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Hermeneutics

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6 Steps to Hermeneutics (Overall)
HLTLCA
1. Historical-Cultural & Contextual Analysis
2. Lexical-syntactical
3. Theological
4. Literary
5. Comparison to interpreters
6. Application
6 Steps to Hermeneutics (detailed)
1. Historical-Cultural & Contextual Analysis
- Situation at time author wrote
- Contextual - considers passage surrounding

2. Lexical-syntactical
- Definitions (lexicology) and relationship to one another (syntax)

3. Theological
- At time revelation was given (relation to passages before/after)

4. Literary (genre)
- Form used (narrative, letters, doctrinal, poetry, apocalyptic)

5. Comparison to interpreters
- Interpretation from above 4 steps to work of others

6. Application
- Translating original meaning into implications for believers today
Meaning (author)
Pattern of meaning author consciously willed to convey by words or shareable symbols they used
Implications (author)
Meanings in text which author was unaware but legitimately fall within pattern of meaning willed
(Author determines, we discover)
Significance (reader)
How reader responds to meaning of text
(Will you do the action (yes or no)
Subject Matter (text)
Content or "stuff" talked about in text
(Details divorced from author's purpose)
Understanding (reader)
Correct mental grasp of the author's meaning
(in the mind, unexpressed)
only one correct
Interpretation (reader)
Verbal or written expression of readers understanding
(verbalized understanding)
Mental Acts (author)
Experiences of author while writing text
(mental processes we don't have access to)
Norms of Language (text)
Range of meanings allowed by words
- Dictionary
- (can't control, related to language of day)
Norms of Utterance (author)
Specific meaning author has given word
- Concordance
- (giving contextual clues to determine specific meaning)
Literary Genre (text)
Literary form used by the author and rules governing form
(submits himself to available genres)
Context (author)
Willed meaning author gives literary materials surrounding text
(determines willed meaning before and after specific context)
Role of Reader
Ascertain:
1. Literary form
Poetic, historical narrative, literal, figurative

2. Authorial Meanings
What is the author's intended meaning

3. Seek Personal Implications and Significance
- Implications - meanings author not conscious
- Significance - will you comply
Who Determines Meaning (3)
1. Text - Semantic Autonomy (Autonomous Meaning)
"New Criticism"
Work independent of author

2. Reader - "What it means for me. . . "
"Reader Response"
Reader is ultimate determiner
Judges 21:25
Clouds in sky approach

(3) Author - "What Paul Meant . . ."
Seeking what the author intended
Qualities of good translation ABCDLMUU
1) (A) Accurate
Sometimes makes not as readable
Formal (Literal)

2) (B) Avoid theological Bias
Committees prevent bias

3) (C) Contemporary
common language of day

4) (D) Dignified
KJV says "pisseth"

5) (L) Latest knowledge language/culture
Better understanding of original

6) (M) Best Greek & Hebrew Manuscripts
- All modern based (Not NKJV)
- We want text from original Apostles

7) (U) Understandable
Functional (Dynamic)

