There is not only a history of composition of texts, there is also a history of how texts have been understood, interpreted, preached, and abused over the centuries in different cultures, and lessons drawn for a variety of readers. For example, the account of the death of John the Baptist has been used to justify moral protest, though artists have inserted motives and emotions that are not explicit in the text, e.g. the attribution of the girl's name Salome, from Josephus, and her eroticism. In the Middle Ages it was the human suffering of Jesus that was portrayed by artists (e.g. in the Isenheim Altarpiece, 1515 ce), or his atoning Death (the Reformers), or in modern poetry (the seeming absence of God, by R. S. Thomas).
Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century) — Biblical Studies.