Posted: Jul 24, 2013 11:04 pm
by neilgodfrey
spin wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
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.

Before we know how to ready any text we need to establish its provenance, and one major reason we need its provenance is to guide us in knowing how to do a basic literary analysis on it so we can figure out exactly what sort of text it is. (We generally do these things subconsciously and within microseconds in relation to texts we are familiar with.)

The assumption that a literal reading of a text is somehow the most "authentic" is a naivety that has led to all sorts of misdirections.