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Author Topic: Phenomenological language in Scripture  (Read 4279 times)

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Offline Jaynek

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Phenomenological language in Scripture
« on: February 13, 2018, 10:45:08 AM »
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  • Phenomenological language means speaking of the appearance of a thing although this is not its real nature.  For example, consider this sentence:

    He looked down from his penthouse window, watching all the tiny people rushing off to their jobs.

    The people described in this sentence are not actually any smaller than normal.  The author does not intend to indicate that they are, nor does the reader understand it that way. They both realize the people look small because they are far away.

    A similar way of using language occurs in this situation, in which a mother speaks to a young child:

    “You stay here with Daddy.  Do you see that little tree over there? Mommy is going to be near there, and will be back for supper time.”

    In this case too, the tree looks smaller than it really is because of distance.  The child, however, is too young to understand perspective and does not realize that his mother is talking about a tree that is actually big.  The mother is not lying to the child, but telling the truth using terms the child will understand.  The mother intends to convey a message to reassure the child that she will return.  She is not talking about the size of trees.

    According to Providentissimus Deus, Scripture sometimes uses this kind of language:

    Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers-as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us - `went by what sensibly appeared," or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

    Note that this idea is not some novelty introduced by Pope Leo XIII, but a teaching going back at least as far as St. Thomas Aquinas. This interpretation is not an attack on the inerrancy of Scripture. It is not a lie or error to describe things according to how they appear to our senses or put into terms that one’s readers can understand, even when the appearance is not the same as the inner nature. 

    To apply this to a specific passage of Scripture, let’s look at this one from the first chapter of Genesis: 

    [6] And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters. [7] And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so. 

    The Church does not expect us to take this literally, since it is contrary to reason.  Therefore, we may interpret it as speaking of how things appeared to people at the time it was written.  To them, it appeared as if there were a hard, clear dome above the earth which had water on the other side, giving the sky the same colour as water in lakes and rivers. This water could come to the earth as rain.  The hard dome is what held the lights in the sky in their places: the sun, the moon, and the stars.

    As stated in PD, “the sacred authors and the Holy Ghost who spoke through them…did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature.” The point of this passage and its larger context is to say that everything that we see was created by God, by deliberate act, and God made His creation good.

    This message was in contrast to surrounding pagan mythology which explained creation as a random, violent event.  They said things like the gods had battled and blood from their wounds  made the world.  It was all a big accident.

    Just as the mother in the example above was not trying to teach her child about the size of the tree but to reassure him, Scripture is not trying to teach that the sky is a hard dome but to reassure us that creation was not random.  God wanted to make everything that we see around us.  God made it and it is good. 

    This message is as important now as it was when it was written.  We too live surrounded by people who believe a creation myth based on randomness, which is what atheistic evolution is. We need to focus on the point of the story, rather than try to turn Genesis into a science book.
     
    This way of understanding Genesis is explicitly allowed by Pius X:

    Quote
    Question 5. Must each and everything, namely, the words and phrases, that occur in the aforesaid chapters always and of necessity be interpreted in the literal sense, so that it is never permitted to deviate from it, even when expressions are manifestly used not literally (but) metaphorically or anthropomorphically, and when reason forbids us to hold, or necessity impels us to depart from, the literal sense?
    Response: No.
    https://thesocraticcatholic.com/2017/02/08/pope-st-pius-x-responses-of-the-biblical-commission/
     
     
     
     
     


    Offline Meg

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 10:54:02 AM »
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  • Phenomenology is the belief that truth can be best gained through direct personal experience. That's why modernists such as JP2 were admitted phenomenologists. 
    "It is licit to resist a Sovereign Pontiff who is trying to destroy the Church. I say it is licit to resist him in not following his orders and in preventing the execution of his will. It is not licit to Judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior."

    ~St. Robert Bellarmine
    De Romano Pontifice, Lib.II, c.29


    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 11:01:33 AM »
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  • Phenomenology is the belief that truth can be best gained through direct personal experience. That's why modernists such as JP2 were admitted phenomenologists.

    Phenomenology as a philosophical position has nothing to do phenomenological language. One might as well say that those who take Scripture literally must like literature. 

