Stanley E. Porter on Theological Interpretation

Porter writes,

…(T)heological interpretation is not the way forward in developing theological responsibility in biblical hermeneutics. In fact, I believe that theological interpretation runs the risk of jeopardizing what it means to be a responsible biblical hermeneut, by attempting to to overlook or negate, whether consciously or not, a biblical hermeneutic.

He goes on to suggest that theological interpretation advocates for a “jumbled mix of contradictory proposals. (46)

Now, if that ain’t something. I wince at the idea we have to interpret Scripture according to a “rule of faith.” I think our responsibility includes the progress of academic intellect. If a pre-modern interpretation is rendered in error (as Porter points out, the restriction of women from ministerial roles), then we must be responsible enough to correct it. Pre-modern interpretation is just as limiting as modern interpretation if we act in error.

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

3 thoughts on “Stanley E. Porter on Theological Interpretation”

  1. Truer words were never spoken!! (I knew there was something about Stanley Porter that I liked.)

    I’ve been trying to get people unglued from theological interpretation ever since I first found out what it (really) is.

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