8) (U) Universal
understandable to others
Old Testament (4 categories)
Law (5)
Historical (12)
Wisdom (5)
Prophetic (12)
OT
Law (GELND)
Historical (Josh, Jud, Rut, Sam, King, Chron, Ezr, Neh, Est)
Wisdom (Job, Psa, Pro, Ecl, Sol, songs)
Prophetic
Major (Isa, Jer, Lam, Eze, Dan)
Minor (Hos,Joe,Amo,Oba,Jon,Mic,
Nah,Hab,Zeph,Hag,Zec,Mal)
Hebrew Bible
Law
Prophets
Writings (Psalms)
Timeline of Bible
Adam
Noah
Abraham BC 2000
Exodus BC 1446
Saul BC 1050
David BC 1010
Solomon BC 970
Divided (Israel, Judah) BC 931
Assyrian (Destruction Samaria) BC 722
Babylonian (Jerusalem) BC 586
Persian (return - Cyrus) BC 537
Second Temple BC 515
Nehemiah/Ezra - BC mid 400s
Malachi - BC 430
Intertestamental BC 430 - AD 45
Jesus Birth -BC 7-4
Ministry AD 27-30
Crucifixion AD 30
First NT book - AD 45
Revelation - AD 90
Testament
Latin - Testamentum
"Covenant or agreement"
Tertullian - AD 160-225
Verse divisions
Ben Asher - 900 AD - OT
Stephanus - AD 1551 - Latin/Greek NT
Geneva Bible - AD 1560 English NT
Chapter divisions
Stephen Langton - 13th Cent to Latin OT/NT
Salomon Ishmael - 14th Cent - Heb OT
Theories of Inspiration
Intuition - natural religious intuition
Illumination - spirit impressed but not much
Dynamic - content God, phrasing man
Dictation - word for word by God
Verbal Plenary - God mysteriously superintended
Unintentional errors - 95%
Hearing
Judgment
Sight
Writing
Intentional errors - 5%
Adapting - church liturgy
Conflating - include known variants
Eliminating - fix perceived problems
Harmonizing - make similar passages same
Revising - grammar or spelling
Theological - omit or clarify perceived
Canon
Greek - Kanon - reed, measuring rod (rule)
Athanasius first used AD 352

Collection of authoritative writings
Jamnia
Venue for discussing challenging OT texts

No binding canon decisions made
NT Canon
AD 45-100 - Written
AD 100-200 - Collected/read in churches
AD 200-300 - Examined and compared to spurious
AD 300-400 - Complete agreement
Athanasiius - AD 367
Apocrypha
Deuterocanonical - Catholic
Intertestimonial help

1. Jews who wrote did not accept
2. Clear factual/theological errors - dead
3. Catholic not accept until Trent (reform)
4. NT writers not cite
Bible translation timeline
1) Wycliffe - 1382 - Vulgate-hand-Entire
- 1414 Reading English death
- 1428 exhumed/burned
2) Tyndale - 1526 - Greek-print-NT
3) Coverdale - 1535 - Tyn/Vul-Entire
4) Matthew - 1537 - Tyn/Cov
5) Great - 1539 - Tyn/Heb/Grk
6) Geneva - 1560 - NT/Tyn-Verse div, Calv foot
7) Bishops - 1568 - Rev Great, minus foot
8) KJV - 1611
Two translation approaches
Formal (Literal) - Word-for-word
NASB

Functional (Dynamic) - Thought-for-thought
NIV
Role of Holy Spirit in Interpretation
1. Helps only in Significance (Stein)

2. Helps Significance & Understand (Plummer)
Approaches to Miracles in Scripture
1. Supernatural Approach (Ours)
- Actually took place
- Happened as recorded
- Proclaims divine event
- God performed, natural cause irrelevant
- Openness in history maintained
- Author's meaning maintained.

2. Rationalist Approach (1800s)
- Fictionalized portrayal overlaid w/myth
- Natural event/discover cause
- Author not smart/but honest
- Feed 5,000/boy's generosity spurred others

3. The Mythical Approach (Liberal)
- Religious ideas dressed in historical clothing
- Search for natural cause irrelevant
- neither divine or natural since myth
- author's "deeper" meaning maintained
Kinds of Language (Genre)
(RC)
1. Referential:
- Descriptive
- Non-Emotional

2. Commissive:
- Decision-evoking
- Emotional
Proverbial Literature
Pithy saying that reveals a general truth
- are exceptions
- commissive

Problem of Job's Comforters:
- Universalizing general truth.
Prophetic Literature
(CFF)
1. Judgment/blessing often conditional (C)
- Jer 18

2. Figurative language (F)

3. Most "forth-telling" (F)
Difference Between Poetry & Prose
Less precise description more evoking emotion.

Prose - narrative
Poetry - figurative

Judges 4:12-24 (prose) and 5 (poetry)
Form of Hebrew Poetry
(SSAN)
Metrical Patterns- Rhythm (not rhyme)

