Lecture 6, Interpreting scripture -Hermeneutics at the Limits of Exegesis.exe
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List (in 1 sentence each) hermeneutics’ three interpretive keys that exegesis fails to consider.
- 1.Exegesis fails to consider Christ as an interpretive key
- 2. Exegesis fails to consider the eschatological Kingdom of God as an interpretive key
- 3.Exegesis fails to consider typology as an interpretive key
Explain (in 2 paragraphs): a) why understanding a text involves more than exegesis (Sect. 36.1); b) the criterion that determines if we truly understand a text (Sect. 36.2); and c) three of four examples of not understanding vs. understanding a text:
- a) To some extent one can argue that is it impossible to fully understand a text without addressing the
- question of authority and reader-response. For example, if a text warned us to turn from idolatry lest
- God destroy us, how can we simply explain the text without making a decision about whether the text
- makes a truth-claim upon us and warrants a response from us?
- The text is a mediator for us in our relationship with God. True understanding happens when we
- grasp the meaning of the text for our lives AND we respond as God would have us respond.
- b)Do we truly understand a text if we don’t respond to it?
- If you do not respond, you did not get a revelation.
- If you do not respond, you did not hear it!
- Below are examples of not understanding vs. understanding a text (i.e., not
- responding vs. responding): c) 36.2.1 Ex. “Jesus is Lord!” (1 Cor 12:3b; Rom 10:9-10)
- This can be merely a doctrinal statement or an acknowledgment of the heart that leads to
- total obedience.
- 36.2.2 Speech Acts: commands, warnings, encouragements, promises, etc.
- • Are Scripture statements just descriptions of what ancient people did? Is the Bible only a
- historical document? Or is God speaking to us through Scripture’s speech acts?
- 36.2.3 “Uptake”
- • If we read words of Scripture but we are not responding, there is no uptake. If we “get it”
- (i.e., “get” the speech act), then we behave in a way that shows we got the utterance.
- “Word of knowledge,” 1 Cor. 12:8
- • This spiritual gift brings Spirit-inspired insight into Scripture that provides access to God
- for spiritual guidance. We can either view God’s revelation as speculative hypothesis or we
- can act upon his guiding message for our situation.
- CONCLUSION: Scripture is a channel through which the Holy Spirit connects us to God; he
- comforts, guides, and instructs us. If we appropriate Scripture, by obeying and applying it, the
- functional authority of the Word of God is performed in us.
List (in 1 phrase each) the three bases of authority of a text in our lives. (Sect. 36.3)
- The author’s/speaker’s role in our community
- Our relationship to the author/speaker
- Correspondence to observable life
Define this type of authority a text may exercise in our lives: Illustrative
A text may be an illustration of what God was doing at the time but not a biblical command. E.g., the believers in the early church shared everything in common (Acts 4:32).
Define this type of authority a text may exercise in our lives: Descriptive
A text describes what happened but is not a biblical command. E.g., Judas hung himself (Mt 27:5); the judge, Jephthah, made a rash vow that if the Lord gave him victory over the Ammonites, he would sacrifice whatever came next through his door (his daughter) (Judges 11:30-35).
Define this type of authority a text may exercise in our lives :Exemplary
“This is a good thing that you may want to copy (but it is not required).” E.g., Luke commends the Berean Jews for their noble character “for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11)
Define this type of authority a text may exercise in our lives. : Obligatory
“You must do this (it is absolutely required).” E.g., the Ten Commandments; “flee idolatry.
Define this type of authority a text may exercise in our lives : Prescriptive
“You could do this and generally get good results (but it is not required). It is a prescription for right living.” E.g., Proverbs’ conventional wisdom that provides a “prescription” or rule of thumb for life that is true 80% of the time if conditions are right, e.g., “If you work hard, you will prosper.”
Define this type of authority a text may exercise in our lives: Normative “
You should do this (but it is not required).” E.g., Paul tells the Corinthians to restrict their freedom (to eat meat sacrificed to idols) out of love for those with weaker consciences so as to not cause them to sin. (1 Cor 8:9).
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