An important reminder to me as I engage in my own commentary work. This is from Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion:
[S]o-called [pure] thinking turned against [the doctrinal content of the Church’s teaching] in the name of “Enlightenment.” It left the doctrinal system in place and also left the Bible as foundation, but arrived at its own divergent views and sought to interpret the word of God in a different way. This took place in the guise of exegesis. Because exegesis draws upon reason for counsel, what happened is that a so-called rational theology came into being, opposed to the doctrinal system in the form established by the church. In part, this was the church’s own doing, in part it was the doing of [the thinking] to which the church is opposed. In this rational theology it is exegesis that plays the primary role. Here exegesis takes over the written word, interprets it, and professes only to make the understanding of the word effective and to remain faithful to it.
But where interpretation is not mere explanation of the words but discussion of the content and the elucidation of the sense, it must introduce its own thoughts into the word that forms the basis [of the faith]. There can only be mere interpretation of words when all that happens is that one word is replaced by another with the same scope. [DG: i.e., ‘translation’]. If interpretation is elucidation, then other categories of thought are bound up with it. A development of the word is a progression to further thoughts. One seemingly abides by the sense, but in fact, new thoughts are developed. Bible commentaries do not so much acquaint us with the content of scripture as with the mode of thought in their age. [Underline added]
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Edited by Peter C. Hodgson. Vol. 1, “Introduction and The Concept of Religion.” Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1984, pp. 122-3.