Parallelism:
1) Synonymous - 2nd line repeats 1st (repetition) (S)
Matt 7:7-8 (Ask, Seek, Find)

2) Synthetic (Step) - 2nd advances the 1st (adds) (S)
Matt 10:40 (receives you, me, the father)

3) Antithetical - 2nd in contrast to 1st (opposite) (A)
Matt 7:17-18 (good tree, good fruit, bad tree, bad fruit)

4) Non-Parallelism (N)
Idiom
Common expression meaning different than words used
Luke 14:26 (Hate father/mother)

- Not meant to be literal
"Hit the lights", "raining cats and dogs"
2 types of Exaggeration
(OH)
1. Overstatement (O)
- possible, but not intended
- could gouge eye out, but not stop lust

2. Hyperbole (H)
- literally impossible
- Mat 7 (speck/plank)
Parable (definition)
Figure of speech where brief or extended comparison
Why do people allegorize
(JSW)
1. There are times when Jesus has related (J)
- (soils)

2. Stock images in OT allude (S)
- (Shepherd, Fig Tree)

3. Way ancient documents were interpreted (W)
- today is reader response - "what can I get"
Purpose of parables
(ICDI)
1. Illustrate truths (I)
- Luke 10:25 - Good Samaritan

2. Conceal truth (C)
- Mark 4:10-12 those hostile

3. Disarm listeners (D)
- 2 Sam 12:1 - Nathan and David

4. Further insight to apostles (I)
Dominant approach to Parables in history
(not correct)
Allegorical (this is that)
- Origen
4 Parable periods
Jesus-500 - Allegorical (Origen)

500-1500 - Allegorical (John Casion furthered)

Reform-modern - John Calvin 1st not allegorize

1888 - today - Adolph Julicher ended allegory
Recognizing Hyperbole (11)
4 - Not
4 - Conflicts
3 - Language
4 - Nots:
- Not possible (P)
- Not Always Literally Fulfilled (F)
- Evangelist Not interprets Literal (I)
- Not Achieve Desired Goal (A)

4 - Conflicts with:
- Teachings of Jesus (3 ts, A)
- Actions of Jesus
- Teachings of OT
- Teachings of NT

3 - Languages:
- Literary Form (language) prone to exaggeration
- Idiomatic Language
- Universal Language
Principles for Prophecy not classified
"Straightforward Prophetic Prediction"
(RBCPFCM)
1. Rhetorical fashion (R)

2. Blending of events (B)

3. Concept of "Corporate Solidarity." (C)

4. Presupposition (P)
- Correspondence in historical events
- As if on a stairway

5. NT authors saw living in fulfillment (F)
- Top of stairway

6. NT authors assumed Scriptures Christological (C)

7. Range of meaning of "fulfill" broad (M)
Hermeneutical principles for poetry
(PGL)
1. Note strophic (stanza) Patterns of the poem (P)
Ps 31:1-5

2. Group parallel lines (G)

3. Note Metaphorical language (L)
Determine meaning of Parable
(MJET)
1. Seek One Main Point (M)
- Main characters (M)
- Comes at end (E)
- Direct discourse (D)
- Most press (P)

2. What Jesus meant 1st AD (J)

3. What Evangelist meant (E)

4. What God teaching us today.(T)
How to Detect Allegory:
(JE)
1. Would Jesus audience attribute meaning? (J)
- Mark 12:1-12 - Vineyard (Parable)
- Isa 5:1-16 - Vineyard (OT refer)
- Yes, they would have

2. Would Evangelist's audience attribute meaning? (E)
Clues For Interpreting Narrative
(CCTR)
1. Context (C)
(Structural clues)
Hermeneutical circle (part/whole)

