Talk:Biblical hermeneutics

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Authentic?[edit]

If a technique for eliciting authentic meaning from texts is valid, the corpus of texts to which the technique can be fruitfully applied will not be limited to a pre-selected few. The reader of Wikipedia should recall that the principles of "Biblical" hermeneutics can also be applied, in scrupulous detail, to the "Gettysburg Address"— with delightful results! --Wetman 21:31, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This article has a number of failings, not least of which is that it starts with Schleirmacher in the 19th century. Is the reader to understand that nothing was written about hermeneutics before then? It also fails to mention borrowings from such broad studies as form criticism, textual criticism, etc., which were first applied to various general texts before anyone thought to bring them to bear on the Bible. Wesley 05:46, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hermeneutics Section[edit]

Does that section on hermeneutic techniques look like it could be of any use here? I think it is a little too focused on specifically Biblical interpretation to remain on the Hermeneutics page, but it looks like it could add something here. Ig0774 01:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Not so helpful article[edit]

I find this article rather messy and little helpful. Since I am an editor of the Italian Wikipedia, I wrote there a corresponding article with a different structure. For the moment I have no time to translate that into English. If someone would venture to read the Italian article, I would appreciate his or her evaluation of it. pcastellina 21:09, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

It is very messy. The article describes what we refer to as "conclusions" by the word "principles". What we mean with "principles", i.e. rules to be followed when applying the method of "Biblical hermeneutics", is severely confused with conclusions earlier drawn. If conclusions are used as principles, then the conclusions will most probably follow from applying the method, in which case the whole "Biblical hermeneutics" apparatus is a massive-force circular reasoning. That might be a fact, but this is not how I perceive "Biblical hermeneutics", so instead it's much more probable that the article is simply messy. Said: Rursus () 08:28, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Most of this is highly selective and not at all reflective of what is happening in the world of Biblical Interpretation. Given that I teach this at Cambridge, I wouldn't mind doing a complete re-write, one that offers proper weight to serious scholarship rather than dumping bizarre sections (like the one listing principles...) I presume I could do a draft article and see what people think? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.140.39.160 (talk) 09:49, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Theological hermeneutics as traditional Christian Biblical exegesis[edit]

The section “Theological hermeneutics as traditional Christian Biblical exegesis” is embarrassingly bad. Although the reference to the section is very amusing i.e. “This list of 'principles' in conservative evangelical hermeneutics appears to derive from: Hartill, J E 1960. Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.” I have never seen a reference with a qualifier before. Could someone rewrite this section with real references?--Riferimento 22:01, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Rather than offering merely condescending and judgmental criticism, brother, I'm sure we would all find it refreshing and extremely helpful if you would take the time to exercise your obvious expertise to make this author's sincere effort even better. Many of us who struggle with understanding in this area, do not have your level of education. Therefore, we must rely upon these articles not only for basic information but also the sourcing for that information. You could choose to be a real blessing here.Mmayma 19:10, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

What's the Real Problem Here?[edit]

As a graduate student knee deep in a Master of Divinity Degree program, the discipline of Biblical Hermeneutics is of great concern to me. Several of you criticize the placement of the text topically, question the validity of the author's sources, mention some additional discipines that could be included, or question the focus of the article, but none dispute the accuracy of what the author says--especially in regard to the list of Principles of Conservative Evangelical Hermeneutics. It would be so much more helpful, in the spirit of 1 Pet 5, if those of you who are more learned could provide constructive criticism vis a vis information accuracy issues vice relatively meaningless format issues.Mmayma 19:24, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the problem here, is the prominence of "Principles". Whilst these may be correct, they refer to a very specific sub-category of what actually constitutes hermeneutics as a whole. In fact most primary sources on hermeneutics nowadays will utterly dismiss the notion of principle, which are rooted in a modernist worldview - one which dominated before hermenuetics became a popular (and more interesting) subject. So, in sum, the problem - I think - is that a very minor and dated branch of hermeneutics, appears as the dominant strand of what hermeneutics really is. Either this article needs expanding into a massive document, or this section needs to be severely cut. I would happily draft something more helpful here - unless someone will translate the Italian alternative.Thrydwulf (talk) 07:04, 16 April 2011 (UTC)


The problem with systematic Biblical hermeneutics[edit]

is that many of them are not biblically based. They are systems imposed upon the Bible rather than deduced from the Bible.

