Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation. We do tend to read the Bible through Western eyes, Far-Eastern eyes, Baptist eyes, Methodist eyes, Pentecostal eyes, etc. This is not necessarily a problem if we have based our theological position on the actual teaching of the Bible. This can be a problem if what we are reading does not seem to fit our theological assumptions. If we are not experiencing persecution, for example, we may not understand that a particular passage reflects teaching in that area. We tend to overlook passages that do not seem to match our present experience or our theological convictions.
Christopher J. H. Wright has written much about the hermeneutic of mission which is an example of a particular hermeneutic that allows us to see a panoramic view of a major biblical theme that is often ignored because of our particular bias; we see things only within our little area of concern and fail to take in all of God’s will for his church. The missions hermeneutic is necessary to understand God’s mission to the world, which is the occasion for persecution for if we were not called to go out into the world and share the good news, as sheep among the wolves, we would not have to face persecution. He writes:
“My major concern has been to develop an approach to biblical hermeneutics that sees the mission of God (and the participation in it of God’s people) as a framework within which we can read the whole Bible. Mission is…a major key that unlocks the whole grand narrative of the canon of Scripture.” He wants “to argue for a missiological reading of biblical theology” and “to demonstrate (as many others have done) that Christian mission is fully grounded in Scripture…but also to demonstrate that a strong theology of mission of God provides a fruitful hermeneutical framework within which to read the whole Bible.”
With this in mind, it seems that advocating a persecution hermeneutic is a viable option.
When we speak of a persecution hermeneutic, we are saying that believers should read their Bibles with the awareness that portions of it speak directly from and to situations of persecution.