[B-Greek] Newbie / Lurker question: Please no Heremeneutics discussion

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Aug 26 12:12:33 EDT 2010


PLEASE LET'S NOT TALK ABOUT HERMENEUTICS.
IT REALLY IS OUT OF BOUNDS FOR B-GREEK.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

On Aug 26, 2010, at 11:59 AM, Blue Meeksbay wrote:

> Sometimes I think we may too hard on our preachers. I once talked to an Arabic 
> Christian about the difference between the Eastern and Western mindset and how 
> such a one understands Scripture. For instance, the Western mindset is more 
> linear, whereas the Eastern mindset is more general or all encompassing. For 
> example, I mentioned Paul’s emphasis about the singular *seed* in Gal.3:16.
>  
> TWi DE ABRAAM ERREQHSAN hAI EPAGGELIAI KAI TWi SPERMATI AUTOU. OU LEGEI• KAI 
> TOIS SPERMASIN, hWS EPI POLLWN ALL᾽ hWS EF᾽ hENOS• KAI TWi SPERMATI SOU, hOS 
> ESTIN CRISTOS.
>  
> He said the Eastern mindset would never understand Abraham’s seed as referring 
> to Christ, (except for the fact that Paul makes such an interpretation); rather, 
> he would understand it to mean the nation. 
> 
>  
> We all approach Scripture with a particular mindset. Sometimes I think a 
> preacher will approach a text and use it as a jumping board to demonstrate a 
> particular point, like the example of *now* in Heb. 11:1. I do not know if we 
> should always take them so literally.  He just uses the word *now* to show that 
> faith always brings the potential future into a present possession. It possesses 
> a hope and makes it a present reality. This is a common technique in preaching. 
> He is just using the English juxtaposition of *now* and *faith* in this verse to 
> demonstrate this point and does not mean to say the Greek is teaching that faith 
> is always now.
>  
> Now, I am not saying that some preachers may not ignorantly do this, or that the 
> preacher in question did not do this. It seems from Kenneth’s post, that is 
> exactly what he did. But I think sometimes a grammarian that is disciplined to 
> look at things in a linear and analytical manner applies that mindset to 
> preachers who are not thinking that way, but are thinking in a more broad and 
> general manner. We should not take them so literally, but give them space to 
> develop their points.
>  
> In one way, they are following a respected hermeneutic of Judaism, and in some 
> cases Early Christianity. Some Midrashic hermeneutics were more concerned with 
> the practical applications of words within a text rather than a rigid literalism 
> of the word within a text. Take, for example, the interpretation Hos. 11:1  by 
> Matthew  in Matt. 2:15.
>  
> I think, perhaps, we should give our *preaching* brethren a little more latitude 
> and understanding and realize that many times they are not approaching the text 
> with the same mindset of a grammarian, but are looking at the text with a more 
> general mindset, looking at verses from a pastoral heart rather than a more 
> literal teachers heart.  We should be thankful for their gift, and give them 
> space, realizing that a grammarian would probably bore the flock to death.
>  
> Cordially,
>  
> Blue Harris
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: Oun Kwon <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Sent: Wed, August 25, 2010 8:52:49 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Newbie / Lurker question on Hebrews 11:1 DE as 
> transitional conjunction
> 
> On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 6:38 PM, Kevin Riley <klriley at alphalink.com.au> wrote:
>> 
>>  To take 'now' in this context as a temporal word is to misunderstand English. 
>>  In standard (formal) English, 'now' is a good translation of 'de' in this 
>> instance, which is probably why so many translators use it.  For it to have a 
>> temporal reference it would have to come somewhere else in the sentence. 
>>  Actually, I am not sure you could put 'now' as a temporal reference into the 
>> sentence as it stands without a good bit of restructuring.
>> 
>> I suspect the problem is a hermeneutical one rather than one with either the 
>> Greek or the English language.
>> 
>> Kevin Riley
>> 
> 
> How about 'Well then' instead of 'Now'? It may remove 'now'
> misunderstood as a temporal marker.
> 
> Oun Kwon






More information about the B-Greek mailing list