What is the literary approach to the study of the Old Testament? Longman examines potential pitfalls and promises.
Justin Martyr has the honour of being the first comprehensive Christian interpreter of the Old Testament. What was Justin's exegetical method? Aune indicates the gap between the New Testament's use of the Old and the exegesis in early patristic literature. The further Justin departed from the New Testament exegetical tradition, the closer he got to allegory.
This article discusses how to handle hard passages or doctrine in Scripture. It exposes the tendencies some have toward these texts, and explains that studying them takes time and effort.
What do you think about Systematic Theology? While it seeks to answer the question, "What does the Bible say about any given topic?" this article discusses the strengths and dangers of systematic theology.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the interpretation of Holy Scripture? This is a topic that is related to the contextualization of the gospel in new situations and cultures. According to Pinnock the work of the Spirit in illuminating the Scriptures is underemphasized in theological literature. He sees it as part of a proper hermeneutical theory. He offers a number of ideas to further the consideration of the topic.
The practice of seeing and reading Scripture through the redemptive-historical approach is one that finds its root in the Bible. This article looks at how the apostles read through redemptive-historical eyes, and how the church fathers continued in this practice. It also discusses the place of typology and allegory in interpreting the Bible.
What is the canonical approach to the study of the Old Testament? The paper wants to apply this approach to the hermeneutical problem of prophecy and fulfillment, which Sailhamer sees as a question of the relationship between the Old and New Testament. The canonical approach takes the final shape of the Old Testament seriously.
Is there a right way of interpreting the Bible? This article looks at the two views of Scripture and its interpretation that have emerged in church history: Scripture's meaning lies only in its primary, historical sense; and Scripture's ultimate meaning lies in its fuller, revelatory sense.
Why is biblical theology needed? Biblical theology is principally concerned with the overall theological message of the whole Bible. This article explains why you need to incorporate biblical theology into your personal study, your church ministry, your theological formulation, and your personal evangelism and disciple-making.
Christians have the responsibility to personally read and interpret Scripture. This article offers five principles which will guard Christians from misinterpreting Scripture.
Typology is an important hermeneutical tool. In this article the author surveys four different views of typology: the covenant view, the revised dispensational view, the progressive dispensational view, and the view of Richard M. Davidson. Specific focus is on how each view would (or would not) apply typology to explain the relationship between [[Israel and the church].
What is the role of the analogy of faith in exegesis? Is it possible to abuse this freedom in the way a specific passage is interpreted? This article looks at a number of such abuses that occur especially in eschatological passages and proposes a remedy. Examples include: Revelation 3:21, Revelation 7:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
Is there a hermeneutical gap between the Bible and today? This article answers in the negative as it addresses the typical arguments made for the gap, namely, the arguments of time and culture.
This essay is a response to Mark Strauss’ detailed analysis of the Colorado Springs Guidelines for Translation of Gender-Related Language in Scripture.
The theory and practice of interpretation is called hermeneutics. Yarbrough describes the crisis in which hermeneutics finds itself, and considers the drawing of the battle lines that characterizes this crisis, in order to support a proper critical engagement. Finally, he wants to give a practical rationale for such critical engagement.
Thomas writes in the context of what he perceived to be a new movement toward change in understanding the exegetical and hermeneutical task. He notes a confusion and proposes to indicate a number of reasons for this confusion. He indicates new and conflicting definitions of what hermeneutics is and point out the roots of the new subjectivism and relativism.
The rise of postmodernism has helped to regain an appreciation for the corporate dimension of the self and the influence of one's group or interpretive community on the interpretive process. This is a reaction to modernism's radical individualism and lack of emphasis on group identities. This essay wants to apply some of the postmodern emphasis to the interpretation of Romans 7.
The Bible contains much historical material that seems to be repeated in different books. Throughout the history of interpretation, students of the Bible attempted to harmonize versions and build a synopsis of parallel passages. Youngblood reflects on the difference between "harmony" and "synopsis," gives a historical overview of both, and explains the principles and purposes of writing harmonies and compiling a synopsis.
Beale addresses the New Testament uses of the Old Testament that appear to have a meaning inconsistent with the original meaning of the original context. Examples are: John 19:36 claiming to be a fulfillment of Exodus 12:46, and Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15. Beale argues that Old Testament writers knew more about the topic of their speech act than only the explicit meaning expressed.
In seeking to apply the theory of perspectivism to Bible reading, this article shares principles that must govern such an application of perspectives. These principles are: aspects of the use of language, the relationship between systematic theology terms and biblical terms, the limitedness of knowledge we possess, the different perspectives of biblical writers, and the biblical motifs and their relationship to the biblical message.
Applying the theory of perspectivism to the reading of the Bible, the author of this article looks at the relationship between perspectives and meaning of words. The author shows that ordinary and biblical language can be used by individuals to say an indefininate number of things. This can make translating and interpreting the Bible difficult.
During the last few decades we have witnessed an increasing awareness of the importance of hermeneutical procedure in interpreting the gender passages in the New Testament. Robert Johnston attributes the differences in approach regarding the role of women in the church taken by Christians to "different hermeneutics," calling the study of women's roles a "test case" of evangelical interpretation.
This article is a response to John Goldingay's article in the same journal on the topic of canon and Old Testament theology. Seitz asks critical questions with regard to the form of the canon, the function of creeds and the rule of faith, and finally about referring to the danger of an appeal to narrativity, which can easily reduce the Old Testament to a past story.
