The philosophy of textual interpretation.

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What textual clues are there that the original readers of Genesis would have understood 11:27–50:26 in a different way than Genesis 2:4–11:26?

One fairly common argument on how to interpret Genesis says that there is a change in theme (or perhaps even genre) near the end of Genesis 11, basically that things shift from the (pre-)history of ...
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Should Bible texts that are less clear be explained by texts that are more clear?

Is there any Biblical evidence to support the concept that Bible texts that are less clear should be explained by Bible texts that are more clear? It has been explained to me that if two texts ...
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56 views

What are the criteria for identifying an allusion?

Two recent questions have me wondering whether there are good criteria for identifying an allusion in a biblical text. An allusion seems to be a deliberate reference to another text, albeit in a ...
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128 views

How does John 5:28-29 fit with the dispensational hermeneutic

The dispensational hermeneutic has been summarized as: “Consistently literal or plain interpretation is indicative of a dispensational approach to the interpretation of the Scriptures,” declared ...
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40 views

How can one detect when there is a “community” behind a text?

With an epistle like Galatians, it is rather transparent that there is some sort of community to whom the letter is written. But scholars (e.g. Raymond Brown) have also been known to talk about a ...
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Matt. 27:52 “tombs also were opened” apocalyptic symbolism?

Matt. 27:51b (NA28) ... καὶ ἡ γῆ ἐσείσθη καὶ αἱ πέτραι ἐσχίσθησαν,  52 καὶ τὰ μνημεῖα ἀνεῴχθησαν καὶ πολλὰ σώματα τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἁγίων ἠγέρθησαν,  53 καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων μετὰ τὴν ...
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Were verses 15-18 a later addition to Genesis 22?

I recently learned that many scholars think that verses 15-18 of Genesis 22 were a later addition to the text. These verses comprise the second angelic monologue after his initial instruction to spare ...
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91 views

What is a “hermeneutics of the letter”?

In 2009, Peter Leithart published Deep Exegesis: The Mystery of Reading Scripture (Baylor University Press) - a book that in part aims to advocate a "hermeneutics of the letter." First, this book ...
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Can the term “eisegesis” apply to the interpretation of Old Testament passages as prophecies specifically of Jesus?

Since the last Old Testament book was written hundreds of years before the first New Testament book, it actually makes little sense to claim that any of the OT writers had specifically Jesus in mind ...
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172 views

What are possible historical interpretations of John 1:1?

This question is inspired by a question about the proper translation of John 1:1.1 There are lengthy debates on how to translate the Johanine prologue properly.2 This is not about that debate. Based ...
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115 views

Are the judgement's in Joel 3:2, Matthew 25:31-32, and Revelation 20:12 referring to the same event?

Joel 3:2 (ASV) 2 I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgment upon them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom ...
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Question regarding John 12:32 [duplicate]

In John 12:32 (ESV) Jesus says, And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people (πάντας, pantas) to myself. I made the following statement to someone who is seeking to qualify ...
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63 views

Speculative realism as a means of understanding the phenomenon of reading

N.T. Wright has called for "a critical-realist account of the phenomenon of reading" and has proposed (a limited form of) such an approach when discussing how the New Testament should be read.1 The ...
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102 views

What is the significance of locations in hermeneutics? Amos 5:4-6 as case passage

How far and how literally do named locations inform us of the recipients of a proclamation or prophecy? There are many passages where the recipient is known already, both contextually in the book and ...
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What is the literal meaning of “royal priesthood” in 1 Peter 2:9?

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation..." - 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) I've understood the phrase "royal priesthood" to mean something along the lines of "priesthood that serves ...
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132 views

Does Genesis 1:14 Talk About Astrology?

I'm intrigued about the fourth day of Creation where the heavenly lights were made "for signs and seasons". Astrology comes to my mind, but as far as I know the Bible condemns Astrology. Genesis ...
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374 views

What is meant in 1 Peter 3:21 when it says “baptism now saves you”

In 1 Pet 3:21 it says (NASB, emphasis added): Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the ...
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180 views

What does 'reign with him' in 2 Tim 2:12 mean?

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (RSVCE) has: The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will ...
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732 views

What is the difference between a “literal” and “literalistic” interpretation of Scripture?

I've seen a number of people try to distinguish their "literal" interpretation from a "literalistic" interpretation of Scripture (e.g. Vanhoozer in "Is There a Meaning in this Text?"). What is the ...
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What was the lesson Elisha wanted to teach Joash using the arrows?

In 2 Kings 13:14-17 we find that, Joash - the king of Israel, took a bow and some arrows as Elisha told him. And the 17th verse: Elisha said, “Open the east window,” and he did so. Elisha said, ...
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294 views

What is hermeneutics?

Seeing as this is a site about hermeneutics, it would seem a good place to have an answer to the above question. What exactly is hermeneutics?
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What is the difference between St Thomas Aquinas and Abbot Suger's interpretation of the term “anagogic”?

I know in de Administratione Suger writes that a lavish church inspires its worshippers to recognize god and perhaps sees anagogic meaning as the more lavish the church=the more uplifting the ...
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120 views

How to differentiate between message of verse?

I was watching Creflo Dollar's televised sermon and he used this verse to state that it is a message for audiences today, but in context it looks like a greeting: 3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above ...
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450 views

“Spiritual Enlightenment” in John 7:17

In some books of hermeneutics, I have found a principle or rule or law, similar to the following: The Principle of Spiritual Enlightenment declares that God promises to enlighten the understanding ...
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279 views

What does μονογενὴς Θεὸς means in John 1:18?

