My working hermeneutic is simply that I try and run everything through the cross of Christ. This cruciform hermeneutic is informed by Tradition, the Scriptures, the Historical Jesus studies, and Experience (a modified Wesleyan Quadrilateral adopted from Michael Hardin). I am also very fond of the late Rene Girard’s mimetic theory, the social sciences, and a plethora of academic scholarship. While not finalized or dogmatically defined, this working hermeneutic is what I have and continue to employ in my exegetical work regarding the textual tradition found in the Scriptures.
The Bible is kind of like the word, “God.” It is a ‘loaded’ word that comes with a lot of baggage. Many presuppositions are brought along by any interpreter when they approach the biblical texts. One such supposition is what texts constitute the Bible for the interpreter. For me, the texts I work with and that make up the Bible are the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical literature, the Hebrew Bible, and the Apostolic Literature. Alongside these texts, I reference and work with many ancient texts such as, the Qumran scrolls as the Gnostic gospels.
While working with the biblical texts, I want it to be known that I am in no way versed or trained in the ancient biblical languages. This is important at the outset to understand that I am working with translations informed by the expertise of biblical translators. While experts, I recognize that the translators are informed by a plethora of influences when they arrive to translate the ancient languages. Due to that, I will be working with multiple translations in order to the best of my ability interpret the biblical texts. Some of my favorite translations to use are as follows: Common English Bible, New Revised Standard Version, Everett Fox’s The Five Books of Moses, and the English Standard Version.
The following authors are those whose thoughts and methods I regularly engage: Michael Hardin, Rene Girard, Brad Jersak, Jean-Michel Oughourlian, Peter Enns, Walter Wink, James Alison, Douglas Campbell, Chris Tilling, Karl Barth, Richard Rohr, Richard Hays, Marcus Borg, John Crossan, and Richard Beck.