The theories and methods of studying a text.

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30
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8answers
1k views

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 ...
19
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6answers
16k views

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?
19
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2answers
703 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. ...
16
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4answers
802 views

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 ...
15
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
15
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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 ...
14
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3answers
4k 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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7answers
701 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 ...
13
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3answers
6k 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 ...
13
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2answers
739 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! ...
12
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5answers
2k 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?
12
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
391 views

When is allegorization of scripture productive?

If I were to run into the story of the three little pigs accidentally used as a bookmark in my Bible I might draw these conclusions: Clearly the wolf is the Devil trying to devour sinners who are ...
12
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3answers
149 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
412 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
400 views

What is the “Grammatical Historical Approach” to hermeneutics?

BH seems to be divided into several different approaches. What is the Grammatical Historical Approach and what are the primary ways that it differs from other modern approaches?
11
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3answers
326 views

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 ...
11
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2answers
337 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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?
10
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3answers
3k 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 ...
10
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1answer
2k views

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.
10
votes
2answers
657 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
538 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?
9
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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 ...
9
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
950 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
571 views

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?
9
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3answers
292 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
352 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 ...
9
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1answer
380 views

Pros and Cons of Barth's Commentary on Romans

What are the merits/problems with Karl Barth's commentary on Romans? How much does he treat the details of the Greek? What is his overall hermeneutic of the book? (Please steer away from explaining ...
8
votes
3answers
423 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
165 views

Whose meaning are we trying to find?

If hermeneutics is the study of the meaning of a text, whose meaning are we trying to find when we study the Bible? How does Scripture being inspired by God but penned by men affect our ability to ...
8
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5answers
2k views

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? ...
8
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1answer
99 views

How is literary dependence or relationship established?

I see many claims that texts are related to or dependent upon each other in many publications. For example: Although Paul did not write Hebrews, the text possesses a crucially important ...
8
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2answers
358 views

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

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
536 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
614 views

Are there any rules on which things in Revelation must be interpreted literally and which symbolically?

Are there any rules on which things in Revelation must be interpreted literally and which symbolically? The one that comes from the back of my mind is that if a certain thing or a character is already ...
7
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5answers
501 views

What are the limits to the Christological hermeneutic?

According to Wikipedia: The Christo-Centric Principle: "The mind of deity is eternally centered in Christ. All angelic thought and ministry are centered in Christ. All Satanic hatred and ...
7
votes
4answers
400 views

How can we determine when an image is a symbol?

Put simply, a symbol is a tangible representation of an intangible idea. Authors, both ancient and modern, use symbolic images to convey abstract concepts. The problem with symbols, however, is that ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
327 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
603 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
583 views

What is the “Theological Interpretation of Scripture” movement?

As the title asks--what is meant by "Theological Interpretation of Scripture", a.k.a. TIS, and how does it differ from other methods?
7
votes
1answer
678 views

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?
7
votes
3answers
145 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 ...
7
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2answers
179 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 ...
6
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3answers
334 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
288 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 ...