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Presentation on theme: "GLOBAL INTERPRETATIONS OF CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES RLST 206 AND DIV 3845 Feb 7 2011."— Presentation transcript:


2 Today a) 3:10 Contemporary Models for the Interpretation of Scriptures: INTER(CON)TEXTUAL HERMENEUTICS: In a World Context pp. 33-49, 71-75. b) 4:10-4:55 Group Discussion (inter(con)textual interpretations of : Lamentations Gospel of John d) 5:00 Lecture: Classical Models for the Interpretation of Scriptures: Apocalyptic Judaism, Matthew, and Paul

3 Next Sunday Sunday Feb. 13: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 4905 Franklin Pike Nashville, TN 37220 “The Divine Liturgy” (worship service; 10:00 am) followed by Q & A with Fr. Gregory Hohnholt Have questions ready out of your readings of Greek Orthodox interpretations of the Gospel of John and of Hebrews in the Global Bible Commentary Who needs a ride (leaving campus 9:15)? From where? Who can provide a ride?

4 Next Week: Sign up Group 1: John GBC by Petros Vassiliadis (Greece) Presenter of GBC : Taylor Schomp Leader: Anna Leigh Keith Group 2: Letter to the Hebrews by Stelian Tofanâ Presenter of GBC : Anna McReynolds Leader : Jordan Nelson

5 Scriptural Criticism: 3 dimensions of reading Scripture

6 Two weeks ago We have seen that all interpretations are “inculturated” = influenced by the (cultural) context from which we read. This means that our Textual Choices are viewed as LEGITIMATE, = grounded in the text, according to our culture Theological/hermeneutical choices are viewed as PLAUSIBLE according to our culture Contextual Choices are viewed as VALID (= valuable) according to our culture

7 Last week, Liberation Interpretations Focused on Interpretive Contextual Choices Ethical/moral test: Loving Neighbor How is this text as interpreted helpful in a specific life-context? Is it the “best”? The most helpful? And avoiding negative effects? Involves a particular Theological- hermeneutical choices: Scripture as corrective lenses

8 Last week, Liberation Interpretations We have seen that Using scripture as “corrective glasses” believers purposefully use Scripture to see their social life-context in a new light Scripture as Prophecy: giving believers to see what others cannot or will not see Prophecy as critique of society as it is And as utopian ideology. A critique of culture as present (problematic) ideology Yet, NOTE: ALL Scriptural Interpretations involves seeing the believer’s life-context in a different light

9 Reading the Bible as a word-to-live-by believers necessarily see their social context in a different way. Envisioning a certain way to interact with others and their social contexts Constructively E.g. affirming what is positive in this context; Schools, Hospitals, church programs, Room in the Inn (churches offering shelter for homeless during cold nights); Ten- Thousand Villages (fair-trade store) Antagonistically E.g. denouncing injustices; oppression; slavery; abuses; denouncing systemic evil—colonialism… and today neo- colonialism…

10 Despite common views, most Interpretations by believers are Legitimate and Plausible As long as we do not recognize that other people’s interpretations Interpretations by CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS from all kinds of origin and cultural contexts around the world As well as interpretations by ordinary CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS in Western churches, including Fundamentalist, Charismatic and Prosperity Gospel Christian movements are as LEGITIMATE and PLAUSIBLE as those by biblical scholars It is IMPOSSIBLE to discuss with them the validity of our respective choices of interpretations

11 Finding that other people’s interpretations are strange or seem wrong is a call 1) to understand how their interpretations are nevertheless legitimate Which textual features do they view as most significant and do we ignore?

12 Finding that other people’s interpretations are strange or seem wrong is a call 2) to understand how their interpretations are nevertheless plausible When viewed from their different religious experiences and cultural views

13 Respecting the interpretations of others = Reading with them Then we truly READ WITH THEM And are in a position to Discuss with them the VALIDITY for specific contexts of our respective interpretations.

