You are on page 1of 12

P. I .

MARK 4:[9 AND MARK 4:13-20
Prd""", obrc wiIh r_ .... .. p'clim;"., .... pn:ambk:s. proIopcs,
aDd prokgolD< .... h'''''' ol...)lI b<.B .... ill ... it ........ ;" >icwd lheir".. ... ",1f-dfooo""III.
Upoa the .00:1 d lbel""" (-..Ibth prucoll .1>11 ",",""" .... 'alhe. loratollo, lhe p'.'
.... I.ti .. ptoducticwl, and, ill Ofdc, to f"Il W",. lhe ruder', qeo .. 'hoi ir vWbIe, io
obliged 10 ,put. l<' ",.din . Dd predic:al.). Ih. "",I. Ibar Iw bo." .......,,,,,, mu", &Mul
itself. SUI Ikio ,ubu"",,Iioo leola 1D.1, k 01 .' .. u"" Ih .... addt::d '0 the ..m..,.
qu<0I IClQ -..111111 WUKIt be ,"",,,,od up (Dcnida 1981 .. ,,).
A preface. a -+- fan'. a before the speaking (Sykes 1982:809), denotes an ae-
tivity leading into the body of a Iext, but at the 5ame time it already understands
Ihe ending of the 11. In fact it brinp logclher the edges of the beginning ... ilh
the edges of the ending of the tt. At the same time Ihere is no real beginning
or end, as every tut is, as it werc, 'morc like a fabrk with 1000e ends than a
hemmed (Taylor 1984:(78). A draws attention to urtain [oose
ends al either side of Ihe texl and shows Ihe direction of these ends running
throughoulthe telll.
Homo ludtfU (Nethersole 1988:24S) is the best imase 10 capture the activity
of deconstruction. Whereas Niebuhr (1963:475 I) characterised the human per
son in difJe rent activities in relationships to the world and 10 God, homo luden.f
illustrates tbe human pcrwn in activity with the text and wilh the world. This
upreuion 10 the notion of Barthes' 'The Ten, 00 the otller
hand, is [inked 10 enjoyment 10 williout separation' (Bar
thes 1979a:8O), One is meant 1101 simply 10 enjoy remling and rereading tl1.c text.
It goes further; il means Ihat one must play Ihe t1, one mun allow lelt 10
unfold and let iuclf go (Barthcs 1979a:80),
The attempt will be made 10 iIlustrale Ihe approach by con
trasting il to the hislorieal-critical approach in interpreting the New Testament.
Reading the text of Mark 4:19 wilh Ihe intertext of Mark 4:1320 as ""ell as tile
other synoptic imencxlS of Manhew 13:1 9. Luke 8:4-11 and Matthew 13:18 2,3
and Luke 8:1115 aJlov.'S one 10 view urtain aspects of the deconslruction ac:tivi
ty in operation.
Elsewhere my approich 10 has been labelled 'fairly conserva
tive' (Smit 1988:458). However. a classification in this way fails to understand
nature of dccon,Slruroon.1t does not have a uniform method. Instead, it
i. an activity thai shies away totally from becoming yCI anotber mcthod Ihal is
simply applied as a means for acquiring Ihe rigbl imerprelalioro. I have en
deavour<:d 10 approach a lext of Scripture wilh Ihis aClivity in mind. 1lIc aim is
to see how I an use ImS aruvity of do:wnmuClion within Ihe limlts of my <.JWII
in!enCl! as a biblical studies schoLar. In this perspective it is nol my inlention to
take o;nrer tllis activity uncritically. bul raIMr to see its limits within 1M roofincs
of my own As aimOSI every exponent of Ibis deconslruclive aclivity
operates in lIer/his own way - for, lei il be repeated again, the deronstruaive
attivity is oot a method - I fccl tbat 1 am al liberty to play the game in my own
"'ay Il$ well. lbe aim is to iUustra!e the modus opmwli of the aClivity and oot so
mueh to endo1$e itin I(}(O.
lbe best attempt to define the ac1.ivityof decortSlruction ha$ been given by Lea
vey ( \982:0) whereby lie the do:wnstruction of Derrida as ron
taini ng four protorols:
I. f"", ", ... otOb., Lhio....,. app<.,.;matos Ioow I ........ Dorrida', """ks. Eado
prococol frorro a diff.r"", lfircaloa lloe .ualqiel Demda "OIU ill dcc:rooRnteUo.=
(I) ...,. oa.d ... r .... part of Dorrida'. doK r.adiap of WCOOotll trarIiIlD&.
(1) Accor""a 10 PwI de MAn. Derrid.o G ...... * DtbwIIt . (3) -.. ud IIWI)' f .....
rIIOlOIC the d<>-
r .... tile _ ... """'10K doubI< oc:ir;-.
