Original Research - Special Collection: Reception of Biblical Discourse in Africa

Debriefing hermeneutics for a balanced reading of the biblical text

Mogomme A. Masoga
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7408 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7408 | © 2022 Mogomme A. Masoga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 February 2022 | Published: 25 May 2022

About the author(s)

Mogomme A. Masoga, Faculty of Arts, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa


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Abstract

In this study, it is argued that the trust of previous (and existing) hermeneutical approaches of promoting ancient biblical texts as applicable to the everyday life of contemporary readers is not only imaginable but also too ambitious. The Hebrew Bible emerged from an Israelite cultural context, which neither speaks to nor deliberates on issues concerning the African cultural contexts. The present essay utilises a narrative approach comprising three main overtures. Firstly, some examples of previous contributions on hermeneutics will be discussed. Secondly, this study interrogates the legitimacy of employing African biblical hermeneutics that utilises ancient Jewish texts as applicable to African societies today. Thirdly and finally, the study will critically appraise for a balanced reading of the biblical text.

Contribution: The present study aims at engaging (debriefing) existing hermeneutical contributions towards proposing a balanced reading of the biblical text. In order to achieve that goal, the study engages into a dialogue following hermeneutical approaches, which are popular amongst most African scholars, namely African biblical hermeneutics, black biblical hermeneutics, contextual biblical hermeneutics, feminist hermeneutics and oral hermeneutics.


Keywords

African biblical hermeneutics; black biblical hermeneutics; contextual biblical hermeneutics; science of interpretation; oral hermeneutics

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