14 Today: Inter(con)textual Interpretations Focused on Interpretive Theological /Hermeneutical Choices How to make sense of the biblical text? Issue: PLAUSIBILITY of the text and what it says about human life. The Biblical Text Makes Sense for us if, and if only, we read it in terms of other texts or significant events of our lives and cultures. Read over against other texts or in line with other texts

15 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Christian believers always read the biblical text TOGETHER WITH OTHER UNRELATED TEXTS of their culture and life... Otherwise... The biblical text does not make sense (is not plausible) Believers cannot live-by the Bible, as long as they cannot relate it in a meaningful way to their lives.

16 Inter(con)textual Interpretations How to make sense of life? Through texts Role of the “master narrative,” the big story (the story that generates all the other stories in our culture, or community, or life) Texts make sense by presupposing the master narrative; Example: journalistic texts. E.g., Standard journalistic coverage of political events… in election time, a lot of stories about the candidates on all kinds of issues… What is happening? Yes… but, look at the story of their lives. ALL follow the master narrative about winning… who is going to win, issues important for winning, people contributing to the candidates; winning or not winning….

17 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Super Bowl makes sense when seen through a master narrative of winning Winning is all what counts; all eyes are on the XXXXX (those who lost are soon ignored and forgotten… who lost?) “Classics” of a culture are expressions of the master narrative (Gadamer) Everything which does not fit the master narrative is ignored, silenced, excluded. Inter(con)textual Interpretations: Biblical Texts making sense by presupposing the master narrative:

18 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Texts make sense for Americans in terms of an American Master Narrative Actually, several American Master Narratives. For each: What is the ultimate goal of life? What is success? How to attain success? What are the obstacles? Their root problem? How are obstacles overcome? By whom? What happens to other people?

19 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Everything which does not fit the master narrative is ignored, silenced, excluded. YET Counter-Cultural Texts make sense of life by challenging the master narrative Novels; poetry; arts= Showing there is more to life than what the master narrative allows us to see by-passing the master narrative Giving voice to what is ignored, silenced, excluded.

20 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Making sense of a biblical text by reading it with other texts that reflect the master narrative: Positively: Finding concordance between the biblical text and these other texts: How does the biblical text prolong and reinforce the master narrative (and the other texts)? What Kyung-mi Park does with Buddhist traditions Negatively: Emphasizing the differences between the biblical text and the other texts and their master narrative Reading Biblical, Scriptural text as resistance literature = as iconoclastic

21 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Making sense of a biblical text by reading it with texts that challenge the master narrative: Positively: Finding concordance with these other texts Biblical text as resistance literature with other resistance literature = iconoclastic What Lee does, reading with the counter-cultural poems of the mothers of Tiananmen Square Negatively: Challenging these “other texts” which challenge the master narrative Conforming = condoning the master narrative

22 Inter(con)textual Interpretations Role of Scripture: Making sense of life with Scripture while reading it with other texts Scripture as providing a Master Narrative: Scripture as Family Album – Book of the Covenant. EITHER Finding concordance between biblical text and our master narrative and its texts; rejection of Iconoclastic literature : How the biblical text give the complete master narrative – completing the master narrative of other texts? OR Using Scripture as a Counter-Master Narrative Scripture as Good News – Providing a totally different master narrative – with glorious outcome The Good News for which iconoclastic texts (counter-master narrative texts) are longing Scripture as “the Whisper Putting on Flesh” (Brian Blount, 14-15) Biblical text as resistance literature

23 Additional Issue for Discussion What is the inter(con)text … the intertext YOU presupposed? What is the master narrative you presupposed? What is the root-problem for it? What is the “solution” for it? What is the role of Scripture you presupposed?

