The Bible—The Authoritative Source of Our Theology

I recommend : Paul Watzlavick : The Language of Changes.

I demand : Scholars with sound knowledge of the OT languages - that in my experience takes at last six years of concentrated study. The same with the Koine Greek, embedded in the Greek of the classsics : Yeah, get through Xenophon, Herodot., Platon, Alkaios, the tragedies, Homer - - -Josephus Flavius, Hermas the Sheperd - and then comment and explain - -

We are listening.

Or declare the KJV as the only ome being “inspired”.

Or be very careful and cautious with your view out of "It Is Written - - "

I know what Gadamer wrote. But I also know that he explained to Jean Grondin that the universal claim of hermeneutics lies in the verbum interius.

Gadamer told Grondin: “This universality consists in inner speech, in that one cannot say everything. One cannot express everything that one has in mind, the logos endiathetos. That is something I learned from Augustine’s De Trinitate. This experience is universal: the actus signatus is never completely covered by the actus exercitus.” p. xiv of Grondin’s book, Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics.

Grondin provides some analysis that shows that this statement by Gadamer is not a self-correction of earlier writings.

I hoped that you would get a subtle hint in the previous post, given your hermeneutical experience in dissecting the true meaning of any text ;), but I guess I have to be more explicit.

Here’s what I’ve said… with emphasis and further context:

If you notice, I was not commenting on Gadamer’s beliefs, especially in context of some eventual end-of-life conclusions he had with some finality. I was using him as a reference based on what he pointed out.

I then hinted that you incorrectly read what I said, and showed you the texts I was referring to. But you again, rather adamantly pushing into direction of speaking to your own reflection, and keep going with ultimate authority on what Gadamer’s beliefs were as though it has anything of value at all in the realm of ideas between you and I communicating concepts and narratives that these concepts structure.

Likewise, you have utterly failed to address the points I was making, especially in context of the written world being a formalized verbal tradition which is generally more fluid and contextually-flexible… meaning that it’s not a subject to hijacking by a layer of academia that will claim that they are the only true gatekeepers of the narrative.

So, again, the irony of the above should be somewhat embarrassing, given the tirade of personal labels that you thrown at me , but I’m sure you will brush it off with some justification of why it’s my fault that you rushed to assuming the way you did… because, after all, as an expert in interpretation of meaning… you are not in the wrong here.

So, in that context do you actually care to address what I’m pointing to? I’ll emphasize it this time to make my point clear.

There’s always a conceptual continuum of parallel tradition that will keep the basic meaning of the text fairly universal among people who participate in that tradition. I can speak or read 5 languages, and in multilingual context one finds interesting conceptual convergence and divergence, with some concepts following amazingly similar etymological progression, while other concepts are completely absent.

I frame this example often for kids that I mentor, but there isn’t a term for loser in Russian that would be equivalent in meaning. There’s неудачник, but it’s not something Russians would use as an insult, because it’s a term that triggers sympathy and pity. Of course, there’s a more specific term проигрывающий, but it’s a term that communicates loss in a contest. And there’s a term теряющий, but it’s a term that communicates someone that loses things, like keys. Likewise, there’s no equivalence of loss as in death. For a Russian to lose a child would mean losing in the crowd and not due to death.

BUT these concepts are not substantial enough to derail the meaning of something far enough in general and broader context the meaning, in which we need an army of hermeneutics experts to run around and tell everyone off about how wrong they are unless they know the precise meaning of these words.

Most if our human existence is quite colloquial. So, it’s not that difficult, even in case of Russian to understand that someone mourning the loss of the child is talking about death, given that mourning concept has an equivalent counterpart.

But, even beyond that, there’s a traditional meaning structured and perpetuated in the language itself that hints at the meaning of the original language.

Back to Russian, the term that’s today understood as “rich” is actually etymologically derived from the term “full of God” or богатый, and not a reference to the material wealth. Бог is God in Russian. So, the term for mighty warrior … Богатырь, you may already guess, is etymologically pointing to spiritual person.

I can go on and on, but that’s modern language spoken in a country that was secular for the most part of the 20th century, yet paradoxically, people in this country could tell you what the Christian narrative was based on both, the historical context that they got to learn from tradition like holidays and parallel knowledge of history behind various key events in Russian history.

So, we could actually make that case for any human psyche that went through development using concepts that are traditionally linked to Western Judeo-Christian religious dominance.

They will have adequate conceptual references to understand nthe core narrative of the rather explicit Christian story and approximate meaning.

When you are talking about hermeneutics, you are talking about details, which I personally find to be secondary, and are generally only important to theologians who may turn this attention to details into a career, but which serves very little practical appeal to “colloquial Christians”, which I would argue are 99% of those ascribing to Christian faith in terms of understanding some “hidden details”.

