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Metaphor And Hermeneutics: A History

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Chapter Summary

Moral discourse like the New Testament letter we call 1Peter, for example, may not be formal philosophical dialog, but the vocabulary of Greek philosophical ethics is both evident in and important to its moral purpose. Terms of classical philosophy - the good, honor, virtue, and justice pepper 1Peter and reinforce the judgment that it should be read as moral discourse. Whether these words are to be taken metaphorically or not, and what metaphors can be said to "control" the discourse of 1Peter - these are lively questions batted around among 1Peter scholars. 1Peter experts have been confused about the nature of metaphor. Most current work in biblical hermeneutics and ethics that touches on metaphor relies on classical or medieval understandings of metaphor. This chapter argues that those traditional approaches are inadequate and that biblical scholarship will be better served by cognitive linguistic theories and methods.

Keywords: 1Peter; biblical; cognitive linguistic theories; hermeneutics; metaphor; moral purpose; New Testament; traditional approaches



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