The problem of interpretation of sacred
Scriptures and the conflict of Islamist
fundamentalism and the West
The problem of interpretation of Scriptures connects not only to the conflict of Islamic fundamentalism and the West, but much broader - to understanding between people of different religions, different denominations, and even believers and atheists. But, of course, the conflict between Islamic fundamentalism and the West, accompanied by terror and the threat of global nuclear war, is the most important. And because of its importance and the danger to humanity the media and academic writings have already spent a lot of words to explain his reasons and to offer the recommendations to overcome them. And misinterpretation of the Koran by Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists is declared by many authors as cause of this conflict and the correct interpretation is that of moderate Islamic theologians, and even better Western scientists. And as proof of the correctness of a moderate interpretation they gives the quotes from the Koran. But the fundamentalists in response leads other quotations to prove their point of view, and such passages are much longer. And then begin to appear voices that the Koran is a pernicious book. However, it is clear that with such an approach any peaceful settlement of the conflict can not be achieved. This brings us to the question, what is the correct interpretation of the Koran and, in general, the scriptures.
This study is more convenient to start with the Bible, not the Koran, as the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, written long before the Koran, and there has accumulated much more experience in interpretation. Moreover, the interpretation of the Bible eventually turned into a science, which deals not only theologians, but scientists are atheists. And this is the science of hermeneutics. This is hermeneutics in the classic sense it. There is increased understanding of hermeneutics when it comes to the interpretation of any text. I will confine myself to considering only the classical hermeneutics.
The need for correct interpretation of the Bible appeared not only before hermeneutics, but before the Bible itself in its current form. As soon as the Jews made a covenant with God at Sinai, taking the commandments and the Law, as it emerged a practical, matter of vital importance, need in right understanding and applying the commandments and the Law in each situation, which life provides in infinite variety.
For example, one of the Israel tribes, tribes of Benjamin, were steeped in the sin of Sodom and the like debauchery, which is prohibited by Law. Others found out about it and wanting to perform Testament well, went against the Benjamin war and destroyed them almost entirely, including women and children (left 400 people). Then they grabbed their heads: “What have we done? The Law does not say how exactly should be punished for this sin, but we, it seems, exaggerated, destroyed an entire tribe, and yes even innocent children. Perhaps God will punish us for it. We must do something to rectify the situation by punishing those responsible for misdeeds”. And they found, as well as punished. They destroyed even the whole city Iaves Gilaadsky whose residents just refused to take part in the campaign against Benjamin. Yes - sigh chronicler - "in those days ... every man did what he thought fair."
This example demonstrates to us the whole problem of interpretation of the Bible and all scriptures: the Law demands of justice (well, and various other things), but what is justice in each case, it does not defined. And, to add, it is fundamentally unable to do so, because the number of different possible cases is infinite, continuously and always changing life throws up them, as already mentioned, more and more. The issue can be only one - to establish rules by which we could extract from the written law, all from the Bible, the rulls for all occasions. And this is just and will hermeneutics, by definition.
But hermeneutics as a science, yet far. Meanwhile the incessant attempts to interpret what has already been given by God, and that then becomes part of the Bible, are coming, what ,in fact, is the occupation of hermeneutics, but which, as such, are not yet understood, and, the term himself for this occupation is not slung.
Note, that from the outset not only the Commandments and the Law are interpreting, but also other aspects of Scripture. For example, the whole stage of history, described in the Old Testament, the Jews are concerned and try to interpret and reinvent the question of how to understand their own covenant with God. In Testament says that if the Jews will follow the commandment and the law, they will be fine. First, the Jews see it as God's promise to reward every righteous even in this life. But reality quickly refuted such an interpretation of their covenant. Experience shows that both good and bad happens to righteous and unrighteous and often unjust lives good and righteous - bad. And through the whole Old Testament goes the cry of the Jews to God about this injustice.
Only at the end of the Old Testament period of Jewish history Isaiah and Jeremiah guess another possible interpretation of the covenant, namely, that not every Jew will be rewarded in life for his righteousness, but all the people, for their righteousness in general.