Basic 10 the whole approacll of deronstfuclion is Ihal il is to be viewed as a
st rategy. In no sense is it a method. but it adopts a spedfic approacll to !.be un
dentanding and reading of texts. "The Text must nOI be thought of as a defined
objcCL . .In other words, the Tat iJ apuiel1ctd only in an activity, Q productimt'
(Banhes 197901:74-75). Consequenlly, no lex! is a rounded off unity. It appeaB
much like a doth with frayed edge&. lbese edges can interface witlltbe frayed
edges of any olher 'Every text. being itself the inteTten of another len,
belongs to the intenellrua)' (BanheJ \9791l;77).
Every text presents itsel f as the rewriting of a previous tellt:
Writ,,,, dou IlOl .,.,.. ... tk '.oIividut imcalioA ofla orisiw 1 .. 110<. To t ile to1Ilrory,
Mil". " ... 1 p\Iy <I. r.paltioro io .bido IPP".OI ",ad<l"" iI aallal ....... oduttioa. AI
.... ill Olloct --. G (T1J\ot 19&1: (6).
llIe role of the author with regard to tile tellt assumes an important direction.
DealllstruC1ion liberates the text entirely from the begemony of an author.
Once a work has been written the te;ct thereafler acquires an independent exis
tence. 'The Text. on the olher hand, is read wilhout tile father' s signature'
(Barthes 1979a:78). Consequently, the author can approach the text only in the
same way in which any other interpreter approaches tile text. The fact that
hefsbc Is the f.ther/mother of the text give5 bim/ber 110 spceial.utbority with
regard to the tut and illl inte!pTl:tation.
In reading or rewriting.ny text tbe approacb Is not to unwver tbe bidden
meaning rWlling: within. text. l/lStead tat is viewed as plural.
"T1Iio doeo; __ Ibt ;. ..... _01 .......... bill ..chet .iIa. iI ... icMa pIooraIiIy of
........ iI ......,.. -01 ,0 ... Q,a,.I iI ...,. be, II1II10 ... apIc>-
..... r1j ..... io .. im n.e T .. pIuroliIJ does _ <kpead "" Iloc ....tipjIy rI. ib GCIMaIb,
bill rOlhet ..... eoIIld be caBed the ' lUrorpllic p4wJil1 oflk .... Iiut 11001 .........
(lbnbea 1979a:'J6).
Instead of trying to unrover tbe .rchimedes point in. te><l. the approach en-
deavours to show bow the tut i!lle1f unfolds, explodes, dls.scmlnates. Meaning Is
ootiD be in. text. Instead, one lI"ies to Ke bow meaning is deferred
from one text to another. Trac:es of meaning appear in a text and !he reader en-'
duvouu to see how tbete traces of meaning appear and diu.ppear, and how
meaning in this way is ultimalCly deferred (Taylor 1984:179).
When De Man (1979: 123-129) refers to Ocrrid. all 'Arcbie Debunke( be Is
romparing him to the lV cbaracter Archie Bunker. 'M.asked by Ills wife wlletber
he wanlll to have bis bowling shoes lated over or laced under, Archie Bunker
a/lSwers with a question. He asb: ' What'li the difference?' Being a reader of
sublime simplicity. bis wife replies by patiently explaining the differente
between !adng over and lacing under, wlllllever this may be. bUI provokes only
ire. ' Wlull' li the difference?' did not ask for difference but meant imtead ' I don't
give a damn wlllt the difference is".
When rompariog Derrida to Archie Bunker Dc Man in ract YIowI Derrida as
playing a similar game. He asb questions, btu in doing so be refuses to be tied
down hy the rules of logic. He remains free to interpret and to read the text in
wbatever way he wisbes. 'Dcrrida debunks criticism and tbe onlotheological
presumptions malting it pos5ible' 1982:47).
Me taphorical language lends itself 10 tbe deconstructive activity. The
parables of Jesus are to be viewed as belonging to tbls mctapllorieallangua&e.
'Reading a parable. tberefore, is a a passage. a journey. a pU
grim3ge.InrilOlio to follow the footprints or (Taylor 1982&:121). The details
within a parable arc there to dn!w ORC along towards the horizon towards wbicb
it is teooing. The details point not to themselves but be)'Ood themselves 10 the
horizon orthe pusage (Taylor
Taylor (l982a:120-121) furtber defines a parable In tbls way: ' Parable: 'an
ambiguous transition between oDe and aootbe(. The parable projects a world
into which it attempu to translate the hearer.
SiDaI the ...,.\d li dcocriha dd'DnIIS Ill """Cd, ......... c:o ... w. .... !Iou ...
