Missional hermeneutics 2/5

Quest for self-understanding

With the realization that people have the ability themselves to appeal through meaningful reality, to perceive senses, understand and communicate, ie to give understanding , we as Bible Researchers, in such humanity open to all cultures and keep constantly training ourselves.

Our ability to understand our prudence is primarily a capacity to learn, a receptivity for meaning. But this receptivity or openness is inevitably always in a certain way folded, closed, private, ie by the concreteness of this or that experience and signed by a particular understanding of meanings (and themselves) formed and determined. We never can escape our previous experiences, our growing up from childhood in adulthood.

If we take the words of Holy Scripturewith us, we come into contact with words written by people who as elected by God, had the rpiviliedge to be directly in contact with the Creator and Lawgiver. They had the right to write down the  Word of God, the Logos.

Old Testament V

Old Testament V (Photo credit: arellis49)

Going out from the consideration that men could write down the Word of God of God the Bible Researcher tries to distinguish the human and divine writing. We do have to come to the interpretation of these texts, trying at finding an explanation of the self-understanding and self-existence. To own individuality and self existence we in the first instance, should have  an understanding of ourselves.  Without recognizing one selves we shall never be able to come to insight of our own “I”  or “Me”, but then it is also be difficult to relate texts to our own personality and to come the formation of one’s own consciousness. One could argue that “Understanding is meaningful understanding of himself, as the person for whom something is of significance, understanding of themselves as meaning-understanding pressing being.”

Placing everything in its time

When reading the Bible we do have to interpret the text according to the meaning it had in the time when it was written. We also should not focus on just one phrase but look at the words in context of a bigger part and in comparison with other sayings  in other biblical chapters. It would be wrong to go out only from our own experiences and our own time. Naturally we shall invariably bring to the text our experiences, culture, etc., and even perhaps assume that our understanding is the same as the Holy Spirit’s or the human author’s. Knowing that Scripture is both human and divine, because it where ordinary and special but just human persons who wrote down the Words they got from the Holy spirit, but they also wrote down their own live and the happenings of their time like they saw it. Through the ages it was God, who always kept the same, who spoke to all humankind in every age and culture with eternal relevance and knowing that what He said would not only be for the now and then but also for future generations. Because Jehovah God chose to speak as the Elohim through human words in history, each document is conditioned by the time, language and culture in which it was written. The tension between eternal relevance and historical particularity demands the need for interpretation.

To interpret properly what it meant to them then, one must learn the special rules that apply to each of the literary genres in the Bible. In the Tanakh or Old Testament we have the the Torah, or Law giving notes or directives (the Pentateuch), Prophetic books in the Nevi’imHistorical books, Wisdom books, and the Ketuvim, or Writings with poetic books, songs, lamentations, chronicles and diaries.

The books of the Old Testament, showing their ...

Genres and style

The classic genres of the Ancient Greece, poetry, drama, and prose have to be treated totally different to the hereditary listings, essays, memoir, and other forms that may or may not be narrative but share the characteristics of being fact-based, artistically-rendered prose. Next to the genres we do have to look at the literary techniques or methodes of writing. They  comprise the art form’s components, the means the Biblical authors use to create meaning through language, and that readers use to understand and appreciate their works.  We always have to check if the writer brings a frame story or brings constrained writing. when we read the text we have to consider what the meaning of the writer was and consider his way of talking to others for example using alliteration, allusion, anthropomorphism (the most problematic element in the bible, making many people to misunderstand certain elements or figures, like satan and hell) or conceit or euphuism (not to be confused with euphemism), back-story,  irony, parodystream of consciousness.

Always we should be looking for the meaning the writers wanted to put in their words, and therefore we do need to know the language particularities of that time of writing. We also can not take the words separate because they do have meaning in sentences. For the most part, biblical sentences have meaning in relation to the sentences before and after them and often they do have to be related to the knowledge the persons, spoken to, had. We always have to compare them with other scripture texts.

Front page of the first complete Swedish trans...

Front page of the first complete Swedish translation of the Bible in 1541, known as the Gustav Vasa Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Preceding: Missional hermeneutics 1/5

Continued on: Missional hermeneutics 3/5

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:

  1. My exegesis and hermeneutics
  2. Another way looking at a language #1 New Year, Books and Words
  3. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  4. The Bible and names in it
  5. Bible basic intro
  6. Bible guide
  7. Bible in a nutshell
  8. Bible power to change
  9. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  10. Concerning gospelfaith
  11. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  12. The possibilities of faith: A Faith that can move mountains
  13. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  14. Full authority belongs to God
  15. Free will and predestination
  16. God Helper and Deliverer
  17. God’s design in the creation of the world
  18. God’s instruction about joy and suffering
  19. God’s promises
  20. God’s measure not our measure
  21. God’s non answer
  22. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  23. God is one
  24. God of gods
  25. Gods hope and our hope
  26. God’s salvation
  27. Hope for the future
  28. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  29. The Importance Of Scripture
  30. Incomplete without the mind of God
  31. Is God hiding His face when He is seemingly silent
  32. Israel in God’s purpose
  33. Life with God
  34. New covenant
  35. Not sure there exist a God
  36. Nurturing a close relationship with God
  37. Only one God
  38. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  39. Patient waiting
  40. Plain necessary food of the Gospel
  41. Promise of comforter
  42. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  43. The Trinity the truth
  44. The true vine
  45. Working of the hope
  46. Biblestudents articles on Bible-study
  47. Biblestudents articles on the Bible
  48. Christadelphians category about Bible-study and Bible-reading
  49. Christadelphian articles on the Bible


