Presentation on theme: "Interpreting Scripture: The Ethical Teachings of Jesus."— Presentation transcript:
Interpreting Scripture: The Ethical Teachings of Jesus
Interpreting Scripture: The 4 evangelists wrote about Jesus 4 different audiences and to paint different portraits of Jesus and his ethical teachings In light of this, people are still open to interpretation to get different messages as well
Literalist vs Contextualist Remember Grade 9? There are 2 ways to read biblical text – Literally – Contextually
Literal Scripture To read scripture literally means to take it word for word. Believe it is written in a pure sense, not to be interpreted No hidden meanings No reading between the lines
Literalists To read scripture literally means to take it word for word. Believe it is written in a pure sense, not to be interpreted No hidden meanings No reading between the lines
The Strength of Language In interpreting scripture a person cannot fail to recognize that different time periods have slang uses for different words.
The Strength of Language For example… 100 years from now, will people think that there was a major illness on the earth because everything was * Check out some of these great examples of different uses of words within a language
What the “ big men ” say! “ The primary object of faith is not the proposition, but the reality (it designates). ” – Thomas Aquinas, “ Nature and Grace ” “ The Bible is thus the story of God ’ s struggle with human beings to make himself understandable to them over the course of time; but it is also the story of their struggle to seize hold of God over the course of time. ” -Cardinal Ratzinger – Now Pope Benedict XVI
Contextualists Aiming to interpret or understand the deeper message Using words around a particular phrase to determine it’s meaning Understanding the history, culture, and real-life setting of the human author What type of literary genre is it? (Poetry, History, Wisdom, Fact)
The Church ’ s Stance All scripture can be interpreted in 4 ways – Literal – Allegorical: How it points to Christ – Moral: How it points to us living a good life – Anagogical: How it points us to heavenly reality
Interpreting Christ ’ s Teachings Many scholars agree that taking the Gospels literally is not the best approach Words of Jesus are different in our world today, but in many ways still deeply connected to the person he was! “Love they neighbour” and “Turn the other cheek” have the same meaning in today’s language as they did in the original context…
Interpreting Christ ’ s Teachings Catholics interpret Jesus’ teachings on ethics and morality in 2 main ways: – In their original context (Exegesis) – How they impact us today (Hermeneutics)
Exegesis Studies biblical text in it’s original context Considers: – Language used – Historical context – Religious Traditions – Literary Genres – Other religions of the time
Hermeneutics Exegesis on step further Object is to gain an understanding of the text, but relate it to the impact it has on the world today This is most important because it is where we interpret the text CONTEXTUALLY
Which is better? Scripture cannot be understood without a good balance of both Exegesis and Hermeneutics!