An Interpretive Factory Fiction

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We all use hermeneutics (the science and art of interpreting literature). Many times we just do not realize it. To illustrate that lets look at Sally. Sally is a factory worker who works at Johnson’s chocolate factory. One day at the end of the week she clocks into work, and goes to her work station. She pulls up her computer to check her work email. Then she sees an email from her boss, John. The email says,

Sally, we need you and the rest of maintenance to replace and clean the belts in Whooples processing. John.

Sally then gathers the maintenance crew, and proceeds to replace the conveyer belts that take the Whooples candy to the packaging area. Sally just performed the art and science of hermeneutics.

  1. Observation: She had to determine the author of the email, her boss. She had to determine the genre of the literature, email. She had to know the context of the email, like what belts he was referring to, how to replace and clean them, and where Whooples processing was. All of this would have been in her training and history she had with doing this action. Just think if they tried to replace and clean their utility belts.
  2. Determining the audience: She had to know that she and her maintenance crew were the main audience to perform this action.
  3. Draw out principles: She had to determine what her boss wanted, clean and replace the belts.
  4. Determining if the principles applied to her: In this case they did because the email was addressed to her.
  5. Apply the passage: She applied the email by doing what her boss told her to do.

This story shows the principles of interpreting literature applied to factory life. We do it everyday. If we do this with the Bible, it will deepen our Christian faith, help us know the will of God, and glorify God with our lives. Lets start applying these principles today. Lord bless you.

If you are interested in seeing these principles displayed in interpreting the Bible, check out the Using Hermeneutics Series in the Resource page.


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