Theological Interpretation

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Theological interpretation, second naiveté, and the rediscovery of the Old Testament.

Theological interpretation, second naiveté, and the rediscovery of the Old Testament.

preferences to skew an honest evaluation of the evidence. Disciplined and informed reason, with appropriate use of the imagination, should be the prime characteristic of the good interpreter. This is indeed valuable. Yet it has come to be recognized that with all significant writing in the humanities that probes deep issues of human life, an ability to understand the nature of existential issues is important for good interpretation. Thus in addition to considering the text in its formative context of origin, it becomes important also to consider the interpreter in their formative context. One of the ways in which “theological interpretation” differs from more conventional “theology of the Old (or New) Testament”, is that accent is laid on the quality of insight that interpreters are able to bring to the biblical text in order the better to articulate the nature of the theological and existential subject matter about which the text speaks. This regularly involves a grasp of paradox and mystery, being at home with which is also a mark of a second naiveté.
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INTRODUCING THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE. A Book Review. Presented to. Dr. Jason Lee. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

INTRODUCING THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE. A Book Review. Presented to. Dr. Jason Lee. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Part one, “Catalysts and Common Themes”, is composed of three chapters that focus on the agreements that theological interpreters have with one another. The first agreement is that theological interpretation is not a new hermeneutical method but a return to precritical exegesis (37-55). Serving this purpose are four major aspects (three of which Treier discusses here): 1) reading as piety 2) reading about Christ and 3) reading for Christian practice. 1 There is a relationship between orthodoxy and orthopraxy that must exist in order to experience true understanding. Secondly, Treier explains the connection that the Rule of Faith (Regula Fidei) had in preserving orthodox Christian doctrine. He writes, “The early Christians saw the Rule of Faith as a form of moral restraint against human tendencies to twist the Scriptures in self-interested ways” (59). It provided the means for the church to present a legacy of faith against challenging
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Listening to Africa’s children in the process of practical  theological interpretation: A South African application

Listening to Africa’s children in the process of practical theological interpretation: A South African application

‘It has always been my fear that one becomes stuck in compartmentalised ways of thinking – that you follow a module on child and youth ministry and then you are finished with it and become a minister who only works with adults.’ (Interviewee G) The responses given suggest that the issue of children and their well-being is included in a fragmented way in practical theological research and training, which can easily result in the compartmentalisation of children in theological reflection and in the practice of church ministry. The one-sided focus on catechesis, for instance, raises the question of whether the theological perspective of children as developing human beings who require directive education does not weigh heavier than the more positive perspectives of children as models of faith and agents of change in their own right. The fragmented approach to children in practical theological interpretation could be related to the causal factors that were given to describe why children are a marginal theme in practical theology. When the basis of reflection on children and childhood is grounded in a fragmented approach, it makes sense that experts, additional time and curriculum opportunities and even independent organisations are needed to include children in practical theological training. However, this raises the important question of whether it should not be the task and responsibility of every theologian, on the basis of the Christian faith, to include children in particular moments of practical theological interpretation. The following responses argued in support of this point:
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Theological Interpretation of Scripture: An Introduction and Preliminary Evaluation

Theological Interpretation of Scripture: An Introduction and Preliminary Evaluation

10 For example, Fowl distances himself from his former way of thinking “that a general theory of textual meaning is crucial to interpreting Scripture theologi- cally. If one’s exegetical practice is governed by some sort of general hermeneutical theory, then it is very hard to avoid the situation where theological inter- pretation of Scripture becomes the activity of apply- ing theological concerns to exegesis done on other, nontheological grounds…. [T]he key to interpreting theologically lies in keeping theological concerns primary to all others. In this way, theology becomes a form of exegesis, not its result.” Fowl, “Further Thoughts on Theological Interpretation,” in Reading Scripture with the Church, 125-26.
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How faith works in James 4:13-5:20 : an exegetical-theological interpretation

