This study is interested in issues of method. For a long time, historical criticism dominated the landscape of biblical studies. It still does. But its dominance is being unsettled. New reading methods, often labelled Ã¢ÂpostÃ¢Â' something have begun to take hold in the discipline, their practitioners growing in influence. However, battles over reading strategy have choked the discipline. While new methods could have revitalised the field, the burgeoning of methods has served to grind the discipline to a halt. Some have wondered if the end has come. Others have called for the end. Others have called for dialogue, but little, if any, has resulted.This thesis takes seriously the work of past scholars and their methods, while also taking stock of the present, and trying to look to the future. In that sense, it is conciliatory. It unfolds in three sections. The first takes on the methods of historical criticism, and critically reads the text of Numbers 25 through a historical lens. First, a translation is established, and secondly, a historical reading of the text is undertaken. The second section is a survey of the history of interpretation of Numbers 25, reaching back to the 1st century, and following major figures to the current day. What is found is that the interpretation of this text has always featured creativity and imagination, the hallmarks of all good reading. In this way, the survey sets the scene for the final section, which is made up of three distinct readings of the text employing contemporary methods: a narrative analysis, a feminist reading and a postcolonial reading. The thesis is guided by the overarching metaphor of the mosaic. It recognises that all readings are temporal, that as the mosaic is subject to the wear and tear of time, so too are readings.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||20 Apr 2013|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|