historical context

Gail Froese (gfroese@jetstream.net)
Sat, 21 Dec 1996 16:52:02 -0800

Hello Somi

I have read your responses on the list with interest. You said, =
"Interpretation of a text is not a creative enterprise...it is a =
clarfying one. We are not trying to find something "new". We are =
looking for what is already there." =20

This is what I am trying to do as well. As one of my prof's put it, "It =
is as if we are listening to one side of a telephone conversation." We =
must try to pick up clues to what the original questions might have been =
and who the people are that Paul is refering to. My particular interest =
is in the first two chapters of Colossians and in particular, Paul's use =
of the "stoicheia tou kosmou". In Col 2:8 Paul makes it clear that he =
is contrasting two methodologies; one 'kata ta stoicheia tou kosmou' and =
the other 'kata Christou'. Are these simply the "ABC's" of the world =
(philosophical assumptions that the unconverted live by) or are they a =
bit more concrete than that. =20

I would suggest that a merely grammatical exegesis of the text does not =
give us definative answers. It is only when we look at the historical =
context, that is to say the "Sitz im Liben" (pardon my poor German) that =
we can make some of these judgments. =20

I hope that you are not confusing my use of 'historical setting' with =
'historical/critcal method'. I think there is a distinct difference. =
Each has its own distinct contribution to make to our understanding of a =

Alas, having said that I fear that our conversation is leaving the =
realms of Greek grammer and going out into the wider realms of =

Dan Froese
Pastor, Salmon Arm, BC