Helen Bond: Hazardous Reading of Ancient Texts

Helen K. Bond, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2020), 8.

If we are to understand a text, particularly one from a distant culture, we need to be attuned to its historical context. Any piece of writing contains far more meaning than that expressed solely by the words on the. Texts assume and evoke cultural knowledge, and without this any reading is hazardous…. The difficulty for any modern interpreter of Mark’s bios, of course, lies in what is “unsaid,” the vast store of cultural assumptions that Mark’s audience instinctively brought to bear on their understanding of his work.

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