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Pete Enns & The Bible for Normal People

5 Principles for Biblical Interpretation with Jared Byas

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Jared shares some key concepts in biblical interpretation and gives us some tools on how we can derive meaning from biblical passages as he explores the following questions:

  • What are some key concepts in interpretation of the Bible?
  • What are hermeneutics?
  • What are some hinderances in understanding what the biblical authors were trying to communicate?
  • How can the Bible help interpret itself?
  • Why is it important to understand what the biblical authors were trying to communicate?
  • How can we know what the biblical authors’ intentions were without tasking them?
  • How has archeology helped us interpret the Bible?
  • How can the way we interpret art teach us about interpreting the Bible?
  • Why does the reader’s context matter when interpreting the Bible?
  • How is language its own context?
  • What is the danger of being objective when doing biblical interpretation?
  • Why does Jared Byas think hearing diverse interpretations of the Bible is important?

Tweetables

Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements from Jared Byas you can share. 

  • “The root of biblical interpretation is author intention.” @jbyas
  • “The fruit of biblical interpretation is reader reception.” @jbyas
  • “Meaning is in the relationship between the person who’s communicating to someone, and the person who’s receiving that communication.”@jbyas
  • “Meaning is found between intent and impact: the intention of the author and the significance it has for the reader.” @jbyas
  • “We should be humble about what we think we know… we all might experience the same thing but from a different angle with a different perspective.” @jbyas
  • “As one human being in a particular place and time it’s hard to know the whole story.” @jbyas
  • “The best way to get the God’s eye view is to accept and honor the diversity of all the readings that we find in our world.” @jbyas
  • “Don’t discount your own reading and your own example and your own life and own context.” @jbyas

Mentioned in This Episode

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This week’s topic is Jewish ways understanding what the Bible is, namely what it means to speak of the Bible as “revealed” and “authoritative.” Our guest is Benjamin D. Sommer, professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. His latest book is Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition. Christians have much to learn from Jews about how to understand the nature of the Bible.

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