Andrew Judd on Gadamer, Genre Theory, and Biblical Interpretation

Andrew Judd on Gadamer, Genre Theory, and Biblical Interpretation

If you’re interested in biblical interpretation and hermeneutic theory, check out this great conversation between Ian Paul and Andrew Judd. Andrew recently finished his doctoral thesis on Hans-Georg Gadamer, genre theory, and biblical interpretation. His work looks fascinating. | Photo: Wayne Chan / Ridley College

Below is a snippet from the interview. Commenting on the value of Gadamer’s hermeneutics for interpreting Scripture in, and training leaders for, the local church, Andrew says:

“I think the deepest insight Gadamer has to offer us is that we need other people in order to read well. We are at our best as readers when we are in dialogue – dialogue with the ancient text, with long-dead interpreters, with other cultures, and with those nearby.

Connected with this is the idea of a cautious respect for authority. Gadamer talks about the rehabilitation of authority as a proper concept. The person you’re talking to might know more about the subject matter than you do! The Enlightenment thought you should do your own research and never rely on authority. But of course there is always a point that we have to rely on the expertise or knowledge of others.

“I think in our training of leaders we need to make sure we don’t accidentally encourage people to distrust of the very idea of authority with our Reformation rhetoric (‘don’t trust the preacher, open your Bibles and see for yourself!’). Now, I’m all for making the Bible our primary authority, and encouraging biblical literacy from the pews. But there are people in the world who know things I don’t know, and I can learn from them! And when you reject the wisdom of your elders and teachers you don’t actually dispense with authority, you actually just end up listening to unaccountable authorities. Reading Daniel without input from capable Bible scholars is a sure way to end up on a YouTube channel with your very own doomsday cult.”

Read the entire interview here.

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