Are you a student of theology or religious studies? If yes, then you must have to interpret the complicated biblical texts in your research study. Do you know how you can interpret them correctly and infer their real meanings? Most probably not. Then listen. Applying the technique of hermeneutics in research is the way to interpret biblical texts right. It is a very old technique used by Greek philosophers to interpret the text of the Bible. Many students of theology and religious studies still use this technique.
However, students are mostly unaware of how to employ this technique. They do not know the strategies of hermeneutics in research. Therefore, we have decided to dedicate today’s article to defining, explaining, and discussing the strategies of hermeneutics. So, let’s start with the definition of this technique.
What is hermeneutics in research?
The word hermeneutics is a Greek word meaning “interpreter” or “interpret.” Thus, by this definition, the literal meaning of hermeneutics is interpretation. It is mostly defined as a method of interpreting different texts to their closest real meanings. In the past, hermeneutics was only associated with the interpretation of biblical and other sacred texts. However, in the modern world, this technique of interpretation has expanded. It now enables the researchers to analyse any kind of text, story, or literature.
Coming toward the purpose of hermeneutics, this technique of interpretation is all about discovering the truths and values in the text. Most commonly, researchers use it to discover the truths hidden in sacred religious texts like the Bible. The goal of hermeneutics in research is to interpret the text right and uncover its true meaning.
What are the different types of hermeneutics?
From the discussion above, you now have a good idea of the meaning of hermeneutics and its purpose. Since the origin of hermeneutics, it has been evolving. More and more types of hermeneutics came into existence with the passage of time. Now, there are mainly four types of hermeneutics in research. A brief description of those types is as follows:
Literal interpretation. The first type of hermeneutics is a literal interpretation. It is the plain interpretation of the text based on the meanings of the words used in the text. The plain meaning of the text should be taken as truth.
Moral interpretation. This type of hermeneutics is about discussing the ethics behind any text. This is especially useful where the text has multiple layers of meaning, and you can interpret the moral side of the text.
Allegorical interpretation. This type is very closely related to moral interpretation. In this type of hermeneutics, you give the biblical interpretations of the text a secondary value. Most often, this type is about interpreting the people and events.
Anagogical interpretation. The last type of hermeneutics in research is anagogical interpretation. It is the spiritual interpretation of the text. This interpretation has no connection with logic and perceives the deeper meaning behind the story.
What are different strategies to follow when using hermeneutics?
There are multiple approaches and strategies to follow in interpreting the text in a research study. However, the four major strategies are as follows:
Define the terms in your text
When you are interpreting a theological or religious text for the first time, it is important that you know the definition of terms mostly used in the text. To define the terms accurately, you must also have an idea of the literature style. Different literary writings like poetry and parable have different meanings of words.
Understand the context of the text
Laughing at a joke is appropriate. Laughing at a joke during a funeral is not appropriate. So, it all depends on the context of the study. Knowing the context is the key to interpreting a text right and in its true meaning. If you ever have difficulty understanding the context, you can get a masters dissertation help.
Look to the main theme
When using hermeneutics in research, you must not forget to look at the main theme of your text. If, for example, you are interpreting the verse of the Bible, look at the main theme discussed in that verse. Is it about life, death, or any other phenomenon? This will help you a lot in interpreting the text right.
Start with prayer
Interpreting sacred texts is a risky business. One wrong interpretation can lead to many destructive things. Therefore, the last strategy when using hermeneutics is to start the interpretation with a prayer and end it with the prayer.
Conclusively, hermeneutics in research is all about interpreting sacred texts and unearthing their true meanings. To do this effectively, you must have a grip on its type and strategies to follow. The strategies discussed above can help you a lot. All in all, start your interpretation with a prayer and end with a prayer.