For instance: It is an a priori argument to say that each passage of scripture must have only one interpretation that is based on the literal-historical meaning. The story of Tamar challenges this man-made limitation.

God was so intimately involved in history that:

  • a town was named Timnath (the appointment)
  • a law was given requiring that a brother give his deceased brother and heir
  • a daughter-in-law lost two husbands without an heir
  • a father-in-law denied her his third son the daughter-in-law played the harlot to her father-in-law
  • she was promised a goat
  • she asked for assurance for the goat
  • she was given three items as an assurance: rod, ring, bracelet
  • she had twins
  • their names mean "breaking forth" and "the sunrise"

God was so involved in the life of the author that the author recorded this odd transaction without really knowing why it was important. But God used the history, and the author, to paint a picture of the birth of His own Son such that:

  • Tamar:Mary made herself available at Timnath:the appointment
  • Tamar:Mary was promised a goat:scape goat "for he shall save his people from their sins."
  • When Tamar:Mary asked for assurance of the promise, she was given three things:
  • Rod: "The power of God will overshadow you"…"
  • Signet ring: "He shall be called the Son of God"
  • Bracelets: Do not be afraid to take Mary your wife (in Numbers an empty vessel without bracelets is unclean. Mary was not unclean, and Judah was told "there was no prostitute here"
  • Tamar:Mary conceived , not by her legitimate husband, but by his father Judah:God
  • Tamar:Mary was going to be killed:divorced until the father was identified. Afterwards she was honored.
  • Tamar:Mary had twins: God-man
  • their names mean "breaking forth" and "the sunrise" ::dayspring
  • Phares:Jesus though born to Tamar:Mary first, was really the second breach:second man

God was so involved in the history and lives of the people and authors that the human scribes were almost typewriters incarnate, and God left his fingerprints throughout his word with such shadows as the story of Tamar. The inspiration of the scriptures goes well beyond our conception of it. Every jot and tittle had real history behind the living, observation and recording of it. Every paragraph had God's hand on the whole of the author's life.


I would suggest that each principle either show how it is biblically derived or state who imposed the rule.--BobCJones 14:54, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

And so what? This is an encyclopedia describing "biblical hermeneutics", not a forum for criticising "biblical hermeneutics". If you have a good source for that criticism, you should add a little section "criticism" and write a paragraph citing that source. Then you should add a reference for that criticism, so I can go there and debunk all submit-to-my-thinking-or-be-rejected-kind of "religion" (better termed cult). Said: Rursus () 08:35, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I must agree with BobCJones that there is indeed a "problem with systematic Biblical hermeneutics". What I don't understand is why edits to this article have to be in accordance with Rursus' supposedly neutral instructions? By definition, this article is on Biblical hermeneutics. This is not secular hermeneutics, but Biblical hermeneutics. The Bible is the only book that we have that was given by inspiration of God, and is spiritually discerned by God. This leaves man out of the equation when it comes to understanding what it says and means. The only qualification for understanding what the Bible says and means, is to have the Holy Spirit of God explain it to you, if He will. It is not an issue of what I want to know, or how badly I want to know it, but if the Holy Spirit chooses to reveal His truth to me. It is never a matter of how much schooling I have had, or which seminary I attended; God is not a respector of men, or seminaries. If you want to understand the things of God, you must go to the source and ask Him for His wisdom. God Himself is the only source. The Apostle Peter was a ignorant fisherman, yet his understanding of the things of God was unbelievable after he was baptized with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He did not take a quick class in Bible hermeneutics; he was simply filled with the Spirit. Any class in Biblical hermeneutics which does not teach that the things of God are taught by the Holy Spirit of God, is not a Biblical hermeneutics class at all, but is instead a pagan hermeneutics class. If it was any other way, a pagan could understand the things of God as well as a child of God can. Is my ability to learn the things of God dependent upon having a brilliant man to be my mentor? Who was Peter's mentor? Is my ability to learn the things of God dependent upon having a set of rules to follow as I interpret scripture? Where did Peter get his rules from? Where does scripture say that any man will lead me into all truth? Doesn't! That is the job of the Holy Spirit! Where does scripture say that I do not need anyone to teach me, because the Holy Spirit will teach me about all things? 1 John 2:27 The Bible teaches man that his responsibility is to study and rightly divide (handle accurately) the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15); this does not include interpretation. The Bible teaches that it is God's responsibility to reveal His Truth to men. The work of Bible interpretation belongs to God and God alone. Any attempts by man to interpret the things of God will only result in heresy and false prophecy (Gen 40:8), because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14). We need to rethink our position on Biblical Interpretation (hermeneutics) and make absolutely sure that we are not resisting the Spirit of God in our attempts to convince other men how Godly and wise we really are. We need to be Bereans. --1cor214 (talk) 07:50, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Merge to do[edit]

Per Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Trajectory Hermeneutics, that article should be merged here. Doing so is an exercise for the editors of this article, and the old content is available in the page's history.

