Ben Witherington has a great posting on his blog on hermeneutics:

Remember Hermes? He’s the little guy you see from time to time on the logo at the florist shop, wearing a WWI trench helmet and always on the run. Actually, in Greek tradition he was the messenger of the gods, delivering the word of some deity to humans who badly needed to hear it. Hermes, and the concept of his role, is the basis for the Greek words hermeneutike (first found in Plato Epin. 975C) which refer to the art of interpreting. We find the variant word ‘hermeneia’ for instance in 1Cor. 12.10 where Paul refers to the interpretation of tongues.

In modern discourse the term hermeneutics normally refers to the art (not science) of interpreting important often ancient or sacred, texts such as the Bible. But why would we need a guide to the perplexed in regard to the interpreting of the Bible? After all, don’t Christians have brains and the Holy Spirit to guide them? Well yes, but all modern brains are affected in the way they think by the modern cultural milieu in which they are immersed. They are affected as well by their whole educational progress (or regress) through school as well.

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