The Art and/or Science of Biblical Hermenuetics
The Three Parts: Introduction.
Mainly because of the past insistence by Theological Professors that hermenuetics has a dogmatical basis by which it is studied, we then must view it as a science. There have been many views in the history of the church as to what defines proper methods of interpretation. It is one of the interesting features of the New Testament (N.T.) writers that they completely avoid the allegorical method of interpretation which was popular during the 1st century while the N.T. was being written. The contemporary writings of Philo are a good example of the allegorical method of interpretation, but it is totally absent in the New Testament. There is only one passage in the N.T. which is allegorical in it’s own right, but when correctly understood, it is an exception, (see Galatians 4:22) it’s actually like a mini-sermon paranthetically inside Galatians as a whole. The Grammatical method of interpretation by the New Testament writers stands out in sharp contrast by the early Christian writers, especially the notable Origen uses this (AD185-283). Only the Syrian early church writers seem to be an exception to fanciful allegorical methods, which entertain some imagination. But the Reformation from the 16th century, with its formal principle that the Bible and the Bible alone is the rule of faith and life, made the correct grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures practically a matter of necessity. In modern times it seems the exegetical methods of different interpreters are really directed by individualistic and almost artistic views from the backgrounds of different cultures they grew up in. We should not pretend that we ourselves are not influenced by preconceived ideas. We must be personally on guard against injecting our own understanding into what the Scriptures actually say, and prevent our own beliefs from taking shape by our feelings. This is called eisegesis, but If we constantly & prayerfully ask The Father for guidance and determination in His will and not our own, this is a good start towards practicing exegesis, meaning the ability to bring out from scripture the exact meaning the original author intended. An once of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.
- Holy Spirit
- Context & Background
- Observations & Application
The importance of Interpretation is rooted in 1st Corinthians 14:9-12
Please read the Scripture link above.
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Jeff is currently working part-time for the Gold Canyon Church of Christ in Arizona, and creates/maintains this page by request of one of the members, seriously considering formal training in leadership and preaching. Don’t hesitate in reaching out via comment below, or ( email ) firstname.lastname@example.org
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