This article sets the problem of historical study of the biblical world in the context of the post-Enlightenment ideological development of scientism and historicism, viewed as basic, contradictory cultural ideals. Employing the literary analyses of Meier Sternberg and aspects of Gadamer's hermeneutics, I argue that the normative "truth claims" that Scripture makes on its readers reside in the text, not in the "facts" behind the text, even when Scripture is explicitly referring to the real world and describing historical events.

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