Exegetical theology is not the final authority.

Tsadowq at aol.com Tsadowq at aol.com
Wed Aug 30 19:09:48 EDT 2000

Previous thread: Re: The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ???


In a message dated 08/29/2000 9:02:36 AM Mountain 
Daylight Time, dwashbur at nyx.net writes:

<< God forbid I should agree with Ian :-) but he's absolutely right.  
The text is supposed to be the basis for deriving "sound theological 
answers" rather than the reverse.  If one begins with theological 
presuppositions, exegesis becomes a matter of wresting the text 
to support one's ideas.  That's backwards. >>

Maybe you have misunderstood what I said, or maybe
I was unclear as to what I meant. Let me try again.

It was never my intention (nor is it my belief) that we 
should throw out exegetical theology in preference of 
another form of theological examination.

There are four classifications for establishing doctrine. 

I will list them here, in no specific order.

1) Exegetical theology 
2) Historical theology
3) Dogmatic theology
4) Biblical theology

The study of biblical Hebrew is only one fourth of 
the equation; it is a PART of that which is available 
and should be studied by any person dedicated to 
understanding more from the text.

Not a single person on this list may claim that they 
fluently speak and completely comprehend the
ancient Hebrew tongue, and it may appear rather
pious to insist that those who interpret the MSS
have the "final say"-- as this is simply not the case.

This list has proven many times over -- that even
those who study the exegetical value of any 
given passage -- do not always or consistently
agree on what the passage means. 

Exegetical arguments are ultimately based on
our limited knowledge of ancient language, and 
if this form of theology could stand alone, then 
we would find that EVERY person would agree
with EVERY answer derived from it's usage.

But this is not the case, and this proves that 
the exegetical analysis of ANY passage is 
only PART of the equation.

My prior point was that:

1) The text of Genesis 1 does not specifically indicate 
    24 hour periods, and exegetical theology therefore, 
    has little to say on the issue.

2) Linguistical arguments which contradict sound theological 
    answers (specifically, linguistical arguments which clearly
    contradict evidence from the other three categories of theo-
    logical classification) should be taken with a grain of salt 
    the size of Lot's wife.

The above should especially prove true when there are no
"native speakers" who may presume to speak with authority
as to what the text actually means.

Best Regards,

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