Interpretations continued after the end of the Old Testament and the emergence of Christianity. And they are continuing and among the Jews who remained in the Old Testament and continuing to interpret it, and among the Christians who interpret both the Old and New Testaments together. And there and there interpretations are growing up in the mountains of books as tall as a Mont Blanc. As Christians, the teachings of Jesus Christ, as such, already is nothing like an interpretation, the revolutionary interpretation of teaching given by God to the Jews in the Old Testament. After all, Jesus Christ says that He "did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets”, but at the same time, He formulates the provisions of this law differently than they have been formulated in the Old Testament and understood before by Jews.
"You have heard that it was said:" Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. "
And I tell you: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you and pray for those who persecute you ....
(Matthew 5. 43-48)
And such interpretations - changes in the teaching of Jesus are lot.
Jesus Christ gives, in particular,the revolutionary new interpretation a sense of Testament (agreement) people with God, an issue that so troubled the Jews the previous term. Now it turns out that the reward for righteousness will receive every one for himself, but not in this life, as at first thought the Jews, but in that which comes after the resurrection and the Last Judgement, ie, in the kingdom of heaven. Another revolutionary new interpretation of Jesus Christ is the assertion that the unrighteous, but repented and believed in Him will be forgiven and also go into the kingdom of heaven. This, in general, is the main meaning of the Good News that Jesus brought to people.
Interpretations of the same words of Jesus are begining by his disciples immediately upon their utterance, and even before they are written. The disciples - apostles, as a rule, do not understand their teacher and twist the meaning of his words. This is evidenced by the Gospel, as the words of the Evangelists, and the words of Jesus Christ:
"To the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
Jesus said to them: Take heed and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying: this means that the bread we do not have ...
How not to perceive, that does not concerning bread I said to you, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees?
Then they realized that he had told them not beware of the leaven of bread, but the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. "(Matthew 16, 5-7, 11,12), etc.
Interpretations at random are continued also by Evangelists in the process of writing the Gospels. No doubt, Evangelists, when recorded their memories, do not remember much, on the other hand added a few things on their own, that seemed an appropriate spirit of Teaching or reinforcing that makes it more convincing. And to make the weight of this gag, they were often referred to certain passages from the Old Testament, interpreting them at their discretion and, as easy to show, incorrectly.
Here is an example of such a "zeal" in Matthew:
"Then Herod, when he saw he was mocked of the Magians, was exceeding wroth, and sent a slew all the children in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the Magi. Then was fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, who says:
"A Voice in Ramah, wailing and weeping, and great, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are not." (Matthew 2. 16-18)
Matthew wants to say that by "Rachel weeping" Ierimiya predicted the Massacre of the Innocents by Herod, and, hence, the birth of Jesus Christ. But this is brutal violence on the text. Enough to read in Jeremiah paragraph following the quoted Matthew, to see it. Here's how it looks together:
"Thus saith the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they are not.
Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears, for there is reward for your labor, says the Lord, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy" (Jeremiah 31. 15, 16)
Ie Rachel's children are not destroyed, but taken away in Exile, about the outcome of which here prophesies of Jeremiah. And to Jesus Christ that has not the slightest relationship. There are many more such examples I give in my book, «От Моисея до постмодернизма. Движение Идеи» (“From Moses to postmodernism. Movement of idea"), Kiev, 1999.
We can find many interpretations of the Jesus Christ teachings in the epistles of the Apostles, especially Paul, and not always correct. I describe them in my book and will not repeat here.
After the death of the last apostle John begins tercentenary period of anarchy, orgy of interpretations, distinguished in extraordinary riot of fantasy and borrowing style and substance as rabinistic interpretations of the Old Testament, ie, the very hypocrisy, which is opposed by Jesus, so the ancient paganism, in particular, the philosophy of Plato. And even the impact of Kabala is in interpretations of this period. The authority of the interpreter was determined at this stage only by his ability to impress his followers. Critical thinking, aimed to check compliance with interpretations of the very Teachings, not observed or very weak.
