Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hermeneutical Philosophies for Interpreting Narrative Literature Part 8 - Conclusion


Luke had a very specific intent when composing his singular history, but did not have the good graces to write his own commentary, thus leaving the bewildered reader the arduous task of deciphering his design. All theologians recognize that Luke desired to provide religious instruction through his narrative. This problem lies in one's ability to create their own rules of interpretation in order to justify a theological preference. Yet if we treat Luke like any other author we can find his purpose with ease. The principle of repetition provides initially inductive reasoning by measuring how much Luke talks about one subject in relation to another. This enables us to see what subjects Luke wanted his audience to contemplate. Inductive reasoning of Luke shows Spirit inspired miracles to be a predominant theme. With this information we can deductively conclude that Luke intended his readers to be inspired by the miraculous work of the Spirit. If one believes Luke's intent to be different you must ask the question why practical miracles play a predominant role in the Lucan narrative. If Luke wanted his readers to think less on the subject, then persistent repetition was a flawed strategy. Thus, if anything from the narrative is normative, it is the numerous.

 Luke wrote this book for an audience, and like any adroit author, formed his writing in the most comprehensible form possible. Discovering how those to whom the text was intended interpreted the text helps us see through the fog created by the separation of language, geography, and culture. The objective facts gleaned from reading the church fathers shows how those by whom the Lucan narrative was received interpreted it. And these readers' interpretation corresponds with the pentecostal interpretation. If one interprets Luke-Acts differently from the initial audience is it possible that our contemporary theological culture has provided an element non-existent to the early church that Luke did not account for? Also, if we believe the early church perpetually interpreted Luke-Acts incorrectly, one must ask what cultural variable did Luke neglect to account for that caused his contemporary readership to err, but those separated by millennia to rectify their blunder? Author intent through the principles of repetition and early reader perception induce the objective information and deduce the normative intent of Luke.

God Love You -- Rev. Sheen

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