And I know that you can make a point about every word in different language being a “detail” in need for interpretation. But in doing so you would abstract the generic progression of humanity in which we constantly re-enterpret the past to provide a more viable foundation for the future. If you are going to question the established generic meaning of Christian interpretation of the story as it went through a range of languages and liberated through various colloquial translations and meaning… you would have to have consistent approach about interpreting all of your source material in such manner, including the very same Gadamer, who actually wrote in German, if I’m not mistaken. Do you speak German, or do you simply trust the wisdom of translators and commentators like Grondin?

To which I would argue that you can’t really make a good case for the “orgy of details” we find in Hebrew history, which would be necessary precondition for adequately relate various concepts of Christian narrative without pouring it into the form of pre year 0 concrete metaphors of Judaism.

I can just as well relate these to any 5 cultures of the languages that I speak to as a analogous narrative which still keeps the core concept of Christian faith but which doesn’t require one to take a course in Jewish ritualistic sacrifices and temple symbolism… just so I can “properly” relate Christian narrative through these lens and these lens only. The point of Christianity is that it was supposed to organically transcend the Judaic mold in which “proper theology” is grounded today. It was supposed to become Russian for Russians, German for Germans , etc, all in the realm of conceptual relationships that may not overlap on some global scale. But , of course, Catholicism with its preference on Universalism, took approach that dictated uniformity… and it emphasized “the Bible” as the only true source of the narrative that did not need all of the details to make it work. So, in fact, it made Christianitybto be about the Bible, which is the ultimate authority, but only through the proper hermeneutical direction of the gatekeepers that we are all collectively spend billions today to support, and dedicate an hour every Saturday and Sunday as they pontificate about the hidden mysteries about a verbal concepts that a child could explain in generic relationship. And the irony is that with all of your hermeneutical knowledge, you don’t actually understand any more about the true nature of God beyond our colloquial metaphors that we use in our everyday communication.

If you can present a good argument as to why it would be necessary to concretize Christianity in the conceptual relationships of 1st century Judaism, I would like to hear it.

I appreciate your suggestion, even though it seems to be his early work. I skimmed through the experimental support chapter, and he references assumptions that has since turned out to be very narrow when it comes to how much of the networked brain really involved in language processing. It was far more than originally assumed when he was writing this book, especially citing hemispherical localization of speech which was driven by reductionist methods with limited experiments or data, naturally given the ethical constraints of working with subjects who are still alive.

You may well know that the difficulty is not merely with structural analysis, but also tracing the signal traversing inside the structure with some precision in which one wouldn’t prsumtiously generalize brain function to some localized area, which may only be a part of the holistic modular function.

To make a sports analogy, there’s more than one way to injure a player that would prevent him hitting a ball. But, it doesn’t mean that just because we injured a wrist and the ball hitting stops, therefore wrist action is where function of baseball hitting is.

So, a huge challenge to the neuroscience is with precisely that kind of reductionist methodology that can lead to false corellation.

I’m not really sure how useful your reference in this particular discussion where we attempt to differentiate between thought and language process.

Even in deeper philosophical context of phenomenology, one has to acknowledge that in terms of what our brain does by structuring a relationship between signified aspects of some sensory reality. So what we see in our conscious awareness is a symbol and not the signified entity. We see the internal language of the brain consolidated into some signified reality inside our conscious perception. So, in fact… it’s a language. Even at the cognitive level… it’s a language that’s further layered and referenced by other signifiers that package more complex relationships.

In fact, I tend to think that if we have a more viable chance of gleaning the functional aspects of our brain, it’s likely through simulated externalization of AI and computing technogies that can potentially emulate and approximate how our brain relates concepts by means of “packing these” into signal paths essentially link complex behavioral function. That’s how we arguably got the computing technology in the first place, since Turing’s objective was always about exploration of human brain.

It wouldn’t explain consciousness, but I think nothing will apart from speculative phenomenological philosophy. Explanations for consciousness will likely forever reside in the realm of our philosophical assumptions.

Why? Do you need to know Russian to read Dostoyevsky, Lermontov, or Pushkin? Do you really have to read Don Quixote in its original Castillian Spanish in order to properly understand it’s meaning and discuss it here? Do you need to read Thomas Mann in the original German? How absurd!

I think the commentaries from early church fathers and historians are useful, but will not provide the depth of relevance of the Christian narrative that isn’t already rooted in human biology and related through archetypal metaphors that are arguably universal. I don’t think that Christian narrative was meant to be solely interpreted through lens of Judaism. It was supposed to be proprietary to the culture in which it integrated it through familiar concepts.

I approach Christianity more as a fractal concept of a signal traversing the entirety of human network in which individuals are equivalent to neurons in a brain. The signal contextualized by the visual cortex doesn’t need to carry along all of the baggage of the richness of the visuals it parses, and the noise it ignores. It only passes along the necessary data which is rather minimal.

