The theories and methods of studying a text.

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Haggai Verse: Thirsty vs Drunk

Haggai 1:6 (NLT): You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though ...
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2answers
158 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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1answer
102 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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6answers
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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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1answer
135 views

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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4answers
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Interpretation of Genesis 1:26?

I am under the impression that the Trinity is a Christian idea, and that the Jews did not view God as "three in one and one in three". How, then, was the following passage interpreted by the people ...
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1answer
113 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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7answers
722 views

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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The number 40's “real meaning”

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 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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3answers
748 views

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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2answers
102 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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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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169 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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1answer
90 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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2answers
728 views

Bart D. Ehrman - respected critic?

I found Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why troublesome to my understanding of the translation process of the bible. It has made me review my understanding of the bible. ...
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107 views

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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1answer
128 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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1answer
93 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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4answers
424 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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8answers
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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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5answers
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What does Paul mean by allegory in Galatians 4:24?

Paul's method of interpretation in Galatians 4:21-31 seems a bit unusual as compared to most modern methods. He says these things may be "interpreted allegorically." What is his method of exegesis? ...
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2answers
160 views

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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1answer
144 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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2answers
164 views

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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1answer
256 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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297 views

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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6answers
1k views

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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3answers
306 views

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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1answer
380 views

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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2answers
187 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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3answers
1k views

What is morphological analysis, as it relates to Bible study?

As far as I can tell, morphological analysis is a technique used by Bible students to better understand the original languages in context. How does one go about using a tool such as Robinson's ...
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2answers
638 views

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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2answers
749 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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3answers
7k views

How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?

It's been variously suggested on this site that the difference between Biblical Hebrew and modern Hebrew is like either the difference between: Old English and modern English Shakespeare's English ...
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1answer
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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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5answers
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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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3answers
293 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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2answers
56 views

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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1answer
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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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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?
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2answers
238 views

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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1answer
196 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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1answer
128 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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345 views

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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1answer
255 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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230 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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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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1answer
104 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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1answer
312 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 ...