24 Lee Chi Chung Archie 李熾昌 教授

25 Lamentations and Poems of Tiananmen Square massacre Presenter of GBC : Annie Wong Leader : Iris Ankron Respondent: Mark Wells Anna McReynolds Matthew Calderwood Jordan Nelson Wendy Aluoch Arlonzo Williams

26 Kyung Mi Park, Sawako Nakayasu, Kiriu Minashita, Takako Arai, Rachel Levitsky

27 GROUP # 2 GOSPEL OF JOHN Presenter: Chance Dillon Leader: Ben Pflederer Respondent: Lakendra Scott Taylor Schomp Anna Leigh Keith Erin Higgins Adesewa Adelekun Basye Holland

28 Park Kyung-Mi’s Inter(con)text as she reads John in Korea: Making sense of John by reading it with Buddhist texts from her context The mantras recited by Buddhist monks = like Jesus' mysterious language in John when Jesus interacts with people (= VISION) Zen concept regarding the “spirit within, energy without” 內有神靈 外有氣化 Give to the de-spirited Christians a vision of the Paraclete (the Spirit, 14:26) as the divine external energy that helps the community to love and is correlated to the internal spirituality through which the community is in communion with Christ and/or God

29 Park Kyung-Mi’s interpretation of John (Ewha Women’s University) I. Specific Context. Korea and globalization as an economic and cultural phenomenon Problem: globalization tears down economic walls that separated nations (good!) BUT a formidable challenge for humanity as a whole as well as for individuals as it deeply affects people’s vision of life or “inner world” Root-problem: vision of life

30 Park Kyung-Mi’s Inter(con)text as she reads John in Korea: Buddhism often tells people that suffering and hardship are in essence a path to peace and to the ultimate life; peace and life are hidden in such suffering. = To abandon oneself to God is to accept abandoning life. Not so for John; John “demands that people rush into the world that refuses them and hates them, and wrestle with this world to reform it. John’s gospel demands that the community be both courageous and proactive in its interaction with the world.” Intertext used negatively as resistance literature

31 Park Kyung-Mi’s Inter(con)text as she reads John in Korea: For John (read positively with a Buddhist intertext), “the oneness between God and human beings is possible only when we free ourselves from all the existing dualistic conflicts” (good and evil, man and woman, and you and I); transcend self- centeredness. BUT John readily sees the flower of the resurrected life blooming on the cross, the frame of death. This perspective enables us to be truly loyal to life, to obey its order to go on living ( 生命 =life =order to live). When one accepts this order, all individual fears, dreads, and pains become secondary. Being in touch with God in this way requires that we ( 生命 =life) live on against all odds. = NEW VISION for dispirited Christian in Globalized Christians



34 Matthew and Paul Classical Models of Interpretations of Scriptures

35 COVENANT (Exodus 19 and 20) as Hermeneutical/Theological Frame Election (as the Chosen People of God) = God’s freeing the People from bondage Vocation (to be a people of priests = Sanctification of the Name) Law = Way to walk… How to fulfill this vocation (to sanctify the Name)

36 Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: Covenant Covenant: 1) God’s intervention, redemption from slavery = election;= haggadah (past) 2) Vocation: people of priest for the nations; haggadah = sanctification of the Name 3) Law = how to walk: halakah

37 Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: School: Halakah Sanctification of the Name Oral Torah = living tradition= harmonize Torah and life Gezeroth = teaching independent from Scripture Takkanoth = teaching radically changing the teaching of Torah = Prosbul of Hillel Sanctification of the Name Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

38 Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: School: Halakah Sanctification of the Name Making a fence around Torah Always changing and growing tradition: Mishnah, Talmud; reinterpreted in terms of the new situations in life; Here Revelation, Scripture = open; on going; discerning what is God’s will = how to sanctify the name today Being faithful = adapting, changing…

39 Exodus 19:3-6 3 "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: 4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, 6 but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites."