For example, Barnabas sees in the outstretched hands of Moses during the battle of Israelis with Amalek (Exodus 17) and in Bronze Dracon built by Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 21), the prototype of the cross on which Jesus Christ to be crucified, and thus, a prediction of His coming and crucifixion. Why? - Because he wants. The main thing is that it impressed his contemporaries, Christians, and therefore came to us in the surviving fragment of his "Epistles". He considers the ban Jews to eat pork, as an indication of the true Christians to avoid contact with not true, who forget their God when they feel good, and remember only when they are ill. Indeed, so behave is a dirty trick, and this is what hints Moses, forbidding Jews to eat pork (fccording Barnabas). And the bishop of Rome Clement argued that the red dress that Rahab hung in the window of her home in Jericho, as a signal to spies of Israeli commander Jesus Ben Nun, was the prophesies of the blood, which must be shed by Jesus Christ. Etc.
In the fashion were interpretation builted on the fact that in Hebrew each letter corresponds to some number. Replacing in the text of the Bible characters in any word, sentence or passage in the numbers, and carrying with them the mathematical operations that he wants, the interpreter got some new words (mostly "Jesus") and this proves that in this site of the Old Testament had predicted His coming. This is child's play with numbers taken from Talmud and even cabalistic interpretation, in which individual Jews believers are practiced up to this day, only with the other, of course, results.
During this period scholastic refinements on theological topics begin to come in fashion, such as the divine essence, which in principle can not lead us to the truth and only lead away from the rational content of Teaching. Here is proof by Origen ("On the principles") immateriality of Jesus Christ and that God the Father gave birth to Him before everything else, ie before creation of the world. First, he ascribes to Solomon that in his hymn of wisdom he under this same wisdom is referring to Jesus Christ. Why? Just because Origen want to. Of course, that Solomon had no hint of Jesus Christ, neither in this nor in another place. Moreover, about wisdom Solomon wrote a very, very different. For example, he wrote "In much wisdom is much grief, and multiplying the knowledge you increaseth sorrow." This, too, should be referred to Jesus Christ? Further Origen hooked on the fact that in this hymn to the wisdom Solomon said that God created Wisdom before all else. For Solomon it was just a poetic device of praise to God for His wisdom in the creation of the world. In Origen it is transformed into what he wants to prove, ie that Jesus Christ was created before the creation of the world.
And in the seventh chapter of the first book “On the principles” Origen is ascertaining whether the sun, moon and stars are "principalities, or must think that they only have authority over day and night, because of their responsibilities to cover them, but among the rulers of them, however, does not belong?" This is the direct introduction into medieval discussions on the topic: how many devils can fit on the end of the needle.
Another line along which the "development" interpretation of Bible exercises at this time, it is the inclusion in it of the elements of a completely alien to it teachings. The same Origen, without asking how it can be linked with the teachings of Jesus, or where he saw even a hint of anything like that in it, combine with it the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation.
Sometimes the interpreters of this period include in their interpretation of homegrown arguments about anything, not having any relation not only to Teaching, but to the Bible in general. The same Origen in the first chapter of the second book "On the principle" gives a lengthy discourse on the matter, which included claims that "Matter has four qualities: heat, cold, dryness and humidity”. Why only these four, why not take more: firmness, softness, volume, weight, and one thing or another what? Unknown. And anyway, what does all this have to Teaching?
I omit for brevity, the description of the evolution of interpretations of the Bible took place thereafter and to modern times, when there is a rational science, as such, and hermeneutics, which claims to be a rational science, in particular. Let me just note that such notorious events of this period, as the Inquisition, indulgences, holy war, etc., were the result of misinterpretation by the Church of Teaching the Bible.
When appeared rational science, its representatives tried to interpret the Bible, based on the methods, tested by this science in its other fields. Becouse these interpretations have accumulated since the whole mountain, then examine them in detail in this article are not advisable. I shall delineat only dotted the evolution of these interpretations and what they gave in result.