How faith works in James 4:13-5:20 : an exegetical-theological interpretation

have no real relationship to one another.” He concluded that “it is not possible to construct a single frame into which they will all fit” (1976:11). He proclaims: “James has no ‘theology’” (1976:21). This view influenced scholars for many decades (See Hartin 2009:29). But Davids (1980) introduces some scholars who do find theological ideas and units in the epistle of James. Mussner (1964) “argued for theological unity in the epistle, discussing its theological ideas in a series of excurses” (Davids 1980:97). Furthermore, Francis (1970:110-126) has found a literary form into which the epistle as a whole fits. Similarly, R. Hoppe (1977:1-17) argues that there are larger unities in the epistle than Dibelius believed and that the two themes of wisdom and faith appear as the great theological contributions of the work. Hiebert (1978:224, emphasis in original) proposes that “tests of a living faith is indeed the unifying theme of the epistle.” Recently, Elliott (1993:71- 81) and Hartin (1999) have showed concern for “perfection”, which they indicate as the overall theme of the Letter of James. Bauckham (1999 [2002]:177-206) develops four theological aspects of James; wholeness and integrity, solidarity with the poor, speech ethics, and prayer. McCartney (2009:57, 68) understands faith as the root of the epistle and suggests four important topics in James’ theology; the fatherhood of God, Christology, eschatology, and ethics. Hartin (2009:26-30) also devoted his study to “six aspects that lie at the foundation of James’s theological vision, namely faith, God, Christ, eschatology, prayer, and social concern.” Lockett (2012:35-37) argues that there are “major unifying themes threaded through the text”; theocentrism, the relationship between the “rich” and the “poor”, suffering trials and the testing of one’s faith, and “perfection” or “wholeness.”
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Cosmogonic or creation myths A mythical, philosophical and theological interpretation of the diverse cosmogonic myths: In conversation with Charles Long

Cosmogonic or creation myths A mythical, philosophical and theological interpretation of the diverse cosmogonic myths: In conversation with Charles Long

recommendation. Fourthly, a reminiscence on the emergence of these cosmogonic myths. Fifthly, an explanation of the cosmogonic myths by the world patrons. Sixthly, an explanation of the role of the cosmic egg and earth divers in certain cosmogonic myths. Seventhly, I suggest certain essential mythical themes and prehistorical problems in discussing dualisms and antagonisms, the sacrifice of creation within the framework of theological and philosophical frameworks where otherness and transcendence are explained through the emanation of creation. And eighthly, to the beginning of the end, the dualistic effect on cosmogonic myths is enlightened as it empowers sapiens thoughts as a positive thought process. Nevertheless, before we continue, although a pluralistic tool or approach is mentioned here, the whole idea of pluralism is too wide a concept to deal with entirely, and for this reason, it is not discussed as an entire philosophical idea. Although the concept of pluralism plays an important role in subsequent positive answer of why the debate of cosmogonic or creation myths must continue, it is not just the significance in a pluralistic sense, however, it nevertheless also contributes to religious sapiens awareness of and in such a positive diversity that it is exhibited as a pluralistic accessory (especially in this article, where sapiens can literarily observe that the cosmogonic and creation myths are fundamentally a positive process, precisely because it has a sapient communality). Although this communality is a language that can differ between epistemological and ontological views, some can or some would not even bother to notice this plebeian.
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A Theological Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs

A Theological Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs

24 Greek, Arabic, etc.) parallels already before 1890, these commentators did not claim that the biblical material was directly derived from or influenced by foreign sources, but rather they only cited those foreign parallels as interesting illustrations for the teaching of Proverbs. 24 Lang’s opinion seems to be correct from a historical-critical point of view. Yet, from a theological point of view it is not so relevant that before 1890 scholars used non-Israelite parallels ‘only’ as illustrative. It is more important that the international nature of Proverbs (if not the foreign literary origins) was fully known throughout the 19 th century. Already the earliest commentaries and theologies spent a considerable effort on delineating the similarities between Proverbs and the wisdom of other nations. They did so because even if a direct influence from outside was not considered likely, they nonetheless thought that Israelite wisdom literature represented the same intellectual spirit as non-Israelite wisdom. This was so because many thought that as a society develops, it inevitably reaches a stage in which wisdom literature plays an important role. Wisdom writings as such were considered almost as inescapable results of the maturing of an oriental society, and Israel, rather than being a special case, was considered as a society which only followed this general rule, even if many considered Israel’s wisdom literature superior to that of other nations in important respects. So, although direct literary influences were not discussed, the similarities with foreign wisdom were recognised as the results of very similar intellectual developments and as such Israelite and foreign wisdom literature were considered to be intellectually related. 25 A characteristic example from the second half of the century but still from before 1890 is Malan’s commentary. He considered it a worthwhile exercise to interpret Proverbs solely through the international parallels to it. In his three-volume commentary, the first part of which appeared in 1889 (according to his foreword the book was based on his old notes assembled in the decades before writing the book), he collected a lot of Indian, Greek, Persian and Arabic parallels. 26
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What is the naturalistic basis of theological interpretation?

