advertisementI’ve asked people what the advertisement (left) means.[Firstly: everyone who sees this in a newspaper or magazine realises it’s an advertisement].

They all realise that Adrienne Winkelmann is a brand of clothing; that this brand is available in Shop 26, The Chancery Auckland; that this brand will be available in store now for winter 2013; and that the image is not of a person called “Adrienne Winkelmann” (in fact it is not very difficult to discover that the name of the model in the advertisement is Chloe Graham).

2,000 years from now I think people could be forgiven if they pick up this image and think that the name of the person in the picture is actually Adrienne Winkelmann, and that she will be in the shop all winter 2013 (some people, 2,000 years from now, may struggle to realise that it is an advertisement – such a concept may not exist 2,000 years from now).

You can see the parallel with the Bible. The obvious flaw in being able to pick up a collection of documents 2,000 and more years old, immediately recognising the genre, taking account of the cultural context, and thinking that, as an individual, without any community assistance, everyone can make individual sense of what they are reading…

There is a difference, of course, if the community that created the Adrienne Winkelmann advertisement continues for the next 2,000 years, handing on, from generation to generation, the understanding of what an advertisement is, what “Adrienne Winkelmann” refers to, and who the image is actually of in the picture.

There is a difference, of course, if the community that created the Bible…

This article may encourage some to examine the series “The Bible says”:

Textual Criticism
The Septuagint (LXX)
Hebrew vowel pointing
The canon
Continuity problems
Social Cultural Historical Geographic context
Setting a trajectory

There’s also been a related post, “the pope says…

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