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1:06 AM
Can you folks help me formulate a question?
The comments on this guy (hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/330/…) made me ask, "are the headings in the psalm inspired?"
clearly that's not going to work here
but the font is different than the normal section headings in my bible
so clearly that proves everything
anyway... i don't know how to ask what i want to ask... maybe "what is the dating of the psalm headings" or something?
1 hour later…
2:15 AM
@Ray, good question
3:12 AM
@Ray I'm not sure that your question is so different from this one that I asked. Perhaps you could phrase it in terms of canon.
Also, since you mention the fonts being different - one argument for their importance is that in the Hebrew manuscripts, the titles are inline with the rest of the text rather than above as in the English.
That's interesting.. I'd have guessed that a question on inspiration or canon would certainly be closed as off-topic
but your question stood
Yeah, in retrospect I'm surprised too
It seems like you were helped by looking at it as more of a text-critical issue as opposed to an inspiration issue
4 hours later…
7:39 AM
Any more reopen votes for the current version or edits to add to Jon and mine attempts to make this into a question?
Q: Which hermeneutical approaches support a literal interpretation of the Creation account?

SmasheryWhat hermeneutical approaches lead to a literal understanding of Genesis and what are the principle arguments made for these approaches being valid for the Genesis text? I had always been told that a day meant 24 hours, but a systematic theology textbook I read disputed that pretty well. So I'm ...

3 hours later…
10:53 AM
@Caleb I don't have the rep
Actually, though, I'm not sure I'd reopen it anyway
now it just reads as a thinly veiled attempt at asking for arguments for YEC
@Ray NP. It's always just a little bit harder to get open votes than close ones. People aren't as likely to come back to a question they've looked at or a closed one as they are a new fresh one. It always takes a little campaigning.
@Ray Suggestions to fix? I don't know what the OP's intent but it seems like analysis of the hermenetuics that are required to arrive at a view is probably an on-topic thing.
Honestly, it just seems like a bad fit
"how do i read this" is good, and "how does this approach work" is good, but "what approach can i use to get the results I want" makes me scared
If I were to meet this guy IRL, I'd love to talk about it, but it just takes the site in a bad direction IMO
I do appreciate your and Jon's work on it though--it is an improvement. Just that not all questions fit
11:29 AM
I agree that question might not actually be salvageable.
But I am wondering whether reconstruction / analysis could actually be useful in some cases. It's definitely something that takes expertise. Looking at a conclusion and isolating the premises that had to be made to get there is harder than making the argument in the first place. But it's a useful skill.
@Ray oops voted to reopen but now I agree with you.
@Caleb isn't the problem that it is more likely to lead to discussion-type answers?
sorry to butt in btw
@JackDouglas Maybe. I'm trying to think of a more productive example than the obviously problematic on at hand...
Hey, I'm back
Sorry, I think I was a bit reactive before
I'd be willing to see the argument for this question (or question class) working
@Caleb The answer to the question as it stands is "literal ones" :)
Hi Ray
11:34 AM
@JackDouglas True. And not very useful.
@Ray Have you seen this?
There's more to it than that though... e.g., one approach sees there was no death before sin, so there couldn't have been billions of years of life propagating... that would be an approach that takes a broader look at other things scripture has to say
That's just an example... I suppose part of the problem is that there's not just one answer--it's a list
@JackDouglas No, I got to check that out!
@Ray That's more like "what theological construct logically follows / must fit a literal hermeneutic reading of Genesis"
@Caleb What kind of thing are you getting at here? I'm intrigued
Would it be like "Hey, I must be bringing some assumptions to this text, but I can't see them; why do I understand it this way?"
12:31 PM
The problem I'm having with this whole thing is the hermeneutic circle: interpretation of text creates doctrine and doctrine is used to illuminate the interpretation of text. This question is asking for hermeneutics to support a given doctrine. On the surface, that sounds wrong, since the text should create doctrine. However, coming back to the hermeneutic circle, we are starting from a point of doctrine (whether we want to or not).
So, given the fact that we are starting from doctrine when we interpret text, asking for techniques that support a given doctrine isn't that much of a stretch.
The whole idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it's just as "valid" as asking for a list of any hermeneutic principles based on some criteria.
Overall, I think it's a bad question simply because it's not focused enough. However, I don't consider it Not Constructive or Off Topic, so I can't see leaving it closed.
Wow... long text block. Sorry guys and gals.
3 hours later…
3:19 PM
Two well thought-out answers to the "literal creation" question, and both of them fail to do what was asked
And I think the nature of question is the source of that
@Ray That doesn't surprise me. Low quality questions will draw low quality answers.
@Ray Yeah, I totally agree.
@Richard What I think is interesting is that, in some sense, they aren't really low quality
They just don't answer the question
@Ray True. Looking at them, if the question were different, they'd be good answers.
At best it's not constructive. But I'm leaning toward the whole topic being not constructive
I think the question could be stripped down and worded well and come out to be a mediocre question. (Granted, that's the top end of what it could end up being, but still.)
OK, I've reworked the question (by moving stuff around) so that it's clear what is being asked.
I've based the change off of this meta post: Writing the Perfect Question
@Ray Do you think this is better?
3:35 PM
I'm willing to see if it generates better answers
@Ray I'm trying to post one now. ;)
3:49 PM
Bleh. I'm not totally happy with it, but it kind of gets my point across.
Also, it kind of illustrates how the question is not really constructive.
A: Which hermeneutical approaches support a literal interpretation of the Creation account?

