Not an exegetical question

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2011 7:39 PM

fgh:
What Swedish method?

http://www.scripture-engagement.org/node/193

I have 7 variations on the theme - also known as the Vasteras method.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2011 3:51 PM

MJ. Smith:
also known as the Vasteras method

That would be Västerås, the 5th largest city of Sweden, and my regional and diocesan capital for the moment. I still don't remember ever having heard or read about it before (other than seeing it mentioned in the Wiki).

And when I try to google for where it came from I end up on what looks very much like a blog of yours Smile

(Though after switching to Swedish I did actually manage to find out who invented it and where, but not really when. Seems it's more commonly known in Sweden as "candle, arrow and question mark", which does sound extremely vaguely familiar. Possibly. (Västerås, btw, turned out to refer to the diocese, not the city. And none of all your versions seems to be the original.))

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2011 5:10 PM

fgh:
And none of all your versions seems to be the original.

quite true - although the main version is close with the "share with" optional addition coming out of India. As for the when, I've seen a rather consistent early 1940's but not from any definitive source.If I weren't using lectio divina for opening a day long retreat, I'd consider a version of the Swedish method. The funniest variant I have collected is call "spaghetti junction" ... Swedish barley spaghetti in loganberry sauce?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2011 6:19 PM

MJ. Smith:
quite true - although the main version is close

The version I saw was question mark for "hard to understand", candle for "helps me understand", down arrow for "hits the/my conscience", and up arrow for "gives guidance". Though I can't be absolutely sure that's the original either.

MJ. Smith:
As for the when, I've seen a rather consistent early 1940's but not from any definitive source.

Sounds about right. I just got an idea and looked the guy up in an early history of the Church of Sweden Youth. It says that it only started to spread "towards the end of the period that this book deals with". And the book deals with 1905-1945.

MJ. Smith:
Swedish barley spaghetti in loganberry sauce?

??? (Are we supposed to eat that?)

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2011 7:11 PM

fgh:

MJ. Smith:
Swedish barley spaghetti in loganberry sauce?

??? (Are we supposed to eat that?)

I figured that "spaghetti junction" required northern ingredientsWink Did I go a bit too far north? Barley pasta and reindeer squeaky cheese? (Squeaky cheese is what I called the fresh Finnish farmers' cheese - and no I've never tasted reindeer milk).

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2011 8:10 PM

MJ. Smith:
I figured that "spaghetti junction" required northern ingredientsWink Did I go a bit too far north?

I can't remember ever seeing barley spaghetti. I certainly haven't eaten it. I also don't know that I've ever seen or eaten loganberries, and I certainly haven't eaten any sauce made from them. In fact, I had to check a dictionary to find out what it was, and I'm still not sure. Maybe they can be found in some garden catalogue somewhere, but they're definitely not common. Even blackberries are extremely rare in most of Sweden. Lingonberries, blueberries and raspberries in the wild; strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries in the gardens; that would be our major berries (with a few others tossed in for variation). Though I can't imagine any kind of berries with spaghetti. Sounds awful.

MJ. Smith:
and no I've never tasted reindeer milk

Nor have I. 

We've gone quite a bit off topic, haven't we? Smile

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 1:05 AM

I think a lot can be learned from observing the text. Using resources are important...training is also valuable. The main thing seminary taught me was what types of resources are there, how do I use them, and when do I use them, and which ones to use to find specific info. But actually there is a lot of things you can find out from reading the Bible...sometimes you might need to search for information, so I would guess either an electronic Bible or a hard copy concordance would be helpful.

Example:

Suppose I was studying Luke 18:9-14 and wanted to understand about Pharisees and Tax Collectors. You actually find out a lot about both just by how they are described elsewhere in Scripture. 

Or let's say you are studying 1 or 2 Timothy, since he was a leader in the church at Ephesus, reading the relevant passages in Acts as well as Paul's letter to Ephesus will give context as well.

Commentaries, Bible Dictionaries/Encyclopedias are helpful (I'm glad to have so many excellent ones in Logos) but the Bible gives a lot of context itself. The Inductive Method is a very good way to ask questions of the text.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 1:15 AM

Thanks Philana

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Terry Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 7:45 AM

"How would you study Scripture if all that you had was Scripture (and, perhaps, your own notes and friends)?"

Sentence diagrams

Terry Cook

sDg

 

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 7:53 AM

Terry Cook:

"How would you study Scripture if all that you had was Scripture (and, perhaps, your own notes and friends)?"

Sentence diagrams

Terry Cook

sDg

 

There are two factors to consider: 

  1. I don't recall who said it, but it has been stated that one should beware of the man of one book (Presumably he knows it thoroughly), yet
  2. If all you know is scripture in a translation, you really don't know scripture since anyone who only knows a translation of a writing doesn't understand the original unless it is explained since no translation can account for all factors and, when removed from the historical context with its literary connections and customs one simply interprets it in terms of a time divorced from when it was written.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Terry Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 7:57 AM

George Somsel:

There are two factors to consider: 

  1. I don't recall who said it, but it has been stated that one should beware of the man of one book (Presumably he knows it thoroughly), yet
  2. If all you know is scripture in a translation, you really don't know scripture since anyone who only knows a translation of a writing doesn't understand the original unless it is explained since no translation can account for all factors and, when removed from the historical context with its literary connections and customs one simply interprets it in terms of a time divorced from when it was written.

