"When the plain sense make common sense, seek no other sense."

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gold Dragon, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    This mantra was and still is used to counteract the allegorization that was evident during the modernist-fundamentalist controversy of the late 1800s, early 1900s.

    I believe this mantra does a great disservice to the grammatical-historical hermeneutic which seeks to interpret the biblical text from the perspective of the historical, cultural, grammatic and literary context of the text and the author.

    I believe that the "plain sense" which proponents consider to be the "literal" or "non-allegorical" sense is actually interpreting the text from the historical, cultural, grammatic and literary context of the reader and not the author. This practice is what I believe to be the definition of the word eisegesis which is to read our own meaning into a text.

    While allegorical eisegesis is often easy to spot, non-allegorical eisegesis (or what often happens in the "plain meaning") is often subtle and difficult to detect without deeper study into the text and context.

    I prefer to read the bible exegetically, whether that exegesis involves allegory or not. I believe that preferring non-allegorical interpretations whether they are exegetical or not, is a recipe for the eisegesis that we often see in fundamentalist circles.

    With that in mind, it is by God's grace and the work of the Holy Spirit that any of us have been able to interpret his word correctly, regardless of our methods or preferences for hermeneutics.
     
  2. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    I agree completely.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    You mean Jesus is not a literal door? [​IMG]

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Literal does allow for all sorts of grammatical devices. Including fables. Metaphors. Allegories.

    Amazing how many forget about all the nuances of grammar and THINK they know what a text must mean! [​IMG]
     
  5. mioque

    mioque
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    Dr. Bob's (or should I say the English language's) definition of literal is so broad that it loses all meaning.
     
  6. mioque

    mioque
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  7. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Amazing how many forget about all the nuances of grammar and THINK they know what a text must mean!

    That actually applies more to strict literalists, who generally do NOT know the nuances of grammar, which generally have less to do with interpretation than do factors of context!
     
  8. PrimePower7

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    I do know that God riding on the clouds in historical view of defeating the enemies of Israel cited in the Psalms is seen as a literal thing of the future. Oops! Sounds almost Preterist!?
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    Agreed. Which makes it really ironic when some "literalists" don't.

    Agreed. One danger is ignoring the nuances of context and thinking you know what the text means. The other is paying attention to the nuances of context and thinking you know what the text means.

    What I'm trying to say is that while I subscribe to and strongly encourage the historical-grammatical hermeneutic over the "plain sense" hermeneutic, I also try to keep my interpretations in check. The thinking being that just because I employ a hermeneutic that I percieve to be better than some other hermeneutics, doesn't mean my interpretations are perfect. I continually need to be humbled to learn from others who arrive at different interpretations, whether they use the historical-grammatical hermeneutic or not, while challenging their interpretations with good hermeneutics and prayer.

    I may be wrong, but I believe Bob was agreeing with you.
     
  10. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    Literal Interpretation
    Allegorical Interpretation
    Historical Interpretation
    Grammatical Interpretation
    To my knowledge these are four distinct processes to enable us to interpret the scripture correctly. The order that I have listed them in does not identify the precedent of any one of them in my opinion. I do believe though, that many people on the BB use them in an order that leaves them out in "left field".
    Thanks ------Bart
     
  11. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    I don't think so. Clouds are so insubstantial they can't hold anything up. Maybe there will be clouds around at the same time Christ is around but He won't be using them to literally ride on.
     
  12. Petrel

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    Maybe Christ will be much less dense. :D
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Huh? What on earth are you talking about, Mioque?

    The Bible is to be taken literally. IF the literal sense is a fable, then take it as a fable. That isn't hard!

    Example - Here is a FABLE (man made story) that, when we take the Bible LITERALLY, we must know that this is a story and did not ACTUALLY happen!

    Judges 9: 8-15

    The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.

    But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

    And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.

    But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?

    Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.

    And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

    Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.

    And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
     
  14. mioque

    mioque
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    Is dr. Bob cheating? Yes he is.
     
  15. Humblesmith

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    hmmmm.......let's see now.......this says "literal" in English has lost 'all' meaning..........but is this statement to be taken literall? hmmmm.........if this statment is to be taken literaly..............and........ anything literal has lost all meaning.............then either this statement has lost all meaning, or it refutes itself........hmmmmm........

    Naw, that couldn't be it. I must have misunderstood.
     
  16. Paul of Eugene

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    Now lets stop being so abstractly un-literal and insist that everthing be concretely literal.

    Meaning, its just like a sidewalk. Got that?
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    If truth is beautiful, can plain sense be true?
     
  18. gb93433

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    Why use meanings Christians dream up but instead use the accepted meanings.

    lit·er·al (litÆÃr Ãl), adj.
    1. in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: the literal meaning of a word.
    2. following the words of the original very closely and exactly: a literal translation of Goethe.
    3. true to fact; not exaggerated; actual or factual: a literal description of conditions.
    4. being actually such, without exaggeration or inaccuracy: the literal extermination of a city.
    5. (of persons) tending to construe words in the strict sense or in an unimaginative way; matter-of-fact; prosaic.

    Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary CD-ROM. (1999). (Version 3.0).[Computer Software]. Random House, Inc.
     
  19. gb93433

    gb93433
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    al·le·gor·i·cal (alÅi gôrÆi kÃl, -gorÆ-), adj.
    consisting of or pertaining to allegory; of the nature of or containing allegory; figurative: an allegorical poem; an allegorical meaning.

    Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary CD-ROM. (1999). (Version 3.0).[Computer Software]. Random House, Inc.
     
  20. gb93433

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    A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetorical figure or device, or elocution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. Figures of speech are often used and crafted for emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figures_of_speech
     

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