Posted: Jul 24, 2013 1:17 pm
by spin
RealityRules wrote:
spin wrote:Paul
Working from Galatians I have attempted to read the text as literally as possible in an effort to understand what it says, rather than what later interpreters have said it says. The result is that Paul argues against prior Jesus believers, indicating that his Jesus knowledge instead comes from revelation (which doesn't require any supernatural event given todays understandings of psychology). He points to people in Jerusalem who show no knowledge of the gospel Jesus and who advocate torah observance, which Paul's Jesus has abrogated. Paul's writings have been heavily reworked, as can be seen with the attacks on his personality and insertion of later established church oriented notions and interests, so his writings cannot be read slavishly as many christian interpreters tend to do.
neilgodfrey wrote:I thought the idea that a literal reading is by definition a "true" reading was one of the most elementary mistakes that can ever be made. You justify this by means of another elementary error of logic: the false dilemma.
spin wrote:When you want to engage in conversation, consider what you are responding to. The first thing one must do with a text is read it as literally as possible. If you don't do that, then you cannot work with the text. One will tend to overlay the text with what they bring to the text from later interpretations. This makes the text extremely hard to analyse.

The first thing one must do with a text is place it in context:
    Is it a text supported by other texts; other accounts of the time?
    Is it supported by other things - artifacts; objects; archaeology?
Only then can one determine if it ought to be or can be read literally.

Sure one can evaluation in light of others' evaluations/interpretations, but one ought to work from first principles

Seriously, you can't do very much at all unless you first try to read a text literally. Unless the text is epigraphy there is nothing else you can do. You have to contend with what the text says. There are varying degrees of proficiency in doing so.