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  • Submitted: Aug 30 2017 07:43 AM
  • Last Updated: Aug 30 2017 07:43 AM
  • File Size: 640.17K
  • Views: 128
  • Downloads: 32
  • Author: Dr. Christopher Cone
  • theWord Version: 3.x - 4.x
  • Tab Name: The Precedent for Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutics in Genesis
  • Suggest New Tag:: Literal, Grammatical, Historical
  • Module Identifier: The Precedent for Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutics in Genesis - Christopher Cone.gbk.twm

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theWord Module Download:
Download The Precedent for Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutics in Genesis

- - - - -
Hermeneutics Bible Interpretation Genesis

Author:
Dr. Christopher Cone

theWord Version:
3.x - 4.x

Tab Name:
The Precedent for Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutics in Genesis

Suggest New Tag::
Literal, Grammatical, Historical

Module Identifier:
The Precedent for Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutics in Genesis - Christopher Cone.gbk.twm

In order to arrive at a Scriptural approach for interpreting Scriptures, the interpretive method must be exegetically derived from within the Scriptural text. Otherwise, there can be no claim to hermeneutic certainty, because any externally derived interpretive method can be preferred and applied simply by exerting presuppositions upon the text. In the case of an externally derived hermeneutic, presuppositions leading to that hermeneutic conclusion create a pre-understanding that predetermines meaning independent of the author’s intentions. The outcome, in such a case, can be wildly different than what the author had in mind.
If the Bible is merely a collection of ancient stories, legends, and myth, interspersed with mildly historical accounts, then the stakes are not particularly high. The greatest damage we can inflict by a faulty hermeneutic method is of the same weight as misunderstanding the motivations and activities of Mark Twain’s adventurous character, Tom Sawyer, for example. In such an instance we would simply fail to recognize the aesthetic virtues of a creative work. However, if the Bible constitutes an actual revelation from God, then it bears the very authority of the Author, Himself – an authority that extends to every aspect of life and conduct. These are high stakes, indeed. If we fail to engage the text with the interpretive approach intended by its Author, then we fail not just to appreciate aesthetic qualities, but we fail to grasp who God is, and what He intends for us to do.
It is incumbent, then, upon readers of the text to carefully derive hermeneutic method from the Scriptures themselves. Yet, this responsibility is complicated by an obvious absence of prescriptive material within the Biblical text that if present could direct readers toward a particular interpretive stance. In the absence of such prescriptive material, we examine here some descriptive elements from the book of Genesis, in order to discover whether or not there is actually a prevailing hermeneutic embedded in the text itself.
From the opening of Genesis to its conclusion, the book records roughly two thousand years of history. Further, Genesis alleges that these two thousand years are the first years of human history (c.f., Gen 1:27 and 5:1). Within that framework of chronology, the events in the book of Genesis account for the first 33% of our recorded six thousand year history and the first 50% of the four thousand years of Biblical history. If Genesis were univocal regarding hermeneutic method, that single voice would go a long way in helping us understand how the Author intended for us to interpret the Scriptures. Genesis would be a guiding light, providing the time-tested descriptive model foundational to our Scriptural hermeneutics.
In order to assess the hermeneutic method applied within Genesis, during the times which the book describes, we simply examine in Genesis the occurrences of God speaking and the responses of those who heard. The questions addressed here include whether or not God’s initial audiences took Him only literally or whether they instead or additionally perceived that He intended a deeper meaning than what would be normally signified by the words that were verbally expressed. The responses are categorized as follows: Category 1 (C1) responses are those providing evidence that the initial speech act was intended for literal understanding only; category 2 (C2) responses are those providing evidence that the initial speech act was intended for any understanding beyond the literal meaning of the words verbally expressed.



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