Archive for September 10th, 2008

The Hermaneutical Circle

September 10, 2008

Your response to the title of this post might be “The What?” since hermaneutics is not a word that is used very much outside of Bible colleges and seminaries.  The hermaneutical circle is a Bible study method that I was introduced to over twenty years ago which I consider to be worth sharing.

Basically, it states that our study of Scripture goes through a cycle with four stages.

1.  Read and study the scripture.

2.  Formulate an understanding of the scripture.

3.  Experience life.

4.  Reflect on how your understanding of scripture fits your life experiences.

Repeat the process. 

Now you might say that our life experiences should not affect our interpretation of scripture.  What I am saying is that our experiences can cause us to reevaluate our understanding of scripture.  Sometimes we will modify what we believe and sometimes we will not.  The constant process of study, formulation, experience and reflection will cause us to refine and substantiate those things that we hold to be true.  It is a lifelong process which partly reflects the ongoing transformational work of God in our lives.

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