Particular philosophies and methodologies of textual interpretation.

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What is socio-rhetorical criticism?

I've heard David DeSilva and Ben Witherington III associated with the term "socio-rhetorical criticism" and Witherington even has a series of commentaries titled the "Socio-Rhetorical Commentary" ...
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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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What are the seven middoth (Hillel's rules for interpretation)?

The "middoth" were Rabbi Hillel's rules for interpretation. There are seven of them. What are they? Please list them and include one or two clear examples for each.
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266 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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Does “days” in prophecy equal “years” (Daniel 9 - Seventy Weeks)

A lot of theologians take Daniel's seventy weeks and interpret the seventy weeks to be 490 years, a year for each day. From a hermeneutic standpoint, I seek to know if this type of calculation is ...
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114 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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82 views

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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5answers
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What role does the Holy Spirit play in hermeneutics?

Christians believe that they have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit who acts as a counselor and guide, enabling them to rightly understand God's word. How does the role of the Holy Spirit in ...
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7answers
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How do Jewish scholars differ from Christian scholars in their approach to the Tanakh?

What are the characteristic differences between how Jewish scholarship approaches the text of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and that of Christian scholars? If their approach was the same I assume they ...
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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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What is “verbal plenary inspiration” and to what texts does it apply?

What is the "verbal plenary" view of the inspiration of Scripture and to what texts is it considered to apply? What hermeneutical approaches hold this view and how does it affect the way they ...
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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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What are the differences between allegorical and typological interpretation?

In a recent discussion on a question about allegory, it was pointed out that allegory and typology are not the same thing. What are the differences between the two approaches? Is one a subset of the ...
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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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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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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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What does it mean that “Scripture interprets Scripture”?

What does the rule that "Scripture interprets Scripture" mean and where does it fit into a larger picture of the field of hermeneutics? What hermeneutical approaches use this as a guiding principle?
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Does Jesus address hermeneutical assumptions?

Mt 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mr 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: ...
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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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Is Ecclesiastes a book of negative wisdom?

When I was younger, I thought that because Ecclesiastes was so dour, it was a sort of negative wisdom—something like, "This is how crazy you get when you don't follow God." However, this ...
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2answers
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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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271 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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What is an “early catholicism”? [closed]

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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1answer
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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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Where did Abel get the idea to sacrifice sheep?

The purpose of this question is to examine whether it is possible to know where Abel's understanding of sacrifice came from based on the text we have. The presupposition is that Abel had access to 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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570 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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335 views

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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Do any Hermeneutical approaches have a specific meaning for the number 11?

I have read that in biblical numerology the number 11 indicates a system or period given to chaos or disorganization, and a survey of the text seems to bear this out. See, for example: Meaning of ...
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139 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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255 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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Were offices given to produce “unity of the faith” or to hold things in place until Christ comes and gives it to us?

Eph 4.11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the ...
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136 views

Does Joh 14:26 speak to assumptions about hermeneutics?

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said ...
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Gift or slaughter [closed]

Often we hear that the Bible contains lots of stories without indicating if the actions were good or bad. When Jacob returned home in Gen 33, he sent the crowds ahead of him (Gen 32:13-21). By what ...
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596 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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In Dispensationalism what rule determines applicability of a scriptural demand?

This is an attempt at re-scoping this. Dispensationalism as an interpretive framework closely related to a doctrinal predisposition and a literal hermeneutic. Given that an interpretive framework, ...
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302 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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Does the Gospel of Thomas help in reproducing the hermeneutical methods of the apostles?

The assumed genre of a work affects how it is interpreted. Most have assumed the Gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic work and attempt to interpret it literally as such. This question has nothing to do ...
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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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Was the discounting by the manager in Luke 16 a dishonest act?

The shrewd manager in Luke 16 discounted the debts in order to win favor with the debtors. What hermeneutic principle should be used to determine if this was an evil act, or just good business?
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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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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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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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A word for the fallacy of assuming whatever brings God the most glory is the correct interpretation a text?

I ran across the word somewhere in my reading, but I can't find it. It is a word that has the idea that it is not right to assume that an answer to any given question is right because it is assumed to ...
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499 views

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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171 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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What is the “systematic typology” hermeneutic method and how does it work?

There's a hermeneutic method that's been used on this site called "systematic typology". What is it? How does one apply it? Are there contexts where it is considered to be a particularly good or ...
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826 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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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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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 ...