Monday, February 9, 2009

i heart hermeneutics

I'm reading through this book called THE ART OF READING SCRIPTURE. It has a lot of gripping things to say about what God has revealed to us. In a particularly interesting article ["Is Patristic Exegesis Still Usable? Some Reflections on Early Christian Interpretation of the Psalms"], what Brian E. Daley said has convicted me big time.

As Daley discusses modern methods of interpretation, he essentially asserts how the standard historical/grammatical hermeneutic is "methodologically atheistic, even if what it studies is some form or facet of religious belief" [pg 72]. He continues to say of the church fathers that: 
Explaining what the text means in itself was not seen as separate from explaining what it has to say to the church, precisely because the narrative contained in the Bible was not seen as a closed unit, epistemologically distant from the life of its readers and hearers, who receive it as God's word. The narrative of God's work of salvation - the real content of the Bible - was a single, universally significant story, an unfinished story. The biblical scholar's task, as well as the preacher's, was to illuminate the cohesion and the continuing relevance of all its details.
I love that Daley sees this need. I love the way he articulates it. He is definitely on to something. Further, the simple title of Gordon Fee's book, LISTENING TO THE SPIRIT IN THE TEXT, shows where he finds "meaning" then and now on the basis of the Scriptures.

Is it problematic that I really sense the Spirit when I think about hermeneutics? I don't think so :)

No comments: