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CMIN 301 (Sp '17) T05 - Preaching the Meaning in Their Town (Part 1)

It's about preunderstanding
by

Hartmut Scherer

on 25 January 2017

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Transcript of CMIN 301 (Sp '17) T05 - Preaching the Meaning in Their Town (Part 1)

3) Click on "restore" in NASB and find the whole range
of meanings (all definitions)
2) Click on the edit icon and check mark Strongs
numbers
Introduction
(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for "Grasping God's Word)
The key to interpreting the Bible
is recognizing the
CONTEXT.
This "baggage" is called
PRE-UNDERSTANDING.
Cultural influences,
e.g., music, movies,
literature
Church
Nationality
We get this “baggage” or preunderstanding from:
Race
Family
What do we bring to the Text?
Preunderstanding can easily lead us toward an "
interpretational reflex
."
What do we do with
our preunderstanding?
not inherently bad, but it can lead us astray
What kind of
interpretive baggage
do we bring to the text?

We need to distinguish between:
Preunderstanding
(changes)
Presuppostions
(do NOT change)
Personal experiences
"Pre-understanding may be defined as a body of assumptions and attitudes which a person brings to the perception and interpretation of reality or any aspect of it”
(D. S. Ferguson, "Biblical Hermeneutics: An Introduction" (Atlanta: Westminster John Knox Press, 1986), 6.)
We bring a lot of “baggage”
with us when we approach the Bible.
1) Our tendency is to
fill in the
gaps
in the biblical texts with
information from our own
background and experience.
2) Our cultural background can

create
a world of possible and
impossible
meanings
for a
biblical text before we even
study the text.
We should be open to changing our pre-understanding when a serious study of the text demands it (humility?).
Place your preunderstanding under the authority of the text.
Result: a new (and more biblical)
preunderstanding.
An often overlooked context
is our own context as a reader.
As readers we are not entirely neutral or objective.
How will this affect the process of interpretation?
all have preunderstanding
Implications
No one is free of preunderstanding
Be aware of your preunderstanding
Dangers
Assumption: our preunderstanding
is always correct
“Pride does not listen. It knows.”
(Kevin Vanhoozer)
An already formulated theological agenda
“Overstanding” (not understanding)
(Kevin Vanhoozer)
Familiarity
Culture
should not dictate our conclusion
tends to make us biased
Presuppositions
(Presuppositons are faith commitments or doctrinal beliefs regarding the Scriptures)
Total objectivity is impossible for any reader, but this is not our goal.
Christians have
faith commitments
that do not change each time we study the Bible.
What are some evangelical presuppositions about the Bible? E.g., the Bible is God's word.
1) Read through 1 Cor 13 and write down what
this chapter is about (1-2 sentences)
2) Summarize the surrounding context. What is
discussed in 1 Cor 12 and 1 Cor 14?
3) 1 Cor 12-14 (in general): the relationship between
spiritual gifts and love
1 Cor 13
(class activity)
4) A closer look at gifts and love
1 Cor 12:31
1 Cor 13:1-3
- spiritual gifts and love are not the same
- highly gifted, but lacking love
1 Cor 13:4ff
- what is love?
- love is growing up from a spiritual
infant to a spiritual adult (see 13:11)
- love is a sign of maturity, not speaking
in tongues
1 Cor 14:1+ 26
- pursue love and pursue gifts that
build up the church
- using spiritual gifts for building up
the church is a sign of love/maturity
5) Search for parallel passages of “gift” and “child” or
“infant” in 1 Corinthians
1 Cor 1:4-7
- Paul calls the Corinthians a gifted group
1 Cor 3:1
- incredibly gifted but spiritually immature
6) Search for parallel passages of “love” in 1 Corinthians
1 Cor 13:4
- love is not arrogant
1 Cor 5:2
- And you are arrogant!
Conclusion
Paul was talking about love precisely because it was the one thing the Corinthians lacked.
Paul wanted them to grow up, to be like him, a “man” marked by love.
When the original audience becomes our first concern, we see things differently.
1) Open http://www.biblestudytools.com/,
switch the translation to NASB and search
for Gal. 6:1
Galatians 6:1 "restore"
(class activity)
Full transcript