2. Narrator comments (C)
(highlight all comments in Biblical story)

3. Thematic Statements (T)
(Summary statements):

4. Repetion (R)

"I, Matthew, have included this genealogy about Jesus because I want you to know/believe/do ..."
Interpreting Epistles
(OMBOM)
1. Occasional Nature (O)
- Specific occasions (congregations, reasons)
- How this applies today? (Implications)

2. Mirror-reading caution (M)
- We only have half the image
- "described" does not mean "prescribed"

3. Break into discourse units (B)
(keep thought units together).

4. Organization/Syntax (O)
(Main point/sub points - diagram on paper).

5. Meanings of Individual Words (M)
(meaning then, also today)
Suggestions for interpreting the Psalms:
(SLG)
1. Note sub-genre (S)
Imprecatory, Wisdom, etc.

2. Figurative language (L)
- (poetry)

3. General or partial guidance (G)
- (proverbs)
Historical Narrative
- Meaning is not primarily what happened
- But the interpretation of it
- Taught implicitly, not explicitly.

* "I, Mark, have told you this story about
the healing of the Demoniac because . . ."
Narrative statement (Why)
I, Moses, have told you this account at this point because....
3 Steps to Word study:
INN
1. Identify word (I)
- Non-routine

2. Norms of Language (Dictionary) (N)
- OT - Hebrew Lexicon
- NT- Greek Lexicon

For English Translations
NIV - Modern English Dictionary

3. Norms of Utterance (N)
- Narrowing Possibilities (Concordance)
Arguments against accepting
Pseudonymity (falsely written)
and Epistles (ERNC)
(1) Examples of pseudonymity in antiquity (E)

(2) Pseudepigraphic NT letters extremely rare (R)
Epistle of Jeremy, Letter of Aristeas

(3) NT evidence pseudonymity Not Acceptable (NA)
- Muratorian Canon

(4) Writings were condemned/rejected (C)
- Serapion (2nd AD)
Two Kinds of Covenants
1) Parity - Between equals

2) Suzerain - Gracious Ruler/Lord
- God makes with us (we can accept/reject)
Two guidelines of interpreting Covenants
* Stein *
1. Covenant originated in, based on God's grace alone
2. Stipulations presume a pre-existing relationship (not entrance)
Suzerain form
(PPSRWCO)
1. Preamble - maker identifies himself (P)
- Joshua 24:2a

2. Historical Prologue - Prior relationship (P)
- 24:2b-13

3. Stipulations - expectations (S)
- 24:14-18

4. Continual Reading - of the Covenant (R)
- 24:24-26

5. List of Witnesses - public agreement (W)
- 24:22, 27

6. Blessings & Curses - consequences (C)
- 24:19-20

7. Oath (O)
3 kinds of laws (under Reformed tradition):
(ECC)
(1) Ethical (E)
- don't steal, kill
- (Still apply because reflect God's nature)

(2) Cultic regulations (C)
- sacrifices/food (Lev 2)
- Hebrews says "shadow"

(3) Civil laws (C)
- cities of refuge (Deut 19)
Different Kinds of Songs in the Bible:
(1) War Songs - celebrate victory
(2) Love Songs
(3) The Psalms
Seven Common themes in lament Psalm
(ADPCCVC)
1. Address to God (A)

2. Description of Distress (D)

3. Plea for Redemption (P)

4. Confidence in God (C)

5. Confession of Sin (C)

6. Vow - do if God grants request (V)

7. Conclusion - praise or restatement (C)
Psalms (song accompanied by music)
(LPTCWIP)
1) Lament (L)
- cry out to God in distress
- most common
- (Ps. 13)

2) Praise/Hymn (P)
- Joy of worshiping God
- (Ps. 95)

3) Thanksgiving (T)
- Thanking God for answered prayers

4) Celebration (C)
- God's covenant relationship with king/nation

5) Wisdom (W)
- Wisdom as gift to His people
- (Ps. 1)

6) Imprecatory (Cursing) (I)
- Desire God's vindication
- (Ps. 137)

