Looking at Andrew Kulikovsky’s Overview (2005) “The Bible and Hermeneutics” (Part 1 of 10)

0001 The overview under consideration appears in 2005 in the Journal of Creation (volume 19(3), pages 14-20).

The article is attractive because it considers affirmations and denials that appear in The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, published in 1978 in J. Evangelical Theological Society (volume 21(4), pages 289-296). 

0002 The author of the article, Andrew S. Kulikovsky, earned a Bachelors of Applied Science (in Computer and Information Science) from the University of South Australia, then a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies and Theology from Louisiana Baptist University.  His Master’s thesis was on biblical theology of creation.  At the time that his overview was published, he worked for his law degree at Deakin University, Melbourne Australia.

Single quotes and italics are used to group words together.

0003 Kulikovsky starts his brief overview, titled “The Bible and hermeneutics”, with the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.

0004 But, before entering that first section, I must wonder, “What is ‘hermeneutics’?”

In dictionaries, the term signifies the formal process by which an interpreter derives the author’s intended meaning.

0005 In terms of the category-based nested form, there are two actualities in hermeneutics.  One actuality virtually situates the other.

The text itself2a emerges from (and situates) the potential of the author’s intended meaning1a in the normal context of writing3a.  An interpretation2b virtually situates that text.

An interpretation2b emerges from and situates the potential of the text and a hermeneutical process1b in the normal context of proper reading3b.

0006 The following relational structure is called a two-level interscope.  Two-level interscopes are typical for sensible construction, according to A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Figure 01

0007 The text2a in question is the Bible, particularly Genesis 1-2.3, the Creation Story, and Genesis 2.4-11, the Primeval History.

0008 I now move to the section on biblical inerrancy.

Kulikovsky recounts articles nine and twelve of the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy.  The following table does not report the complete affirmations and denials.  These are in the overview.  However, I hope they are close enough.

Here is a table.

Figure 02

0009 Even though these statements mention the contrast between hermeneutics and scientific narrative, the focus is on the contrast between true and false (Article XII) and honesty and deception (Article IX).  

The Evangelical Theological Society affirms that Genesis is true.  Plus, Genesis is not deceptive.

The denials reject what others may affirm.  One aspect of the denial in Article XII is particularly worthy of repetition.  No scientific hypothesis about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

In order to frame the denial in the most nuanced manner possible, I say, “If the content of a denial is affirmed, then that affirmation may negate the original affirmation.  For this reason, the denial is really an affirmation that must be rejected, because it can be carried too far.”

0010 Of course, the affirmations and the denials of the Evangelical Theological Society proclaim that Biblical exegesis comes first, and stands before, purported scientific challenges.  But, their very structure calls to mind a semiotic construction called the “Greimas Square”, which I won’t further capitalize, unless in a title.  The greimas square is the topic of the next blog.