Biblical Hermeneutics: Introduction and History – Phil Fernandes, PhD

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Biblical hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. It is part of the broader field of hermeneutics which involves the study of principles for the text and includes all forms of communication: verbal and nonverbal.While Jewish and Christian Biblical hermeneutics have some overlap and dialogue, they have distinctly separate interpretative traditions

Christian biblical hermeneutics

Until the Enlightenment, Biblical hermeneutics was usually seen as a form of special hermeneutics (like legal hermeneutics); the status of scripture was thought to necessitate a particular form of understanding and interpretation.

In the nineteenth century it became increasingly common to read Scripture just like any other writing, although the different interpretations were often disputed. Friedrich Schleiermacher argued against a distinction between „general” and „special” hermeneutics, and for a general theory of hermeneutics applicable to all texts, including the Bible. Various methods of higher criticism sought to understand the Bible purely as a human, historical document.

The concept of hermeneutics has acquired at least two different but related meanings which are in use today. Firstly, in the older sense, Biblical hermeneutics may be understood as the theological principles of exegesis which is often virtually synonymous with ‘principles of biblical interpretation’ or methodology ofBiblical exegesis. Secondly, the more recent development is to understand the term ‘Biblical hermeneutics’ as the broader philosophy and linguisticunderpinnings of interpretation. The question is posed: „How is understanding possible?” The rationale of this approach is that, while Scripture is „more than just an ordinary text,” it is in the first analysis „text” which human beings try to understand; in this sense, the principles of understanding any text apply to the Bible as well (regardless of whatever other additional, specifically theological principles are considered).

In this second sense, all aspects of philosophical and linguistic hermeneutics are considered to be applicable to the Biblical texts, as well. There are obvious examples of this in the links between 20th century philosophy and Christian theology. For example, Rudolf Bultmann’s hermeneutical approach was strongly influenced by existentialism, and in particular by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger; and since the 1970s, the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer have had a wide-ranging influence on Biblical hermeneutics as developed by a wide range of Christian theologians. The French-American philosopher René Girard follows a similar trail.

Read more here –

VIDEO: March 24, 2014 – Phil Fernandes speaks on the proper usage of biblical hermeneutics.

Biblical Hermeneutics COURSE:

Introduction – Part 1

March 31, 2014 – Phil Fernandes speaks on the proper usage of biblical hermeneutics. VIDEO by Theology, Philosophy and Science

Biblical Hermeneutics COURSE:

History – Part 2

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