First, what to do scientific rationalists, turned their eyes toward the Bible, this is proof that there is no God, that Jesus Christ never existed, and even if He existed, He was an ordinary man and not the Son of God, and that's for sure, he did not raise from the dead, did not resuscitate up, did not go by sea, the Jews did not over Red Sea, opened to let them pass, they could not eat manna from heaven, because there is no manna, etc. Over time it became clear that at least some of these “proves” are inconsistent. Red Sea, was found, in a certain direction and strength of wind can to give way, "manna" was a certain seed plants, wind-blown and then precipitating in the desert, etc. Absense of God (as well as His existence) in principle impossible to prove by rational means. And finally, at least some of the scientists realized that the most important thing in the Bible is its Teaching, which tell people how they should live, and they began to aply the methods of rational science to this part of it. It was recognized that for a proper understanding of fragments of the Bible is important to consider them not in themselves, but in context. (Example of how to extract individual passages out of context can lead to misinterpretation, and accounting context - to the right understanding, I gave above for the case with "Rachel weeping"). Then they realized that Teaching should be seen not only in the context of the book, but in the context of history, because the individual words and even expressions can change its meaning over the centuries. The success of linguistics, archeology and related success of history in the last couple of centuries, helped to clarify certain passages in the Bible. But to a general correct interpretation of the Teachings of the Bible hermeneutics brought mankind still very little, if any closer. Evidence of this - the fact that after emergence of hermeneutics (the science), the number of Christian denominations, as well as trends in Judaism, with different treating of Teaching, not only departed, but, conversely, increased. Moreover, they even add a lot of hermeneutic schools - trends, each with its own interpretation of the Bible and have no common language among themselves.
Take for example, only two such schools from among more or less contemporary, besides united under the name "structuralism". One of them, ancestor of which is A. J. Greimas, has the subtitle “oktant analysis”, another major figure of which is Claude Levi-Strauss – “paradigmatic analysis”. Structuralism as a whole comes from the belief that any story (not just the Bible) for all authors of all time has the same deep structure. And it is enough that the structure of the narrative found to get its correct interpretation. But, what this structure is, that is different for oktant and paradigmatic structuralists.
Oktant structuralists imagine this structure as follows:
And for a particular story appearing in it person can serve in not one, but in 2, 3 strands - the elements of this structure. Take, for example, how looks like this structure in their interpretation of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus:
That is, God (giving) wants to bring eternal happiness (object) each person (the recipient), but the rich man (one of the possible beneficiaries, but also the entity through which Lazarus can also become beneficiaries) can not receive this gift, because his lifestyle, which consists in the pursuit of pleasure (an opponent), prevents him take it. Moses and the prophets (Assistant), if the rich heed to what they taught, could help him overcome his thirst for pleasure.
From this example we see that, yes, some scenes may be more or less fit into this scheme. But first, we see that the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is not too smooth climbs under it. The role of the rich man as a subject through which Lazarus comes to eternal happiness, seems pretty far-fetched. And secondly, what this oktant scheme helps us to discover in the parable, that would not be obvious without it?
No better case with paradigmatic structuralism. The latter in any written plot offer to see the structure, which Hegel in his dialectic seen as the main driving force of development in life. Namely - the two opposites, and one or another way to resolve the contradictions between them. Just as Hegel easily found opposite contradictions in life, paradigmal structuralists find them in the biblical stories. But Hegel and paradigmatic structuralists have one common weakness. Hegel in abundance shows us what had been in the past contradictions (thesis and antithesis), and how they were resolved in synthesis. But he does not give us the recipe, how to determine what kind synthesis we will receive, if it had not yet been realized. For any contradiction can be resolved quite differently. And if there is no rule conclusively establish predict what will result, then the corresponding theory is no more science than the one with help of which was educated Fonvizin’s ignoramus. And paradigmatic structuralists don’t give recipe how to correctly understand that resolution of the conflict, which refers to the authors of the text in the Bible. They simply indicate they discovered the contradiction (opposition, the antithesis of the characters, viewpoints, ways of life), sometimes true (there are enough of such in the Bible), and sometimes seeming to them, and offer their interpretation of the resolution of this contradiction, which allegedly has view of author. But their interpretation does not follow from their method. It is simply their subjective opinion, which may be right and may be wrong, and can be any number range different from one to the other structuralists. This is like komunist party in Soviet Union determined on the basis of dialectic its general line, which is bent as you like depending on who was general secretary of it in that period.
