From Irritants to Satisfaction: A Model of a Theory of Meaning Applied to Reading the‘Sabbath of the LORD’ Motif In Exodus 16

Bredesen, Arne (2018) From Irritants to Satisfaction: A Model of a Theory of Meaning Applied to Reading the‘Sabbath of the LORD’ Motif In Exodus 16. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

2401224 BREDESEN, ARNE.pdf - Submitted Version

Download (8MB) | Preview


The shift in biblical studies since the Age of Enlightenment from the so-called positivist (i.e. modernist) paradigm to the postpositivist (i.e. postmodern) paradigm has become a matter of (de)centralisation of meaning and interpretation. To contribute to the topic, I argue that there is a need for both a composite postpositivist theory of meaning and a model that can explain the phenomenon of the so-called vicious circle in interpretation. I propose a theory of interpretative relativity, and a model based on the telephoto effect of an actual zoom lens. According to this theory and the zoom lens model, the force which compels the interpretation is the reader’s (dis)satisfaction with his/her paradigm. Furthermore, the apparent inconsistencies within the text, as well as between the text and its background, will appear greater as the reader centralises his/her view/focus on the text (i.e. becomes cognitively closer to it). In contrast, during the process of decentralisation, the same discrepancies will appear smaller. The only way out of the vicious circle of reasoning within the reader's subjective view of the compiled text is by following textual clues about relations of dependence between that and other texts. These relations can cause the reader to discover a new paradigm which can challenge his/her current paradigm. This shift of the reader’s paradigm is seen as the only way out from the vicious circle. To develop the composite theory of meaning, I have modified the following postpositivist theories: Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigms, Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of literary criticism, Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson’s theory of relevance. This model of interpretation is furthermore applied to reading the ‘Sabbath of the LORD’ motif in the narrative in Exodus 16. It is suggested that the research should be continued by applying this model to reading biblical texts of other genres.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 09:36
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 10:26

Administrator Actions (login required)

Edit Item - Repository Staff Only Edit Item - Repository Staff Only