Herman's Hermeneutics

Although Dr. Herman Waetjen was professionally trained to practice the scientific criticisms of biblical interpretation, his religious grounding was determined by German Pietism, a movement founded by August Hermann Franke (1663-1727) that intended to replace the rationalism of Lutheran orthodoxy with a personal, experience-oriented faith and commitment.

During his years of teaching the New Testament, Dr. Waetjen struggled to develop a hermeneutics of interpretation that combined the scientific criticisms of objective analysis with the subjective disclosure of a priori understanding that human beings have and use in everyday speech exchanges.

It is the understanding that exists prior to the understanding that is achieved by objective a posteriori analysis. Herman’s Hermeneutics is an endeavor to offer illustrations of these correlated subjective and objective understandings of the biblical text that disclose its richness and its relevance for today.