Re: Midrash and authorial intent

David John Marrota writes:

> I would also say that any methodology which denies authorial intent is
> wrong, and vast elements of Midrashic thought shared by Paul and not
> denying authorial intent are correct, even by todays standards.
> Would you say Paul or typical midrash deny authorial intent?

I really don't see that as a relevant question.  Who do you view as
the author?

"Typical midrash" is trying to find out God's intent, and doesn't
usually pay a whole lot of attention to who the author is or what the
author's intention may have been.  That would probably apply to Paul,
too, although I haven't examined that question carefully.

I would in any case urgently disagree with your blanket statement that
"any methodology which denies authorial intent is wrong."  There are
very important methods of literary investigation that do just that,
and raise valid points.  The "intentional fallacy" is a notoriously
debated point of critical investigation, and declaring flatly that one
side or the other of this point indicates either good or faulty method
is far too simplistic.

Paul J. Bodin                         Internet: pjb3@cunixb.cc.columbia.edu
Union Theological Seminary               smail: 435-52nd Street
(718) 439-3549                                  Brooklyn, NY 11220