Missional hermeneutics 1/5

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”
Gustave Flaubert

Researching encouraged by Faith

On my page My exegesis and hermeneutics I confess that in a way by years of bible-study I got transformed and got to see certain truths where I do not want to deviate from any more: like that there is Only One God, who used His Power, the Holy Spirit to inspire human beings to write down His Words.

The Speaker

For me it is clear that the scriptures show us that the Creator God has spoken. He has provided us with His Words written down by public authors He had carefully chosen to represent Him. Those assembled words offer us a guide and the workbook which we should take at heart. Several times God let His people know that they had to listen to Him by studying His Words. Only by hearing the Words of God regularly we can come to a deeper understanding.

Looking at the Bible it is important to distinguish the human word and the divine word.  As Bible-researcher I do want to find more information about the bible itself, the figures and places of the Scriptures. I mainly am interested in the Word or the  “Logos” which handles the “dèloun”. The Word or Logos is nothing if it can not get a person to understand. The Word or word will not be given undue preference or be privileged, come over just or unjust when its takes its task  of the the cost and adverse, the just and the unjust, the good and and the bad, and similar things exposing: “kai tone alloon” . And the koinoonia of those cases provides any kind of community: oikian polin kai.

The human brings out the Logos, i.e. the ability to understand meanings and to give understanding and vocalising. As human beings we are mammals distinguishing herein from other animals, that we experience in our lives meaning and understanding. We also do try to identify with different thing and with our selves and others and we put importance in the communication we can create. Because man as Logos-being, lives materially significant from “meaning”, he becomes living in community.

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To come to read the Book of books, the reader in the first place should be interested in what it has to tell and how it can tell something. He may be a non-believer or atheist and would still be able to treat the Bible as a cultural piece of art and important piece of international literature.  To read the Bible people do not have to have deep reverence of God and a passion for and to know God’s word. But to grow in faith and to find more than the average reader people should be willing to come closer to God and to get to know Him. And the Bible or Holy Scriptures, the infallible and inspired Word is the best way to get to know the Most High of all, the Almighty God of gods, Jehovah.

Have eyes

In inspiration, God utilized the culture and conventions of His penman’s milieu, a milieu that God controls in His sovereign providence; it is misinterpretation to imagine otherwise.So history must be treated as history, poetry as poetry, hyperbole and metaphor as hyperbole and metaphor, generalization and approximation as what they are, and so forth. Differences between literary conventions in Bible times and in ours must also be observed: since, for instance, non-chronological narration and imprecise citation were conventional and acceptable and violated no expectations in those days, we must not regard these things as faults when we find them in Bible writers. When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. Scripture is inerrant, not in the sense of being absolutely precise by modern standards, but in the sense of making good its claims and achieving that measure of focused truth at which its authors aimed.

Tackling the Word of God we also should be willing to have an eye for the background of that important book. Willing to understand it we should try to discover history, geography, anthropology, sociology, theology, doctrine, culture, genres, languages and customs of the peoples of the Bible and those who interpreted it. Coming across different writings about the Bible we should understand that because we all do have different characters and different ways of thinking, we can come up with different understandings and multiple interpretations.

Copies and resources

What exist for the texts of the Bible are not the original autographs, but copies, which is fine as archaeologically there is stronger proof of the veracity of the documents than any other. About the main figures there is often much more written in secular as in theological works, than for other persons, which we take for granted that they existed and did the things which we got to know from the spare documents.

Words have a power all their own

To come to the full Biblical truth we do have to take as much resources as possible and interpret ancient literature. Interpreting literature of the past we can come to Hermeneutics as a science because it is guided by rules within a system. We take a scientific view of the biblical text(s) and discern meaning, context, purpose, date, authorship. As Christians we are not only concerned about a historical reconstruction. We do want to find out more. We really want to go deepest. For people of faith, when we understand the methods other writers and critics are using, we shall be able to use their material to help us to look further.  Our understanding of the Biblical text can be  expanded by the use of worldly, non-canonical but non-heretical books, diaries and notes.  Worldly writings do not mean that they are false, spurious, bad, or heretical, but we should really always keep in our head that it are just products of human persons who have their own faults. Opposite to those human writings we have the best book which normally can tell everything. When we are willing to open our ears and listen to those Words of God, we shall be able to see the light.  But to come to see and understand more we have to go onto the path of discovery and every time when we do find something new we have to take it with us. Finding out more shall often also mean that we do have to abandon previous ideas, which seem to be wrong now we got the new light.

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Continued on: Missional hermeneutics 2/5

Dutch readers can find a more elaborate writing on this subject in:
/ Nederlandse lezers kunnen een uitvoerig versie vinden verdeeld over:

Missionaire hermeneutiek 1/5Missionaire hermeneutiek 2/5 + Missionaire hermeneutiek 3/5

Please do read: My exegesis and hermeneutics

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Find also:

  1. Bible basic intro
  2. Bible guide
  3. Bible in a nutshell
  4. Bible power to change
  5. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  6. Concerning gospelfaith
  7. Full authority belongs to God
  8. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  9. The Importance Of Scripture
  10. Incomplete without the mind of God
  11. Is God hiding His face when He is seemingly silent
  12. Biblestudents articles on Bible-study
  13. Biblestudents articles on the Bible
  14. Christadelphians category about Bible-study and Bible-reading
  15. Christadelphian articles on the Bible

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  • Is Scripture reliable? (devinkroner.com)
    The books of the Old Testament were written from approximately 1400 B.C. to 400 B.C. The books of the New Testament were written from approximately A.D. 40 to A.D. 90. So, anywhere between 3400 to 1900 years have passed since a book of the Bible was written.
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    Copies of the Bible dating to the 14th century A.D. are nearly identical in content to copies from the 3rd century A.D. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, scholars were shocked to see how similar they were to other ancient copies of the Old Testament, even though the Dead Sea Scrolls were hundreds of years older than anything previously discovered. Even many hardened skeptics and critics of the Bible admit that the Bible has been transmitted over the centuries far more accurately than any other ancient document.
  • Accurate Hermeneutics: Interpreting The Bible Correctly (Part 5)(preacheroftruth.com)Certainly much more can be said about accurate hermeneutics; this series is meant to be a kind of general overview of the subject.
  • Learning Hermeneutics from Holmes (str.typepad.com)
    It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
  • Reading the Bible missionally – getting into the authors – part 1 (bibleandmission.redcliffe.org)
    Having surveyed the development of the approach, we have discussed George Hunsberger’s article , ‘Proposals for a Missional Hermeneutic: Mapping a Conversation’.
  • Our Monday Messenger; Our Guest Writer, One of My Favorite Gospel Preachers and Authors (verticalviewer.wordpress.com)
    God, in real history, has demonstrated both his ability and integrity in keeping his promises. Twenty centuries before the birth of Christ, Jehovah promised Abraham that through his “seed” all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 22:18). The prophecy pointed to the coming of Christ (Galatians 3:16).
  • Frymer-Kensky on women in the bible (bltnotjustasandwich.com)
    The Bible, a product of this patriarchal society, is shaped by the concerns of the men of Israel who were involved in public life. As such, it is a public book, concerned with matters of government, law, ritual, and social behavior.

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