By Richard E. Palmer
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In short, an explication of the world view implicit in the language itself , and then in the use of the language in a literary work, is a f undamental challenge for literary interpretation. " Indeed, hermeneutics in its early historical stages always involved linguistic translation, either as classical philological hermeneutics or as biblical hermeneutics. The phenomenon of translation is the very heart of hermeneutics: in it one confronts the basic hermeneutical situation of having to piece together the meaning of a text, working with grammatical, historical, and other tools to decipher an ancient text.
Ebeling, 4 , Hermeneutik," RGG III. 243, 3. See ibid, 242; Heinrici, " H e r m e n e u t i k , " RPTK s c l i u t z , "Interpretation," ERE VII. 390-95. VII, 7 1 9 : and E, Dob- Six Modern Definitions / 35 specifically biblical exegesis. " 5 When the usage of the word is broadened in English to refer to nonbiblical texts, it is notable that the texts are obscure, so as to require special methods to extract a hidden meaning. For instance, the reference to an "apprenticeship to the hermeneutic muse" in one case (W.
This example poses a minor problem, however, compared a, tiie deeper question of the way the whole world view of the New Testament times clashes with the modern "scientific" or post-deistic world view. This issue is exactly the one which f lit' German theologian Rudolf Bultmann tried to confront with his controversial project of demythologizing. Bultmann notes i hat the biblical message is set in the context of a cosmological i unception of the heavens above, the earth in the middle, and um underworld below —the three-level universe.