The text is not as hale and hardy as it once was; it has lost the reliability, the stability that allowed the virtuosos of interpretation to use it as a safe landing place for their high-flying hermeneutical acrobatics. It has become difficult to claim it as solid ground, dangerous to lean on it; it is a precarious foundation on which to build a theory. With genetic criticism, the text has become considerably less “established,” and the distinction between “hard” and “soft” copy fades away or, at the very least, the former is no longer the one that is automatically preferred. The moment of application cannot be taken for granted, from the moment that a text has ceased to be identical to itself on all point.

Contributed by Wout. View changelog.