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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

Proof Texing or Theological Interpretation

Is There a Meaning in This Text?: The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge (Landmarks in Christian Scholarship) Kevin J. Vanhoozer KE $18.99

Is there a meaning in the Bible, or is meaning rather a matter of who is reading or of how one reads? Does Christian doctrine have anything to contribute to debates about interpretation, literary theory, and post modernity? These are questions of crucial importance for contemporary biblical studies and theology alike.


Kevin Vanhoozer contends that the postmodern crisis in hermeneutics---'incredulity towards meaning,' a deep--set skepticism concerning the possibility of correct interpretation---is fundamentally a crisis in theology provoked by an inadequate view of God and by the announcement of God's 'death.'

Part 1 examines the ways in which deconstruction and radical reader--response criticism 'undo' the traditional concepts of author, text, and reading. Dr. Vanhoozer engages critically with the work of Derrida, Rorty, and Fish, among others, and demonstrates the detrimental influence of the postmodern 'suspicion of hermeneutics' on biblical studies.

In Part 2, Dr. Vanhoozer defends the concept of the author and the possibility of literary knowledge by drawing on the resources of Christian doctrine and by viewing meaning in terms of communicative action. He argues that there is a meaning in the text, that it can be known with relative adequacy, and that readers have a responsibility to do so by cultivating 'interpretive virtues.'

Successive chapters build on Trinitarian theology and speech act philosophy in order to treat the metaphysics, methodology, and morals of interpretation.

From a Christian perspective, meaning and interpretation are ultimately grounded in God's own communicative action in creation, in the canon, and preeminently in Christ.

Prominent features in Part 2 include a new account of the author's intention and of the literal sense, the reclaiming of the distinction between meaning and significance in terms of Word and Spirit, and the image of the reader as a disciple--martyr, whose vocation is to witness to something other than oneself.

Is There a Meaning in This Text? guides the student toward greater confidence in the authority, clarity, and relevance of Scripture, and a well--reasoned expectation to understand accurately the message of the Bible.

Is There a Meaning in This Text? is a comprehensive and creative analysis of current debates over biblical hermeneutics that draws on interdisciplinary resources, all coordinated by Christian theology. It makes a significant contribution to biblical interpretation that will be of interest to readers in a number of fields.

The intention of the book is to revitalize and enlarge the concept of author--oriented interpretation and to restore confidence that readers of the Bible can reach understanding. The result is a major challenge to the central assumptions of postmodern biblical scholarship and a constructive alternative proposal---an Augustinian hermeneutic---that reinvigorates the notion of biblical authority and finds a new exegetical practice that recognizes the importance of both the reader's situation and the literal sense.

The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance by Bruce M. Metzger (Mar 6, 1997) - Kindle eBook
$59.00 Print Price $34.49 Kindle Edition
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F. F. Bruce and Frederick Fyvie Bruce (Dec 31, 1942) - Kindle eBook
$15.00 Print Price $9.99 Kindle Edition
The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce (Aug 20, 2010) - Kindle eBook
$30.00 Print Price $14.99 Kindle Edition

Theological Interpretation of Scripture: An Introduction and Preliminary Evaluation: Gregg R. Allison: Professor of Christian Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Review of Kevin Vanhoozer TIS Theological Interpretation or Theological Exegesis of Scripture. 9 pages PDF


Spiritual Readiang: A Study of the Christian Practice of Reading Scripture: Durham E. Theses: Durham U. PDF 264 pages Harvey, Angela Lou
In Defense of Proof-Texting: R. Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain ; PDF 10 pages

Parenthetical references or footnote/ endnote references to biblical passages that undergird some doctrinal claim made, whether in a dogmatics textbook, a catechism, or a confession of faith.

Protestant theologians were not naive realists. Rather, the assumption weas that theology is a sacred science, whose "first principles" are revealed by God alone and therefore that constructive theological argumentation must proceed on the basis of God's revealved truth, particularly as that revealed truth is communicated through individual passages of Holy Scripture, often understood as sedes doctrinae.
see Daniel J. Treier, "Proof text"

 in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of Scripture" Vanhoozer
"Do we act as if we really believe that the Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written?" Wayne Grudem's ETS presidential address. JETS 43 (2000) 5-26

i.e. that they way forward for evangelical theology is to pursue "whole Bible exegesis." i.e. "not just what one verse says, or one book, but the whole of the Bible, interpreted and applied rightly to the Church today." (That it takes the full panorama of biblical teaching (being not just NT or OT study, but "whole Bible study)

In Grudem's Systematic Theology he offers a directive and then suggests three steps to achieve that goal:
First the directive: "We should study systematic theology by collecting and understanding all the relevant passages of Scripture on any give topic.
Second, he offers the trhee steps:

One: Find all the relevant verses
Two: Read, make notes on and try to summarize the points made in the relevant verses

Three: The teachings of the various verses should be summarized into one or more points that the Bible affirms bouttaht subject.

i.e he does note that some verses may be pertinent even though they do not use particular words keyed to that topic, but the overwhelming push is to base systematic theology upon word studies.

The theologian finds verses with words and phrases related to thatt topic across the biblical canon by using a good concordance. Then they try to state each verse's or section's teaching. Finally, they try to boil down these many summaries into a description of the whole Bible's message. In the end, you have a doctrinal statement capped off with parenthetical references to texts that it summarizes.

And Vanhoozer in reply to this says this minimizes the Bible's deployment in theology, downplaying the systematic links between various topics of theology.

Vanhoozer says too: "It is one thing to know how a bibical author spoke or thought about a particular issue in the context of ancient Israel or the early church, quite another to relate those words and thoughts about a particular issue to the message of the Bible (birth control and gun control for example) as a whole and to the significance of the Bible's teaching for us today."" Voice and the Actor"

Vanhoozer also states: That proof-texting "to force every biblical sentence into the same mold in a kind of "one size fits all" hermeneutic is to read roughshod over the diverse literary genres of Scritpure." "Proof-texting assumes a uniform propositional revelation spread evenly throughout Scripture: one verse one vote. Not only does this approach risk decontextualizing biblical discourse, it also leaves unclear just how text cited in support acutally lend their support to the point in question.
(while at the same he himselves does the same kind of "proof texing" )

We need to remember when focusing on methodology, what Jeffrey Stout said
"preoccuptation with method is like clearning your through: it can go on for only so long before you lose your audience:" Ethics after Babel: The Languages of Morals and Their Discountents:

Some scholars suffer from what Wayne Grudem calls "exegetophobia". That is evangelical theologians interacted with secular sources and historical theology much more frequently than an biblical texts.