Probably there is no definitive reading of a cookbook recipe. But that
really is of no relevance. Because there are certainly readings of any
given text that only a damn fool would propound. I don't quite
understand why anyone would think there was anything profound or even
interesting in the statement that "There is no definitive reading of X."
It's trivial and simply doesn't butter any parsnips. One-line readings
of almost anything but particularly of complex literary texts almost
always belong to the catgory of readings which only a damn fool would
annoy his/her company with.
On 9/14/2011 3:44 PM, Jerome Walsh wrote:
I missed that aspect of your remarks. I think we're using "reading" in
different senses. You are using it in the entirely legitimate sense of
"textual reading" (a la text criticism of ancient MSS). In that sense,
no, there is certainly no "definitive" reading of biblical texts. In
fact, the putative "original text" from which the variety of extant text
forms would have descended is itself viewed as a problematic concept
today. More likely is that there was never a single original text of
which all later MSS are (mis)copies, but a plurality of "original" (and
unidentical) reductions to writing that have subsequently not only
diverged through the influence of copyists but also have
cross-pollinated one another by reciprocal influence.