Bible Interpretation

In the history of biblical interpretation, four major types of hermeneutics have emerged: the literal, moral, allegorical, and anagogical.

We have touched on hermeneutics on following link: Hermeneutics

However, there are some other major influencers such as a person’s learning style or reasoning method outside of Hermeneutics.

One is a person’s reasoning stype: Deductive, inductive and abductive

  1. Deductive – the conclusions from deductive reasoning are certain provided the premises are true. Deductive reasoning draws specific conclusions from general principles or premises.

Scientists use inductive reasoning to formulate hypothesis and theories, and deductive reasoning when applying them to specific situations such as electrical and electronics principles and mathmatical problems.

Whereas inductive reasoning draws general principles from specific instances, A premise is a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion. Unlike inductive reasoning, which always involves uncertainty, the conclusions from deductive inference are certain provided the premises are true. Scientists use inductive reasoning to formulate hypothesis and theories, and deductive reasoning when applying them to specific situations.

Deductive reasoning starts with the assertion of a general rule and proceeds from there to a guaranteed specific conclusion. Deductive reasoning moves from the general rule to the specific application: In deductive reasoning, if the original assertions are true, then the conclusion must also be true. For example, math is deductive

Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logical conclusion.[1]

Deductive reasoning goes in the same direction as that of the conditionals, and links premises with conclusions. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true.

In deductive reasoning there is no epistemic uncertainty.

2. In inductive reasoning, the conclusion is reached by generalizing or extrapolating from specific cases to general rules resulting in a conclusion that has epistemic uncertainty.[2]

The main difference between inductive and deductive reasoning is that inductive reasoning aims at developing a theory while deductive reasoning aims at testing an existing theory. Inductive reasoning moves from specific observations to broad generalizations, and deductive reasoning the other way around.

For example if we take Gen 1:1 as truth

Inductive reasoning (“bottom-up logic”)contrasts with Deductive reasoning (“top-down logic”) : in deductive reasoning, a conclusion is reached reductively by applying general rules which hold over the entirety of a closed domain of discourse, narrowing the range under consideration until only the conclusion(s) remains.

Inductive reasoning: conclusion merely likely

In a good inductive argument, the truth of the premises provides some degree of support for the truth of the conclusion, where this degree-of-support might be measured via some numerical scale.

Inductive reasoning begins with observations that are specific and limited in scope, and proceeds to a generalized conclusion that is likely, but not certain, in light of accumulated evidence. You could say that inductive reasoning moves from the specific to the general. Much scientific research is carried out by the inductive method: gathering evidence, seeking patterns, and forming a hypothesis or theory to explain what is seen.

Conclusions reached by the inductive method are not logical necessities; no amount of inductive evidence guarantees the conclusion. This is because there is no way to know that all the possible evidence has been gathered, and that there exists no further bit of unobserved evidence that might invalidate my hypothesis.

Because inductive conclusions are not logical necessities, inductive arguments are not simply true. Rather, they are cogent (clear, logical, and convincing): that is, the evidence seems complete, relevant, and generally convincing, and the conclusion is therefore probably true. Nor are inductive arguments simply false; rather, they are not cogent.

Deductive reasoning differs from abductive reasoning by the direction of the reasoning relative to the conditionals. Deductive reasoning goes in the same direction as that of the conditionals, whereas abductive reasoning goes in the opposite direction to that of the conditionals.

3. Abductive reasoning: Is taking your best shot
Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.

A medical diagnosis is an application of abductive reasoning: given this set of symptoms, what is the diagnosis that would best explain most of them? Likewise, when jurors hear evidence in a criminal case, they must consider whether the prosecution or the defense has the best explanation to cover all the points of evidence. While there may be no certainty about their verdict, since there may exist additional evidence that was not admitted in the case, they make their best guess based on what they know

While cogent (clear, logical, and convincing) inductive reasoning requires that the evidence that might shed light on the subject be fairly complete, whether positive or negative, abductive reasoning is characterized by lack of completeness, either in the evidence, or in the explanation, or both.

Links More Information:

Understanding the Bible Biblical Typology Hermeneutics

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