RichardHermeneutic Circle Part of the problem that this question has suffered is known as the hermeneutic circle. The idea is that we use the text of the Bible to determine our doctrine. However, in order to interpret the text of the Bible, we have to come from a doctrinal predisposition. When we ap...

I'm going to put that there because I have to keep scrolling up to get to the question. (I always sit on the "Newest" questions list, so the question isn't even on my page.)
Well, I don't fully agree with your answer, but at least it's the closest to answering the question
(that's a +1, btw)
also, I dropped my cursor comment on dba
didn't even realize that site existed
4:09 PM
It's not ideal and I don't totally agree with it either. But it's something, at least. And I can see it being a reasonable argument (or at least relatively sound). I kind of disagree with the whole topic and approach.
It seems a bit too... dirty for me.
@Richard, is the age of the Universe a simple question of religious doctrine? I'd say that acceptance of a young Earth over the general scientific consensus is the product of more fundamental religious doctrines such as doctrines that describe the value of scientific inquiry in general and the role of sacred history in the Bible
@Ray I don't understand your comment on your question on dba.se - does it refer to another comment that has been deleted?
@Ami I agree that it is a complex topic. But I don't think that this is the site for discussion of doctrine or scientific queries regarding the age of the universe. The entire topic, to me, should be nearly off limits. I think that question comes as close as we can get to the topic without breaking those limits.
But doctrines which deal with whether or not the Bible is replete with general scientific/historical info may be on topic.
In other words: I agree with your point about the Hermeneutic circle you describe, but I think the line between doctrine and hermeneutic principles can be very blurry at times.
Well... this is still an open topic, in my mind:
Q: How much doctrine should we allow? What is the general guideline?

RichardRecently, a question regarding 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (regarding women being silent in church) was asked. The literal interpretation of the text in itself creates and implies doctrine. However, this question was asking about the historical context and interpretation of this text. This is clea...

4:21 PM
If I choose to apply only one Hermeneutic rigorously throughout the Bible, wouldn't that be a type of doctrine?
In general, it's been accepted that discussion of doctrine is off topic. But how much doctrine should be allowed?
@Ami And your back to the hermeneutic circle. :P
@JackDouglas Oh, I should probably just delete it. I originally mentioned a sql problem i was having to Richard in another room, then made that comment, and he mentioned dba.se, do I posted there, and then i mentioned it here. What a mess
Definition and usage The hermeneutic circle describes the process of understanding a text hermeneutically. It refers to the idea that one's understanding of the text as a whole is established by reference to the individual parts and one's understanding of each individual part by reference to the whole. Neither the whole text nor any individual part can be understood without reference to one another, and hence, it is a circle. However, this circular character of interpretation does not make it impossible to interpret a text; rather, it stresses that the meaning of a text must be found with...
@Richard, I may try to come up with an answer to that question to tease out and describe in detail the Hermeneutic circle you reference in your answer as it applies to this particular issue.
But if I do it won't be for at least a few days.
I have a question about the hermeneutical circle in the works
4:24 PM
@Ray Heh. I was totally lost as it is. ;)
@Ray Sweet. I often mis-use it and change it's meaning to suit my own application. ;) (be warned!)
I'm just not convinced that it's the right model
there are some solutions out there
E.g. the hermeneutical spiral (books.google.com/books/about/…)... but the issue gets into "is this question big enough to warrant a whole book" territory
@JackDouglas That's why I think this is still an open topic. We don't have a consensus in any direction.
@Ray Bah. I think that territory isn't something that we need to worry about. People have written entire books about everything, so I think that (for the religion sites), this is not a good criteria of scope.
Fair enough
Just that I own a 600+ page book on the subject
That's not just a book.. that's a monster
4:38 PM
But, hey, I'll put it up when I get the time to work through my thoughts
and we'll see how it goes
Nice! It really has become part of the landscape now.
Part of your horizon of understanding, as it were?
2 hours later…
7:04 PM
Hi all. I'm not a "chat" person, so I might not do more than poke my head in from time to time.
I appreciate seeing links to chat dropped in comments when a post is being talked about. It keeps me in the loop.
And I wanted to compliment you all on the way Bob Jones has been treated.
I can't speak for everyone, but... Thanks :)
I think BH.SE is a pretty civil place.
7:47 PM
@Richard: I don't understand your most recent comment: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/70/…
Are we agreeing violently or is there something I'm not getting?
8:21 PM
Heh. I think we're probably agreeing, but coming at it from different angles. (I've seen this happen a lot).
My thought is basically that we have to be careful to not accept textual analysis alone, since it can lead to some pretty loose doctrine. (such as slavery, for example)
And then my answer argues that it's not really possible analyze text alone, but that there will always be a doctrinal standpoint.
8:34 PM
Ok then. ;-)
My feeling is that either people set their priors to exclude other views ("Polygomy is 100% Biblical and here's proof.") or don't look deeply enough at the texts.
9:01 PM
I feel that people always set their priors to exclude other views. I myself have changed my mind about some doctrine, but there are many doctrines that I refuse to change. My exegetical basis completely excludes any views that go against my "priors".
For example: What's your opinion on documentary theory? To me, it smacks religion in the face and so I completely reject it.
Well, since it seems like the hermeneutical circle topic has been broached...
are you familiar with the hermeneutical spiral as an answer to the hermeneutical circle?
or fusion of horizons as an answer to differing horizons of understanding?
there's also the asymptotic model... though as jon mentioned, Kuhn's "paradigm shift" is probably a bit more accurate than a smooth asymptote
the thing is, these are all models.. we're speaking by analogy, and should take care to not invest to much on the basis of a metaphor
@Ray Oh, I agree. I do not think that the hermeneutic circle is complete, like all analogies. I actually tend to warp it a bit to fit my meaning. They're just ideas and concepts--models, as you say. None of these are perfect.
I'm not sure the problem is even so much the hermeneutical circle so much as simply post-modernism.
This idea that there is no theologically-objective reading of a text
Or even text-objective reading of a text
9:16 PM
I think that's a doctrine unto itself. The problem is, even if you had to pick a doctrine and say "This is the true doctrine and all hermeneutics shall be based on this", which would you pick? There hasn't been any that haven't changed over time.
Exactly. the hermeneutical circle is essentially a postmodern concept
I think it is an idea that has sprung from postmodernism, maybe. But I don't think that invalidates it.
i didn't say postmodernism was wrong
I think that there can be theologically-objective reading of the text, but it has to originate from a theological standpoint. I believe that objective reading is possible, within a given framework.
it's simply respecting the subject-object distinction
9:18 PM
@Ray Fair enough. It really does muddy the waters.
as Christians, we should be the first to claim that the text changes us
@Ray Totally agreed!
@Richard wow, that sounds like a paradox if i've ever heard one!
@Richard (or does that make it subjective, since it is in a framework...)
Yeah, I was just thinking about that.... ;)
That said, even if we can never have objective knowledge, that doesn't mean we can't have knowledge at all.. or even true knowledge
9:20 PM
Yeah... that doesn't really make sense. It sounded good when I wrote it, though! :D
At any rate
I do need to get that question ironed out, because there is clearly a lot of good thoughts about it
and it is clearly become a subject discussed across the site
and people are referencing it
Which question?
Let us know what Osborne has to say :)
this is all I have so far
Aah, the unwritten question. I see.
9:26 PM
Anyway gentlemen, it is my wife's birthday
And I will be taking her out to dinner
So have a good night
You too, sir
Seeya, Ray!

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