Particular philosophies and methodologies of textual interpretation.

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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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1answer
579 views

How many common hermeneutical approaches are there and how do they differ?

How many distinctly different common hermeneutical approaches are there, and what are the major distinctives of each approach? I'm not asking for a long description of each - just a concise summary ...
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3answers
571 views

How is this passage on the authority of women to be interpreted?

I have heard it said that 1 Timothy 2:11,12 is to be examined through the "lens" of culture but what Paul writes right after it in verses 13 and 14 seems to nullify that. A woman should learn in ...
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2answers
467 views

Is interpretation and application of the Bible dynamic?

For example, take a Bible passage X, which is in debate about how literally it should be applied. Say we have person A and person B—in completely different life situations. Is it possible ...
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352 views

What role should textual (lower) criticism play in biblical hermeneutics (if any)?

A recent comment on another question demonstrated a common perspective, namely that textual criticism is usually a bad thing when interpreting scripture (some would even go so far as to say that it is ...
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136 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
269 views

Which Hermeneutical schema support individual portions of texts taken out of order?

The "Roman Road" is a common evangelistic tool that features quoting 5 passages from Romans out of textual order (3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:13, 10:9-10.) This has been rejected by some because of the small ...
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147 views

What is the Hermeneutical significance of the lack of direct mention of God in Esther?

It is a fairly well-known piece of trivia that Esther (minus the apocryphal chapters) is the only book of the bible that does not directly mention God. Which of the accepted schools of Hermeneutics ...
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857 views

Is hermeneutics primarily descriptive or prescriptive?

I sometimes hear (particularly on this site) of hermeneutical "methods", such as the grammatico-historal approach, or literal-historical approach, or sensus plenior. These all seem to be tools or ...
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159 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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435 views

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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1answer
1k views

How can we determine if a text is sarcastic?

What hermeneutical principles help in understanding whether a particular passage is to be understood as sarcastic? For instance, Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! ...
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2answers
159 views

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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2answers
367 views

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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149 views

Were the apostles “expert” witnesses?

The testimony of an expert witness depends on the competency of the witness, whereas, the testimony of an ordinary witness is validated by corroborating testimony. We are free to challenge an expert ...
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1answer
135 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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994 views

Are there scriptural warrants for using the rule of first mention? [closed]

The rule of fist mention is used by various forms of allegorical interpretation. Rather than inventing an allegorical meaning, clues are taken from the first mention. For example: Garments are ...
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1answer
190 views

Is there any scriptural warrant for the literalist approach to scripture?

Jesus appears to establish the Christological approach used by the apostles: Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
5k views

What is the difference between historical-grammatical and historical criticism?

The historical-grammatical method and historical criticism are both hermeneutical approaches seeking to uncover the original meaning of the text. What is the difference between the two?
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1answer
98 views

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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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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226 views

How does “Sensus Plenior” differ from Allegory, Gnosticism, Kaballah, and Midrash?

People are divided on hermeneutic approaches. This is probably more true with the introduction of Sensus Plenior to the discussion. It would be helpful to have an explanation of it and how it differs ...
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161 views

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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3answers
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Is there a scriptural warrant for the literal-historical approach?

Jesus appears to establish the Christological approach used by the apostles: Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. ...
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2answers
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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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422 views

What hermeneutical approach does Hebrews use on the Old Testament

Psalm 2:7 is quoted in two different contexts in Hebrews, seeming to be used to support two vastly different arguments. In Hebrews 1:5, we read For to which of the angels did God ever say, ...
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762 views

Redaction criticism and grammatical-historical hermeneutics

It appears that redaction criticism can be viewed either positively or negatively by proponents of a grammatical-historical hermeneutic (see this article)? What are the primary arguments for and ...
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1answer
614 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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2answers
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What is the Sitz im Leben approach in Form Criticism?

What is the Sitz im Leben approach to Biblical hermeneutics? How is it used in form-critical exegesis?
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4answers
670 views

Is dispensationalism a theological framework or a hermeneutical approach?

I most often hear about dispensationalism in the context of a theological framework wherein God’s relations with man are understood to be divided up into different periods of time, or dispensations, ...
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Hermeneutical Approaches vs. Inductive Bible Study

Inductive Bible Study teaches that you observe, interpret, and then apply scripture, and has lots of specific things you should observe such as word repetitions, structural elements such as ...
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What is Sensus Plenior and how does it impact the field of hermeneutics?

What is the Sensus Plenior view of Scripture? Without trying to resolve it's ultimate validity or not, what significant implications does the idea hold for Biblical hermeneutics in theory and ...
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1answer
645 views

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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1answer
557 views

How does Canon Criticism relate to the concept of a Gesamtbiblische Theologie?

It is my understanding that Brevard Childs's so-called canonical (or canon) criticism places an emphasis on looking at the Bible as a complete work. This reminds me of the concept of a Gesamtbiblische ...
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1answer
932 views

Structuralism's influence on Biblical interpretation

What is the structuralist view of literary criticism, and how has structural literary theory influenced modern approaches to Biblical interpretation?
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Primary components of lexical-syntactical analysis

What is lexical-syntactical analysis as it applies to Biblical hermeneutics? What are the primary steps involved in a lexical-syntactical analysis of a Biblical passage?
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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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3answers
8k views

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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What is “Regula Fidei”?

What is "Regula Fidei" and is this principle of interpretation considered obsolete by those who practice the Grammatical Historical approach to hermeneutics or does it survive in some form?
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3answers
7k views

What is the “fourfold sense of Scripture”?

During the Patristic Period in the Middle Ages practiced an exegetical tactic known as the fourfold sense of Scripture. What are these four senses and do these ideas about the nature of Scripture ...
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5answers
891 views

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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1answer
172 views

Has Pesharim left any mark on modern hermeneutics?

I understand that the Qumran monastic community—those primarily responsible for having collected and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls and other works—endorsed the Pesharim approach to scriptural ...
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4answers
4k views

What is “Midrash” and how does it relate to Christian principles of hermeneutics?

What is the Midrash method of interpreting a Biblical verse and what application does it have in Christian studies as a hermeneutic principle?
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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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3answers
162 views

Are there any hermeneutics principles that can be related to scientific principles?

Do any principles commonly used in the field of hermeneutics have any counterparts in scientific principles? Is there a corollary in hermeneutics to the requirements that science demands as far as the ...
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What is a Horizon of Understanding and how can it be applied to understanding the Bible?

Hans-Georg Gadamer uses Horizons of Understanding as a model for communication, and the concept of fusion of horizons is sometimes put forth as a way of explaining how one can approach a "text", but ...
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Where does the “slippery slope” of allegorical interpretations start?

Besides the Grammatical Historical Approach to hermeneutics, various allegorical or metaphorical approaches exist. It seems to me that if you approach a text with the assumption that the whole thing ...
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What is the difference between exegesis and hermeneutics?

What is the difference between exegesis and hermeneutics? Are they the same, is there overlap, or does one pick up where the other leaves off?