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PROJECT TOPIC: THE RECEPTION OF ISAIAH 6:9-10 IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND CONTEMPORARY BIBLE INTERPRETATION

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Brief Outline of Topic

When reading and working with a Biblical text, the aim is foremost to determine what the meaning of the text is. For some (e.g. academic scholars) this might mean the “original” meaning of the text, as it was intended for its first audience (assuming that access to such an original meaning is indeed possible). For others (e.g. church leaders and members), the meaning of the text might be more about what a text means for the contemporary reader’s life. It might be proposed that a combination of both these elements is important and necessary for proper Biblical interpretation. However, it might be understood that, when trying to conclude what the meaning of a text is, interpretation is “under way” – it is a process. One might easily accept that, when writing a sermon a good deal of interpretation is involved in unearthing the message(s) of the given text, but what about a translation of the same ancient Biblical text, or when the same Biblical text is cited by another Biblical author? Even with the best intentions to uncover the meaning of the original text, subjective and context-determined interpretation by the current reader will always be present to a lesser or greater degree. This study will aim to examine one text, i.e. Isaiah 6:9-10, in multiple contexts, specifically as it has been cited in the New Testament (NT), in order to determine if the interpretation of the text has stayed the same through many hands and ages, or if the interpretation thereof has undergone alterations along its journey. Thus, Isa 6:9-10 will firstly be examined as it is found in the earliest sources: the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), the Masoretic Text (MT) and the Septuagint (LXX). From there we will move on to see how the NT writers used Isa 6:9-10 in their own writings, in order to conclude whether these writers have quoted the text in its original form and stayed true to the original meaning,1 or whether they have altered the text and/or interpreted the text in such a way that the initial meaning has changed or been elaborated upon.


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