Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Biblical Hermeneutics ? Part 1 > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Biblical Hermeneutics ? Part 1

Hermeneutics is the science and art of the interpretive process which begins by determining the original meaning of the Biblical text and leads to elucidation of its sense for the body of Christ today. It is concerned with the presuppositions that are brought to the interpretation of texts because it consciously or unconsciously influences conclusions drawn.

Presuppositions are the philosophical or theological starting points of reference which are usually shared by someone else. It differs from prejudice in that prejudice includes more personal factors that affect the judgment of the interpreter. The problem of Biblical authority would probably be less bothersome if we were able to approach the Bible unbiasly. Unfortunately, this is not possible.

Therefore, we come with our mental baggage that is packed with previous involvement with Scripture which prejudice our reaction to the periscope under consideration. The result is, oftentimes, only an interpretation that mirrors our biases.

Even though it is humanly impossible to interpret presupposition-lessly, there are safeguards we can use in the interpretive process that minimizes pure subjectivity and interjecting into text our own preconceived ideas. They are:

1) Awareness of the presupposition problem.
2) Use of the historical-critical method of interpretation helps to keep theological presuppositions in check.
3) Methods must be open to constant modification by the text itself.
4) Method must be open to investigation, evaluation and so forth.
5) Presuppositions must be allowed to be shaped or discarded. Exegesis guided by rigid pre-understanding only establishes what the interpreter already knows.

When Scripture is rendered supreme, the text will interpret the interpreter as the interpreter interprets the text. Interpretation therefore, necessitates dialogue with Scripture.

I think very few of us are cognizant of the extent to which our responses to Scripture are conditioned by a previously chosen orientation toward the church in general and toward Scripture in particular. These orientations, apparently for purposes of identification, are grouped under certain titles. Two of the broadest and, no doubt, misunderstood classifications are "liberal" and "conservative."

The typical liberal view of the inspiration of Scripture is that the Biblical writers were inspired in somewhat the same sense as Shakespeare and other great writers. What the writers transcribed were ancient religious conceptions about God and His workings. Liberals believe that Scripture is inerrant where it speaks on soteriological matters, but that it may possess errors in historical facts and other details.

The conservative view of the inspiration is that God worked through the personalities of the Biblical writers in such a way that, without suspending their personal styles of expression of freedom, what they produced was literally inspired. The emphasis of the text is that Scripture itself, as well as the authors, was inspired.

Of course there are those within each camp whose view of inspiration varies from the generally accepted. Both orientations also have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The strengths of the liberal position has been said to include the fact that they are not embarrassed by negative phenomena found in Scripture; no claim is made regarding Biblical inerrancy and so there is no need to deal with it; and since they do not believe texts are infallible, the do not have to be bothered with issues pertaining to canonicity of Scripture; and finally, liberals need not suspend their critical faculties when studying Scripture.

The weaknesses of this position are said to be located in its tendency to dilute the inspiration and authority of Scripture in a significant way. It places overemphasis on human reason; if Biblical claims cannot be grasped by human reason, it is unacceptable. Another weakness lies in the idea of progressive revelation. Liberals believe that as man developed mentally and spiritually, later divine revelation was superior to earlier ones. Thus, religious experience becomes the foundation for deciding divine inspiration. A further difficulty with this view is that it allows room to call into question or disallow all of the miraculous in Scripture.

Two outstanding strengths of the conservative view proposed are:

1) they take the Bible seriously as the only authority for life and the Christian faith; and ;
2) conservatives are serious about the actual texts of the Bible. Some of the weaknesses found in this view include: conservatives refusal to acknowledge obvious Biblical errors; the failure to see inconsistencies between any two scriptural passages; the proclivity to dislocate the true center of concern; the hermeneutical principles that guide them are extra-Biblical; and their harmonization process is flawed.

Achtemeier (Contemporary Theology) proposes another view of inspiration. He sees it as being located more in the interrelationship of tradition, situation, and respondent contained in Scripture rather than located in Scripture itself or the Biblical authors.

Whatever view one holds is important to hermeneutics. If we hold a liberal view of inspiration for example, it would probably be difficult, if not impossible, to not approach Scripture with the presupposition "Scripture contains errors".

Thus, if we encounter apparent discrepancies, we may decide that one or both of the pages involved contain mistakes. Likewise, as a conservative, we may be inclined to find an exegetically justifiable way of resolving the seeming discrepancy rather than entertain an erroneous possibility.

(to be continued)

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Cecil Daily

Religion and Spirituality Events: 10/17
Cecil Daily
A list of upcoming local faith-based or spiritual events. To be included, your event must take place in Cecil County as well as adjoining areas within a 20-minute drive. Please submit the event title, time, address to accent@cecilwhig.com. Once ...


