My second source for this topic is a writing based on the idea of “scientific racism”. It is called Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines (An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races) by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau. In this document he explains his beliefs are that the human species are divided into three major groupings, white, yellow and black, claiming to demonstrate that "history springs only from contact with the white races.” Unfortunately his opinion wasn’t isolated. Several other scientists and philosophers of the time such as Friedrich Hegel , Immanuel Kant , and Auguste Comte had similar opinions and writings. All of the writings stated that the non-white man was a scientifically inferior man and needed to be civilized. You can see a copy of the front cover of the text at: http:///2008/02/
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Step 2: Measure the width of the river to cross. Step 2 of the interpretive journey is discovering the differences between the biblical (original) audience and us today. We are separated from the biblical audiences (whether OT or NT) in time, culture, language, situation, etc. These differences create a divide, a river as it were, that prohibits us from making a direct move from the original context to our context. Consequently, step 2 is an essential process in which you will discover the significant differences between our situation and that of the biblical audience (Duvall and Hays, 16). You will also identify the unique aspects of the situation that is depicted in the biblical passage. You will write, in 50–75 words, a description of the differences that define the width of the river you need to cross.
Step 3: Cross the Principilizing Bridge. In light of how our situation is similar to and different from that of the biblical audience, try to identify the theological principle or principles reflected in the text. The theological principle will rise naturally out of the biblical text. It will be part of the meaning of the text and not something you read back into the text.
In order to decide whether you have truly discovered a theological principle, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is this theological principle clearly reflected in the biblical text?
2. Is it timeless rather than tied to a specific situation?
3. Is the principle culturally bound?
4. Is it consistent with the teaching of the rest of Scripture?
5. Is it relevant to both the biblical audience and the contemporary audience?
If you can answer “yes” to these 5 questions, then you have found a theological principle. Review the example in Duvall and Hays, pages 19–20. Write out the principle(s) in 50–75 words using present-tense verbs.
Step 4: Grasp the text in our town. Now it is time to apply the theological principle that has been derived from the biblical text to us today. While there may by only one theological principle in a biblical passage, several applications may be appropriate. Ask yourself how individual Christians today should apply the theological principle(s) in their lives. In 100–125 words, write out at least two real-life applications of each principle. Follow the three elements below when deciding on these applications:
1. Identify the key elements present in the intersection between the principle and the text’s original situation.
2. Consider a scenario in contemporary life that contains all the key elements of the principle.
3. Make an application to today, keeping it specific. The application should be both faithful to the meaning of the text and relevant to the contemporary audience.
It will be important to review chapter 8 in Journey into God’s Word in order to complete step 4 in good fashion. Duvall and Hays provide an excellent example in this chapter of all four steps of the interpretative journey using Phil 4:13 as the destination text.