The Process of Interpreting the Bible

"The process of interpreting the Bible (or actually any other script) is an dynamic process of writing a new 'text' into existence, whether oral (for example, a sermon) or physically written. My own inclinations, education, social location, cultural conditioning, philosophical assumptions, and religious views are integral parts of this new writing project, whether I an conscious of them or not. In fact, if I am not conscious of them, they are likely to have even greater impact on the new text I create through my interpretation than it I were conscious of them from the beginning."

- Mary Ann Tolbert, "Writing History, Writing Culture, Writing Ourselves: Issues in Contemporary Biblical Interpretation," in Soundings in Cultural Criticism: Perspectives and Methods in Culture, Power, and Identity in the New Testament edited by Francisco Lozada Jr. and Greg Carey (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013), 17-30 (here, 21).