• Identifying Barriers to Understanding: Using Hill’s Matrix to Examine Contextual Mismatch in Acts 12:15

    Jacob Stephen Bullock (see profile)
    Angels, Biblical interpretation, Communication--Study and teaching, Bible. New Testament, Relevance, Interpersonal communication
    Item Type:
    Communication studies, New Testament, Relevance Theory
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    Relevance Theory enriches historical-grammatical interpretation by offering a model of human communication that clearly identifies the cause of a modern audience’s tendency to apply inappropriately their own context to a biblical text. While Relevance Theory is complex in its explanation of human communication, when applied through Hill’s Matrix, it becomes a tool that those without a deep understanding of linguistics can use to identify the inappropriate contextual assumptions their own communities, in their search for meaning, apply to the biblical text. Hill’s Matrix effectively provides a framework for identifying and classifying the assumptions a secondary audience either applies or fails to apply to the text in their search for meaning. The Matrix also aids interpreters in deciding which of their own assumptions are appropriate and which are inappropriate to apply in a search for authorial meaning. Hill’s Matrix has great potential as a practical tool for use by scholars and lay readers alike in reparing for exposition of the biblical text. Applied to Acts 12:15 Hill’s Matrix identifies both inappropriate assumptions modern American readers bring to the text as well as assumptions needed to find meaning that are missing from the these readers’ context.
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    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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