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Monday, 26 October 2015

The Hermeneutic Circle

Starting a new section in "The Prophets", James Sanders makes another telling observation:

Torah and Canon: 2nd Edition,
James A. Sanders, Cascade Books, 2005, page 89

Everyone who approaches a biblical text does so with some prior understanding of what the text is. In the case of the Bible most people interested in it today were introduced to it in some believing community, Jewish or Christian, and, as already stressed, the serious reader needs to set that aside and attempt to read the text critically.

Now before your hackles start to rise, he explains:

"Critically" here does not mean being critical of the Bible; it means being critically aware of our prior understandings of the text and trying to understand it in its original historical contexts. Theologically the question then becomes, "What was G-d saying to Israel (us, at that time) throgh Moses, or through Jeremiah, or through the apostles?"

And here's the warning:

To rwad the Bible as "Bible prophecy" directly for our time, or to read it as a kind of Bible code, is to abuse it and to denigrate the experiences of the prophets and the apostles and their struggles in their time.

Posted By Jonathan, 9:00am Comment Comments: 0