Last week, we looked at the first step in good hermeneutics, observation. Observation is very simply just taking one’s time to see what the passage in question actually says. We have to resist the tendency to begin assigning meaning to things yet, but simply write down what we actually see in the Scripture.
Our example passage was Genesis 2:18-22. We ended up with a simple bullet list like this:
- God said it was not good that man should be alone.
- God said He would make the man a helper comparable to him.
- God brought the animals to Adam to see what he would call them.
- Adam named every living creature.
- There was no helper comparable to Adam found among the animals.
- God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep.
- God took a rib from Adam’s side and closed up the wound.
- God took the rib He had taken, and made it into a woman.
- God brought the woman to the man.
Ideally, this first step of observation should include a lot more of the biblical context, but for the sake of space on this blog, we’re taking on just a few verses at a time.
Now it’s time to start asking the question, what does this mean?