Nevertheless, hermeneutics as a science, has brought an important, in my view, result. Namely, it was recognized that the interpretation depends essentially on the preposition, ie, the idea what is the Bible in general. Well, for example, the vast majority of believers and theologians believe that all things written in the Bible, comes directly from God (or His Son Jesus Christ). Ie, either it is written by people from the words of God (Jesus Christ), or God inspired those who wrote the texts in the Bible (the chroniclers, prophets, evangelists, apostles), their thoughts and words. And therefore each word in the Bible faithfully, and any contradictions that we find in it is, by definition, visible and permit and be overcome through interpretation. And even if we do not find such an interpretation, which would overcome any contradiction, it is because that the divine wisdom is infinite, and the human mind is limited and that someday we will overcome, but now we must "believe because it is absurd."
Representatives of the science of
hermeneutics are based in most on idea
the various texts of the Bible written by people, each of which has sufficient
autonomy, as a thinking subject, even if they are united by common ideology (belief in one God, etc.). And therefore the texts written by
these people do not have to be not inconsistent with one another. Utmost version of this point of view - is that the Bible is simply a
collection of myths, like the myths of ancient
The weakness of each of the two main existing today preposition is obvious. In the first case, the assignment of obvious contradictions in the text (some examples I gave above, and more is possible to see in my book) at the expense of God smacks of heresy - self-slander of God. Secondly, according to the notions of themselves believers, the Bible is given to people for them to live on its teaching. And how can one live on the teaching, which contains inherent contradictions? For example, Paul in many places requires a "not judge" in the literal sense of the word. Jesus Christ, not speaking about Moses, requires to judge. To judge fairly, objectively, impartially, and so forth, but - to judge. (I reinforce that by quote abundant in my book, so there will not be repeated). So, to judge all the same or not to judge?
Finally, who said that all the saints in the Bible authors (and only these authors) have been divinely inspired, and even in the precise sense that their every word holy and they are unable to add any wheeze? This made the Holy Church 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ. However, it did a sample from a large number available at the time of the Gospels, Epistles, and similar writings, not included in the canon of Scripture, many of even such esteemed authors as the Apostle Peter. But the Church itself recognizes that divine inspiration (in the sense indicated above) ended with the death of the last of the apostles. So those, who decide what to include in the canon and what does not include, were let arbitrarily respectable, but nonetheless common, not Divinely inspired people and they might be wrong. And that means that they can include in the canon not divinely inspired authors (and some inspired authors were not included). To this we must add the repeated warnings of God the Father in the Old Testament that, besides the true prophets false prophets can be and must guard against the latter. And, therefore, we must be careful to use words of all those who claim to be divinely inspired.
As for the second preposition, then what's the point to interpret the Bible, if you do not see it as teaching how to live people. Then, these interpretations may be of interest except for the writing of theses.
Thus, we see that, despite the partial success, mainly related to the refutation of some particularly heinous errors in previous interpretations, hermeneutics has not given up yet universally recognized by all method of interpreting the Bible. As a consequence, it is virtually no way assisted in the initial finding of a common language between members of different denominations of Christianity and even more so in its present state can not serve as a basis for finding common ground among religions. And finally, it can not serve in such a state resolution of the conflict between militant Islamism and the West. But can there be hermeneutics, which would handle all these tasks? Can there be science-based interpretation of the Bible, taking into account that science has been studying the objective reality, but in what respect this reality is the Bible - that in itself is the question? Finally, in order to find a single reasonable interpretation of Bible, it is necessary that it existed, but recall that many scholars hold the view that it generally is not and can not be. I contend that such a hermeneutics is possible, and I built it.
But before we proceed to its presentation,
I must say that this is not the interpretation of all that is in the Bible.
