Friday, December 19, 2014

Trump verse hermeneutics

Although the post is about women ordination, the take-away line reveals a serious issue with hermeneutics as practiced by far too many:
You can't base a theology on one verse, especially one that goes against whole Scripture principles. This is one of the major hermeneutical problems in the current American fundamentalist and neo-evangelical landscape. They are oriented around individual trump verses rather than the "greatest common denominators" of Scripture. This is the Pharisaic hermeneutic Jesus condemns in Matthew 23.
<idle musing>
Amen! One of the greatest disservices done to the church was the invention of verse numbers. It encourages the atomization of scripture; people go searching for "the" verse on a topic instead of reading the whole tenor of scripture.

Context matters, people. And the context isn't just limited to the local context. The whole span of scripture has to be included in it. John Wesley asked his father (also a pastor) what the best commentary on the Bible was. His answer is still the correct one: The rest of the Bible.
</idle musing>

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