.... 01 .... 10 lift i:I that .....JcI. 10 ore the .... 1<1 ;" \.bot ....,., 10 tob "I' 0 ... ' oI:oock ""'"
101.6., of oipiI'ocaOOM thai ;" diIf<m>t t..,.. ,he evtl)'doy"<J<ld.
'" "
A parable I. nol, as in the mind of tbe supporters of the historical-critical
method, 10 be secn as rontaining an archimedes point wbich it is 11K: task of the
interpreter to discover and 10 unlod,. Inslead, one IIrives 10 sec bow the
signifiers prescot in Ihe slOry point beyond tbemselves 10 the horizon of the
pvobk oM lK painliaj dnw the t". ........ 01. Wl/lIIIy .... arced oo/t ioaIO 0. 0b-
ject. .. lK to lK borim. hr w- of...ioio:lo tJ..- objoo:ts pill tbcir P'- oM
foea. Th.., lK abjoects Ia !be previously ,dc&ocd ... bo:ccD: the CJtlject 0111.
tuIiooI. bIll wit ... _ """"'" ud WId.,pdcd ODd plOIe<:tod t". frul. iooIepi(y (TO)k>t
In place of discovering the Itrflum COmparQI"onu Ihat is seen 10 contain the
meaning of the parable, tbe deoonstl1,lction activity views the meaning of the
parable as being continually deferred. Every rereading of the tut gives a new
reflection of tlK: parable. Each time Ille figurative details of the story arc secn 10
point beyond thermclvc.s to a new horizon that becomes pan of the lext, and in
ilS rum a ne .... horiwn or meaning is opened up Bnd Ihen ultimately disappears.
In Ibis sense: meaning is deferred.
1. n.c lat (Marlr4:J-9; 14-20)
The intention here i. to how the view appr""chcs
Ihis Icxt and 10 contl'lLSl lhis wilh .... hat would be the approach adopted by a de
conslructive reading of this tUl.
2.1 pDItlble of The SuMw (Mark 4:J9)
2.1.1 An hisloricaJ-aiti<:al understandingoflhis parable
Whal has become almost an axiom in bislorical-ailical melhod is to Ilphold
a distinction between the figuralive usage of the parable and lhe allegory (Con-
nick 1\I74:2fl3). While tbe parable focuses the interest of tbe interpreter along
the palh of Ibe discovery of Ihe ovcralllhrust of the parable. the allegory (0-
cucs attention on every small detail ",ilbin Ihe parable, which is seen 10 contain
a hidden reference or meaning. The parabolic melhod of interprelation and
teaching is seen to have its origins in Judaism alone, and the teaching of Jesus is
seen 10 be lOOulded wilhin this framework. 'Among Jewish teachen the parable
was a common and wellunderstood melhod of illustration, and the parables of
Jesus arc similar in fonn 10 Rabbinic parables' (Dodd [193511980:16).
On the other hand the allegorkal interprel ation given 10 the parables of
The puroble is relold in an alD1O$[ idendea.l way in each of the Gospels with only
minor differences. The lext slaru wilh the slatemenl thaI Jesus is teaching in
parablel (Mk 4:2). The aemunt opens with the pieture of. farmer sowing seed
in his [and. The feeling of expectation i$ engendered by the description, but im-
mediatdy this is met wi th the frustrations and the fai lures that this laion en-
countcti. For the by$l&nden the feeling of expectation is replaced by !he feelina
of futi1ily. Comra.m:d 10 the oatural fecling of the IJy5randcn is lIIe feel ing of
confidence betrayed by Jesul. He shows Ihe ultimale result as the production of
a harvest whlch is beyond compare.
2.1.2 A &:constructive: approaclt to Ute panlble
No cxplanalion is given here 10 Ihe acoouni. II is presented as a parable, and
hence requires the hearer 10 use her/his mind 10 search Ihe account for an ClI-
pl anation: ' He who has can to hear, lei him hear' (Mt 4:9), Reading lhis
parabl e in lertulually with otber parables, one sees how so many of the
eomparisons init ialed by l esus in his parables concern the kingdom of God.
While no direct reference is made here 10 the kingdom of God. one sees the
trace of Ihe expectation of Ihe coming of the kingdom of God appearing and
dii-appearing Ihroughoul Ihis parable .... hen it is read in[enenually wilh the rest
of the parllbles in [his chapler (Mk 4).
At the commena: ment of lhe parable 1he e:.pc:Clation of the establisllD'ltcnt of
God'5 kingdom is in the forefront. II is awailed eagerly.jU51 as one awail$ with
eagerness Ihe sower's mulu from his $OWIng of the seed. Faced willi Initial bad
relllts from the sowing of Ihe seed, a feeling of failure emerged, which can be
traced as weI! inlo the comparison with lIIe establishment of God's kingdom.
Bul. finally. this fee ling of failure is replaced by a feeling of confidence aDd joy
in 1M; final success thaI is anained. ll1st as the outcome m the harvest suipuses
all expeclat lons aroused at the beginning. so [00 Ihe kingdom of God Is 10 be
awaited ",;[h Ihe certainty and assurance Ihal far liIIipasse5 every expectation.
It is in Ihis contrasl of fee lings that a Irace of the absence-pre5.Cnce of tbe
ldngdom is the actll al evenl of sowing lhe pre5.C1lCe mlhe kingdom
;s upec[ed as imminent. but this presence is uperienced as absence in Ihe
failures that are encounl ered. The feeling of confidence and certainty on the
pari of JQUS re-awakens the trace of the presence of the kingdom. The presence
of lbe kingdom is seen 10 be something lhal is inevitable. notwithuanding every
failure lhal appears \0 re-inform i15 absence.
'" "
22 The appliCQI;OII of the parabk 0/ The SoIlV (Mwt 4;/4-20) (with MOl/hew
13;19-13 and ~ 8.-11-15 /U wotan)
Much more of a difference is evident in the application of the p<U"abl e offered
by the three Gospels.. This shows that the parable has been reread and reinter-
preted in the course or lime. Rather than reject this interpretation ootright, as
oecun in 10 many approaches of the historical-critical method (NCliuse it is
judged not to rome from Jesus). I believe that a deronstructive approach offen
an imponant perspective with th.t to view it.. This is dear illustration of what
happens to every text whicb is read again. It is a new vein ac-
cording to the new conte:l:ts and these become the tUt'S intertcxts in whi cb it
finds icsc.lf.
The DeW 1eJIt is seen to replace the previous leJCt which it rereads.. In doing so
it gives a new direction, a new interpretation. Rather than opting for a position
whereby one interpretation is judged to be right, the other wrong, the categories
in tbis sense of rigbt and wrong arc rejected. In iu place one observes the
natural and very nonnal prooeu by which all interpretation is Ken as a reread
ing of. previous tut and in the proce.s a new text is produced. This is
what has transpired here with the imerpretation of the parable of lllc Sower.
However, in the imerprctation offered, not just one new tut is produced, but
three emerse, as is evident in eadl one of the Gospels. Although there are e\ose
simIlarities among the three, which shows that they must each depend upon a
common source, this common source has been altered somewhat to show
evidence of the bands of the individual evangelisu. This can be observed in the
following chan.
M .. M.llhew 1l:I'JoD l..\Ikcll:l1i$
i .uc.. d .. palb

"" ...
il Rod:r If'J'II'd hnm</icI<
aIIICI lbea to
iii.Thorn> D<$iro 10< richoo DW;tl io. rkheo C"-..&tIdRda
&tid <ilia 011 he &tid Nm ol!he .... _-
-" -"
iY. Good og;I 11ut". II .... lhe ....... P<I 1I ...... 'he word &tid

NM 0
30.14100 .....
_ ...
lnoll tie;1Y
The interest of this investigation is not with the small differellCC5that are in evi-
in cacti of these texts. Rather, the inlerest fOCll.\.e5 on tbe way the lUi has
been reread in new conlex\5.. An ident ification is given 10 lbe seed ali being the
word of the kingdom by way of the response to this word is il_
IUSlrated. A.\lw"p c:ontnUI is portrayed in the first three responses from that of
Ihe final
In each of the Gospels a different conlrasl is uprened in the final wmpari-
son. For Mark the contra:ll is made with the hearers who aa:eptlbe word. For
Matthew tile emphasis is placed 011 those who undcrsumd il, wbile in Luke lbe
emphasis lies on tllosc woo bold il fasl.
Behind tbili in all three tex!li the Ira,e of exhortation.
The hearen; are e.thoned 10 pay heed 10 and 10 respDlld \0 the word. 10 each
case lhe cdtonation 011111 indireC"lJy. The trace of an erllonalion is seen, but il
is only wilb the final example of the good soillhal the trace of lhe exbortulion
emerges in the clearest possible "ay, yet occurring in a different manner in each
or the evangelists.
'" "
2J Mark 4:3 JOand Marl< 4:1J20ar intertau
Eyu .... 6Di.tM:d, 'be 'u, I!. . 'ptrm ... a' .,Ol.",orpil""" "....,,,,. ... reader i.,o
.1II.bor &lid .1II.bor iMo <eado:r (Taylor 198h:l:!S).
There is one sense in which the historical-critical method and tile: dcwn5tructive
approach would be in agreement. The rereading or rewriting of the tUt is un
doubledlya Datural progression in the handing on of any ttllt . The parable a5
taught by Jesus is remembered by the three evangelists, and is rewrinen into
Greek with what appears to be minor adaptat ions from the words of the hislOri
cal Jesus. Eacb one of the Synoptics presents the text in a very similar way. All
texts are previous tCXU lbat have been re",rillen (Taylor 1984:16).
