Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

Binding and loosing on earth: Evaluating the strategy for church disciplinary procedures proposed in Matthew 18:15-18 through the lenses of thinking and feeling

Leslie J. Francis, Susan H. Jones, Keith Hebden
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5476 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5476 | © 2019 Leslie J. Francis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 March 2019 | Published: 17 July 2019

About the author(s)

Leslie J. Francis, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; and, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Susan H. Jones, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Keith Hebden, Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield, United Kingdom


Matthew 18:15–18 proposed a disciplined strategy for dealing with disputes within the Matthean emerging Christian community. The present study was designed to test the theory, proposed by the SIFT approach to biblical hermeneutics, that reader interpretation of this strategy is influenced by the individual readers’ psychological type preferences. Participants attending two conferences in 2017 reflected on this strategy, working in groups that distinguished between feeling types and thinking types: 15 biblical scholars at the Summer School of the Urban Theology Unit, and 22 curates and training incumbents at a 3-day residential programme. Consistent with psychological type theory and with the SIFT approach to biblical hermeneutics, the feeling types found the whole tone of the passage uncomfortable and unsettling. The thinking types identified more readily with the Matthean strategy. These findings add weight to the reader perspective approach to the interpretation of scripture that takes the psychological type profile of the reader into account.


Reader perspective; Biblical hermeneutics; SIFT; Psychological type; Preaching


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Crossref Citations

1. Reading the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 25–37) through the lenses of introverted intuition and extraverted intuition: Perceiving text differently
Leslie J. Francis, Christopher F.J. Ross
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 78  issue: 4  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v78i4.7443