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Catholic Biblical Association of America


The following paragraphs are intended not only as a valid exegesis of the dialogue between Jesus and Simon Peter during the foot washing (John 13:6-10) but also as an experiment in interpretation. This experiment, which will consist essentially in bringing a plurality of methods, both historical and non-historical, to bear upon the text, will begin with a brief statement of hermeneutical presuppositions which are drawn, primarily, from the work of H.-G. Gadamer and P. Ricoeur. In a second section these presuppositions will operate in the use of a variety of methods to interpret the J ohannine text. In the final section the interpretive process will be analyzed in retrospect in order to throw some light on certain questions of hermeneutical theory.