In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 1018-6441
RHEEDER, Adriaan L.. Appeal to Scripture in the formation of ethical judgments, Part 1: An ethical understanding of women in the Bible. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.2, pp. 1-9. ISSN 1018-6441.
After 30 years of using the grammatical-historical method of Bible interpretation, it can be said to have failed to solve the ethical problems in GKSA of women in clerical positions and homosexuality. This method can in all probability not be used as the only explanatory method and must be replenished by other hermeneutical viewpoints. In this article, two hermeneutical points of departure are discussed that can be used together with the grammatical-historical method in interpreting Scripture. These hermeneutical viewpoints will be demonstrated in a discussion of the ethical understanding of women in the Bible, specifically as applied to women in clerical offices. In a subsequent article, three further hermeneutical points of departure will be discussed. The two hermeneutical points of departure discussed in this paper are known as the rule of purpose and analogy. The first hermeneutic point of departure is based on the view that the purpose behind 'n biblical rule outweighs the rule itself whereas analogy assumes that reasoning by analogy is an acceptable and necessary point of departure. The hermeneutical starting points (five in total) mentioned above are built on two underlying assumptions. Firstly, it is assumed that the Bible, though a divine book, has a definite human side and should be considered in interpretation. Secondly, it is argued that Scripture is not a theological book, which means that believers should be afforded the right to come to their own interpretation of Scripture in ethical matters on which there are two possible interpretations. The conclusion is that an ethical understanding of women in the Bible means that women should be regarded and treated as equal to men, with the result that women should be allowed to all positions within the church.