Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in Biblical Narratives: A Hermeneutical Study of Genesis 21:1-21

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A modern reader studying biblical narratives encounters various literary approaches and ways of understanding interpretive concepts. Hence an attempt to put forward a comprehensive hermeneutical model of reading biblical narratives. Such a model should aim at a synthesis of various approaches, and show how they are interrelated. The book proposes a hermeneutical theory which uses modern approaches to literary texts for the exegesis of biblical narratives. The book discusses three spheres of the reader's knowledge about reality: immanent, narrative, and transcendental. The move from immanent to transcendental knowledge through the mediation of narrative knowledge results from the mediatory role played by the biblical text, which refers the reader to a transcendent reality. This theory is then applied to the exegesis of Genesis 21:1-21, and involves the evaluation of the New Criticism, rhetorical criticism, structuralism and narrative analysis, reader-response criticism, the historical-critical method, as well as deconstruction. In order to satisfy the postulate of pluralism in interpretation, the hermeneutical theory draws upon a variety of ancient and modern sources such as Aristotle, T. S. Eliot, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Paul Ric ur.