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CALVARY BIBLE COLLEGE: SHILLONG

Reading Assignment on Biblical Hermeneutics


Book Title: Hermeneutics: Foundation and New Trends

Submitted To: Rev. L. John Gangte


Submitted By: R. Lalthlamuana, 5th Semester, IC R/No. 1 Dt. 8th September 2018.

Book Author: C.I. David Joy


CHAPTER 1: Hermeneutics: Preliminary considerations (Pages 1 to 39)
1.1 The Bible and Hermeneutics:- This paragraph says that the history of Biblical interpretation
is a vast area. It cannot be considered in a brief manner. Such a hermeneutics should certainly
bring out the meaning of the text in a legitimate way for those who wish to study the Bible
seriously. The study of the Bible remains a fascinating one as there is a range of possible
approaches to biblical interpretation.
1.2 Defining Hermeneutics:- This paragraph indicates the various ways of reading ang
understanding the Bible. I really appreciate.
Text:- It is a written document that reflects the context and mindset of the community or persons
behind it. It should be in a specific form and structure.
Hermeneutics:- It refer to the category of rules, principles and methods that would be applied to
understand the meaning of the text.
Context:- Biblical texts have originated within a particular socio-culture and religio-political
background and that framework is called context of the text.
Method:- It means any step or procedure used for collecting data or gathering information.
Exegesis:- It refer to the systematic application of the hermeneutical principle to find out the
author’s intention and meaning of the text.
Methodology:- It refer to the critical analysis of collected data.
Criticism:- It refer to the science of treating biblical texts as product of historical and political
engagements between the people.
1.3 History of interpretation:-This part will deal with the story of the Biblical interpretation
under four major categories, namely early father of the church, period of reformation, modern
and contextual methods and postmodern and postcolonial methods.
Conclusion:- This chapter has deal with various aspects of hermeneutics, namely the definition,
history of biblical interpretation, different scholars of interpretation and contextual hermeneutics.
It is observed that the history of biblical interpretation has had a closer association with the
history of society within which it originated. Moreover, there is a universal dimension even in
particular hermeneutics expression.

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CHAPTER 2: Post colonialism: Definition and major thrusts (Pages 40-75).

2.1 Defining postcolonial Hermeneutics:- Kwame Anthony Appiah defines postcoloniality thus:
Pastcoloniality is the condition of what we might ungenerously call a comprador intelligential: of
relatively small, Western style, western trained, group of writers and thinkers, who mediate the
trade in cultural commodities of world capitalism at the periphery. In the west, they are known
Through the Africa they offer, they compatriots know them both through the west they present to
Africa and through an Africa they have invented for the world, for each other and for Africa.
2.2. Missionaries and cononialism :- The theological frame that designed and controlled the
missionary era was the 16-18th century English protestant tradition…which produced a
significant literature, moulded theory totally by language. Thus, the English language and culture
kept an upper hand in the affairs of Christianity in colonized contexts. Philips constable’s Article
“The marginalization of a Dalit Martial race in Late Nineteen and early twentieth century
Western India” express that there was a systematic Marginalizasation of Dalits and subalterns
even in British India, even in terms of requirement of jobs, military and other areas.
2.5 Pre-Muslim India:- We see this paragraph about pre-Muslim, it’s good to know the Bible
students that’s why I want to point out. The biblical references to India (Esther 1:1, 8:9) show the
trade relationships prevailing during the pre-Muslim period between India and other nations.
There was educational and cultural exchange India and African nation during that time.
Furthermore, the Shindhu river civilization and the Aryan invasion were the major cornerstone
during that period. In 480 B.C, Indian soldiers fought against the Greek for Persians. In the same
way, the Gupta and the Maurya dynasties were powerful and influential. This is a clear
indication of the military equipment and domination that Indian kings enjoyed during that period.
In this way, it is also important to understand the trade mobility between India and other nations.
It was again the Greek empire that showed keen interest in keeping the economic ties between
the pre-Muslim India and the other nations.

CHAPTER 3: A Postcolonial Re/Deconstruction (Pages76 - 117).