To paint a loose analogy, all of that “rich data” is actually a garbage for, let’s say for some brain function necessary to move a finger.

In certain cultural context, attempting to unload the entirety of Judaic narrative and culture is essentially implying that one has to be an initiate into Judaism in order to properly understand Christianity, and I’m not really sure that you want to make that claim, no matter which systematic theology you ascribe to. You may claim that you have more background knowledge as to why certain things “are”, much like the visual information may be contextualized into spatial narrative that a finger may appreciate proverbially.

But we are beings that arguably driven by biological pragmatism. So, we tend to respond to the narratives that are structured against a background of pragmatism. That’s why Christianity’s core “hook” is survival narrative in which biological context for fear of death is plugged into in order to re-structure human narrative around different kind of survival, which may not be immediately obvious.

I’ll assume that you were sarcastic on this one, unless I read otherwise.

I’ll end with the idea that systematic theology, while initially aided formalization of Christianity as dominant religion with a help of the State, is also killing Christianity because of its insistence on “proprietary” and “patented” versions, which is largely a Catholic model that Protestants tend to be very much in line with.

I would argue unless you make Christianity “yours” in context of your personal experience… it can’t be viable or valid as a second-hand narrative. Much like a virus,not needs a host to “live”. Otherwise it just a dry shell with some data inside of it, and it can only survive in that form for a very short time.

1 Like

Told by Univ. Prof. Stood, Universitaet Frankfurt, Protestantisch - theologische Fakultaet They have a line : Original text - Textus receptus - KJV ., he learned as an argument in discussion with his students from the US, out of the Fundementalistic edge.

And , Arkney : The NT texts were to be read aloud by the new Christian congregations. Language also has a sound - for a devotional I once read the1. Cor. 13 in the original language - it was impressing ! Or take the last words of a RC funeral servive : Dona nobis pacem - German : Gib uns Frieden - En glish : Give us peace.

1 Like

English not being my native tongue made the KJV translation for me difficult to read in my early 20s. As I learned later, the language it uses is not just merely old outdated English but in part it is peculiar due to the faithful work of translating and transliterating the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts. Adam Nicholson in his bestseller God’s Secretaries observes: “These scholars were not pulling the language of the scriptures into the English they knew and used at home.
The words of the King James Version are just as much English pushed towards the conditions of a foreign language as a foreign language translated into English” (211)".

I believe any serious student of Scriptures (and specially back then, when we did not have the benefit of electronic software to pull it all together), would find this pushing English towards Hebrew and Greek useful to convey the meaning and style of the original scriptures more accurately.
There are at least twelve grammatical use cases I can recall from Greek syntax, to Hebraism, distinctions in pronoun use, quotation marks, vocative case, legal writing and even translation that chose more accurate equivalent terms over more common ones. In addition, the KJV language is the only English translation that preserves the Chiastic structures. We can use Chiasms to discover special emphasis placed by God/Jesus in His Word, we can use them to clarify and apply to ourselves certain texts, and to clarify meaning. Chiastic structures apply to any language and some scholars have found about 1,000 of them in the Bible. Do you think that this could be construed as a component of hermeneutics even for Schleiermacher?.

Please don’t run with the notion that I am saying we should only read the KJV, as you joked in your earlier post, we can read any translation as long as we understand what we may be missing (many don’t) or what we may be getting wrong by reading Alexandrian-based translations, let alone the disgraceful product of Westcort & Hort (aka secret Jesuits)
@phil - Phil you still owe me an answer to a question I posto you twice

1 Like

No, George Davidowich, we humbly must accept our National Bibles. For example - and correct me if I am wrong - . KJV only takes “to know” for various words in Greek and other languaghes : to know, to experience, to be informed about - - “wissen”, “kennen”, “erkennen”. Or : One of the GC writes a devotional on Luke 22, : 31 : His new KJV version only uses “you” - and he sees it addressed to Peter. . The original and the Vulgata take *ymas and in the following text “sou”, - vos and te, the original KJV most probably you and thee. Critical it gets when glwssa lalein and (heterais) glwssais is in dogmatical discussion - for the first term also see Aischilos Tragedies Orestia > Agamemnon , there onehundredandfourty lines of Kassandras glwssolalia. Or when I. Cor 6 : 9 arsenoikoitai dogmatically is discussed without respecting Philo alexandrinus’ ( Phiolo : Spec. Leg III 36 - 43) precise description of the **malakoi *and the arsenokoitai !

In German we have a worldwide privilege : Luther is the creator of still todays everyday German, his words, vocabulary and phrases still are found in the editorials of the top class newspapers. we German - speaking still have the Bible words in our everyday language ! . That makes it easier to take the Bible words in our everyday life - although they do not fully represent the original text.

And please do not forget : In early youth I found the discrepancies in interpreattion in the German version of the Sabbathschool Study helps : Some just got sense - when you read the old KJV !

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.