First Person Life


New Paper Online

I've uploaded my most recent paper regarding language and interpretation to LearningGreek.

ABSTRACT: The following pages discuss recent developments in the sciences of linguistics and human cognition as they relate to language. The aim is to determine whether or not these developments can assist the theologian in his task of understanding the scriptures. The primary question to be answered is whether the use of the information gained from these sciences would deny the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture.

I got an "A" on it... so it can't be TOO bad.


  • Oh Yes, indeed ~ understanding both Greek and Hebrew will surely assist you in understanding the scriptures. It also gives you an advantage over the under/ununeducated ministers of other deonominations calling themselves Christian. Because, believe me, if you can refer back to the original text, you will indeed see the meaning of the scripture more clearly. And no, what you learn in Greek and Hebrew will not deny the doctrin of the inspiration of Scripture. These languages are a valuable tool in the work you will be doing. It will indeed reinforce the doctrine of the Scripture as you read and teach. It will also assist you in things like adult catechism and speaking the truth to evangelical-types who are not educated in these languages and so they rely upon themselves and their own human reason and logic to interpret scripture, erring in what they believe and teach others. We do not do this in the LCMS ~ Scripture interprets Scripture. You will hear that a lot here.

    The evangelical-types who may cross your path at some point, if they have not already, will argue until they are blue in the face. But if you have the original text to refer back to, there is no arguing with that. Why do you think there are so many "translations" of the Scripture anyway?

    You will get through this and you will be glad you did it. Some men find Hebrew a little easier and a little more "abstract" a language than Greek.

    Hang in there! Good work on the "A". Don't burst a blood vessel in your brain ~ it's a pass/fail class.


    By Blogger Sola Gratia, at 1/19/2006 5:26 AM  

  • The paper was actually from a Systematics Class (Dogmatics I) rather than Greek -- I was fortunate to pass Greek last summer.

    The main focus of my research into what I've termed a "sub-symbolic view of language" is the practical application in hermeneutics as well as homiletics. This particular paper began the investigation as to whether or not this view of language _can_ be used as a guide for proper hermeneutics.

    Unfortunately, we often hear, "You'll know what it means by the context," when questions arise about meaning that can't be deduced from the grammatical structure of the language. The lexicon (Greed-English Dictionary for example) is often no help since it often has multiple entries for the exact same word.

    What I'm trying to outline in my work here is exactly HOW context works and develop some tools for deriving meaning from context -- and providing some level of demarcation for valid/invalid contextual interpretation.

    We hear a lot about the "hermeneutical spiral" and context, but even the "hermeneutical spiral" ultimately boils down to, "you need to look at the context," which isn't overly helpful.

    So I'm trying to answer the question, "exactly HOW does one look at 'context' correctly?" - to do so, I'm first trying to understand language itself, its purposes and how it functions, so as to better determine appropriate "guidelines" for interpretation.

    As you probably know, you can MAKE Scripture say almost anything you want it to say... the question is, is that what it really "means"?


    By Blogger dm42, at 1/19/2006 10:38 AM  

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