Looking at Scriptures through the lens of Gadamer

Yesterday we had a very stimulating discussion about Hans-Geroge Gadamer’s work and philosophy which is mainly related to his magnum opus Truth and Method to which he tries to put forward a philosophical approach to interpreting text which involves what he calls as a ‘fusion of horizons’ where the interpreter finds the ways that the text's history articulates with their own background, which Gadamer intends to be a description of what we always do when we interpret things (even if we do not know it) to which he writes: "My real concern was and is philosophic: not what we do or what we ought to do, but what happens to us over and above our wanting and doing[1]".

How this relates to sacred scriptures like the Bible, I believe Gadamer offers thoroughgoing insights that can be very important to theologians whenever they would approach scriptures.

Since the Scriptures are dynamic pieces of literature.

As the Word that which we Christians affirm as the final authority is living and active and cannot be bound and confined to our systems of dogma and interpretation.

This realization affirms the need for us to concede humbly that our assumptions are not the final word when it comes to interpretation of the text, but rather to accept the text's multi-faceted meanings that relate to our reading of it.

Doing this now challenges and changes us because understanding a text requires more than an intellectual ascent but rather one that gives a higher premium to actions which ultimately reveals we have understood a given text because actions speak louder than words.

[1] Truth and Method 2nd edn. Sheed and Ward, London 1989 XXVIII

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