What establishes your hermeneutics?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Isaiah40:28, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    This is part of discussion Allan and I were having on John 17:12.
    I'm open to criticism of my hermeneutical approach.
    I haven't studied at a seminary or bible college, so mine is mostly influenced by pastors, teachers, and authors I respect. (and my husband, who I also respect).

    So I was interested in what styles of hermeneutics are out there and how they influence our exegesis or interpretation of the Bible.

    Is Allan's style more right than mine or mine more right than his? How can we know?
    Is the style the sole determiner of how we will interpret a verse?
    Must you change your style before your interpretation will change?

    For the Calvinists, I assume that many of us were raised non-Calvinist, like myself and others I have seen here testify. Did your style of hermeneutics change before you embraced a different interpretation? Or did the interpretation of one or several passages change before you changed your approach to hermeneutics?
    These may not be answerable questions for some, or at least not previously thought out answers. And my initial questions may not be very well phrased, but hopefully it's enough to get the ball rolling.
     
  2. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    I use a simple method.

    Who (who is doing the speaking? Who is being spoken to?)
    What (what is the subject?)
    When (when did this take place?)
    Why (why is this happening? What is the purpose?)
    How (how does this connect to other scriptures?)

    And most importantly:

    Context Rules!
     
  3. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    And I'm assuming that your method has not changed even though you recently have been coming to understand some passages in a different way than before.

    Is that a fair assumption?
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
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    I'm with Amy. :thumbs:
     
  5. webdog

    webdog
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    the problem I have with this statment is "coming to understand some passages in a different way".

    Given Amy's hermeunetical approach, those passages would never be interpreted the way they are. There must be some outside influence. One must become indoctrinated into calvinism, not the other way around.
     
  6. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Not neccessarily WD. Don't forget the element of human nature that is always involved in any interpretation.
    I've learned a lot of things along the way in my Christian walk. I've changed my mind on some things, not just Calvinism. Outside influences can make a difference in how we see things, but that was true even before I started seeing the doctrines of grace. I have been taught that we choose God, not the other way around.
    My interpretation is not perfect because I am not perfect. I do the best I can and pray always for God to open my heart to the truth. I probably should have put that on the list as well.
     
  7. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Here is a list from where I taught hermeneutics this past spring in Bible Study at church:

    The 7 steps to understanding the Bible

    In order to properly apply a Bible scripture to your life, you have to properly interpret the scripture.

    If you apply the scripture without the proper interpretation it is called eisegesis. This is using the Bible in a wrong way. It is making the Bible say what you want it to say. It is adding to the Bible.
    When you first interpret the scripture, then apply it, it is called exegesis. This is drawing the meaning of the text from the text. This is what we should be doing.

    Here is a list to run through when you approach a scripture. Remember to always pray first and let God direct your steps.

    1) Lexical: When you read a passage, do you know what all the words mean? Define all questionable words. Remember, as someone has said before, “If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.”

    2) Literary: What section of the Bible are you in? Prophecy, narrative, poetry, letters, history, etc.

    3) Historical/Cultural: When was the book written? What was going on in history at the time the book was written? What did this passage mean to the original readers?

    4) Theological: What are the other scriptures in the Bible that deal with the same subject as this scripture? Imagine all the writers of the scripture sitting around a table discussing this scripture, what would they say?

    5) Contextual: Look at the scriptures surrounding this scripture, in what context is the verse written in?

    6) Orthodox: If the meaning of the scripture can be debatable, How has the church interpreted this passage in the past? That may give you an idea. You are not bound to believe someone’s interpretation, but it may give you fresh way to look at the passage.

    AFTER, you interpret what the passage says:

    7) Application: Ask, “What does this mean for me today?” “Why did God put this in the Bible?” “If this wasn’t in the Bible, how would this affect my life?” “What can I get out of this passage that will help me, or help others?”
     
  8. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Then here is a worksheet I designed for the serious Bible student to help them research a section of scripture:
    Worksheet:
    Scripture: ________________________
    Author: ________________________ Date of writing: _________
    Type of writing: (literary style) ___________________________


    Lexical (definitions of words):




    Historical/cultural influences:




    Theological (Other scripture in the Bible that are connected to this passage):




    Context of surrounding scripture:




    Orthodox (What has been the teaching of the church?):




    How does passage this apply to me?
     
  9. webdog

    webdog
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    This is where an outside influence is needed to come to the above highlighted conclusion that you have arrived to (most likely through this so called "doctrines of grace"), because the Bible states both, not either or. There is different "choosing", "chosen", "elect", etc. Proper hermeunetics is necessary to discern what is being discussed, not a systematic theology.
     
  10. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    I agree. I think both sides do the either or thing. I think it's probably impossible to avoid outside influences unless you were raised by wolves. :laugh:
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
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    I do the "both" thing ;)

    You mean "sheep" in wolves' clothing? :D
     
  12. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I don't!

    Of course my opinions and interpretations are always right....:wavey:


    shhhh...
    Here comes my wife...
    Don't believe her when she says I make mistakes...

    Of course she says I was raised in a barn also!
     
  13. donnA

    donnA
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    How about changing from previous human understanidng to being taught and enlightened by the Holy SPirit, our teacher.
     
  14. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Yes, you've asserted this before about Amy and questioned her quite extensively and even perhaps aggressively and she responded graciously everytime.
    You started a whole thread to devote to this issue of "influence" and last time I checked the thread, my response was the last one and I was agreeing with Russell55 who said:
    So why can't you drop this tirade against Amy and her "outside influence" into Calvinism?

    What are you hoping to find?
    That she's been secretly listening to John Piper sermons and now she's a biblical determinist and Christian hedonist.
    Or that she's been reading a book by Sproul that has somehow revamped her thinking into his "hyper" camp.
    And then you can triumphantly say, "See, I knew she was being influenced by something!".
    Maybe she'll just make something up so that you can have your hayday with it and hopefully get this ridiculous crusade over with.
     
  15. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    Isaiah, you are right that I wasn't influenced by outside forces. I have participated in several debates about Calvinism while I've been on this board and I hated Calvinism. Why did I change? No one forced me into it. In fact, it would be a lot easier if I had just kept my mouth shut. My SS teacher is against Calvinism and I don't personally know of any Calvinists other than those on this board. I am quite outspoken about my beliefs (I am frequently called "opinionated" by my friends and family, but what do they know? :)) I don't just go back and forth which ever way the wind blows.
    I believe God led me in this direction but if He didn't, well then it won't last and I will go back to the way I was before.
    But I just want to make it clear that no one has been trying to convince me or change me.
    I've never heard a Calvinist preacher preach either.
     
  16. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Amen. Webdog, you should join forces with Lou M. and the two of you can go off and rant about outside influences and how Calvinists have to view everything through TULIP, even before they ever heard of TULIP. Then there'd be a whopping two of you who believe these claims.
     
  17. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    I'm the only 5 point calvinist that I know.

    I know a few 3 pointers... but that is as close as it comes
     
  18. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Thanks for posting this.
    I especially like the Theological step, that is interesting to consider.
     
  19. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    So, I guess it would be safe to say that you were not influenced by your friends or relatives to become a Calvinist?
    You mean you came to this decision on your own? :eek:
     
  20. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    This is key, I think.

    This is exactly the position that thousands of persecuted Christians have been in and currently are in.
    The Holy Spirit awakens them to see Christ in all His beauty and sacrificial love and they desire that which they previously hated.
    The change is unwelcome to most anyone but themselves and they are mercilessly persecuted in untold ways.
     

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