Top 10 Up-And-Coming Hermeneutics

For the newcomer to the field of biblical studies, things can be confusing. Words like “exegesis”, “hermeneutics”, “homiletics”, etc. can even sound intimidating. By the same token, words like “biblical criticism” can sound offensive. (How dare someone criticize the Bible!) Yet, as one becomes more and more familiar with the field, they realize that criticism is not necessarily a “bad word”, instead, it just means to think about things critically. Once the new exegete gets past this hurdle, they realize that there are scores of “criticisms”. If those already in existence aren’t overwhelming enough, soon comes the realization that more and more are budding every day. So, because one of the aims of Pisteuomen is to help my readers stay up-to-date and in-tune with biblical studies, I thought I’d offer some insight and explanation into the 10 newest, up-and-coming forms of biblical criticism. Of course, since there are so many different people in the world with so many different problems, sensitivities and special interests, Bible scholars have learned that they must cater to each group, that they must pull them from the margins, give them a voice and set them free. It is no surprise, then, that these new criticisms pander to the “least”; those whom need spoken up for. Here is my synopsis (really just a cynical look at the ridiculousness of how people read the Bible):

1. Anime Criticism – A few years ago an acclaimed Christian songwriter felt the conviction of the Lord come over him. This led him to pen one of Christendom’s greatest hits: The Cartoon Song. Who could forget that line: “What if cartoons got saved?” Well, who has been more marginalized than cartoon characters? It is time we let them think outside of the box and speak up. Think of all the great commentaries and journals they might publish. Personally, I'd sing up for Disney Theological Quarterly in a heartbeat!

2. Impotencism – There is a growing number of males in the United States and across the world who have become lame—if you know what I mean. These men need some serious healing. They’ve lost their reason for living, they’ve lost their testosterone and they’ve lost their deep voices. It is time that we scholars take note of this and give them their voices back.

3. Siametics – One of the smallest groups in the world—and therefore, one of the most shunned—are Siamese Twins. It goes without saying that biblical scholars could really learn from these folks. Indeed, we could learn twice as much from them as most others. It is time they have their own hermeneutic—probably some nuanced form of a dual-covenant approach.

4. Diabeticism – Along with the rapid increase of diabetes, we have also seen a rapid increase of pushed-aside people. The bracelet-sporting people-group known as diabetics are not just a mass heart attack waiting to happen, no, they are more than that. Perhaps more than any others, these people need a special place among scholarship to go with their special parking tags. It is my contention that when we adopt the hermeneutic of diabeticism, we will get back to the “heart” of biblical studies.

5. Caninical – It is likely that some group like PETA could use their fame to get this biblical approach off the ground and front-and-center. Too many dogs today are abused and mistreated. While some canines live it up with the rich and famous, others are stuck wandering the streets and sleeping in plastic domes with leaky roofs. These dogs deserve better. If we let them, they can teach us a lot about ethics and perhaps a thing or two about digging into Scripture.

6. Recessive Criticism – When you see some low-fund commercial that has some balding guy complaining about hair loss does your temper flare as quickly as mine does? I thought so! It’s high noon and it’s time for hairless people everywhere to be heard (not seen, of course). This group of people, rejected and un-envied has some things to teach us—like humility and fear—and we’d do well to listen. Let’s give this group a “pass go and collect $200” card along with a special place in our field. Who’s up to be the frontrunner of this approach?

7. Obesicsm - It is official, America’s adults and children are now the most obese in the world. And we are not keeping quiet about it. Fat people have become stars on shows like Fat March and The Biggest Loser. We could afford to add some weightier arguments to the guild. So, what do you say, let’s pander to these people who have a hunger for biblical studies that’s big enough for the three of us.

8. Fuglicism – Do you know someone who isn’t beautiful? Have they been turned down, made fun of or have they even shocked a dermatologist? Well, now is the time for ugly people across the world to unite. Love the Bible? Hate yourself? Then this hermeneutic is for you beautiful.

9. Midgetism – Need I say more than this: Little people can make big contributions to the field? Let’s pander to and love on these little ones. After all, in Mk. 9 and 10, Jesus commands us to forbid not the little ones come unto Him. Heck, Jesus even picked them up. The least we could do is add them to the rank-and-file of biblical hermeneutics.

10. Testubism – Swirling amid the masses today are people born out of test tubes. These test tube babies had controversy surrounding their conceptions and well, they just had a rough way to go. It is time we give birth to a new hermeneutic that caters to them. Though this new criticism has the inklings of already coming into its own, it is still in its infant stages. How long will it be before we fully embrace and take hold of this new method? Give it a shot, it needs tried and tested.

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