40 Exodus 20:1-4 1 Then God spoke all these words: 2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol,

41 Pharisees and Apocalyptic Models See Early Jewish Hermeneutics in Palestine Pharisees = One Covenant Election: complete = everything has been revealed on Mount Sinai (Oral and Written Torah) Haggadah: Closed sacred history; Liturgy; interpreting Scripture by Scripture (Midrash) Halakah: needs to be reinterpreted again and again (Mishnah, Talmud, constantly interpreted in terms of social, cultural situation) Apocalyptic = New Covenant (people still in bondage) Election: God is electing, choosing a remnant/a new faithful people = new interventions of God Typology; Prophecy are fulfilled Haggadah = Open sacred history, ongoing activity of God, establishing and reestablishing the covenant through choosing/calling a new people, through interventions of power Halakah = Very strict; AS BY PRIEST IN THE TEMPLE

42 Deadly Letter of Scripture and Life Giving Spirit of Scripture 2 Corinthians 3:6-7 [Paul and others are] ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets… 3:14-17 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

43 Formula Quotation: fulfilling prophecy: Jesus = the child who was sign of liberation Matthew 1:22-23 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." = Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. … 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. 17 The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house

44 Formula quotation; Fulfilling Unknown Prophecy Matthew 2:23 There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He will be called a Nazorean."

45 Formula quotation: Jesus Fulfills the Type David and Abraham Matthew 1:1 1:1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Etc. etc. = Jesus Fulfills the Types, David, Abraham, etc. etc. = in Jesus the “types” of scripture are fulfilled

46 Formula quotation: Jesus fulfills the Type Israel Matthew 2:14-15 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, "Out of Egypt I have called my son." Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

47 Formula quotation: Jesus fulfills the Type Israel Matthew 4:1-2 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.

48 Jesus: Fulfilling the Type Moses Matthew 5:1-2 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: Sermon on the Mount = New Law 18:20 = Jesus = Torah = Presence of God “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." Everything has been revealed in Jesus 28:20 teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

49 Christian Haggadah Sacred History = re-opened (as in Apocalyptic) = new covenant in Jesus = New Moses Jesus = New Israel Jesus = new liberation from oppression Commission of disciples: Matthew 28:18-20 Sacred History = closed again = everything is revealed in Jesus Being disciples = following Jesus, reentering the story, imitating Jesus, teaching what he taught them

50 Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

51 Jesus as Fulfilling “all righteousness” = Halakah Matthew 3:13-15 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. Matthew 4:3-4 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." 4 But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

52 Jesus as Fulfilling “all righteousness” = New Halakah Matthew 5:17-18 Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,

53 Jesus as Fulfilling “all righteousness” = New Halakah Matthew 5:38-39 38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' [Ex 21:24] 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; Matthew 5:43-44 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' [Lev 19:18] 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

54 Paul 1 Corinthians 10:1 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness. 6 Now these things occurred as types [often translated “examples”] for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did.

55 1 Cor 10:1ff Exodus 14:22 Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Exodus 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.

56 Abraham, as “type” of believers Galatians 3:6-9 Just as Abraham "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," 7 so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you." 9 For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed. [see also Romans 4] What is the “gospel”? 1) = the fulfillment of the type Abraham in the believers’ life; 2) = a promise fulfilled in the present

57 Abraham = allegory = typology of his two sons Galatians 4:22-28 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. 23 One, the child of the slave, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise. 24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, "Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than the children of the one who is married." 28 Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac.

58 1 Thessalonians 1:4 For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an type (trans. Example) to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

59 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 2:14 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews,

60 Summary Matthew Pharisaic/Rabbinic Model BUT Haggadah: Closed sacred history Jesus and new covenant, etc replace Moses and Mt Sinai and the Covenant on Mt Sinai by. Halakah: needs to be reinterpreted again and again, as counterculture Paul Apocalyptic model BUT Haggadah = Open sacred history, ongoing activity of God, establishing and reestablishing the covenant through choosing/calling a new people, through interventions of power Halakah: in the world, because you cannot be separated from the world.




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