A second stage in the handing on of the text is observed in the allegori5ing of
the parable. Here, each synoptic writer gives an application of the IUt to the
needs of his readcl'1 in his own way. Once again the proccSll of rewriting is in
evidence. In handing on the text of the parable nch gospel writer rewrites the
tut in his own way. In this rewriting one also notes a transformation tMttakes
place whereby the parable is reread according 10 new contuts or intelfexts,
giving it a different perspective in each of the evangelists.
In quite another sense the h.i,torical-aitical method and the dcconstructive
approadl would pan company quite sharply ""er the very issue of meaning. It is
in lhe qunt for meaning thaI their urnJenakings go in quite different directions.
For the h.istorical-critical method the whole purpose of the undertaking lies in
the quest for meaning within the text. All their strategies are geared towards the
discovery or the ulleanhing of this meaning. Instead. the deconstruclionists
avoid any fonn of quest for meaning ",;thin a text. iilustrate how meaning
and the ttaces thai appear of this meaning are in fact defemd as each text is re-
wrilten. Both the parable lIlId the application offered 10 the parable show lblt
muruog i$ deferred 10 each instance. In the ':lSe of the parable the tra that
appoal'5 and only to reappear again is that of the expectation and
awaiting of tbe establisbment of God's kingdom. In the allegory that developed
from the parable, Ihis mtaning is defet!cd !O focus upon another trace that
emergn.lbe focus is placed now upon lhe seed In so far as it is Identified with
the word The trace lhat .oecufS throughout is thai of lhe exhortation 10 rtspond
fayourably 10 the words. This exhortation DU1'1 indirectly and yaguely at 61'11,
only to emerge in a clearer and lIronger way al the conclusion to cad! parable.
At the _ lime the fO( given '0 thili exhonation takes on different pc1'5pec.
tives In each Gospel: aca:ptancc (Mark), (Matthew), holding fast
Wt ... u e.q; .... h oboe=. wilh wi ...... ..,.rtwioo 0I1he obo,e..,. oIwo .. I(,).
ADd "'" ",,,".t...,a willi .biooilc ..... 1IIil ........ btu, ...... bow:oboe""" ptneau. TbtR""
,."oll _. oce .haI: .... word Is ............... pt ....... ud poeoc ... bK", (T.ylor
In the parable of The Sower no reference is made directly to the kill&oom of
God. vel)" absence is willi! makel iu trace present. Through the intetlem of
the other parables recorded in Mark 4 appears the contrast tbatthe parablel
arc preliCnted iii a means 10 iIluWate by way of StD')' what 'the! kingdom of God
is like._.
'A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed .. .'. The prelCnce of the sower
soon hecomel an absence. The sower is not mentioned again In the parable, for
the of attemion falls upon the fanen sud; ... .he is mentJoned atlbe S\llrt
and thereafter ignored. The parable is aOOlI1 loCed ... Or, ifone pre fen, it is about
the absence and departure, the ncoess.ary IoClf-negation of the sower' (Crossan
The presenu of the seed on Ihe palh, on rocky ground, and among thorru
broughl aboul dealh and absellOC. The presence of tho seed in good soil uhi
m:llely brought about grOWlh into a magnificent harvelt. The prCleIlCe of the
wil in the absence of a receptive foundation led 10 its annihilation, while !.be ab-
sence of any hindrance to Ibe $011 led to prClence In superabundance. Ulli-
matc:\y the immen.e harvest comC$ as a surprise: il is a mi racle (Crossan
1913;5 1). The kingdom of God romes as a gift. ils presence cornel as a surprise.
i1 is worked by a mirade.
The kingdom ofGnd is absent in Ibe parable: il is nOI mentioned. Yet. as ha.s
heen indicated, Ibe itltertens draw a!lenlion to the compariwo of kingdom
of God in all the parables. Ultimately tile silence of the kingdom gives birth to
its presence in the utraordinary harvest that arrives. The advent of the kingdom
belm prescot through miracle and gift.
The trace of tbe kingdom is taken up again in the intertut of the a1leaolY of
the SO\\'er as the lUI of Ihe parable is rewritten in the early church. Once again
the SllWer dis.appeiU"5 int<.l the background. This time il is word thaI is 5OWn.
