Posts Tagged ‘Hermeneutics’

Authorial intent and the art of slow reading

It’s been interesting to watch how some in certain reformed circles are eschewing authorial intent. I mean “interesting” in the same way a train wreck is interesting. Nevertheless I found a comment buried in this article which grabbed my attention. To my knowledge the scholar makes no claim to Christianity but he gets it right in the interpretive department.

But Lancelot R Fletcher, the first present-day author to popularise the term “slow reading”, disagrees. He argues that slow reading is not so much about unleashing the reader’s creativity, as uncovering the author’s. “My intention was to counter postmodernism, to encourage the discovery of authorial content,” the American expat explains from his holiday in the Caucasus mountains in eastern Europe. “I told my students to believe that the text was written by God – if you can’t understand something written in the text, it’s your fault, not the author’s.”

The NT use of the OT–Redux

A pivotal issue impacting hermeneutics, theology, and application is the thorny issue of the NT use of the OT. Matt Waymeyer made the following adjustment to an old Expository Thoughts post that is worth mentioning here on its own.

I’ve been hammering away on this issue for the past month and, in contrast to what I wrote nine months ago [here] in the third comment above, I no longer find myself open to Longenecker’s view about the use of the exegetical methods of early Judaism in the NT. Ironically, Peter Enns’ argument in favor of this view in the Three Views book is what solidified my rejection of it. If I ever find some time, I’ll explain why. But I will say for now that if you read Longenecker and Enns closely, you’ll find that they simply assume what they are trying to prove. In fact, both of them state that it is “a priori likely” that the NT writers employed these methods, and Enns says “hard for me to think” that the NT use of the OT is merely an application (how’s that for an argument!). In the end I’m still a mixture of Bock and Kaiser on this issue, and I have to agree with Paul Lamey who told me in a recent email that he thinks the two of them are closer to each other than either would probably admit.

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