The first fifty years of Neotestamentica reflect the changes in the way the text of the New Testament was interpreted as well as changes in the social context in which this interpretation took place. The article provides a brief survey of the contributions to the journal under three rubrics: studies with their main focus on the world “behind the text” (historical aspects), “in the text” (textual and exegetical aspects) and “in front of the text” (reader, contextual and contemporary aspects). For several reasons, the historical aspects were not the main focus during the first fifty years and when they did receive more attention, it was from a post “linguistic turn” perspective. The bulk of the articles concentrated on the text, its structure and text-immanent meaning, reflecting a preoccupation with method, leading to the criticism of “methodolomania.” A subsequent shift in focus on the reader and reception paved the way to concentrate on issues “in front of the text.” A high level of hermeneutical consciousness resulted in a considerable widening of the scope of the journal and an increase in interdisciplinarity. The question remains whether the journal in future will be able to make a meaningful contribution from its own discipline and enrich on-going conversations within theology, the humanities and society.


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pp. 1-14
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