[b-hebrew] Deconstructionism

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 11:15:37 EDT 2007


On 4/4/07, Kevin Riley wrote:
> In practice inerrantists are very likely to be opposed to deconstruction as
> it strikes at a central issue for the overwhelming majority of inerrantists
> - that the text has one plain, intended meaning and all other meanings are
> to some degree false.  To accept deconstruction as a valid way of
> approaching scriptural texts is only possible if you have rejected most of
> the assumptions on which inerrancy is based and are at least willing to
> assume that the text *may* have more than one valid meaning.  The idea that
> a Biblical author may in fact have communicated more than a plain reading of
> what the text itself reveals is not likely to sit well with most
> inerrantists.  The "interpretive lenses" of inerrantists and
> deconstructionists are in reality likely to be very different, even if on a
> strictly logical basis it may not be a necessity that this be so.

But then, isn't this concept "that a Biblical author may in fact have
communicated more than a plain reading of what the text itself reveals"
at the basis of the Kabbalistic "PaRDeS" to which David earlier made
reference? or of the Rabbinical "Seventy Faces of Torah" compounded
with "These (the interpretations of Bet Hillel) and these (the
interpretations of Bet Shammai) are the words of the living God"?  In
fact, of the basic Rabbinical distinction between pashat and darash
("the simple [meaning]", "the expounded [meaning]")?  If inerrancy
is opposed to these concepts, and inerrancy is a requirement of the
"believer," then all of traditional Judaism should be rendered "non-
believers."  (I do not feel that inerrancy is a requirement of a believer,
regardless, but it seems that David does).  Besides, in the statement
of David that I quoted, the implication is that all those who oppose
inerrancy are "deconstructionists," just as the implication is that all
those who work from tradition (and not "their own preconceived notions")
hold by inerrancy.  (I disagree with both implications).  Even if
deconstructionism is in some way opposed to inerrancy, that doesn't
mean that all those who are opposed are deconstructionists.

Yitzhak Sapir



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