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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, Jul 14, 2010.
Can anyone describe/show what is the Bible's own hermeneutic?
Christ is the central theme:
John 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
Luke 24:27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Romans 15:3-4 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening.
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Acts 13:32, 33 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
The New Testament interprets the Old by Apostolic Authority:
1 Cor 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men [and] brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
The Old Testament was a shadow, a type, a fleshly representation of heavenly truth, pointing to fulfillment in the New Testament.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, ...
Galatians 4:21...do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants:
the Bible is its own interpreter and dictionary. God would not give us a Holy infallible Book and then allow us to come with its meaning.... "no private interpretation"... but unfortunatly thats what people do today instead of allowing God to interpret the Bible and hence you end up with thousands of denomination...
Revelation 17:2-9 (King James Version)
2With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
7And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
this is just a simple example on how God will interpret the Bible if we allow Him to do so...
Each type of literature in the Bible has its own needs in the area of interpretation. You cannot interpret prophecy (say Daniel or Revelation) like you to history (Acts, Joshua) or letters (Hebrews or Romans), etc.
I agree with Brucebaptist, the scriptures define themselves. He gave an example in Revelations, here is another example.
Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
A person might wonder who this woman is, but it is shown in the OT, this was Joseph's dream.
Gen 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
Joseph's brothers were the eleven stars, and so Joseph would be the twelfth. So, now a person would understand the woman in Revelations 12 to represent Israel and the twelve tribes.
So, you have to understand scripture as a whole, you can't pull verses out of context. The scriptures never contradict themselves.
This is a great starting point. It is largely the way I go about preparing my SS lessons each week. I probably go further by approaching the individual books on their own. Using Dr. Bob's example, I would not necessarily approach Acts the same way I would Joshua.
Thanks for your reply. It seems the Bible's own hermeneutic is very much what you describe here. I am reading through Pink's work on the Interpretation of the Scriptures, and he raises the same points as you have.
These do agree with the Word of God. What is your thought regarding the grammatical and historical considerations? For example, last night in explaining Hebrews 6:1-9, I used a grammatical argument that this text does NOT teach a man may lose his/her salvation.
GO PINK! (A.W. Pink, that is)
I'm different than most when it comes to grammar. I classify grammatical construct as part of the exegeses of a scripture, not a hermeneutic. It's just my way of understanding hermeneutics - you should probably disregard it. If by history, you mean, "what did it mean to the people it was originally written to?", then I think that is CRUCIAL to a good hermeneutic.
Dr. Bob points out some important things too. Considering the genre of scripture is essential.