Here again a trace ollbe kingdom appear.\.: it is the word of the kingdom that
makes appearance, its .:aU lD acceplance. In three differem appearances
analogou5 to Ihe presence of Ihe 5eed it becomes absent . l n1be final ap-
pearance of Ibe word, the kingdom truly becomes present in tile acceptance of
Ihe hearer. This time Ihe presence of the kingdom and its magnificent i'owth
oo:ur through the response of !he hearer 10 lhe word. In Ihe parable the trace of
the kingdom becomes present as diviDe gift; in Ibe allegol)" the trace of the king
dom becomes present as human acceptance and heariog fruiL
IIeaw of tbc ud DOl doer. boo ;' i1c. _ ...... abocna bio liliiii'01 '-;. alllirror;
r.... ... kase" lad JOCI ODd .. """ r.....c .... ,,", be _ 1iIIc. lit. .....,
Ioob;'to 1.b.e pent<! to .... tbe low of 1iber1,. ud puse>eI'" beiot DO Ioeuu tlt..o< ,.,...,.. buI
doe, thai ocu.. be olaoII be bItued ill his (J ...... 1:2l-25).
In a direreD! way the Epistle of Jameli rereads the parable ofllle Sower in a
different CDDlett. He U-sUC5 the call toO be a doer .of the wDrd and oot just.
hearer. 'But those WhD were K/Wl'l upon the good lOiI are the ones whD Iu!ar the
wotd Cl1Id tJCCqJI it Cl1Id bear fnUl...' (MIl: <4:20).
la lbe ..... of tbe .irnIr I _ b,n"","" a.. IIIirror ;. oboeaI. t .00 ..... boeM. I
lorl'" .t>oot'llyoelf. II Io. "'"'1 oI .. expcrieecc'o .b of, .. ,..,1 fwoo
qlOca_WlIao I .... , .... ooyoeIf, I bqid .0 WOGder if I reoIIy ud InIIy cM;. I pol ooyoeIf. jUi
10 .... -eo bat doc:m' Iidp .o.:::b...I-W'" bif. minnn;' .. y bedroom. n..y on: ilottc.l
.... '" lII<.ydoa' see ID ............ "pC)' i. is,. JIul r .......... ' (Sartre
TIle Illbject u dead llnleS!i one is prepared to dD the wDrd. toO make it present
TIle disseminatinn of the word u the vel}' actllalisatinn .of the self. This involves
an emptying .of .oneself. 'The WDrd hc<:amc nesh.'. The Word emptied himself .of
his divine qlla!ities in .order 10 diffuse himself. The kenruis of the word brought
about the disseminatinn .of the Word. In hccoming man. in hccoming fJe$h,!be
Word bcwrncs a host. becomes a victim gilten over 1.0 the world orman.
This ronltnlle$. The word Is stm becoming ne$h. The wnrd 5t111 pro-
claims the advent .of the kingdnm. Tbe hearers of the word arc isslled with a
cballenge toO roruume tbe word, toO imbibe tbe word, toO make it their own. In
doing 10 they too must ad on the word. they must di5scminale it
Word buoIII f1eoJo: body ItId blood. btCK .nd wine. Tat .. al. TIle. driol. To ... IlIi.o
bread ud drioll: II ....;. " to UWMi,I>< ... d 1M _d aDd '0 upud I"" aWl
pia, of 1M dMae .. i&oL WbtII rudy 0IlKIed, .1>< draml d lbe .......,. 10 be Kif..,.,.
........ (T""'" 198t:11O).
A retrospect looh back O\tCr the endeavour. The attempt was to illustrate the
wk. rather than simply to endone il wholesale.
W.u.- ..... ' 0 , ..... "Coon .. ' c-eOl ..... ch I .... ;,. ,..urclo _ . racatdo kit .. "".
_'hie e>'I:'" w, .. jp! 11>0 IIt _ _ .''Oft' '" ,1>0 Impossible. Sliclo ... Kltdo ia. 01
""""'" bnpoooible. 11 roib., fail>. .... d..-ll" ....... iM I. t ile wriIi. rq><t(..
.... ",. a.\)' IUpOIISC '0 tIoc ....... oo\iOr,,'" io '0 wtile (Taylor l!lII7o:ln).
The reader tbus beromes a panidpant in Ihe diMcmination .of the word. The
reader cannOt remain a hearer .only .of lhe wDrd. but must be doer in which
tbe tUI is handed .on in elter new oootuts and inlerlens and in thil; way
'" "
produces new rereadinp of the test. Elsewhere I have drawn attentiOD to a
number of shortroming5 of the deCOlll1ructive activity (Hanin 1987:5354;
1988",:385387), nOI leut of whicb the upetl of relativism. In the
<;oncep! of tlK: deferral of meaning the. tellt is Ken to remain a11l/l1)':'i open to a
new rneading of the text. When, however, the len is read in the COIItexI. of the
Scripture. the issue becomes a really buntillj ODe.
