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INSPRIATION AND HERMENEUTICS

RELG 201

Claflin University
Dr. David Battle All rights reserved.

THE CANON AND RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY


Why have a canon? Sumney explains the need of a canon form a sociological perspective (5). Groups have to define who they are. Groups have to define their boundaries. Canonization distinguishes the biblical books from other books. Religious authority. Divine authority.

THE CANON AND RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY

The issue of authority has to do with the question of inspiration.

If the Scriptures are divine revelation, the believer accepts the authority of the text. If the scriptures are the religious thoughts of men, one consults them philosophically.

INSPIRATION

The whole point of having a canon is to distinguish the biblical books from other writings.
In Christianity, the canon is the anthology of works that are considered divinely inspired and the authoritative source for all belief and practice.

THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE


What does it mean that a work is inspired?
Josephus (30-100) Contra Apion

Josephus notes that other works were written but since they were not written by prophets they have not been esteemed of like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time (Contra Apion 1.8)

THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE: JOSEPHUS, CONTRA APION 1.8

Other works are not considered part of the Canon because they were not written by prophets. Canonical books are prophetic books.

INSPIRATION: JOSEPHUS, CONTRA APION 1.7

Not just anyone was permitted of his own accord to be a writer, nor is there any disagreement in what is written; they being only prophets that have written the original and earliest accounts of things as they learned them of God himself by inspiration; .

INSPIRATION: JOSEPHUS, CONTRA APION 1.7

Prophetic books are of divine origin. Divine books have theological coherence.

INSPIRATION:

2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV).

INSPIRATION: 2 PETER 1:20-21

. . . knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.(2 Peter 1:20-21 ESV)

Prophecy comes by the will of God.


Prophecy is directed by the Holy Spirit.

Prophecy has an intended message.

INSPIRATION: JESUS

Jesus affirms the authority of the smallest mark in the ancient texts (Matt. 5:17-19 ). Iota and not one dot.

Jesus indicates that every word of God has authority (Matt 4:4 quoting Deut 8:3) Plenary inspiration means the very words of Scripture are inspired.

Basic Hermeneutics
Exegesis Basic Question:
What is the author trying to say? Why is the author saying it this way?

Application Basic Question:


What does this passage mean to me? How should I respond to what I am reading?

Basic Hermeneutics
Exegesis
The passage means what the author meant to say. Rule: The passage cannot mean what the author never intended it to say.

Application
All readers determine the significance of the passage for themselves.

TYPES OF APPLICATIONS
Direct Application:
Rule: Whenever we share comparable particulars (i.e. similar specific life situations) with the first . . . hearers, Gods word to us is the same as his word to them (Fee and Stuart 75). Indirect Application:

Guide Line: How a passage is significance is only limited by the imagination and worldview or theology of the reader.

CLASSIFICATION OF HERMENEUTICAL METHODS


Interpretive or Exegetical Methods
Historical Studies Grammatical Studies Textual Criticism Rhetorical Criticism Canonical Criticism These methods focus on the text as we have it.

CLASSIFICATION OF HERMENEUTICAL METHODS


Interpretive Reconstructions
Historical Criticism Source Criticism

Tradition Criticism
Form Criticism* These methods emphasize the reconstructing the history of the composition of the text.

CLASSIFICATION OF HERMENEUTICAL METHODS


Emphasis on Application or use
Allegory Liberation Theologies

Feminist Theologies
Theology in general The religious person should always ask, Does a particular use of the text reflect the message of the text?

MODERN HERMENEUTICS: IDEOLOGICAL CURRENTS

Two Ideological Currents;


Protestant Evangelical
Historical Grammatical Method Use all methods

Critical Enlightenment
Follow current literary and philosophical trends.

PROTESTANT EVANGELICAL
Protestant Reformation (1500)
John Calvin (1509-1564)

Basic Assumption: God inspired selected prophets and apostles to speak His message to their times.
Since the ultimate source of the Bible is God, the Scriptures have theological coherence. These scholar view their work as a ministry in service of God and His church.

CRITICAL ENLIGHTENMENT
The Enlightenment (1700) Beneditic de Spinoza (1632-1677) Basic Assumption: The Bible is a human book written by many different authors and in different times. Since the sources are people, there is no way for there to be a coherence between the works. These scholars view supernatural assertions as irrational. These scholars view their work as a service to humanity.

PROTESTANT EVANGELICALS VS. CRITICAL ENLIGHTEN.

Critical Enlightenment Position of doubt Unclear to cast doubt on clear. Protestant Evangelical

Position of coherence
Clear enlightens the unclear. Overall message sets the meaning.

Single text questions explicit message.