Biblical Interpretation

Biblical Authority and the Ethics of Biblical Interpretation

Chapter:
(p.135) 6 Biblical Authority and the Ethics of Biblical Interpretation
Source:
Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies
Author(s):

Cheryl B. Anderson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305500.003.0006

All biblical interpretations, including traditional ones, “pick and choose” texts and meanings according to the particularity of the interpreter. The dominant interpreters have failed to acknowledge their particularity as the “mythical norm” (the white, affluent, heterosexual male head of a nuclear family). As a result, that norm has become equated with “authoritative” interpretations and those who fall outside that norm have been harmed. A responsible ethics of biblical interpretation must reject a model of “authority as domination” in favor of “authority as partnership.” In a genuinely self‐critical biblical interpretation, (1) the particularity of the dominant, traditional interpreters will be recognized as particular and not imposed on others by colonialist means; (2) readers will take responsibility to consider the actual consequences of their interpretations on others; (3) readers will honestly reflect not only on how meaning is derived from Scripture, but why one of several candidate meanings is chosen.

Keywords:   Bible, colonialism, ethics, hermeneutics, homophobia, interpretation, heterosexism, nuclear family, women

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