What is the naturalistic basis of theological interpretation?

ones (Sperber & Wilson, 1995; Sperber, 2010). (For instance, unrepresented vowels in Torah scrolls both facilitate and limit interpretive freedom, just as illuminated bibles like the Book of Kells stimulate attention by simultaneously engaging and frustrating schematic perception.) We propose that collaborating with colleagues in cognitive social psychology and experimental linguistics to test these predictions concerning the interaction between ToM abilities and textual features will generate foundational insights into religious interpretation by clarifying its underlying function.
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Towards formative interpretation: a theological hermeneutical proposal

Towards formative interpretation: a theological hermeneutical proposal

Theological Interpretation: Towards a Formative Theological Practice In our view the previous chapters are a necessary prolegomena to this final chapter, the formative interpretation of Scripture. It is for the same reason that these chapters were written that we need to briefly recall their main points. First, present interpretative theory is in a state of pluralism and theological crisis. We concluded that this form of pluralism and theological marginalisation is detrimental for Christian formative interpretation. Second, in response, we reflected on how a theological hermeneutic might integrate theological intuitions and hermeneutical insights for a Christian interpretation of Scripture. Theological interpretation is a multifaceted practice and has as its primary goal to discern God in Scripture, which guides the life of believers personally and corporately. Hence, formative interpretation is part of theological hermeneutics. This discussion helped us to develop basic hermeneutical decisions which are fundamental to our formative interpretative practice. Third, we explored what formation from a Christian perspective looks like, which provides us with further goals and criteria for formative interpretation. Here we found, following Augustine, that formative interpretation must have as its aim love for God and others, which ultimately expresses itself in the ability to live in reciprocal self- giving relationships. This self-giving is a public affair and cannot be practised as private spirituality.
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Northwestern Theological Seminary

Northwestern Theological Seminary

Applicants for admission to Northwestern Theological Seminary are considered without regard to sex, age, color, national or ethnic origin, meeting the guidelines of the Civil Rights Act, Section 1984 and all other local and federal programs. NTS will accept any and all individuals who desire to increase their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word. Each prospective student will be assessed according to academic background and experience. An individualized program of study will be set up to meet any additional needs.

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Northwestern Theological Seminary

Northwestern Theological Seminary

Northwestern Theological Seminary utilizes a unique process for learning, developed by our founder, Dr. Howard M. Sarkela, in early August of 1980. This process is more than a teaching system and better termed as a contemporary process for learning and applying knowledge. Dr. Sarkela has attending colleges and universities found that the old system of education was greatly lacking in effectiveness and efficiency. He found that the archaic, yet still in practice, system of memorizing lists and cramming for examinations resulted in considerable loss of

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Northwestern Theological Seminary

Northwestern Theological Seminary

Northwestern Theological Seminary utilizes a unique process for learning, developed by our founder, Dr. Howard M. Sarkela, in early August of 1980. This process is more than a teaching system and better termed as a contemporary process for learning and applying knowledge. Dr. Sarkela has attending colleges and universities found that the old system of education was greatly lacking in effectiveness and efficiency. He found that the archaic, yet still in practice, system of memorizing lists and cramming for examinations resulted in considerable loss of

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Theological Hermeneutics 1

Theological Hermeneutics 1

Theological Hermeneutics’ introduces the student to the fundamental categories of the theory of interpretation. In keeping with the historical trajectory of hermeneutics, its scope expands beyond questions about the rules for textual/biblical interpretation, towards the question of the nature of meaning and understanding as such. I will give a description and an explanation of various hermeneutical emphases: on the world behind the text (history, authorial intention, allegory), the world in the text (structuralism, narrative theory, poetics), and the world in front of the text (reader-response, community- response, deconstruction, liberationist, feminist, queer, postcolonial).
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Theological Presuppositions and the Interpretation of Revelation

Theological Presuppositions and the Interpretation of Revelation

As the emphasis in the previous quote shows, Hoekema believes that his interpretation of Revelation 20 is clear and sure and evident and obvious. However, the only way his interpretation would have the slightest possibility of being detected in these verses is if the readers were previously clued in to his view and were deliberately looking for something resembling his interpretation. Otherwise, the ordinary reader would not have come up with this interpretation by a natural reading of the text itself. Couch has creatively stated the problem in the following way: “If one were on a desert island and read Revelation for the first time, how would he normally interpret the book? The answer would be ‘actual and literal,’ unless there was an amillennialist and allegorist around to say, ‘No, No, these events are not real! They have some hidden meaning that no one is sure of, but don’t let that bother you!’ The literal meaning, with comparative language, must be accepted unless there are other indicators that require that one read the verses some other way.” 12 And in the case of the methods
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Theological War Theories

