I have come across the term New Hermeneutic a number of times in Christian hermeneutics books and articles, but I can't really find a clear definition for what this is referring to. (Most of the occurrences seem to assume the reader is already familiar with the term!) What is it?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
The New Hermeneutic is an approach that focuses on how current audiences interact with the biblical text. Ernst Fuchs and Gerhard Ebeling are considered to be the initiators of this method.
The New Hermeneutic is based on the presupposition of the timelessness of the text and claims that this timelessness necessarily means that it holds new meaning for each new reader. (In this way it is similar to "reader-response criticism" which focuses on how a person will experience the text in question.) This timelessness also means that the text transcends original historical context, authorial intent, or other dimensions across which a text is evaluated.
The New Hermeneutic recognizes that translation between languages will introduce some imprecision due to the portability issues that arise between given languages. It notes that a new language will inherently give rise to a fresh understanding or perspective on a given text and relies on the faithfulness of God to ensure that God's word will not be severely damaged in such a transfer.
This work by I. Howard Marshall has a fair explanation with details of how the New Hermeneutic is applied beginning on page 308.