Re: HOW and WHY

From: Jim West (
Date: Sat Sep 25 1999 - 20:21:35 EDT

At 04:47 PM 9/25/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Is it not fair to say that WHY a Greek text means a certain thing is the
>product of one's hermeneutics? I frankly still do not see how it is
>possible to separate the interpretation of a given text from the
>principles which underlie one's process of interpretation. For example, we
>may identify a certain word as a Genitive, but how we interpret it (what we
>think it means) and how we describe it (what kind of a genitive we call it)
>come, do they not, from principles of interpretation and/or
>pre-understandings we bring to the text?

Absolutely correct. Every translation is an interpretation... that was just
my point.
>Carl, I agree with you that what benefits us most is not a simple YEP! or
>NOPE! but the logic behind it. And for me, as a lifelong
>learner, understanding that process is of much greater help than someone's
>pontification that announces the ultimate truth about the grammatical
>construction in question.

Nevertheless, some questions do deserve a simple yes or no. To overanalyze
every single part of a question is to reduce every question to absurdity.
For instance....

>What think ye all?

Please define think. Do you mean you wish us to express our personal
opinions? Or do you perhaps wish us to rehearse our personal
epistemologies? Further, thinking necessitates a certain amount of training
to acheive any degree of legitimacy because, for instance, a person who
knows nothing of Greek may very well "think" he or she has an answer to your
question- but such an answer will be quite meaningless as there is not
sufficient knowledge behind the answer to render it true. So, you first
must clarify what you mean here.

Second, please define "ye all". Do you mean you wish every person on list
to render a response? Or do you restrict your request to only those who
have so far participated? Do you really mean all or do you simply mean
some? Again, if "all" on list are to respond, are you sufficiently familiar
with their training and qualifications to render their responses of any
value- or do you equally value the opinions of all even if those opinions
are unfounded? If you do equally value every opinion, and those opinions
are contradictory, how do you decide who is right? Is it your own opinion
which "breaks the tie" or do you favor certain posters and automatically
relegate to them authority which you dont to others because you dont like them?

In short, George, questions can really be answered simply most of the time
for two reasons:
1) you will take one persons word above another nearly every time.
2) you will most likely adopt the response most similar to yours.

Thus, most of the time, posters already know what they believe and merely
wish to have it authenticated.

So- I submit that offering a yes or no response saves a lot of time... most
of the time.



Jim West, ThD
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