  • Learning Hermeneutics from Holmes (str.typepad.com)
    Far too often students of the Bible twist verses to suit interpretations instead of formulating interpretations to suit what the verses say.Don’t approach your passage assuming you know what it means. Rather, use the data in the passage – the words that are used and how they fit together – to point you toward the correct interpretation.
    Know where to look for clues that will illuminate your passage. Look for repeated words and phrases, bookends (where the beginning and end of the passage contain similarities), and clues in the context around your passage.
    Don’t ignore parts of the passage that seem insignificant to its meaning. Treat every word as if it contains clues to the interpretation of the passage.
    Difficult passages can be overwhelming. Break chapters down into paragraphs, paragraphs into verses, and verses into clauses. Devote careful attention to each chunk of the passage individually. Then try to piece together the meaning they have when added up as a whole.
    +After you’ve put the hard work into grasping a mysterious passage, the case isn’t necessarily closed. Often you’ll run across other passages that shed new light on your passage. Or you’ll hear someone preach those verses in a different way than how you interpreted it.Always be willing to consider new insights. This will at least help you nuance your understanding of the passage, if not take a different stance.

    Gaining insight into hard passages of the Bible is often an exciting adventure.

    But don’t forget that the Bible is less about a mystery to solve and more about an Author to know. As you tackle some of the tougher texts, don’t glory in your knowledge. Glory in God, who graciously reveals Himself through His Word.

  • Dispensational Hermeneutics (biblestudynotesilove.wordpress.com)
    The word genre is a French term, which simply means kind or species. When applied to biblical studies, genre refers to the fact that the Bible contains different types of literature, such as prophecy, epistle, poetry, etc…Such a categorization is made to alert Bible interpreters to the fact that particular genres are to be understood in light of the
    common traits that define a given genre.
  • The need to interpret (nelima.wordpress.com)
    The aim of interpretation isn’t trying to discover what no one has ever seen before. This tendency to uniqueness can usually be attributed to pride (“I’m so clever!”), a false understanding of spirituality (“only the really spiritual can get this”), or vested interests (looking to support a theological bias).The aim of good interpretation is to get at the plain meaning of the text.
    The key to good exegesis is to learn to read the text carefully and to ask of it the right questions, in particular those relating to context (historical and literary) and those relating to content.
  • Accurate Hermeneutics: Interpreting The Bible Correctly (Part 5) (preacheroftruth.com)
    The New Testament promotes the value of the Old Testament by telling Christians that it instructs, encourages, and provides hope for us (Rom. 15:4).
    Interpreting the Bible correctly is a goal which requires constant study (Ps. 1:2; 1 Tim. 4:13, 15-16).  One will not come to a proper understanding and application of accurate hermeneutics overnight; in fact, continual study and learning will always be required of us if for no other reason than we will forget some things that we have learned (2 Pet. 3:1-2).
  • Hermeneutics and the Spiritual Life (lynleahz.com)
    One’s hermeneutic practice is a topic of vital importance. Everyone has a hermeneutic practice whether they know it or not and whether they are able to explain it or not.
    One’s hermeneutic has an outstanding impact on how a Christian understands and goes about attempting to live the spiritual life. Although the Covenant Reformed and Dispensational views of the Spiritual life are similar in many ways the hermeneutic of each group serves to separate the two.
    The belief that a Christian can be carnal, or, live according to or in obedience to his flesh presents a major distinction between the Covenant Reformed camp and the Dispensational camp.
    by utilizing the grammatical-historical form of biblical interpretation it is discovered that there are major differences between Israel and the Church; the Spirit’s relationship with the Christian being only one.
  • Hermeneutics and the Spiritual Life (randomtheoloblog.wordpress.com)
    one should be able to see the importance of hermeneutics in the life of the everyday believer.  One should also be able to see the importance of employing the literal historical-grammatical hermeneutic methodology.
  • Literally literal (conversationinfaith.wordpress.com)
    It is common these days to claim a literal reading of the Bible is the best reading of the Bible. When people talk about a literal reading they often mean what is sometimes called a plain reading of the text.
    When Jesus says he is the gate, none of us think Jesus is actually a gate. When Jesus tells a parable, none of us worries about where exactly the family of the prodigal son lived. When Jeremiah buys and then buries a loincloth (Jer 13) or Ezekiel eats a scroll, (Ezek 2:8-3:3), we all recognize that action as symbolic.  This is because none of us reads without interpretation. All of us make judgments about what we are reading.  That’s not a bad thing. It is inevitable. Interpretation is part of reading.
  • Accurate Hermeneutics: Interpreting The Bible Correctly (Part 4) (preacheroftruth.com)
    the concept of biblical authority is very important to having a proper hermeneutic of Scripture.  Authority is a major foundational precept of Christianity, for without it we have no basis for anything we believe, teach, or practice in our individual lives and in the church.+
    command, aids, approved examples, necessary implications

27 thoughts on “Missional hermeneutics 2/5

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