on "The Nature of Interpretation"

I ran across this quote in my studies today:

The notion pervades the popular mind that interpretation is ascribing a plausible meaning to scripture. That is, it is generally thought of as attributing a meaning to a passage, rather than discovering what the meaning really is. A possible interpretation is thought out, it is applied to the passage under consideration, and if it ‘fits’ it is regarded as correct. The would-be expositor is totally oblivious to the fact that the passage was written by a real living author, whose purpose it was to convey a definite idea, and that the passage consequently has but one meaning, and that meaning likely lies on the surface instead of being ‘hidden in the depths of the scriptures,’ as is frequently supposed.

Source: Dr. H. E. Dana, Searching the Scriptures, p. 11, quoted in Dallas Theological Seminary. (1937; 2002). Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 94 (Oct 1937 94:469). Dallas Theological Seminary.

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