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So I heard someone remark one time "Who is Herman and why is he "newting" around?" in regards to the word "hermeneutics". Comical, yes, but relevant all the same. So what is the clearest, simplest, easiest to understand explanation of what hermeneutics is and why hermeneutics?

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There's a pretty decent definition of both hermeneutics and exegesis here: What exactly is hermeneutics and exegesis? Best wishes. Don – rhetorician Nov 24 '13 at 3:38

What is 'hermeneutics'?

I covered the definition of hermeneutics in more detail in this answer, but in a nutshell, hermeneutics is the field of study concerned with how we interpret communication. (Biblical Hermeneutics is specifically concerned with how we interpret the Biblical text.)

Why hermeneutics?

That is a really great question. There are a variety of reasons people study hermeneutics. Here are a few:

  • To determine the correct way of understanding another person's communication

  • To learn more about what makes people "tick" when it comes to interpretation

  • To learn how to defend a particular disposition toward absolute truth (e.g. Postmodernists may do research in the field of hermeneutics simply to strengthen their case that there is no such thing as a "correct" interpretation)

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Precise and on point. Thanks for that response. – Webmaster Nov 24 '13 at 6:23

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