7) Penitential (Repentance) (P)
- (Ps. 51)
Lament Psalms
- Offer not only encouragement
- Also models prayer
Importance of Hermeneutics for today
Many have Reader Response attitude
1) Homosexuality & Bible
- Outright rejection of Canon
- Others relativize
- Jesus may not have talked, but Paul did (Rom 1)

2) Bible Translation
- Author intent
- Preserve meaning (not distort)
- People ultimately say English has changed

3) Open Theism - Belief future history is open
- says God has restrained Himself
- Not pre-determined future events
- (We believe ultimately God is Sovereign, we are responsible)
2 Overarching Theological systems
1) Dispensational Theology

2) Covenant Theology
Dispensational Theology
1) Stresses "literal" interpretation of Bible (not liberal)

2) God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies:
- Israel (earthly) and Church (heavenly)
- Church was born at Pentecost

3) God's main purpose in history is physical Israel

4) Stresses a discontinuity between the OT and NT.

5) Separate dispensations:
1. Innocence - Untested Holiness (Adam/Eve)
2. Conscience - Cain & Abel
3. Government - Noah
4. Promise - Abraham
5. Law - Moses
6. Grace or the Church
7. Kingdom

6) Most teach OT saved by faith in revelation peculiar to their Dispensation (But not in Messiah as their sin-bearer)
Dispensational Theology
- Organizes history and theology in series of dispensations
- Different "economies" or arrangements decreed by God.
- Begins with an offer of blessing by God
- Ends with failure by man to meet God's conditions
- Resulting period of Divine judgment.
Covenant Theology
- Organize history and theology around several covenants
3 Covenants
1. Covenant of Redemption (before creation)
- Son - perfect obedience in death promised to Father
- Father - promised to the Son:
1) Holy Spirit given to the Church
2) salvation to all believers
3) exaltation of the son

2. Covenant of Works: (Creation to fall)
- Man - Adam must obey God
- God - Obedience/eternal life, disobedience with death

3. Covenant of Grace: (Fall to second advent)
- Man - saving faith issuing in obedience
- God - salvation in all of its phases
Characteristics of Covenant Theology
1. Usually five-point Calvinist. (reformed)

2. Literal and figurative (spiritual) interpretation of Bible

3. 'Israel' = physical descendants of Jacob, or spiritual Israel

4. God always had only one people, the Church
- Gradually developed with a Covenant

5. Church began in OT - reached fulfillment in NT

6. Main purpose* in history is Christ - second Church
* God's main purpose is His own glory
* Christ included because He is the glory of God
* Church is culmination of God's saving purpose for ages

7. Covenant of Redemption was within Trinity to effect election

8. Conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for his posterity

9. Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam

10. No man saved by works, only grace. (Eph 2:8-10)

11. All ever saved only by faith in Christ as sin-bearer
- Progressively revealed in every age

12. OT believed in Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer
- Mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies

13. Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages
- Especially in NT era, will not be withdrawn

14. Believers all ages 'in Christ' and part of the Body/Bride

15. Law has 3 uses:
- Restrain sin in society
- Lead to Christ
- Instruct Christians in godliness

16. Laws:
- Ceremonial laws abolished
- Civil laws abolished (except for general equity)
- Moral laws continue
- OT laws in effect unless abrogated in the NT

17. The Church is the Kingdom of God

18. OT sacrifices were fulfilled and abolished in Christ.

19. Christ fulfilled Covenant to Abraham

20. Christ alone sits on the throne in heaven
- Saints rule under Him in Spirit.

21. Most embrace infant baptism, but Baptist don't
4 Errant Approaches to Bible Study
1) Hit and Miss Approach- No logical pattern.
2.) Application Approach-
- Quickly read passage
- Thinking about application
3) Commentary Approach-
- Read Bible passage
- Immediately read commentaries
4) Holy Spirit Approach-
- Pray/meditate
- Read passage
- Holy Spirit to reveal insights
- No serious study

Correct approach:
Methodical Approach-
1) Observation
2) Interpretation
3) Application
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