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 meaning. This is taken for granted. However, it seems to me most (i.e. at least half) of the Bible does not actually have any linguistic or cultural difficulties and every translation actually conveys the same meaning. Therefore, exegesis often needs to skip original languages, grammar and even history and simply get ported into English as though it were written today. The wheel does not always need to be reinvented when every wheel looks alike from the factory line.
Aside then from the many occasions where language translation does have diverging opinions, or where history and culture should influence us to academically understand scripture, where does basic emotion of a subject fit in? Even when a text is finally translated and contextualized into simple English, then after that, does emotion adjust the final understanding and in a minor or major way?
Hopefully an extreme brings my question to light. For example, if my wife said 'Relationships should be based on trust and intimacy.' Then I say, 'Well, let me trace the root meaning of the word 'relationship' , 'trust', and 'intimacy' from Greek and Latin. Now intimacy from your history signifies attention from me and increased listening, bla, bla, bla. Now I am able to understand that your are really saying, bla bla bla.' Immediately, she would be offended. I would be acting in opposition to what she is trying to say which simply means I did not understand. Is their a parallel to this kind of misunderstanding in an exegeses of Biblical text?
[The above comparison may seem like a ridiculous comparison and that's intentional. As a personal habit of mine is to test my theories by subjecting them to extreme unrealistic stress and then abandon those portion that crumple.]
My question is then , 'To what degree does understanding an author's emotion (i.e. sharing their feeling) play into formal exegesis of an ancient biblical text, once understood in modern context and modern English through more academic exercise?' Some, a lot, none? If none, is their a name for the theory that one can separate intellectual communication from emotional communication. If some, does that mean 'intuition' has a place (big place, small place) in exegesis?
Other related questions that need not be specifically addressed under this one:
- Can emotion based people understand the Bible in ways more difficult for 'thinking' based persons?
- Does a detailed oriented (eg., police investigator) type person have advantage over an imagination oriented (eg., poet) type person? Or do they compliment each other in ways that are difficult for each to understand?
- Does intuition equate to 'experiencing the divine power' within scripture? Is a divine 'experience' of the power in scripture necessary in understanding it (absolutely, moderately, not at all)?
- Does experiencing the 'reasonableness' of scripture mean 'experience' and 'objective truth' are inseparable (i.e., objective truth is only objective when we are pressured to own its reasonableness from God, something which can be intuited if we will listen to Him)?