Theological War Theories

meant that an intervention in war by clerics was essentially unthinkable. During the Middle Ages, however, the perspective of reading Augustine had shifted: In their eyes, the church father!s interpretation of the Roman emperor!s targets shed light on their own self-understanding of being a Christian warrior like Constantine. This emphasis on war instead of peace was intensified by the Old Testament!s role model of being a king under God!s eyes: The biblical texts were largely interpreted as historically true reports about virtuous rulers. The strong beliefs of military leaders and kings held sway alongside a belief in the assistance of JHWH in victory. Thus Augustine had laid the parameters for later justifica- tions of wars against “idolaters” and “heretics”. Declaring the emperor and the European kings as pious rulers in the service of God, violence became explainable as the will of God particularly against the Catharists and Muslims. Augustine!s few, restrictive concessions to the option of “just” war were later expanded to the basis of a systematic war ethic. This remained valid in moral theological hand- books into the 20 th century. The questions were therefore: How does war fit into
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Nazarene Theological Seminary

Nazarene Theological Seminary

- Tuesday: Listen to Lecture 3a and post three quality responses or conversational interactions to the lecture and the reading. - Wednesday: Read Kearney 39-52[r]

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WESLEYAN THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

WESLEYAN THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

The Wesleyan theological tradition contains resources to generate an ontology of relationality so that moral theology finds its end in the shalom of God. In particular, Wesley’s doctrine of full salvation or holi- ness is that location within the tradition where ethics takes reconciliation as its telos as humans are transformed to live in right relationship with God and their neighbors. That Wesley advocated a doctrine of holiness that was social is clear throughout his writing. That Wesley was a trinitar- ian Christian is also clear throughout his sermons and in Charles Wesley’s 1767 collection of trinitarian hymns that John endorsed. Wesley preached an “economic” doctrine of the Trinity for the sake of “practical divinity.” That is, Wesley was rarely concerned with articulating orthodoxy for its own sake. Orthodox confession was important because it was the founda- tion on which Wesley’s soteriological theology was constructed. His con- fession of a triune God is tied to his preaching of holiness because it is in and through God’s triune revelation and operation that human persons are made holy, transformed to live in right relationship with God and one another. The nature of this relationship between humans and God is a relationship of participation in God’s triune life.
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ANDERSONVILLE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

ANDERSONVILLE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Understand, students are not required to take any of these courses. As a matter of fact, of the 6,000 plus students we have enrolled, the vast majority chooses the Andersonville Theological Seminary course tracks. Feedback tells us that our students prefer the ATS courses. However, you may see a course that you would like to take. Please feel free to do so.

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Regional Theological Associations and Theological Curriculum Development in East Africa: Challenges and Prospects

Regional Theological Associations and Theological Curriculum Development in East Africa: Challenges and Prospects

Theological associations can continue to this role but they should be committed to research, and publication, attendance of meetings/conferences and to read beyond the discipline of theology. It has to be willing to engage insights from other disciplines in its methods, procedures and categories of description, analysis and interpretation. I agree with Bediako (2008:10), that “our theology has to be done in a way that it touches the African most deeply”. Secondly, for African theologians and the associations to influence theological curriculum they have a responsibility to write and publish textbooks of the courses they teach and ensure that they are on the course outlines. We have a sad situation in most of our institutions in which we use books written in other cultural contexts and intended for use in those other cultural contexts. We cannot nurture research and writing skills in our students if we do not lead them by example. We cannot also continue to complain about cultural alienation and academic irrelevance when we are actually part of the problem. We should provide solutions. Neither should we continue to reiterate in our writings and recommend the ‘mantra’, “The church should for “we are the church”.
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The naturalistic fallacy and theological naturalism

The naturalistic fallacy and theological naturalism

would therefore depend upon the immanence, powei^, scope, knoW%edge, love and other indefectible qualities ©ustomariiy ascribed to God/ If God were tender^indedly thought of as omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, etc*, then the converse of the proposition «whatever God wills is gopd«, would be equally true* The word of God as revealed in Scripture has been taken to establish these attributes, if we generalise from the particulw instances and contexts in which His revelation is embedded# (If we do not, we erroneously assume that God’s will, semi-codified in Biblical ordinances, being appropriate only to dealings with the Romans, Greeks, Philistines etc* of early history, does not pertain to problems peculiar to Atomic Age man*) However, if theological systems place some important limitations on God’s supposedly perfect nature, claiming Him finite in, say, power or love or knowledge (as theories have claimed, for example, in attempting to resolve the prohlem of evil), then some good actions be said to spring from sources other than that of God’s will* Only some of the class of good actions would be actions willed by God, and would
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