Abstract

After a brief historical overview of the use of the axiom that one should "interpret the Bible like any other book," the valid concerns of the axiom are noted and affirmed prior to the formulation of an argument for its abandonment. Primary concerns in the argument are the difference of contemporary social and ecclesial contexts from the Christendom context within which the axiom was formulated, the characteristically polemical and theologically underdeveloped use of the axiom by its proponents, the complex and pluriform nature both of texts and of reading, and the differences made by canonical preservation and religious use to the assumptions and expectations with which the biblical text is approached.

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