Desired Outcomes

From: Hiedi Pope (
Date: Wed Apr 09 1997 - 01:07:00 EDT

Hello everyone from Theo Pope.

I have been observing the various threads of thought about different topics,
generally about the meaning of one thing or another since March 7. As an
aspiring reader of the New Testament my desired outcome is to understand
what the author of each of the New Testament books meant by his writing. I
am finishing up my second year of Biblical Greek. I have gone through 1
John, 1 Thessalonians, and finishing up 1 Peter.

There have been comments about assumptions, basics, stages, etc. to give
preference to one meaning or another for some part of a text. A brief
mention was made in passing to Thomas Kuhn's " The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions" with the idea of paradymns influencing the meaning of a text.
In Peter Senge's book, "The Fifth Discipline" the term Mental Model is used
similarly to describe the Structure in the Mind that is not stated
explicitly, but is always present filtering the data received by the human
senses. Many of you have spent years studing, thinking, observing and
reading the New Testament. You are clearly aware of all the pitfalls in
understanding an authors meaning. I believe there may be serveral processes
(Prccess meaning a sequence of repeatable steps that leads to a desired
outcome).I have two questions.

1. What are the processes I must master to understand what the author of
each of the New Testament books meant by his writing? My assumption is that
there is only one intended meaning by the author for those to whom it was

2. For each process, what can I do at each step of the process to ensure I
do not place into the Greek text my own mental models?
Theophelous(Theo) Michael Pope
1265 Countryside Lane
Manteca, CA. 95337-6700

"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in
synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews com togethe. I said nothing
in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what
I said." John 18:20-21

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