Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 6)

The exegesis of the Gospel texts often follows unspokenly the so-called canonical exegesis,

Sea Lizards Fernandina, Galapagos August 1989
Sea Lizards Fernandina, Galapagos August 1989

which Ratzinger presents as exemplary, but which also largely determines the interpretation in theology: The individual text is shortened in the sense of the Gospel as a whole and beyond that of the New Testament canon.


In the spirit of Werner Kelber’s approach, however, the interpretation in historical research should be opened to a broad interpretation, to different ways of understanding, first to the question of what message has the individual pericopes, what image of Jesus conveyed them.


All the richness of biblical literature is only revealed when one recognises the different meanings of the individual texts and their literary references and lets them have an effect on oneself. In Josephus I have found some passages which, with a broad interpretation, can be understood as an allusion to early Christian facts.


You don’t have to follow my interpretation, but these places should be discussed. There is also the question of the age of the Old Testament writings. There has been some movement on this issue. I am not the first to date the writings into the Hellenistic or even Herodian period. In the sense of a broad interpretation, the parallels between New and Old Testament texts should be reconsidered.

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