Original Research

Framing the text: ‘Background studies’ and New Testament interpretation

P. J.J. Botha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 49, No 1/2 | a2479 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v49i1/2.2479 | © 1993 P. J.J. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 January 1993 | Published: 13 January 1993

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P. J.J. Botha, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

Understanding a text always demands knowledge of its context. Possible reasons why context is frequently regarded as a subordinate part of interpretation are analysed. Interpretation within a communicative perspective, and facets of contextualisation are discussed; some theoretical aspects concerning contextual issues are clarified. The notion ‘framing the text’ is defended to emphasise that history is constructed and always p re supposes a perspective. Framing is a comprehensive activity which adds complexity. Because it engages in historical interpretation and describes aspects of the various levels of context, one’s framing activity can be criticised and improved. Framing arises from oscillation between intensive interpretation of details and generalisation.

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