Rolling Stone

Bad Religion Rally for Human Rights on New Song 'The Profane Rights of Man'
Rolling Stone
Bad Religion observe an American human rights crisis on their surging new song “The Profane Rights of Man.” Frontman Greg Graffin rails against the “criminal” elite over trademark punk riffs, belting, “And so it turns, the bourgeoisie/ The bastard ...
Bad Religion share “The Profane Rights of Man,” promising more new musicBrooklyn Vegan
Bad Religion – “The Profane Rights Of Man”Stereogum
"The Profane Rights Of Man" - Bad Religion [YouTube Audio Single]Zumic

all 6 news articles »

WATCH: 'Practice your religion - but don't get offended' - here's what people think about the upcoming blasphemy ...
Independent.ie
Others believed that religion should be practiced in the home, with one man saying: "Practice your religion privately and be happy with it, but don't get offended when someone makes a comment. Live and let live." One passerby described the current ...


The Times of Israel

Hate crimes in England and Wales targeting people by religion rise 40%
The Times of Israel
Some 52 percent of the hate crimes directed at specific religious groups, or 2,965, were directed at Muslims, and 12 percent, or 672, were directed at Jews, according to the report for 2017-18, which uses official police figures, the Evening Standard ...
Hate crime linked to religion doubled in three yearsTelegraph.co.uk
Religious hate crimes: Rise in offences recorded by policeBBC News
Religious hate crimes: Rise in offences recorded by police - BBC ...BBC News
HuffPost -GOV.UK -Gov.uk
all 279 news articles »

Religion News Service

Archdiocese releases names of 'credibly' accused clergy
Religion News Service
It names 28 clergy members and three priests who were part of religious orders, but served in Washington parishes or schools. Most of the cases date back multiple decades and only three of the alleged abuses took place after 2000. Of the 31 men listed, ...

and more »

The Sydney Morning Herald

Freedom of Religion policy-making debacle
The Sydney Morning Herald
The freedom of religion and anti-discrimination political developments over the past 10 days are a disappointing way to make policies wherever one stands on the best outcomes. The period began with the government stone-walling over the release to the ...


The Star

Religion briefs: Oct. 17
The Star
The Spirit of Prevailing Faith Church of All Color, 1273 Edgefield Highway, will hold "Believers: Armor Class of Supernatural Sessions" at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Oct. 22. Apostle Barbara A. Perry will lead the class. For more information, call 803-226-4820 ...


Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders v. Freedom From Religion Foundation
SCOTUSblog (blog)
Issues: (1) Whether using generally available historic preservation funds to repair or restore a house of worship constitutes a “religious use” that falls outside the scope of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia Inc. v. Comer; and (2) whether the ...


National Catholic Reporter

Data mining gets religion as campaigns target voters of faith
National Catholic Reporter
Washington — In 2004, as George W. Bush was running for a second presidential term, his campaign asked religious supporters to share their churches' directories, which staffers hoped to combine with voting registration records. The strategy was ...


Haaretz

Religion, Science Clash as Archaeologists Restore Ancient Jewish Catacomb in Rome
Haaretz
Archaeologists racing to save a vulnerable and rapidly disintegrating 2,000-year old Jewish catacomb in Rome gave in to pressure from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group and let them rebury the bones found within, not allowing their study. The decision ...

Google News

Being In-Between Religions

Who said religion has to last a lifetime?When I was... Read More

Why More Priests Need To Train As Fighters (And Why We Dont See Many Boxers In Church)

"Therefore I do not run like a man... Read More

Zombies

The Caribbean is the site of another thing which some... Read More

Behold: The Prince of Persia. . . the War in Iran has begun!

DÉJÀ VU (Where have I heard this before?)(Note: May I... Read More

Firstfruit from Death Guarantees the Coming Harvest

The farmer handed buckets to us, the blueberry pickers. "You're... Read More

Death of an American,The Death of Decency

John 16:2-3:16The Death of an American, The Death of Decency.... Read More

Sexual Deviants and the Catholic Church

It is unfortunate that the Catholic Church seems to continue... Read More

Gods Armorbearer & The Ministry of Details

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles,... Read More

We Are From Jesus Christ

Most people wonder at one time or another where do... Read More

Call No Man Father

Matthew 23:5-23:10Call no man Father A look at deception and... Read More

War in Heaven

This next event, a war in heaven, will not be... Read More

Give Him a Stone

Luke 11:10-11:13I was raised up in the rural parts of... Read More

Battle of Armageddon

This will be last and final event of the Great... Read More

Obsessed with Armageddon

More and more today people are showing an obsession about... Read More

Should Professional Athletes Be Glorifying God And Jesus On Their Public Platforms?

Recently I have run across quite a few Christians who... Read More

Harry Potter To Christians: Its Not Good To Hear Voices

That is the popular and, thank God (if you'll pardon... Read More

Mirrors of Reality

Have you ever looked into a mirror and wondered what... Read More

Spirit of Islam: A Primer

Last time I wrote a message on Islam, a Catholic... Read More

The Green Cross

"We desperately need to recognize that we are the guests... Read More

Be Careful How You Live -- Ephesians 5:15-20

There is a sharp contrast in Ephesians between the "light"... Read More

Crazy in Love

Several years ago my cousin was pleased to find out... Read More

Why Churches Die: Denying The Gift Of Healing The Sick

Recently a question was posted on a Christian forum asking... Read More

Isnt There But One God?

I heard a pastor say, regarding people of the Muslim... Read More

Doctors of the Air

We met at a Saturday afternoon fund-raising and promotional rally... Read More

Fellowship Forever

Today I would like to share with you the word... Read More