3.1. A De/Reconstruction of Historical Jesus :- In this regard, a reconstruction of the historical
Jesus might offer new directions in the study of early Christianity. This process is important, as
the treasured heritage of the history of the Jesus movement has not been examined through the
eyes of proper historical and critical faculties by even some of the leading scholar, such as Henry
Burton. This is evident in his book, Gleanings in the Gospel, as the book describes the voyage of
Jesus coming as in tune with the very thought process of the political and religious leadership in
those days.. Therefore it is important to examine the commentary and monographs produce as
they bear the mark of the hegemony of the establishment of that time.
3.2. Pauline Christianity`:- It is not an easy task to portray the origin and growth of Pauline
Christianity, as the story of Pauline Christianity is the story of thee first generation of
Christianity. It is very significant to see the reasons behind the parting of ways between Pauline

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Christianity and Judaism for a possible understanding of the origin and growth of the early
Christianity. Christopher Rowland summarizes his arguments in the following manner:
The most obvious point at which Pauline Christianity and the bulk of contemporary Judaism
parted company was over the precise place of the Law of Moses: was it possible to have an
interpretation of Judaism which claims to remain a part of that religious tradition without
accepting the primacy of that law code for matters of belief and practices?

3.3. The early Christian community in Acts


1). Roman Colonial Scars in the Acts of the Apostle.
2). Acts 13:1-12: New Community: Through Conversion?
3). Acts 17:16-34: Is pluralism a real Challenge?
Conclusion: A study of early Christian communities from the viewpoint of postcolonial
hermeneutics would always challenge the traditional understanding and meaning of the early
Christian texts, as a postcolonial reading might bring a fresh ideological frame to the
interpretative activity. This chapter has attempted to present the history of early Christianity,
including the Jesus movement, from three optics, namely Jesus Galilee, Paul and the Roman
Empire and early Christian communities in Acts.
Acts chapter 13:1-12 and 17:17-34 present many socio-cultural and political ideas interwoven
with the emergence of the first generation Christian movement in a Gentail town with religious
and cultural plurality. Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostle, recorded those events with
theological and historical intentions. At the same time, there are many potential political and
cultural phrases implicit in the text.

CHAPTER 4: The Samaritans: From Assyrians to the Roman Empire (Pages 123-143).
4.1. History of Subjugation and oppression:- The Samaritans were an outcaste group since in 722
BCE and they underwent a series of conflicts and struggles under different empires of their
period. John 4 stands as a representative chapter as the women involved in conversion with Jesus
in this particular text stand further marginalized even within the outcaste group in terms of social
stigma associated with her socio-cultural status. John presentation of some revelation about Jesus
through a dialogue with such a doubly marginalized women is not accidental but very intentional
and deliberate. The very structure and composition of this narrative itself seems to dedicate
John’s deliberateness in conveying what he wants to communicate.
4.3. Samaritan Literature :- The most distinguished feature f the Samaritans is that they had a
literate priestly class who recorded their history: The Samaritan Pentateuch, Targums,
Chronicles, Calendar and many other non-canonical books, Moses, Mount Gerizim and Taheb
are the main subject in their books. Since the rivalry and hostility remained in all imperial
regimes, the religious pillars were certainly the strong elements of literature that protected the
people.

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4.3.1 The Samaritan Pentateuch:- The Samaritans claim that the scroll of the Samaritan
Pentateuch could be dated back to Abisha, the great grandson of Aaron. Since the Samaritans
were a cultic community centered around its sanctuary on mount Gerizim, a textual transmission
of the Samaritan Pentateuch became possible from within the community. Some manuscripts are
still with the community of Samaritans in Nablus. The script of the Samaritan Pentateuch is
derived from the old Hebrew alphabet that is similar to the Samaritan lapidary script.
Conclusion:- In this chapter we see about the Samaritans and their literature, Pentateuch and
religious. I get many things what I have never heard about the Samaritans from this chapter.

CHAPTER 5: The Samaritans in the New Testament (Pages 144 – 152).

5.1. The Gospel of Luke:- Luke has a very positive approach towards the Samaritans. Luke offers
a reasonable attention to Samaria and the Samaritans. The three events in which Luke present the
Samaritans are, Jesus entry into a Samaritan village (Luke 9:51-55), Jesus’ commendation of the
Samaritan (Luke 17:11-19), and the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
5.2. The Acts of the Apostles:- The Acts of the Apostles is positive about the Samaritan mission.
The origin and the expansion of the Churches in Samaritan had been a matter of deep interest to
the evangelist (Acts 1:8; 8:1-13,14,25; 9:31; 15:3). According to source analysis, the Samaritan
mission belongs to the Peter-Simon tradition. Actually, mission sources would have helped Luke
to include the Samaritans in his book.
Conclusion:- Though Matthew has not said much of the Samaritans, Luke is very much
sympathetic to them and Mark does not refer to them at all. The origin of the Samaritan mission
is really thrilling, as the nature of the community is described fully. Both Acts and Luke’s
gospel, the author expresses his altitude towards the Samaritan missions.

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