Everyone uses hermeneutics (the art and science of interpreting literature). From husbands reading their wife’s grocery lists to theologians reading John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. To illustrate this let’s look at the story of Sarah. Above here is Sarah. Sarah just got an assignment from her teacher. Her teacher just told her that she has to read a book and find ten words she doesn’t know in the dictionary.
Sarah decided that she was going to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Obviously she is a good Christian girl. She finds ten words she doesn’t know: “wardrobe”, “shaggy”, “muffler”, “faun”, “myth”, “indeed”, “hoax”, “complicated”, “spiteful”, and “vanishing”. Then she picks up her Compact Oxford English Dictionary and looks up the words. Afterwards, she writes down the words and their meanings on the paper. Then the next day she turns in her paper to the teacher.
Sarah just demonstrated that she knows how to do the process of hermeneutics.
- Observe the statement/text. She listened to her teacher. She read the book. She used a dictionary.
- Determine the audience. For the assignment she and her classmates were the audience. For the book children were the intended audience. People who want to know what words mean are the intended audience of the dictionary.
- Draw out principles. For the assignment the principles were to write down ten words she did not know, and look them up in the dictionary. For the book she pulled out the principles presented in the story. For the dictionary the principles were the meanings of the words.
- Determine if principles applied to her. The assignment directly applied to her. The story applied to children in general. The dictionary meanings applied to those words.
- Apply principles. She applied the principles of the assignment by doing what her teacher said and turning it in. She applied the principles of the story by recognizing we need to use correct logic and reasoning to see if something is true. She applied the principles of the dictionary be understanding the words she looked up.
She also demonstrated she knows three types of genres in hermeneutics.
- homework assignment genre.
- Narrative genre.
- Dictionary genre.
When someone asks what hermeneutics is and who does it? You can say hermeneutics is the science and art of interpreting literature and you do it everyday. Let us interpret the Bible using the principles that Sarah used on her homework assignment. Let us do what the Teacher says.
I hope that this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no cursing for pornography. Also feel free to share this post to your friends who need it, or like it. If you want to contact me, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any question you want. Also please feel free to look at the resource page to look at The Using Hermeneutics Series. the book series is designed to teach you biblical interpretation through demonstration. Lord bless you.