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skedward
04-28-2006, 02:14 AM
I have purchased the Bibleworks.. and I am currently finding some online
material/ courses for learning biblical interpretation using raw text (Biblical hebrews, biblical Greek...) What i mean is with using the latest software tool such as bibleworks, what kind of methodology/ interpretation rules/ grammar pts should i learn? i know that it is still a long way to go and it is still very difficult/ time-consuming/ long process but i believe that it becomes easier than before... right? Any resource/ guidelines? Thanks.

Best regards,
Edward

jakemccarty
04-28-2006, 08:33 AM
Edward:

I'm delighted in your interest and I wish you the best. The unfortunate problem with biblical interpretation is that there are too many approaches, and that attempting to situate the Bible in its context requires so many tools that it is never ending.

My first piece of advice would be to stick to the primary resources and try to interpret things yourself before consulting commentaries. Both HALOT and BDAG are good Hebrew/Greek lexicons, and you'll be continually surprised at their level of detail. Use the lexicons as much as possible.

Regarding interpretation, I think "From Exegesis to Exposition" by R. Chisholm outlines several factors you want to consider when interpreting. Although his focus in on the OT, his principles carry over to the NT.

I'd only consult commentaries after you've grappled with the text yourself. Regarding commentaries: the newer Anchor Bible, Hermeneia, and almost all of the International Critical Commentaries are outstanding.

The only real guideline in this process is to be prepared to work hard. People take different approaches such as postmodern deconstructionalism and ad hoc fundamentalism, and these disparate approaches usually have much to offer.

Noel Fitzpatrick
04-28-2006, 09:48 AM
Hi Jake

You wrote:



The unfortunate problem with biblical interpretation is that there are too many approaches, and that attempting to situate the Bible in its context requires so many tools that it is never ending.



Perhaps 'unfortunate problem' might be changed to 'fortunate opportunity'.

Regards,

Noel.

pingpongjedi
04-28-2006, 10:21 AM
While this forum is not supposed to deal with theological questions, the question of "How do I interpret the Bible?" is a theological one. As a previous poster mentioned, there are many approaches to the Bible, and however neutral we may try to be, we always bring our presuppositions with us. That doesn't mean our presups are without merit, it only means they need to be recognized and well-founded. For instance, my presups are that the bible is inspired in both the words and message (verbal-plenary), and that I must rely on the Holy Spirit for proper interpretation. Like I said, the question is very much a theological question, and I know there would be great disagreement with my presups.

The books that were recommended are great, and I would still encourage you to check out The Theology Program at bible.org. Rather than start with "rules for interpretation," the Bibliology and Hermeneutics course takes you through the process of determining inspiration -- that is, you look at the evidence and decide for yourself. It also looks at other methods of interpretation with their pros and cons.

Most of the books recommended and the bible.org course all advocate a "historical-grammatical" approach to interpretation. In one sentence, you first determine the author's original intent, next determine the timeless principle, and last you apply the timeless principle to your situation. Background commentaries and exegetical commentaries are helpful, and the ability to look at the grammar and original language makes BW invaluable.

There are other approaches to interpretation, such as deconstructionalism, but they will vary in degrees of subjectivity. The basic question of deconstructionalism comes down to "What does the text mean to me?"

SCSaunders
04-28-2006, 10:49 AM
JMHO ....

http://i3.tinypic.com/wlwtxg.gif

Expository Hermeneutics: An Introduction (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310230799/sr=8-1/qid=1146231443/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-9930674-3383867?%5Fencoding=UTF8)

Steve Watkins
04-28-2006, 01:31 PM
Of course, the hermeneutical question is built on the linguistic one. In order to apply the rules of interpreting a text, you first need to know the language in which that text is written. Word studies (BDAG, HALOT, etc...) are a small part of that, but understanding grammar and syntax as much as possible is critical.

BibleWorks includes a broad range of tools to help understand not just the words and their meanings, but also the grammar, syntax, and interrelated structure of phrases and sentences. Make use of all of these as you do your studies. But try, as much as possible, to learn the languages themselves. Futato's Hebrew primer is probably as good as it gets for learning Hebrew via computer, but there's no substitute for in-class learning! See if a local college or seminary offers Greek and Hebrew to audit.

Dale A. Brueggemann
04-28-2006, 02:03 PM
Futato's Hebrew primer is probably as good as it gets for learning Hebrew via computer, but there's no substitute for in-class learning!

Oh, I don't know about that. Some seminaries are finding that on-line instrution is beating in-class instruction. I think of Joel Harlow's courses, which I think Gordon-Conwell (North Carolina) and Reformed (Florida) are using to great effect, offering that in lieu of classroom instruction.

Steve Watkins
04-28-2006, 02:17 PM
Oh, I don't know about that. Some seminaries are finding that on-line instrution is beating in-class instruction. I think of Joel Harlow's courses, which I think Gordon-Conwell (North Carolina) and Reformed (Florida) are using to great effect, offering that in lieu of classroom instruction.

Good point, Dale. At any rate, I think that some kind of guided course - in-class or online - beats trying to self-teach.

skedward
04-29-2006, 02:50 AM
Dear Sir,

Thanks for your precious experience sharing and good resources.. for me to start with.. Maybe let me describe what my background is and you can tell me what i need to proceed on... Thank you..

Actually, I have taken a basic course about Hebrews from a seminary
already... Of course, it is very basic....
And I believe that learning the languages (hebrews/ greek) are the things
which we cannot avoid if we want to understand the Word of God in a raw text... However, I believe that just learning the language without the
application would not be so effective... With using the current technology, dynamic way with using the tools and sound scholar experience (of course, it should be carefully selected) would be easier than centuries ago.... what do you think?

And let me briefly describe what I has studied such that you can know more background and give me some concrete advice...
I have attended several courses about biblical interpretation... (from your
seminary also...)
Then, I listened the tapes for the course about hermeneutics....
At the same time, I am reading articles about modern inerrancy debate, bible contains different sources according to the traditionals (JDEP... on the first five chapters on old testament... some concepts of biblical textual criticism.... literal analysis....)
So, i want to ask if the following path would be a reasonable one...
i) basic principles of biblical interpretation
-> ii) hermeneutics.. (i believe that it is quite similar to i) )
-> iii) understand the process how biblical has been translated...(e.g.,
different sources according to the traditionals...)
-> ??? I am not sure if the next step would be biblical textual criticism
... i.e., according to multiple sources from different traditions, we can
learn the process how the famous scholar/ Rabbi chooses the appropriate
version and meaning....
-> OR ??? i should proceed on finding some literal analysis on a specific
book (Genesis) from a famous scholar ....
-> OR ??? something else... i knew that knowing only the literal meaning of
the text is not good enough... because we need to know what the cultural
(history, belief, geographical) of the book is... what kind of the scripture
is (narrative...) sometimes, i believe that we focus too much on the details but we left a lot of big picture...
i believe that with studying those kinds of topics, i must have chance to
practice the languages (hebrews/ greek)... what i am afraid is if I have
been jumping steps... => things should not be studied in this way/ path...
Please give me some of your opinion....

Thank you so much.

Best regards,
Edward