Re: [asa] Book(s) on Hermeneutics?

From: Christine Smith <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Mar 10 2008 - 14:04:22 EDT

Hi George,

You write:
"& because of that, the "original meaning" of a text,
> while important, isn't the last word. There is no
> reason to think that the writer of Numbers 21:9
> intended the lifting up of the bronze serpent to be
> a type of Christ. But it is because John 3:14 says
> it is. I realize that some will argue that that
> really was in the mind of the writer of Numbers but
> that's just reading John back into Numbers. What
> I'm arguing is that we should do that explicitly but
> not pretend that it was the "original meaning." (&
> this isn't a terribly novel idea. It's what is
> referred to as the sensus plenior of a text.)

Can you expand on this a bit in terms of how to do
this "reading backwards" properly, and when, and why,
etc? (i.e. what makes John justified in doing
this?)I've been exploring this issue in the context of
better understanding/appreciating the prophetic books,
but haven't fully been able to become fully
comfortable with this yet...

Thanks,
Christine

--- George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> wrote:

> I don't have any specific text on hermeneutics to
> recommend. Things that are specifically devoted to
> that can be kind of dry. I think that to a certain
> extent it's like "philosophy of science" - you best
> see what a scientist's philosophy of science is by
> studying how he/she does science. In the same way,
> you best see what a theologian's hermeneutic is by
> studying how he/she uses scripture in doing
> theology. (Of course hermeneutics isn't limited to
> biblical interpretation but I assume that's what
> we're interested in here.)
>
> & to speak just for myself, I think this is really
> where the christological emphasis comes in.
> Scripture is to be read in relation to its center in
> Christ. Luther's "All scripture everywhere speaks
> only of Christ" is, of course, an overstatement if
> taken too literally but the spirit of it is right.
> We don't see the deepest significance of any text of
> scripture until we grasp its proper relationship
> with Christ - the word "proper" there being crucial.
>
> & because of that, the "original meaning" of a text,
> while important, isn't the last word. There is no
> reason to think that the writer of Numbers 21:9
> intended the lifting up of the bronze serpent to be
> a type of Christ. But it is because John 3:14 says
> it is. I realize that some will argue that that
> really was in the mind of the writer of Numbers but
> that's just reading John back into Numbers. What
> I'm arguing is that we should do that explicitly but
> not pretend that it was the "original meaning." (&
> this isn't a terribly novel idea. It's what is
> referred to as the sensus plenior of a text.)
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: David Opderbeck
> To: ASA
> Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 8:49 PM
> Subject: [asa] Book(s) on Hermeneutics?
>
>
> I'm wondering if anyone can recommend some reading
> on hermeneutics. We have some good stuff on
> inspiration, such as Peter Enns recent book. But,
> once we've decided that, say, the original hearers
> of the text would have thought of the sky as a solid
> dome over a flat earth, and we're reasonably
> comfortable with that in terms of the inspired
> nature of the text, how do we move from that to the
> application and authority of the text? Evangelical
> hermeneutics in particular has been focused on
> discerning and applying the original meaning of the
> text. I've come across plenty of references seeking
> to defend the "traditional" evangelical
> literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic. I'd be
> very interested in sources that are seeking to
> develop a more nuanced evangelical hermeneutic.
>
> --
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

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Received on Mon Mar 10 14:06:01 2008

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