Purely theological questions like, God is one or in three
persons, not subject to rational investigation and interpretation and my
hermeneutics are not considered them. These questions are not important to find a mutual understanding between people of different religions
and faiths in the long run: let them alone believe that
God is one, and others - that He is in three persons. This does not hinder anybody. My hermeneutics
considers only the part of the exercise, which deals with how people must to live, and in particular, to fight or not fight and with whom and
for what fight. These are issues that are
important today for the survival of humanity and to his normal life. And I
argue and show that this part of the Bible can be interpreted rationally
justified, not contradictory, and at the same time, convincing sincere
In my hermeneutics, which I used while writing the book "From Moses to postmodernism. Movement of idea" (where the first two parts give an interpretation of the Old and New Testaments), I proceed from the assumption that the Bible contains a harmonious and consistent teachings given by God and Jesus Christ. All other authors in Bible can be regarded as divinely inspired in terms of their inspiration by the Holy Spirit, but not in the sense that their every word sacred and not subject to critical review. Their inspiration does not make them equal to God on reason. They set out their ears from God or Jesus Christ, interpret it and develop in measure of their purely human understanding, ie, with the possible errors, as a result of which appear the above contradictions. Again, this is so far only a hypothesis, a prerequisite for further research, rather than its result. The study can confirm this assumption, and to refute it. The premise does not require proof, the study itself will be its proof (or refutation), but the argument in favor of such a premise, I, nevertheless, will bring. It is the history of Christianity, or people who took it and passed through it. These people led the development of human civilization and not see other reasons for this, moreover, that the Bible contains, although distorted by interpretation, but, in general, the true teaching how to live.
Once adopted, this assumption can be used for further interpretation of
the Bible, what I do using
developed by me the general method of substantiation of scientific theories. I
will not explain it, referring willing to sort it out for my articles in the
"Philosophical Investigations" (Философские исследования) and
the site of the International Institute of Philosophy and social problems
(www.philprob.narod.ru). I shall mention only that according requirements of the “general method” a scientific theory must be built in an
(and in practice as close to this ideal), the axioms must satisfy certain
requirements (eg, consistency), and must be bound by certain rules to the
experience. Of course, the teaching given by God in the Bible is not a
scientific theory. Therefore, the method is applied to
it in a modified (adapted) form. Here axioms are not extracted from the
experience and not attached to it. Here they are extracted from the words of God and Jesus
Christ. But the requirement of consistency remains. (Otherwise, it will be very
controversial doctrine and it will not be live). So the first thing we
have to show is that God the Father and Jesus Christ never contradict
themselves and each other. If this is done and
consistent system of axioms is built, it would in principle already established
that hermeneutics, which satisfies the above requirement. Requirement, that using this hermeneutic, we could obtain
unambiguous answers, how we must act in accordance with
the Bible (its teachings) of various life situations. (Of course, this is not
about all possible cases the choice in life, but only those who regard the
Bible teachings. The choice what we get a snack, for example, this field does
not apply). This follows from the property of the axiomatic theory, which consists in the
fact that the axiom system unambiguously identifies all the conclusions of the
theory, as has already been made, and those that can be derived from it
someday. (Incidentally, only axiomatically builted theory has this property). Thus, having, so to speak,
a system of axioms of the Bible, we have a opportunity to receive the output only
related the teachings for any life situation with regard to morality, spirit,
etc. For example, for
one in which the Jews were in the above stories with extermination of the
tribe of Benjamin. Or, more importantly, for situations arising from modern
We must, of course, take into account that the system of axioms it is not ready algorithm by which even the students can easily get the correct conclusion. Getting the conclusions from the axiom system is the same that the formulation and proof of theorems, ie, it is a creative problem and in most cases quite not trivial. (Suffice it to recall the ongoing century and more attempts to prove Fermat's theorem). But this is common language, which allows to representatives of different religions and denominations to agree on what is correct (ec. relevant teachings of the Bible) in any one of infinite life situations related to both the individual and society as a whole.
The first thing that gives us such a system of axioms, is the possibility to check on compliance with these axioms all the statements of the authors of Scripture, as well as all existing interpretations of it today. If they are from the axiom system, then they are the correct interpretation or development of Teaching. If they are not derived, so much the more contradict the axioms, then they are the misinterpretation, misconception of authors, no matter how respectable are these authors.