    Offline Meg

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 11:07:20 AM »
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  • Phenomenology as a philosophical position has nothing to do phenomenological language.

    It's the same word. Of course it's the same thing. JP2 admitted that he was a phenomenologist. 
    "It is licit to resist a Sovereign Pontiff who is trying to destroy the Church. I say it is licit to resist him in not following his orders and in preventing the execution of his will. It is not licit to Judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior."

    ~St. Robert Bellarmine
    De Romano Pontifice, Lib.II, c.29

    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 11:19:23 AM »
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  • It's the same word. Of course it's the same thing.
    They both come from the same root word.  Phenomenological language is a figure of speech in which one describes phenomena by their appearance rather than real nature.

    According to Wikipedia:
    Phenomenology may refer to:
    ·        Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences
    ·        An empirical relationship or phenomenological model
    ·        Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and their sensory properties
    ·        Phenomenology (archaeology), based upon understanding cultural landscapes from a sensory perspective
    ·        Phenomenology (particle physics), a branch of particle physics that deals with the application of theory to high-energy experiments
    ·        Phenomenology (philosophy), a philosophical method and school of philosophy founded by Edmund Husserl (1859–1938 )
    ·        Phenomenology (psychology), subjective experiences or their study
     
    The philosophical approach founded by Husserl is problematic for Catholics.  This does not mean that every possible use of the word is something bad.


    Offline Meg

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 11:24:10 AM »
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  • They both come from the same root word.  Phenomenological language is a figure of speech in which one describes phenomena by their appearance rather than real nature.

    According to Wikipedia:
    Phenomenology may refer to:
    ·        Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences
    ·        An empirical relationship or phenomenological model
    ·        Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and their sensory properties
    ·        Phenomenology (archaeology), based upon understanding cultural landscapes from a sensory perspective
    ·        Phenomenology (particle physics), a branch of particle physics that deals with the application of theory to high-energy experiments
    ·        Phenomenology (philosophy), a philosophical method and school of philosophy founded by Edmund Husserl (1859–1938 )
    ·        Phenomenology (psychology), subjective experiences or their study
     
    The philosophical approach founded by Husserl is problematic for Catholics.  This does not mean that every possible use of the word is something bad.

    Like how the root word of "Modernism" may not be all bad? Modernists, of course, do not believe that the term 'Modernism' is bad at all. 
    "It is licit to resist a Sovereign Pontiff who is trying to destroy the Church. I say it is licit to resist him in not following his orders and in preventing the execution of his will. It is not licit to Judge him, to punish him, or to depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior."

    ~St. Robert Bellarmine
    De Romano Pontifice, Lib.II, c.29

    Offline hismajesty

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 11:31:07 AM »
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  • They both come from the same root word.  Phenomenological language is a figure of speech in which one describes phenomena by their appearance rather than real nature.

    According to Wikipedia:
    Phenomenology may refer to:
    ·        Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences
    ·        An empirical relationship or phenomenological model
    ·        Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and their sensory properties
    ·        Phenomenology (archaeology), based upon understanding cultural landscapes from a sensory perspective
    ·        Phenomenology (particle physics), a branch of particle physics that deals with the application of theory to high-energy experiments
    ·        Phenomenology (philosophy), a philosophical method and school of philosophy founded by Edmund Husserl (1859–1938 )
    ·        Phenomenology (psychology), subjective experiences or their study
    The philosophical approach founded by Husserl is problematic for Catholics.  This does not mean that every possible use of the word is something bad.

    Jayne,
    can you produce a reference prior to vatican II, which is not suspicious, using the word "phenomenological"  as a legitimate approach?
    "....I am at a loss what to say respecting those who, when they have once erred, consistently persevere in their folly, and defend one vain thing by another" - Church Father Lactentius on the globe earth

    Offline Smedley Butler

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 11:33:32 AM »
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  • "He sitteth above the compass (literal) of earth,  and the people are spread out like locusts (phenomenological) beneath."


