John 10.30 and problems in hermeneutics
Sku: 45800D0E060
Archival Number: A458 V58
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English
Decade: 1960
Open 45800D0E060.pdf

3 pp. (stapled originally?) First treats interpretation of John 10.30, second and third problems in hermeneutics. Context may well be 'problematic altera' of spring 1962 course 'De methodo theologiae'

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


45800DTEL60 / A 458

Transcription by Robert M. Doran -- complicated pages, scratchy handwriting, difficult to transcribe

Revised August 27 2011 -- still a number of difficulties

45800DTEL60 / A 458


John 10.30


Tertullian: duo sunt Pater et Filius, est Deus unus; mode of spiritual, divine, matter – portio, intima, subordinata


Origen: Son is omnipotence of Father – omnia per ipsum

                                                             – omnia mea tua sunt & omnia tua mea sunt

                        middle Platonism        – cf. Hippolytus: mia triōn dunamis


Athanasius: Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante te, credimus, hoc de Filio

                        excludes Tert, Origen, implies knowledge via propositional truth

                        ST 1, 3, 4, 2m[1]


Gutwenger: agrees with Galtier on metaphysics of Person – Tiphanus

                    disagrees with G. on person with consciousness – appeal to John

                    obviously a new use of text


1 Each ask questions out of his own context

            Each obtain answers from John

            John’s words intend answers to other questions not Tert, Orig, Athan, Gutwenger

2 A What were John’s questions, his Fragestellung à Kierkegaard – we’ll be dead

   B What is legitimacy, validity, of Gutwenger’s Tert Orig Athan use of John

3 Biblical theology: Descamps: basic historico-critical, Marrou skepticism misplaced [arrow from Descamp: as a non-Catholic, dogmatic preoccupation ?; don’t rush into ?]; add Word of God, add inerrant

   Peinador: historical approach à error; read scripture in light of dogma; can’t understand text’s meaning without Assumption

   G Ebeling: Biblical: normative – above any Christian theology is biblical – in accord with

= theology of scriptural writers = religious content = fragment of Religionswissenschaft, which practitioners of RW do not call theology, not about God but about man’s thoughts about God


Some questions: John’s context: existence of HG [Holy Ghost]

Some questions: later context: procession from Son

            both ? dogma: theoretical[?] theology: ratio per fidem illustrata – about God, not philosophy, not faith, distinct object, SScr de mediatione

            fides per rationem adiuta: belief & conclusions

                        M. Cano ?


[page 2]


Problems in Hermeneutics


1 Hermeneutic Circle

            understand whole from parts, parts from whole

            every whole is part of a larger whole – Kierkegaard’s NT student

                        every last[?] part subject to revision via larger whole


DB 2314 fons numquam exhauriatur: eo sensu quo definitum est

                        does not tend to limit à Weltgeschichte à Last day

            [marginal, arrow to ‘numquam exhauriatur’]: necessity of a developing Fragestellung – ]

                        Scholion: tends to limit; what is limit? Esprit de finesse! What is that?

                        tends to limit on limited questions (How are they formulated?)

                        when limited questions solved by many ? tending to limit


2 Romantic vs Classical

            Classsical: literal sense vs figure of speech: simile, allegory, metaphor, synecdoche, metonymy

            Romantic & Depth Psychology as applied to literary criticism (Langer)

            [marginal: not Hegelian: dimension of time; Journet, new Herm.]

                        classical distinction valid for members of Hellenistic culture, qua ?

                        in general: a rationalization, an Entmythologisierung

                           subject expresses himself qua preconceptual, prelogical

                                    meaning as intersubjective, artistic, symbolic, dramatic-practical

meaning of text

= what John meant

in John’s categories

                        Einfühlen, Empathy

                        Mitvollzug of the work, feel oneself into his position

                        Lebensphilosophie [Winckelmann, Schleiermacher, Dilthey]

                        Genera litteraria: sensus litteralis supponit normam in rebus humanis, hominem anima rationalis, anima symbolica, à (from hominem) ? philosophy


3 Verstehen vs Erklären – méthode comprehensive vs. explicative

            A Erklären – apprehension, conception, of what is given, mediated by empirical laws

                Verstehen – understanding is immediate – not via laws

            B Verstehen expressed

                        (A) scientifically, universal definitions, unlimited purposes, unknown to ?

                        (B) commonsense – accumulation of insights for limited purposes: what is to be said, done

            Hermemeutics is not scientific; it is a matter of acquiring common sense of another person, age, culture à Lebensphilosophie: Dilthey à Yorck, Heidegger, SZ II, 5

                                à Historismus


[margin:] next to A and B on Verstehen/ Erklären:

act of ?

history – cf. Hegel

               by qq

            - ? // ? Hegel


[margin next to ‘Hermeneutics is not scientific,’ etc.:]



(1) Rostovsteff

(2) Depth psychology

(3) Philosophic development

            genesis of Christian philosophy

(4) Functional Christology: quoad nos ≡ quoad se


[page 3]


4 Existential [20th century]  die hermeneutische Situation


α Urphänomen is understanding not words but thing

            understanding words is per se; hermeneutics deals with per accidens when block

β One does not acquire another’s mentality, perform Mitvollzug of world

            one shares his interest in the thing, die Sache

            one broadens one’s own horizon, reading with one’s ideal until block then re-reading

γ Process of coming to understand by overcoming block, shifting to new Fragestellung

            α'' is a function of my Vorverständnis, and that is a variable, historical product

                        Peter had diff re Paul, so have I; but diffic differ and significant loc for solutions differ

            β'' is not repeatable, and so radical difference from scientific experiment, even philosophically

            an objective Methodik is oblivious of the Geschichtlichkeit of interpreter

                        Postulat der Gemeinheit (which is common today)

                        Axiom der G…lichkeit (everyone will understand that)

[margin with arrow to ‘is not repeatable’: like learning by experience; one does not have to have it twice; really, one cannot have it twice; not an abstract ideal experience]

            γ'' is entering into, participating, passing on a living Tradition which produces me, broadens, educates, transforms me

            δ'' especially true of NT, which is not man’s feelings, ideas, about God, but God’s judgment on men; which in church is instrument of living tradition


5 Wirkungsgeschichte applied to SScr

            WG of OT is observing, violating, the law and all implications of both

            WG of NT is hearing, rejecting, the word, kerygma, didache and all implications

[arrow from 5 to:

difference from Protestant, Liberal, Modernist: we ? have to ? history]

            WG: hearing the word, passing on the word, includes, assimilation – Piaget – slight modification of horizon, and adaptation (accommodation)

            Jewish Christians, Gnostics à Symbol Apost

            Patripassians, Sabellians à Tertullian

            Symbolic interpretation à Orthodoxy, Clement Strom VIII

            ? Alex à Origen’s subordination

            Arius, ?? à Nicea, Praefatio, Athanasius


develops its own categories: homoousion, hypostasis, physis, energeia, ?

            supernaturale, habitualis, actualis, instrumentum


the developed categories originate a further Fragestellung


It is by reversing the WG that one arrives at the Ort of original Fragestellung



[1] Ad secundum dicendum quod esse dupliciter dicitur, uno modo, significat actum essendi; alio modo, significat compositionem propositionis, quam anima adinvenit coniungens praedicatum subiecto. Primo igitur modo accipiendo esse, non possumus scire esse Dei, sicut nec eius essentiam, sed solum secundo modo. Scimus enim quod haec propositio quam formamus de Deo, cum dicimus Deus est, vera est. Et hoc scimus ex eius effectibus, ut supra dictum est.