Richards (1987:119124) provides an intefCsting renctlion helps to give
a diretlion towards overcoming Ihe problematie. The diffiwhy arises either in
the exclusive identifiation of Scripture and Iext, or in the totalliCpatation of the
two. This is, as Richards (1987:122) says, ' 10 misunderst:llld the difference be
tween tat and ScriplU1e'.
One should rather 5Ce a movement \.3:king place in wbleh the perception of
the reader from that of len 10 Scripture, and then from Sc:riprure to lhal
of tUI. 1t is this progre55ive interplay that brings about a movemenl nOI unlike
Ihat of a corkscrew, which is an evcr spiraUi ng and penetrating iruenion inlo Ihe
heart of the lUI.
l1Ie pr .... '" of the di.dolU ... aooOl be .. doocd i. .. ,,",.1Id .. IY
participate ir> bcoomirIJ scrip; ..... I. be<:onl;., scrip'''''' """ real;", lbe IpptoxiN.oo.. aad
..... , tel ..... 10 the I ............. ito iooooooplctu ... (Rkhatd.lI987:122).
Consequently, Ihe choice is no! to view it uclusivcly either as te.ll or as Scrip-
lure, nor 10 see ill opposition, bullO see litem as perspectives enabling
one 10 gain a deeper penetralion of the writing Ihroueh Iheir interdependence
on each other. In viewing the: prelCnce. of Ihe tU! il is neceMary to lum 10 the
absence of Scripture and 10 make il present. In viewing the presence of
Scriplure the need arises to make ptelCnl again the text as tul.
F"uWly, ..-hoI io lk poiac of 011 LIllo ..... aboIk Cenoiroly the play of dWtctic: iudf """
Ji>': r .... at "-'<iI,,,,,,,,; .. rt.lir>ly mltlpll Y'" r ... yio: Jd< meuore ." _oy
..uJactioo. ill ill.,.... riPL Bat, rOf Mol,,,,",,,, 'UI ond reader ill iq Ioiotoriool ir>ta.
1 .. 111lity ud dioeowoc "...suo.. in the.rton to lODi'oId God' , To
rw:! , he ... io 10 ifatapte1 LIoc traditiooo.1Id '0 p.tticipoIe io 'be .... 01 ... ottiooo of r;od ;"
the _Id (niIIip 1\I8S:\37).
Ahiur, T. 1982. 11"'0<)" u Apoco1ypoe. in n.oJoD. New Y",k; CI.,..,.,..J,
Bonha, R. 1972. CriOrai 1Ioy<. fT . by R. EVoUI>lOIl: NorthWest.,." U .... roilyl'resa.
Blnhu. R. 1975. 1M I'INsurr. cfrlw T"". fTr. "" R. Sew y",k: Hill
BlMes, R. 1977. &ItIIa. fTr. "" R. 1l000000d.) New y",k; Hill
Bltlhe .. R. 19191. Fr_ W",k 10 TUl, ia J. V. II ..... ; (011.). T.,..w Sr-.p.r.
...... rod .... ioa byJ. V. Ilonri) t-bo: M .. hlleG, "1l-8t .
'" "
Banhea. R. InuIf!.II..J.Iouk..T<JII. (T . by S. HaoLb.) Gw.-: Colli<><.
&tIlICl. R. 19I1. &vW of s;,.u. (Tr. b)I R. 1I0w0nt) Now y",1:: Hill.
Bbodoat, M.l98S. OtrJu. (1'" P.A ....... ) ScwYotk: 1liU.
BIaoID, H. 1979. no. BrWia& 01 F", ... La 11M 0/Ik!InL LoIIdooI: Ro.1l1oo. I
Bunna, A. &I Dc Dip., H. 1986. 0. lllniaftdildl no ........ G1<1IUtJ.' /Critld tn AiIe1I:
V ... aom....
Bw.., c. 1986. <UUlI&roIog. llifO<d: o.f",d UaioetU:y "' ....
ec.nid:, C. t97o'.1ura: 1M W"'" 1M WWitJ,o <UUI 1M MeJI"l'<. Eat!I<...,.;wJ Cliff" Prtatice IlalL
Cro:au,J.lmlll 1M,.0{1M N.,. York: Horpr. at 11. .....
ero...... J. 1!l8O. Cliff' 0{ p"""",,, twl 1M I'aIabIu 0{ I<lw. New Y",I:: Crou,
Cr......., J. 1\182. Difl'cr ..... ODd DivWry.s",..;., U, 29-41.
ero...u. J. 1987. U". Earth ... d Chr' .. : T"""sbb" CArol P. Cbris!', f""cnitoode, Outb
ODd_f .. 11-111>.
CIo1b, J. l.981. 77It,..",... cf SJ,u: $mUot"", Dcttsw<riM. 1.Qodoa: ROUIIcdp.