I also note that there are undoubtedly several other hermeneutics of biblical interpretation that should be mentioned here. Go to it folks. GRBerry 14:21, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

  • DONE The merge has been completed. -- ALLSTAR ECHO 01:44, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I think some of the see also articles should either be merged here or have a summary section placed here (and then be removed from the see also section). For these, I'd recommend Allegorical interpretation and Historical-grammatical method. Others probably should be mentioned in the text and linked therin, but need no more than a few words. Examples would be Talmudical Hermeneutics and Qur'anic hermeneutics. Some of the rest should be reviewed, do they really belong, and if so can we put some text in explaining why they are relevant? Examples would be Deconstruction-and-religion, Literary criticism, Literary theory, Postmodern Christianity or Summary of Christian eschatological differences.

On the other side of the coin, Scriptural sense is neither referenced nor linked here in any way. It is obviously relevant, and I even considered suggesting a merge, but am too tentative to be sure that is the right option. What should be done with it? GRBerry 14:01, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Invitation from Wikiversity[edit]

Hi, this is Opensourcejunkie from Wikiversity. I'm part of a (very) small group of individuals building content in the School of Theology's Department of Biblical Studies, and I'm here to put out an invitation to you, my fellow wikipedians :-). Our Center of Biblical Hermeneutics is virtually nonexistant (we have a "welcome and expand", if that counts ;), and we need knowledgeable editors to build it up. If that sounds like something you'd like to help out with, either let me know, or just start doing it! Thanks for any time you can contribute to the cause,

--Opensourcejunkie (talk) 12:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

"Not so helpful" article, part II[edit]

Title borrowed from above.

Oh, it is pretty helpful, more so than before, but I think it could profit from lifting up the section Techniques of hermeneutics to the uppermost part of the article, because that section is central to what hermeneutics really is about: interpreting according to five leading principles (in the modern meaning, or "rules") so that the interpretations become "sane" in a full-text meaning, and readaptable to the needs in the current culture. Said: Rursus () 08:52, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Merging a sub-section from a different article[edit]

Anyone working on this "Biblical hermeneutics" article that is so inclined, is welcome to harvest as much as you think is worth from the subsection Authority in the article on the New Testament. The sub-section is entirely out of place in the article on the New Testament, and is slated to be removed, so feel free to use what you can from it before the page is updated. (Added 25 April 2010 by 91.46.208.30 - Obankston (talk) 21:44, 1 January 2011 (UTC))

Trajectory hermeneutics[edit]

This section could be improved as follows:

  • Perhaps change the section name to redemptive-movement hermeneutics (RMH) because that may be the standard term.
  • Include information from a number of authors both supporting and critical of RMH.
  • The paragraph with the information on the book of William J. Webb should be summarized in a few sentences, and the full information should go into a different article because this information is too detailed for an article of the scope of Biblical hermeneutics. It could go into the article William J. Webb, or into a new article just for the book, or into a new article with a slightly broader scope that discusses the implications of the subject matter of the book. A new article would need to establish notability by having at least two references in addition to the book, preferably both supporting and critical. Obankston (talk) 21:34, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

NPOV removed[edit]

I've removed the NPOV tag on the article, please use {{POV-section}} for sections or {{POV-statement}} for a sentence, and clarify the issue(s) here. This will help address problems. - RoyBoy 18:35, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent Developments in trajectory hermeneutics[edit]

I would like to see some more information documented on the controversy surrounding trajectory hermeneutics. Specifically the following

1 The criticism by more conservative theologians (specifcally Wayne Grudem from Phoenix Seminary and Thomas Schreiner have written scholarly articles) which that this hermeneutic undermines the concept of sola sriptura , which within evangelical circles is considered to be a serious charge. 2 The use of this hermeneutic by prominent evangelicals (Rob Bell, Brian Mclaren, Steve Chalke) to argue in favour of gay marriage — Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.16.228.6 (talk) 16:57, 12 August 2013 (UTC)