A distinct twenty-first century Pentecostal hermeneutic
LE3 .A278 2014
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
This thesis argues for a distinct Pentecostal hermeneutic that utilizes several interpretive methodologies and a quadradic strategy. Chapter one argues for the legitimacy, and necessity, of a distinct Pentecostal hermeneutic on the basis of academic activity and challenge, a changed world environment, and the need for Pentecostals to make a theological contribution to the Christian Church. To lay a foundation and identify Pentecostalism’s ethos for the proposed hermeneutic chapter two traces Pentecostalism’s roots. Chapter three lays a biblical foundation by examining Acts 2 and 15, Matthew 1:23, John 10:34-36, and Jude. The early Pentecostal hermeneutics, especially that of D. Wesley Myland, are examined in chapter 4 to establish a starting point for the hermeneutic argued in the thesis. Chapter five argues that a distinct twenty-first century Pentecostal hermeneutic must engage interpretive methodologies that enable meaning and meaningfulness to emerge through a dynamic interaction between text and interpreter. This thesis argues that a legitimate role for the traditionally dominant historical-grammatical method must be limited. Chapter six presents the quadradic strategy that embraces a dynamic interaction between Scripture, Spirit, Community, and Trained Leader. This strategy allows for meaning and significance to emerge as text, Spirit, and interpreter engage in creative interaction so that original/authorial intent no longer has absolute control over meaning. Scripture’s primacy is maintained and Scripture and community establish appropriate limitations on the interpreter’s creative imagination. A Bachelor level course to teach the proposed hermeneutic forms an appendix.
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