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Orality and Context in a Hermeneutical Key: Toward a Latina/o–Canadian Pentecostal Life-Narrative Hermeneutics

Issue: Vol 14 No. 1 (2015)

Journal: PentecoStudies: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/ptcs.v14i1.97


This paper shows that pentecostal hermeneutics (Latina/o–Canadian hermeneutics specifically), is fluid, dynamic, and participatory, and follows a narratival approach to the reading of the biblical text. Instead of perceiving the Bible as containing a foreign story, for pentecostals the Bible narrates their own journey of faith, as they seek communion with God. As an expression of the popular character of pentecostalism, this paper highlights the elements of orality, participation, experiential contextuality, and scriptural pneumatology as key hermeneutical principles in engaging the biblical text. I argue that for pentecostals reading the Bible is not a mere exercise, but rather it is a sacramental space of the Spirit by which people listen to the message of good news. Pentecostal hermeneutics can be better understood as a conversation with the text so as to tease out the divine voice and its relevance for Christian living. In order to show how these elements are interwoven, I will engage the Latina/o–Canadian pentecostalism, as a example of the complex and fluid character of pentecostal hermeneutics.

Author: Néstor Medina

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