I get frustrated with conversations along the lines of the following: we cannot really know the meaning in the text because we cannot know the mind of the author. This seems to be a prideful statement clothed in supposed humility. If that is the case, why do these people write books? Why do I even blog?! If you cannot know what I am saying through the words that I write, why do I write to begin with! The Bible is full of propositional statements. Statements consisting of do this, do not do this; go here, do not go here, etc. As I read them, I have no trouble understanding that I am not to kill, lie, steal, commit adultery, etc. I know what they mean, even though I do not know the mind of the author, namely God.
I do not pretend to think that there are no problems with language. It is not perfect and I recognize that. But this imperfection is not an excuse to throw the baby out with the bath water. Albeit there are language deficiencies, this does not give us the right to cast aside meaning. It is possible to understand what is read adequately. We do not need God-like knowledge to know and understand what the Bible says; when we read it we know that “Thou shall not kill” means exactly what it says. There is no ambiguity in this statement.
Now there are ambiguous statements in the Bible. But the presence of ambiguous statements does not disqualify the whole of Scripture as ambiguous. I guess this is more of what I am getting at. There is a meaning in the text. The author has a specific intent in writing what he does (i.e. God has an intent in writing Scripture through his writers, who also have an intent). Words are not thrown together in hopes that a “community” will come along and solve the textual puzzle that the author has left. Readers do play a part in reading, but what they do not do is create meaning. The meaning of a text lies dormant until a reader comes along and interprets what the author has written.