I know that μονογενὴς Θεὸς is the correct text in John 1:18b but my question is that what does it mean in Christian Theology? How do we suppose to understand such divine title of God's Son? The NASB ...
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326 views

What is Luke's purpose for recording this narrative and ultimately Jesus' reason to express this account of the rich man and Lazarus to those present?

There are people who understand this text to express Jesus warning the hearers of the potential torment of the lost directly following their death. 1. Explain why that is, or isn't the intended ...
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50 views

Is there an English translation of Graetz's “Kohelet”?

Heinrich Graetz wrote a commentary to Ecclesiastes in German in 1871 (viewable here) which is quoted relatively widely among modern scholars. I would like to read it (especially the Introduction) in ...
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182 views

What is an “early catholicism”?

My basic understanding of "early catholicism" is that it is a paradigm for understanding the development of parts of the New Testament, with some parts coming later as early expectations were unmet ...
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292 views

How can one determine that a passage is “programmatic”?

I've seen it commonly said that Psalm 1 and 2 are to be considered "programmatic" for the Psalms. I've seen mention of the same for Luke 4 and Luke(-Acts). For example, Gordon Wenham writes: This ...
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How is genre determined?

If you take a hermeneutics course at your local Bible College or Seminary, or pick up a (modern) book on Biblical hermeneutics, it is likely that the topic of genre would take center stage in the ...
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What are the major variations of the “double-fulfillment” hermeneutic?

"Double-fulfillment" Some hermeneutics hold that Biblical prophecy should be understood in terms of a "double-fulfillment". For example, many understand the following prophecy in terms of a ...
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Is it possible to be unbiased when interpreting Scripture?

Hermeneutics is not only concerned with the science of interpretation, but also with the philosophy of interpretation. One of the major questions under examination in modern discussions about ...
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A Clearer Explanation

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, ...
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606 views

Is Hank Hanegraaff's “exegetical eschatology” hermeneutic original?

I was recently watching a debate on the dating of Revelation in which Hank Hanegraaff made some very interesting arguments in support of his hermeneutic, which he referred to as "exegetical ...
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154 views

To what extent, if at all, should we look for one-to-one correlations between parables and real life?

The main theological debate concerning parables is whether or not to interpret them allegorically. To give an example of allegorization, here is Augustine's interpretation of the parable of the good ...
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560 views

Is there a difference between the “meaning” and “application” of a text?

Discussing the difference between "meaning" and "application" in the context of Biblical interpretation, Jonathan Pennington asks: [W]hat if two scholars or readers agreed that “Thou shall not ...
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216 views

Are the speeches in the gospels and Acts meant to be taken as literal renditions of the original speech, or general gists of the speaker's message?

Acts 13:16-19 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they ...
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What is the meaning of “his own vessel” and “defraud his brother” in 1 Thess 4:3-8?

1 Thes 4:3-8 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and ...
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149 views

What does it mean to see progressive recapitulatory parallelism in Revelation?

In reading the viewpoints of Reformed Theologians I have moved away from seeing Revelation as a strict chronological timeline like that of Dispensationalists. What is recapitulatory parallelism in ...
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Was the Song of Solomon originally a series of unconnected love poems?

Some commentators have argued that the Song of Solomon is a series of unconnected love poems put together by a redactor. However, the same themes/names/metaphors/phrases recur again and again ...
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242 views

Is King Solomon the bridegroom in the Song of Solomon?

A few objections against Solomon being the bridegroom are that Solomon was a king, not a shepherd (1:7), that he had hundreds of wives (versus 6:9, remembering that Solomon's first wife was an ...
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613 views

Does the allegorical approach to the Song of Solomon do the text justice?

Through two millennia the Song of Solomon was interpreted by most Jewish and Christian scholars as an allegory of God's relationship with Israel, or Jesus' relationship with the church. Only lately ...
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Is it plausible to read the references to Solomon in the Song of Solomon as comparisons of the bridegroom to the “masculine ideal”?

The Song of Solomon mentions the name "Solomon" several times. Is it plausible to understand Solomon to have become a symbol of masculinity (a wise, mighty, powerful womanizer), and read references ...
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How do we understand “prayer of Jabez” in 1 Chr 4:9-10?

1 Chr 4:9-10 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You ...
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337 views

Did Jesus primarily use an exegetical or hermeneutical approach in explaining the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures? [closed]

Just wondering if those who have tried to analyze the way Jesus explained the Hebrew Scriptures, do they consider Jesus’ approach primarily exegetical (what the passage said) or hermeneutical (what it ...
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204 views

Is the study of Typology and inter-textual scriptural analysis taught in seminary? [closed]

"To produce the Gospels required a deep understanding of Judaic literature. The Gospels would not simply replace the literature of the old religion, but would be written in such a way as to ...
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How to separate exegesis from eisegesis in this example?

There is a paper put on a table in a room with five doors, each taller than the one next to it. On the paper the text reads in an ancient Egyptian language: "Behind the tallest door you will find ...
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The number 40's “real meaning” [closed]

The number 40 appears in several biblical stories. Such as, 40 days and 40 nights of Noah's flood story, Jesus walked on the earth for 40 days, etc. I read on Wikipedia that 40 is use as an ...
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How can we ensure a given “chiasm” was intentional by the author, and is not merely fanciful eisegesis?

What is 'chiasm'? Chiasm is a literary technique by which the contents of a portion of text are structured in such a way that they could be laid out in a ">" shape... A) This is an example of a ...
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Do modern interpreters use the methods of Talmudical hermeneutics?

Do Christian or Muslim theologians use the same rules as Rabbinate teachers do, when they interpret their respective holy scriptures? I'm particularly interested in the '13-methods to infer from holy ...