A term used in modern secular literary criticism (e.g. by Jacques Derrida) and borrowed by biblical scholars to indicate the awareness of the limitations that language imposes on thought. Texts do not enjoy definitive meanings. Truth is fluid. Traditional readings of a text can be challenged and the interest which underpinned them exposed. Nor can societies and institutions which validate their use go unquestioned. Without denying the legitimacy of traditional historical criticism to determine the author's intentions, it is therefore argued that readers can examine a text and import their own meaning. There are no insights of permanent value in theology or literature. It is possible for a Western reader to hold that Paul, as a disturber of the Roman peace, got the punishment he deserved. Others classify him as a Christian martyr. The process of deconstruction also uncovers internal contradictions in a text, as in the relationships attributed to Jesus and the Father in the gospel of John; or in Rom. 1–3 and 6–8. The author of Revelation declines at the end to have conclusively determined its meaning (Rev. 22: 10).