But the task to derive out a consistent system of axioms of the Bible directly from the words of God the Father and Jesus Christ, too, is not simple. Even in this part of the Bible is quite apparent contradictions. Especially many of these contradictions is between the teachings of Moses (ie, the doctrine of God the Father referred to Jews through Moses) and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have already given examples of such contradictions in the understanding of love of neighbor and distant (or enemies), in understanding the meaning of covenant with God, etc. No less apparent contradiction exists in the inside of each of the teachings (Moses and Jesus Christ). Well, for example, the apparent contradiction between the numerous sermons of Jesus Christ of love and its famous "Do not throw pearls before swine" or "not peace but a sword I brought”. After all pigs in this quote - it is not those with hooves, but those to love whom Jesus calls in other places. It is apparent contradiction. Similarly, as it is contrary to charity "not peace but a sword…”.
Some of these apparent contradictions have already been successfully solved by using methods of hermeneutics worked it until now, such as simple accounting context, taking into account the historical context, etc. An example of such methods (context, in particular), I already gave above. But these techniques is not enough to remove all visible the contradictions between the teachings of Moses and Jesus Christ, and within each of them. To resolve the remaining (which, moreover, are the primary), I use another assumption, the validity of which previously prove.
I show (in the book "From Moses ...”) that Teaching is not given in the Bible as a dogma, but evolves in the course of it. The meaning of evolution is that the Teaching is given portions, each of which corresponds to its historical moment and of those to whom it is given in this period. The first portion is given to ancestors, especially to Abraham. Second – to the Jews in the Sinai by Moses. Third - through Jesus Christ. These portions are parts of a single teaching, which aims to lead humanity to the "image and likeness of God”. But these parts are different from the parts of a scientific theory, which is issued to the public fully and without having to worry about whether society is ready for the perception of it. Parts of Bible teaching are issued with a gap in the century and millennium, and each of them should work, have an impact on people, not waiting to be given next. On the contrary, its task is just to prepare people (at least part of them) to ensure that it could give them the next portion of the Teaching. Each part must be such that the society, albeit with difficulty, with effort and with time, but it would be able to accept it. As a result, the movement of humanity to the "image and likeness," directed by the Teaching, is like the movement of a sailing ship against the wind. The direction vector of each portion of the Teaching does not coincide with the direction of the previous one, but when aggregated they create a vector directed to the "image and likeness”. To this we must add that in the intervals between the appearance of portions of the Teaching society evolves not only influenced byTeaching, but also under the influence of will and mind of individuals, and more specifically, each of the people. This evolution is not necessarily going in the direction of local or global vectors of Teaching, and can go in the opposite, producing phenomena such as fascism, etc. Returning to the apparent contradictions between different parts of the Teaching, I would argue that they are caused by different orientation of the local vectors of it, and the resolution of these contradictions can be achieved by taking into account that different trends of the local vectors (Teachings of Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ) and the global vector (to achieve an "image and likeness of God"). In the book, I examined in detail the orientation of each of the vectors of Teacing, and what it caused, and how visible the contradictions it leads, and how they are eliminated in the light of the global vector. Here I confine myself to a few examples.
First, about the orientation of the local vectors of Teaching. Before God made a covenant with Abraham, humanity forgot their Creator. It completely fallen into polytheism (according to the Bible). In order to guide humanity on the path to the "image and likeness” God decides to make a new nation from Abraham, which will go on the right path and show it to others. But as mankind, which (according to the Bible) once knew his Creator, but forgot him, then, first of all, it was necessary to unequivocally attach the newly created people to the One God. This determines the direction of the local vector Teachings of Abraham, acting on stage before Moses, or rather before the handing over him to the Jews second portion of Teaching in Sinai.