Dc 14 ..... P. 1979. ScIIIKl10v ODd Rbc:tori<, inl. V. Huon (cd.). T_ S_qJt.: PMpU"" PI
l'M.stNetwo>lUt CNIcUm. (Willi ... ;' .. """'<1;"" b)I J. v. lIuari.) Loodoo.: M.lh\lell. 121

DetricIa, I . 19'1S. The """,")'01' oITl\Itk. Y<ZIt Fr<Mrh Stut:/H. S2, 31113.
Derrid .. I. 19"76. Oto G_q. (T'. by G. C. SpWak.) fblli .. ."", J"h .. lIopki .. U';"rsi!y
Darida, J. 1'118. 1I-'ri<iIIs aM DiJ!.....a. (T'. b)I G. C. SpMk.) Baltim.or.: loll ... HopI;:ifll Uaioc,
Dcrrida, J. 1979. UviOS a,.: Borde. LillO" in Ih<"",_ aNI CriliciIm. London: R ..... i<d"'.
Dcrrida, J. IIl1111. Du! kdwJtdo,;yo{.1te Friooloou. (T'. b,- J. P. wv<y.) Piltlbu.p: Duq ........

Demda, J. 1981a. (1"" by 8. loll ....... ) Ch>:ago: CIIi<a&<> UaiYcnio;y P ....
Dcrrida, J. 1981b. /'osilioIu. O;;oap CIIi<aco Unioc ... ily P .....
Dcrrida, J. 19II2.o. Leucr to lolut P. wvcy, Jr. $m\t/a U, 6l.Q.
Detrida, I. 1\I8lh. Of"" Apoca/)pIlc T ..... _I)' AdopIcd by Pbiloooploy. SmfriIt u,1il-'I7.
R. 198!I. WUc ;.. Sacred Ta:t. S<m<N 31. ll.J.2JO.
Dodd,c. (19.J5I19E1O. Du! Glaopo:: ColI .....
GocIoaIet. H . ..(J. 1!I15. r .... haM NnIIod. (T . byG. Bard<"lI. J. Cum'""",) NowY",k: Seabury.
A. 1988. The PootMocIcmi .. '. Proen=" or: Bloff,..", Way PootMod<rm..n. SAVAL
CoII,{tNtu/'ym VIII. 145-U7.
Hart;'" P. 1986. Dect.lNCti.. ODd T1ocoIoc. lcunwI o{TIotoIotr; lor S-"..", A/ril:. Sl.2S-3ot.
Hortia, P. 1987. no. AqpI ol W.iti.o&: A 0""'1,....; .... lIudiOS 01 LUe l1:JS..<1O./ .... nw{ cf
LiImlf1- 3, 42-S6.
lIart;'" P. 1\I!I3a. A"", in lbe "OOIStiH>ld: " D:onwllCti>"C Ruod" oIlbe P.,>bIc .. tobe Sup<'
...... Smut (U f,'_" 22, 17).J9(I.
IIortia, P. h",..,A Nt" r ... ",-... II-ttdom Writ"waNl iu R(/ariOft>ir.ip 10 Q. Prelori.:
AI ..... (Unpubiobcd DTb TheoiI..)
"-... G. 1979. W",do, W"ooh. Worth. Wordsw.>rtb. irt o.c.,.,,,,,,,,,",,, twl C!iti<i<no. l.ondoo:
Hart ..... G. 191U. SowI.., 1M T...,..' _ Dorida _ Plrilasoplry. BoIl'lD""" Johru IIopkin>

lIany. E. I98S. T<OCl.C"'U .... I. 1i3.
H.>nCr, I. 1!l87. Q: Stt)Vt&f cf I.."., W"dlDiI1glocr. GIuO: .
l.eavol, l. 191!2. F ..... """<><:0>10.: 0. ......... ...... ""'. 23,
Leitelt, V. 1\ItO. D<_aIw 0il/dtIf0: ...... A4wr_d IM-""". New y ... k: COOnbia U ...
u.t....,.' .. W. 1988. P"'V""';"" Of COIIIoet .. t .... 1 SAVAL eo..l.,...c< ,..".,.
Miller. D. 1!l87. Tk Ouc>tioo ol!be II<d: R.rogiooo as TtlIIwc. StmtiiI <10. 5.J-6oI.
Miller, J. 1979. The Crilic Hor.l, in DtaItuI:twt1M aM Oi/kb",. I.ondun: ROllI .... 217254.
M)":,,, M. 1'l112. Toward WIr..a(;' Rciipow 1"II.iak;ng U..s.rway'! in
Nc* y",k: Crowood 1(.146.
N .. benolo. R. 1_ PLarios Ni""ly:" ........... 111 01 'l1IoIll!hl oad Cri,;"
" "