 

George:

There are two factors to consider:

  1. I don't recall who said it, but it has been stated that one should beware of the man of one book (Presumably he knows it thoroughly), yet
  2. If all you know is scripture in a translation, you really don't know scripture since anyone who only knows a translation of a writing doesn't understand the original unless it is explained since no translation can account for all factors and, when removed from the historical context with its literary connections and customs one simply interprets it in terms of a time divorced from when it was written.

Terry to George: Huh?

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 8:19 AM

Terry Cook:
Terry to George: Huh?

What don't you understand?

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Terry Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 8:49 AM

George Somsel:

Terry Cook:
Terry to George: Huh?

What don't you understand?

 

Everything!

How does your post relate to my post? MJ asked IF a person had only the Bible, how would that person study that resource. I answered "sentence diagrams". You quoted by answer  and said........

I'm unclear how what I wrote and what you wrote are related. HELP ME :-)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 8:57 AM

Terry Cook:

George Somsel:

Terry Cook:
Terry to George: Huh?

What don't you understand?

 

 

Everything!

How does your post relate to my post? MJ asked IF a person had only the Bible, how would that person study that resource. I answered "sentence diagrams". You quoted by answer  and said........

I'm unclear how what I wrote and what you wrote are related. HELP ME :-)

The answer is that one does not simply study the bible without any context.  If nothing else, the student of the text needs the church (or synagogue, if Jewish) in order to understand the text.  The text without a context is a pretext — it means whatever you want it to mean.  You may know that text well, but that doesn't indicate that you understand it.  He who does not have the church as his mother cannot have God as his father.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Terry Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 9:09 AM

OK, I think. So, your post has nothing to do with my post!?!?!?

and

you're making a blanket statement to MJ.?.?

I think MJ was just musing "what if......." same as you and I might do: "What if I were...... handsome, rich, female, born in Canada....". It's an exercise of fun and relaxation I think.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 9:24 AM

Terry Cook:
OK, I think. So, your post has nothing to do with my post!?!?!?

Of course it's related to your post.  Diagrams aren't going to accomplish much of anything toward discovering the meaning of the text in its context.  Consider the case of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8.

Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over to this chariot and join it." 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" 31 He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?"

He came to Jerusalem to worship so he wasn't entirely devoid of some knowledge yet, when asked if he understood, he indicated that he still needed a guide.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Terry Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 9:49 AM

I see... you're just wrong on this one. Let me explain:

MJ asked, "How would you study the Bible if that's the only resource available." I said "sentence diagrams." I'd study the Bible by dissecting the sentences. I dissect the sentence and build a scaffolding. From that scaffolding I would build a "translation" and ultimately, an understanding.

I think your error is the misconception that diagramming is a pursuit devoid of context - it's not. Diagramming forces one to tackle all the grammatical issues before attempting to tackle any other feature of exegesis. In a way, diagramming is the ultimate contextual pursuit in that it adds nothing and takes nothing away from the text. It studies the text as it is. No preconceptions or false ideologies to mire the goal of building the diagram.

When I approach a chapter of the NT for diagramming I have as my ultimate goal that of understanding the text. I start at the beginning and scan for verbs. I look for a subject, for modifiers and connectives. I then begin to look for relationships. Relations between words first, then between sentences then between paragraphs. What is the refferrent of the pronoun? Is this participle adjectiva or adverbial? Is this dative noun an instrumental or a locative?

As to the answer to MJ's question I think I've given a fairly good answer with something that might be adopted by others.... if they understand diagramming properly.

 

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 10:13 AM

Terry Cook:
I think your error is the misconception that diagramming is a pursuit devoid of context - it's not. Diagramming forces one to tackle all the grammatical issues before attempting to tackle any other feature of exegesis. In a way, diagramming is the ultimate contextual pursuit in that it adds nothing and takes nothing away from the text. It studies the text as it is. No preconceptions or false ideologies to mire the goal of building the diagram.

Anyone who knows me knows that I would never depreciate understanding the text according its lexical and syntactic implications.  That, however, is not sufficient.  The community of faith from which it stems and in which it lives must also be understood or there will be no correct understanding of the text.  While the grammatical features of the text are important and must be attended to, that is not sufficient.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Terry Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 10:19 AM

OK. your argument isn't with diagramming then its with MJ's musings... I think.

One cannot build a diagram or study the bible.... in isolation from it's setting.

You points aren't making any sense otherwise.

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 8 2011 12:36 PM

George Somsel:
The community of faith from which it stems and in which it lives must also be understood or there will be no correct understanding of the text. 

George, You might find Participatory Biblical Exegesis: A Theology of Biblical Interpretation by Matthew Levering of interest.

Thanks for your input Terry. In my own terminology I think of anything that encourages a close reading of the text to be Bible study - that thing will vary based on the interests, skills and resources of the reader.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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