The philosophy of textual interpretation.

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Are there scriptural standards by which a hermeneutic method can be measured?

Jesus appears to be specifically criticizing the interpretive method used by the Sudducees, saying, they do not know the scriptures. Mt 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not ...
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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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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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What's the difference between “sensus plenior” and “inspired sensus plenior”?

What's the difference between "sensus plenior" and "inspired sensus plenior"? Are the terms interchangeable? If "the deeper meaning intended by God but not intended by the human author" (sensus ...
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What are the strict set of rules followed by sensus plenior?

I realize there are similar questions posted but not seeking an exact explanation where it can be shown rationally that three or more independent people, not talking to each other, can come out with ...
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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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“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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148 views

Is translation a subset of exegesis?

This site is in an odd position. Questions about the site are also questions that are valid for the site. This is another such question. It seems that there has been discussion on chat multiple ...
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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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Can we use “linguistic fingerprints” to identify different authors of the Bible?

I read, what was to me, quite an interesting blog post about different authors' contributing to different parts of the bible measured by analysing "linguistic fingerprints": For millions of Jews ...
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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”?

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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Which hermeneutical approaches support a literal interpretation of the Creation account?

I had always been told that a day meant 24 hours, but a systematic theology textbook I read disputed that pretty well. (Please do not address this item in particular. This isn't the question I'm ...
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Is synoptic parallelism a valid hermeneutic?

I'll give an example: Matt. 4:17 (KJV) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mark 1:15 (KJV) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and ...
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Does Paul intend that what follows after 1 Corinthians 7:25a have less authority?

In some of Paul's writings, he maintains that his teachings have the authority of God the Father and Jesus Christ. But in 1st Corinthians 7:25, Paul specifically states that his next advice comes not ...
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188 views

To what degree is understanding the feelings of a biblical author necessary in exegesis?

I find that miscommunication is often about feelings and not words. Ancient writings requires linguistics, history and cultural knowledge to provide accurate English versions that convey the original ...
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To what extent do deductive approaches consider authorial intent?

Bottom-up approaches start analyzing a text by first determining the original intent of the human author of a text. From there, they use inductive reasoning to construct theories of broader meanings. ...
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858 views

What is the “New Hermeneutic”?

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 ...
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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 is an anagogical interpretation and when should it be considered?

First of all, what exactly is an anagogical interpretation? What is a good example of a text that can be understood to be anagoge? Secondly, what textual clues should one look for when considering ...
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Influence of Tubingen School of F.C. Baur

What were the main conclusions reached by the Tubingen School of Ferdinand Christian Baur? What impact did they have on the field of hermeneutics?
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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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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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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 ...
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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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537 views

What are the main tenets of the contextual analysis hermeneutical approach?

When using the hermeneutical approach of contextual analysis, What are the main tenets of this approach? How much context is usually necessary to consider?
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Accuracy of Alfred Edersheim's “Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” [closed]

Edersheim's book The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah has been called "one of the best known and most important references on the life of Christ ever written." However, a lot has changed in the ...
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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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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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What is “the hermeneutical circle”?

This question mentions "the hermeneutical circle": I sometimes hear ... of hermeneutical "methods", such as the grammatico-historal approach, or literal-historical approach, or sensus plenior. ... ...
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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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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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What are higher and lower criticism?

What is historical criticism (also known as higher criticism)? What is textual criticism (also known as lower criticism)? How can they help us understand the scriptures? How can they interefere with ...
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Was Origen Adamantius an “allegorist” in the modern sense of the word?

Allegory is often referred to in a negative way (at least by Protestant interpreters) to signify a sort of irresponsible replacement of authorial intent with some subsequent spiritualization of each ...
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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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Which hermeneutics follow the tradition of Friedrich Schleiermacher?

Friedrich Schleiermacher is often referred to as "the father of modern hermeneutics." He was a Protestant, and is highly respected by many Protestant interpreters for his contributions to the field. ...
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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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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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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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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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How does a less Messianic reading of Song of Solomon interpret 5:16 “He is altogether lovely”?

Song of Solomon is a book with some seriously divergent interpretations. I have just started reading a pamphlet by John Flavel called Christ Altogether Lovely on this verse: His mouth is sweetness ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Catholic explanation of the “spiritual sense” of Scripture?

In Catechism of the Catholic Church we read the following, pertaining to Biblical Hermeneutics: 115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the ...
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How many “layers” are there to the Scriptures?

In my quest to understand hermeneutics, I am at the stage of reviewing the different "layers of meaning" to the Scriptures. So far I have identified two layers; a "literal" meaning and a "divine" ...
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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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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 ...