The Gospel of Matthew; the Epistle of James; biblical theology; hermeneutics; and biblical ethics.
Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies
The Good that I Mean I Do Not Say: Meaning, Intention, Psychology and Romans 7
Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning
While exegetical scholars typically invest great importance in the author’s intention as a touchstone for valid interpretations, the phenomenon on which they rely entails more complications than a casual invocation seems to allow. As a case in point, the interpretation of Romans 7 — particularly 7:15 — seems to require that an interpreter account for unintentional expression and even unconscious motivation. Even interpreters who apply psychological insight to the interpretation of this passage, though, occlude relevant aspects of the psychology of the unconscious. As both the notion of ‘intention’ and the role of the unconscious themselves defy elucidation, a model of deliberate authorial intention falls far short as the paradigmatic criterion of interpretive legitimacy.