this point God never said to the Jews and to the Ancestors (Abraham, Jakob, Isaac), in particular, about "Thou shalt
not kill", "Thou shalt not steal", etc. But this does not mean
that God has not yet figured these claims out that He still has not His Teaching
fully, does not know its global vector, to which these claims, of course, belong. Evidence that God and at this stage knows
that a man should not kill, steal, cheat, commit adultery, etc., is the punishment of Cain for killing
Abel. But the covenant with the Forefathers is not
required from them did so
explicitly, verbally, in text form in the contract. At this stage there is only the
demand of the unconditional belief in one God and unconditional obedience to
him, the implementation of its direct guidance (eg, Abraham to sacrifice his
son Isaac). Moreover, for their unwavering devotion to God and obedience to
him, God forgives them violation of the commandments. Abraham is excused for his participation in adultery, when he gives his wife Sarah to Pharaoh, then to Canaan potentate, presenting her off as his sister. Jacob is
exused for deception of his father and brother, and father-in-law. Meanwhile, as the Pharaoh and the Canaanite chieftain for
participation (unconscious) in the same adultery are punished. Thus, there is apparent contradiction between the
teachings of Abraham and the teachings of Moses. According to Moses, not to
cheat, not commit adultery (and complicit in adultery), but according to
Abraham, like, all this can be. The
solution of this contradiction with
help of the local and global vectors is that, of course, it is not good to cheat and commit adultery, but to Abraham, and, in general, before Moses, this is
temporarily allowed in the light, so to speak, the historical situation at that
time and under condition of performance of the
main God requires (principal, again, for those times), namely, without a murmur to perform his immediate guidance.
A similar situation with the apparent contradiction between the teachings of Moses and Jesus Christ. The focus of the local vector of the teachings of Moses - the law and justice. The direction of the vector teachings of Jesus Christ - in spirit and love of neighbor. But this does not mean that giving the Teaching at Mount Sinai, God does not know that to approach the "image and likeness…" is required and spirituality and love of neighbor. And Jesus Christ "did not come to abolish the law and the prophets." But it was still too early to "load" the Jews of the time of Moses by spirituality to the extent as did Jesus Christ, because they have not been able yet to accept it. But Jesus Christ is not only could but should have been done it, because the hypocrisy twisted the teachings of Moses, remove from him or distorted the beginnings of spirituality, what it was. Hence the pathos of philippic Jesus Christ against the Pharisees and the apparent neglect of by Him at law. Hence, the different attitudes of Moses (Moses' Teachings), and Jesus Christ (Christ's teachings) to "distant" or “enemy”. At the time of Moses, "distant" pagans could not take the teachings of the Jews, who themselves have not yet entrenched in it. They could only hinder the Jews a foothold in it. And that because the attitude to them was to be only as enemies, ie, without any love. But at times of Jesus Christ the Jews already entrenched in the belief in one God. But the Teaching was distorted, in particular, soul was hardened. Therefore it was necessary to kindle in them the love of neighbor and expand it to "distant". In more details I investigate and solve this and other contradictions between the teachings of Moses and Jesus Christ in my book. I also explain in it how the deviation of the local vectors of Teachings from the global one impact on the appearance of apparent contradictions inside these teachings.
This approach, that hermeneutics can be applied also to interpretation of the Koran. And then it will become clear why in the Koran, along with calls for peace, there are calling for the war and which of these calls are valid today and in what cases.
1. Bible. Synodal edition
2. Origen. On Principles. In the Russian translation Petrova, the publication of Riga, 1936
3. W. W. Klein, C. L. Blomberg, R. L. Hubbard. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Word Publishing, 1993
4. Jones-Wake. N. T. Apocryphal books,. Bell edition, 1979
5. A. Voin. «От Моисея до постмодернизма. Движение идеи» ("From Moses to postmodernism. Movement of Idea»), Part 1 "From Moses to Jesus” Christ, Phoenix, Kiev, 1999
6. A.Voin. «От Моисея до постмодернизма. Движение идеи» ("From Moses to postmodernism. Movement of Idea»), Part 2, "Christianity», www.philprob.narod.ru
7. A. Voin. The problem of absoluteness - the relativity of scientific cognition and a general method of substantiation. Философские исследования (Philosophical Investigations). № 2, 2002. Moscow