This paper is an attempt to demonstrate how this is so, and why this is so. It begins with a brief examination of the role of context in communication in general, which will then be applied to the activity of textual interpretation using the concept of the hermeneutic circle…
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Context plays a central role in the act of biblical interpretation. This paper is an attempt to demonstrate how this is so, and why this is so. It begins with a brief examination of the role of context in communication in general, which will then be applied to the activity of textual interpretation using the concept of the hermeneutic circle as developed by Frederich Schliermacher and Hans Georg Gadamer. Consider the following statement: “The Monkees are the greatest band ever.” On the face of it, the meaning seems obvious. It is a statement of the relative worth of The Monkees by comparison to all other musical acts throughout history. It implies that when compared with, say, the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Metropolitan Opera Company, and all of the Homeric bards, that the Monkees come out on top. However, this is not necessarily the meaning the statement is intended to convey. If it is said in a grave voice, it may mean just this. If it is said in an excited voice while at a concert, we may take it as earnest hyperbole. However, if it is said in a hipster infested coffeehouse, we may take it to mean precisely the opposite. The meaning of any statement is subject to the same sort of factors. Their sense cannot be determined by the examination of the mere words used, rather they must be understood with reference to the total situation in which they are spoken. As this is with spoken communication, so it is with written texts. To return this to Biblical matters, we may examine the following Biblical quotation: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”1 If this statement is truly taken without context, it makes a most surprising assertion. Namely, that God is a rock. Further, we find, with some surprise, that God, unlike other, more common examples of rocks, is the sort of rock that judges, and is just. One might wonder how to distinguish between just and unjust rocks, and indeed whether God is igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary. However, when this passages is juxtaposed with other descriptions of God found throughout the Bible, what is at first nonsensical transparently reveals itself to be metaphor. Of course, the above example is not entirely serious. No one has ever thought to read this passage as literally suggesting that God is a rock. However, this alone reveals something. Namely that everyone, instinctively, takes into account the surrounding passages, and the whole of their knowledge of the Bible when interpreting single verses. Further it sharply shows the dangers of taking biblical quotations out of context. One may ask how this works, and just how much of a role that context plays in this process. One approach would be to argue that context completely determines the meaning of individual statements, however, this seems as absurd as maintaining that context plays no role at all. It must be the case that context and statement both bear some weight in understanding a text. The German biblical and classical scholar Frederich Schliermacher proposed an interesting way to understand this relationship.2 When interpreting any text, he maintained, the part is always understood through the whole. Conversely, the whole is always understood by means of the individual parts. The relation is reciprocal. This reciprocal relation is usually referred to as “the hermeneutic circle.” An example may help to make clear how this works. One may find oneself reading through a political blog post and find oneself agreeing with it. Two-thirds of the way through, the author makes a blatantly bigoted statement. This, should, of course, give the reader pause, and the work of
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The author states that traditional hermeneutics have focused on ensuring the ancient texts are traditionally interpreted to derive reasonable meaning according to the scriptures. This is an incident where many people encompass their knowledge in deriving meanings to texts that were written by ancient writers during the time of the events.
the story. In addition, correctly interpreting the meanings also requires an understanding of the culture, background, and values of the writers and the followers of that time because certain key elements, such as punishments, justice, honor, and righteousness, may have a different meaning or a different level of importance in the first and second centuries than it does during modern times.3 Another concern when reading the Bible is that, in focusing on Jesus’ words and works, we will learn more about ourselves; therefore, it is important to focus our attention on Jesus, rather than diverting attention away from Jesus and putting it on ourselves.
Beauty that can differ.In terms of biblical interpretation, a common term to come about in research is that of Hermeneutics. "It is more broadly used contemporary philosophy to denote the study of theories and methods of the interpretation of all texts and systems of meaning.
The Catholic interpretation of the Bible is called Catholic Hermeneutics.
In general sense the term hermeneutics is connected with the mane of the Greek god Hermes. He was the messenger and interpreter of the gods. So hermeneutics is the interpritation of the text.The very term Catholic hermeneutics refers to the understanding of Christianity within Roman Catholicism.
Initially the sailors, explorers and colonial administrators to extract information from local population adopted the questionnaire method. By the end of the century, the ethnologists traveled to distant lands in order to
Indeed, Reid B. E. argues that the recent debate regarding the role of women in the church has revived interest in the New Testament, with many gravitating towards the perception of Luke as a friend of women (Reid, 1996,
Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:28. I used the scriptural reference to show and build the theme that before God, all are considered equal regardless of gender and can therefore serve God in equal terms and
The two words combine to form the word theology. The primary meanings of the two words are a ‘discourse about God , who is the central piece in the study of religion.
The relationship between the concept of religion and theology: religion