§2. The Traditional Concept of Hermeneutics [11-12]

writings of the Jews "require translation," "interpretation").12 Translation: making what was presented in a foreign language accessible in our own language and for the sake of it. In the Christian churches, ἑρμηνεία then came to mean as much as commentary (enarratio): ἑρμηνεία εἰς τὴν ὀκτάτευχον ["commentary on the Octateuch"]. Commenting, interpreting: pursuing what is authentically meant in a text and thereby making the matters which are meant accessible, facilitating access to them. ἑρμηνεία = ἐξήγησις [exegesis].

Augustine provides the first "hermeneutics" in grand style. Homo timens Deum, voluntatem ejus in Scripturis sanctis diligenter inquirit. Et ne amet certamina, pietate mansuetus; praemunitus etiam scientia linguarum, ne in verbis locutionibusque ignotis haereat; praemunitus etiam cognitione quarumdam rerum necessariarumf ne vim naturamve earum quae propter similitudinem adhibentur, ignoret; adjuvante etiam codicum veritate, quam solers emendationis diligentia procuravit: venial ita imtructus ad ambigua Scripturarum discutienda atque solvenda .

"Man should approach the interpretation of ambiguous passages in Scripture with the following provisions: in fear of God, with the sole care of seeking God's will in Scripture; thoroughly educated in piety lest he should take pleasure in falling into quarrels over words; equipped with knowledge of languages lest he should get hung up on unfamiliar words and locutions; supplied with knowledge of certain natural objects and events which are introduced for purposes of illustration, lest he should misjudge the strength of their evidence; supported by the truth which the texts contain. . . ."13

In the 17th century, we meet up with the title Hermeneutica sacra [Sacred Hermeneutics] for what is otherwise designated as Clavis Scripturae sacrae14 [A Key to Sacred Scripture], Isagoge ad sacras literas15 [Introduction to Sacred Writings], Tractatus de interpretatione16 [Treatise on Interpretation], and Philologia sacra17 [Sacred Philology].

12. Ad Philocratem epistula, ed. P. Wendland (Leipzig, 1890), p. 4, 1. 3. [Cf. Aristeas to Philocrates (Letter of Aristeas), trans. Moses Hadas (New York: Harper &• Brothers, 1951), p. 97 (modified): "Demetrius said, Translation is required. In the country of the Jews they use a peculiar script, just as the Egyptians employ their arrangement of letters, and they have their own language. They are supposed to use Syrian, but that is not the case, for theirs is another dialect/"]

13. De doctrina christiana, in Patrologia latina, ed. Migne (subsequently cited as "Migne"), Vol. XXXIV (Paris, 1845), Liber m, cap. 1, 1, p. 65. [Cf. On Christian Doctrine, trans. D. W. Robertson (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958), p. 78.]

14. M. Flacius Illyricus, Clavis scripturae sanctae seu de sermone sacrarum liter arum (Basel, 1567).

15. S. Pagnino, Isagogae ad sacras liter as Liber unicus (Cologne, 1540 and 1542).

16. W. Frantze, Tractatus theologicus novus etperspicuus de interpretatione sacrarum scripturantm maxime legitima (Wittenberg, 1619).

17. S. Glass, Philologia sacra, qua totius V. etN. T. scripturae turn stylus et litteratura, turn sensus etgenuinae interpretation's ratio expenditur (Jena, 1623).

Martin Heidegger (GA 63) Ontology - The Hermeneutics of Facticity