    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 11:35:37 AM »
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  • Like how the root word of "Modernism" may not be all bad? Modernists, of course, do not believe that the term 'Modernism' is bad at all.
    Yes.  There is nothing necessarily wrong with modern style furniture or modern plumbing.  Even "modernism" could be referring to art or literature.  But modernism, meaning the heresy, is of course a great evil.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 11:38:54 AM »
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  • To apply this to a specific passage of Scripture, let’s look at this one from the first chapter of Genesis:

    [6] And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters. [7] And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.

    The Church does not expect us to take this literally, since it is contrary to reason.  Therefore, we may interpret it as speaking of how things appeared to people at the time it was written.  To them, it appeared as if there were a hard, clear dome above the earth which had water on the other side, giving the sky the same colour as water in lakes and rivers. This water could come to the earth as rain.  The hard dome is what held the lights in the sky in their places: the sun, the moon, and the stars.

    bzzzt.  This crosses over from phenomenological / metaphorical language into blatant error.

    Because it looked to "them" (who's "them" ... since the Holy Spirit is the author of Sacred Scripture?) to be hard, they "mistakenly" described it as such.  Because the idiots saw a blue sky, they mistakenly concluded that there was water up there.  This is not phenomenological language at all ... but blatant error.  Phenomenological language might include things like "and then the sun set".

    This is nothing but modernist crap.

    Here's my take on firmament.  If there's no such thing as a solid firmament, then it's because the original Hebrew word actually means "expanse" ... the Latin word for which is spatium ... from which we get our word space.  So the original Hebrew did not imply solidity ... even though the Latin translation did ... by way of interpretation.

    This passage above makes the people who wrote Scripture into a bunch of ignoramuses whose ignorance somehow broke through the authorship of Scripture by the Holy Spirit to inject their errors into it.

    Offline Smedley Butler

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 11:40:54 AM »
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  • Firmament is ABOVE the clouds. OBVIOUSLY.

    There is no person who observed the sky and said it looked "hard" or "strong".

    Does it look that way tp YOU??

    No.

    God is teaching us what we cannot know: there is a solid barrier holding back the waters above.  LITERALLY.


    Offline MyrnaM

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 11:43:28 AM »
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  • Which is why when it comes to the Church that Christ found, the Holy Ghost inspiration was to have the official language to be Latin since it was a language that would not be misunderstood, nor the meaning changed.  Forever the words meant what they were intended to mean.
    Just another indication that the novus O made sure to put the language on the way back burner, in order to change, change and change.

    Novus order means NEW. 
    Francis the leader of a NEW CULT, Not Catholic!

    Please pray for my soul.
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    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 12:01:13 PM »
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  • Jayne,
    can you produce a reference prior to vatican II, which is not suspicious, using the word "phenomenological"  as a legitimate approach?
    I don't think I would be able to find such a thing, because I suspect the use of that term was introduced with Biblical literary criticism.  The word itself, however, is not important. I could have written that post without using it.  The idea that words in Scripture can refer to how things appear rather than their real nature is very old and St. Thomas writes about it in the Summa

    Offline Smedley Butler

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    Re: Phenomenological language in Scripture
    « Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 12:03:27 PM »
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  • bzzzt.  This crosses over from phenomenological / metaphorical language into blatant error.

    Because it looked to "them" (who's "them" ... since the Holy Spirit is the author of Sacred Scripture?) to be hard, they "mistakenly" described it as such.  Because the idiots saw a blue sky, they mistakenly concluded that there was water up there.  This is not phenomenological language at all ... but blatant error.  Phenomenological language might include things like "and then the sun set".

    This is nothing but modernist crap.

    Here's my take on firmament.  If there's no such thing as a solid firmament, then it's because the original Hebrew word actually means "expanse" ... the Latin word for which is spatium ... from which we get our word space.  So the original Hebrew did not imply solidity ... even though the Latin translation did ... by way of interpretation.

    This passage above makes the people who wrote Scripture into a bunch of ignoramuses whose ignorance somehow broke through the authorship of Scripture by the Holy Spirit to inject their errors into it.
    To make matters worse, that modernist crap was WRITTEN BY Jaynek. 
    She wasn't quoting. Hilarious. 

    Offline Smedley Butler

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