I can agree that there may be a limited number of passages that may
have been encoded by their writers with polyvalent meaning. John 3:3ff.,
for instance, seems to be employing a play on the word ANWQEN, and the
reference to PNEUMA in v. 8 apparently begins a play on that word between
the meaning "wind" and "Spirit." Some of the Proverbs also may be in this
category. But what I was writing about is that kind of polyvalence which
precludes the idea of legitimate meaning residing in the text itself: the
idea that meaning is only process, and that, therefore, the meaning of a
text depends on who is interpreting it. In my estimation, such an approach
blurs the distinction between meaning and significance.
A text may have different significance to different people, but that
does not change its meaning. It may have different applications, but its
legitimate meaning is always the same.
>On the other hand, I certainly never meant to suggest that I think that all
>possible interpretations of any particular text are correct. There are
>plenty of interpretations that are simply ludicrous, plenty that are
>interesting and worth considering even if ultimately not convincing, some
>that distort and abuse the text in order to wrest from it some meaning to
>undergird villainous and ultimately perverse and maleficent intentions. We
>are bidden, I think, to "test the spirits, whether they are from God."
Yes; we are.
David L. Moore Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education
firstname.lastname@example.org Southeastern Spanish District
http://members.aol.com/dvdmoore of the Assemblies of God