The Orthotomeo Project endeavors to portray theological systems in a graphical manner (please see the examples.) and subsequently enable a variety of queries and analysis, which would otherwise not be possible. The core element of this project is the interpretative triad (see Going Beyond Cold Propositional Logic). The interpretative triad is based on the dualistic division of theological systems into two types of entities (things and interpretations). This post is devoted to contemplation about the nomenclature to be used for these two entities.
The first entity are things which are interpreted. In most cases this will be a bible verse or passage. But as conclusions are drawn from these initial entities they are often expressed in the form of a proposition. For example on the basis of John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me, one might make the conclusion “Salvation comes through Christ alone” or “Christianity is the only true religion.”  Initially I wanted to refer to these entities as propositions, but this is too restrictive. There are many things that can be interpreted which are not propositions. Historical events like the reformation for instance. Also elements of reality can be interpreted for example the heavens. I have settled on the term Statement to refer to all of these things, although I am not completely satisfied with this choice. What I am looking for is a term to express in general things that can be interpreted, since this is the common essence of these entities.
The second entity is the interpretive reasoning that a person uses to form a concluding statement based on a previous statement. Initially I considered using the term Hermeneutic but this also seemed to be restrictive. A hermeneutic principle certainly plays a central role for a specific step of interpretation but it would also require reasoning as to why and how such principles should be applied. Therefore I am opting for the term reason to indicate this entity.
The Interpretive Triad
This is where my use of terminology can get confusing. I prefer to to use the term interpretation to refer to the process of moving from one statement to the next via a reason. This triad of three elements is a another basic entity of the Orthotomeo Project concept.
At this point the terms describing the entities in the theological graph are as follows.
- Statement: A thing that can be interpreted such as a proposition, historical event, element of reality etc.
- Reason: The argumentation and reasoning for logically moving from one statement to another.
- Interpretation: The triad of Statement -> Reason -> Statement