Hermeneutical Integrity

One of my new friends in the blog-o-sphere sent me some interesting and provocative thoughts re my discourse of nakedness in the book of Genesis. He is well versed in Hebrew etymology and shared some nuances of the Hebrew word “naked”, noting that its meaning varies slightly from place to place in Genesis 2 and 3. If you are interested, I suggest you check out his blog, “Of Dust and Kings,” on WordPress.com. He is a very thoughtful young Bible scholar and pastor.

This gentleman’s observations remind me of why I love words—they are such treasures. And it is no accident that the Judeo-Christian tradition values so greatly the word and that in the Christian tradition Jesus was the Word incarnate.

I read somewhere years ago that words are “repositories of meaning.” As we focus on key words…especially in literature, and even more so in sacred literature…and begin to explore their hidden treasures, they can speak volumes to us. But, I must say, this is always an intense hermeneutical endeavor. It involves being able, willing, and humble enough to understand the hermeneutical enterprise and in so doing realize that we have to avoid the pitfall of mining the literature to merely prop-up our preconceptions and biases.

“The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility. And humility is endless.” (T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets)

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4 thoughts on “Hermeneutical Integrity

  1. T. E. Hanna

    Thank you for this post! It is humbling to know that people connect with my blog. And as a side note, I *ADORE* TS Eliot, especiall his short poems. I think ‘The Hippopotamus’ is my favorite. 🙂

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    1. literary lew Post author

      Yes, I know what you mean. I too am deeply humbled. I’m glad you like TSE. He was awesome! I am familiar with Hippapotomus but have not given it any attention. I will do so today and will let me you know what I think.

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    1. literary lew Post author

      Hey, I like that! Thanks for checking in and thanks for sharing. A relevant note from W.H. Auden in his poem, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”, “The words of a dead man survive in the guts of the living”

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