Guided by the metaphor of the art form kwn as a mosaic, this book advocates a pluralistic approach to biblical studies. Rees argues that the text itself can be described as a 'mosaic', with each new reading adding to the mosaic. Interpretation is therefore both observation and invention, or contribution.When [re]reading the text, one cant but be aware of what has been seen before, even if it at first may seem unfamiliar. He thus rejects the idea of a definitive reading. Examining Numbers 25, Rees argues that the various methods employed to interpret this text (narrative, feminist, postcolonial as well as a more 'traditional' historical-critical reading) enable us to see different things as we read from different places. A further analysis of the book's interpretative history, including the rewritten histories of Josephus and Philo, allows us to discover that creativity has forever been a part of the reading process. Moving on to explore the contributions of more recent commentators, Rees concludes that an embrace of diversity, of collegiality, may well point to a new future in Biblical Studies.
Anthony Rees is Research Fellow at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology of Charles Sturt University, Australia.