Behind, In, In Front Of: A Study in Communal Hermeneutics Open Access

Perry, Nicholas (Spring 2020)

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A United Methodist pastor leads a small group of members in a four-week study through Genesis 1-2. The class sessions are designed to focus on one of the three worlds: behind, in, and in front of the Scripture. The aim of engaging the Scripture in these contexts is to strengthen the laity’s confidence and ability to read Scripture critically and perform the work of interpretation. The small group performs various interpretative tasks and observations are recorded. Meanwhile, the reader is thrusted into a nuanced conversation centered on hermeneutics among trusted guides Gordon Fee, Douglas Stuart, Carolyn Sharp, and Walter Brueggemann.


Table of Contents





Introduction                                                                                                                           1

Setting for the Project                                                                                                            1

The Problem                                                                                                                           3

Structure of the Project                                                                                                          5

Introductory Meeting                                                                                                            5

Session Two: The World Behind the Text                                                                           8

Session Three: The Word Behind the Text                                                                          11

Session Four: The World In Front of the Text                                                                     13

Exploring the Three Worlds Behind the Text                                                                      14

Observations and Ruminations From Class: The World Behind the Text                           14

The World Behind the Text                                                                                                  17

A. Sharp                                                                                                                                17

B. Fee and Stuart                                                                                                                  18

C. Brueggemann                                                                                                                   20

Observations and Ruminations From Class: The World In the Text                                   22

The World In the Text                                                                                                                     23

A. Sharp                                                                                                                                23

B. Fee and Stuart                                                                                                                  25

C. Brueggemann                                                                                                                   26

Observations and Ruminations From Class: The World In Front of the Text                     27

The World In Front Of the Text                                                                                           31

A. Sharp                                                                                                                                31

B. Fee and Stuart                                                                                                                 32

C. Brueggemann                                                                                                                  34

Evaluation                                                                                                                              36

Bibliography                                                                                                                          41

Appendix 1.1                                                                                                                         44

Appendix 1.2                                                                                                                         47

Appendix 1.3                                                                                                                        49


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