How should the future of the scholarly study of the New Testament look like? In this study, Bird examines the problem of balancing the historical and theological components of New Testament theology. The article offers a critique of both Biblical Theology and the historical study of Christian Origins.
How do we move from the Bible to formulating theology? This article believes that a study of good examples may help to prevent the exercise from becoming purely theoretical. The author uses John Calvin to present an example of how one person made such a move. In particular he uses Calvin’s implicit approach to church leadership and in particular church government. This article wants to understand how Calvin moved from the Bible to practice and then compares it to contemporary models.
How does the order of the New Testament books in the canon function hermeneutically, that is, influence the way the books are interpreted? This article assumes that the location of a biblical book influences a reader’s view of the book. Readers presume that documents that are grouped together are related in some way in meaning.
How should indirect speech be interpreted? In the New Testament, several passages of this nature are found, where the intended meaning of a statement differs from its direct meaning. Biblical interpreters from cultures where the style of communication is mostly direct easily miss the indirect meaning and instead interpret the statement in a direct manner. Montgomery looks at John 1:35-41 as a case in point.
Yamauchi reflects on three contrasting attitudes toward and interpretations of Scripture. The first sees Scripture as a talisman, where Scripture is used almost as a magical tool. The reference to Scripture as a specimen points to the critical analysis of the texts, as objects of academic study. A third view sees Scripture as a dragoman.
This study wants to work out some of the implications of an author-oriented reading of the Bible. Its primary goal is to answer this question: “Is a modern reading of the Bible the same as the original readers who read and listened to the text? It answers the question by means of a case study in the Gospel of Mark.
In this article, the author wrestles with concepts of meaning and the divine-human authorship of Scripture. The main argument of the essay is that there may be a development of the divine meaning of an individual text of Scripture as the canon grows. However, the original meaning is never lost. He argues that God can intend more in a passage of Scripture than the human author intends. He also summarizes the changes in E. D.
The article wants to acknowledge the importance of the cultural context of the modern interpreter of the Bible. The study of the culture of the recipient of the biblical message is important. However, what are good guidelines for the use of cultural tools? How do we contextualize the message of the Bible?
The work of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, and Hans-Georg Gadamer introduced elements of subjectivity and relativism into the discussion of the theory of interpretation (hermeneutics). This essay wants to describe and comment on some of these issues of hermeneutics that need some honest confrontation.
How do cultural issues influence the interpretation of Scripture? Kraft selects four areas where understanding the influence of culture can help his readers understand how Scripture should be interpreted. He develops a method that he calls culturolinguistic. He depends strongly on the insights from Bible translation theorists like Eugene Nida and John Beekman.
In biblical exegesis an important question is, "What is the intention of the human author?" This paper argues that however important the human author's intention is for determining the meaning of any given text, it does not exhaust a text's meaning. A text must be read in its total context, literary and historical.
Chapter 1 is part of a volume that has as stated purpose to help people grow in skill in interpreting the Bible. The process of interpretation is illustrated by considering the stages through which an interpreter may travel in studying Scripture. The author places the study of God’s Word in the context of man’s faithful response in loving God.
North American egalitarianism has developed a distinct hermeneutic of its own with regard to its interpretation of gender-related passages in Scripture. It is the purpose of this article to provide a response to the hermeneutical issues raised in chapters by Roger Nicole and Gordon Fee in the book "Discovering Biblical Equality".
The approach of this article to the Scriptures is with the conviction that they mean exactly what they say. However, it is not true that the Bible means nothing more than that. The author grapples with the divine as well as the human element in the Bible. It reflects on how readers can hear what God's timeless message is from any given passage. It is within this context that the article reflects on the significance of "sensus plenior" (the "fuller" sense).
This article discusses the renewal of theological interpretation of Scripture. The article first mentions the strength of objections to theological interpretation in the 19th century, the time when the paradigm of historical criticism was established. This is followed by a consideration of the problem of conceptualizing revelation within the Old Testament, as done by Preuss in the 20th century.
Webb proposes what he calls a redemptive-movement hermeneutic approach to understanding and applying Scripture. He first illustrates a redemptive-movement hermeneutic by reading biblical texts on slavery. Next, he addresses possible misunderstandings and misconceptions. In the third part of the article, Webb surveys four typical responses to his proposed hermeneutic, and responds to these views.
This article suggests one way to read the Bible, which would call for reading Scripture with mission work as its central goal. This should not be the only way to read the Bible, but using mission as a hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture could help us to better understand how we ought to do missions.
This article is concerned with the part that the Bible plays in the formation of Christians, especially those called to leadership ministry. How can we read the Bible and have it form us, without bringing our own pre-formed agendas to the text? The many challenges in reading the Bible on its own terms is noted, not least laying aside modern categories for enquiry.
This article considers some criticisms against the redemptive-movement hermeneutic. Should the redemptive intention in the Bible be taken beyond certain time-locked limits of the New Testament? Is it possible to take the redemptive intention of the New Testament beyond the Bible? What are the limits placed on our interpretation and application when we acknowledge the revelation in Jesus Christ as God's final revelation? The author responds to specific criticisms of Thomas Schreiner.
This article looks at the theory of deconstructionism and its emphasis on subjectivism (the meaning rests with the reader) and the theory of authorial intention and its emphasis on objectivism (the meaning rests with the intentions of the author). The author disusses the impact these two theories have on hermeneutics, and proposes an alternative.
This article identifies some of the most influential ways in which biblical interpretation was formed in the context of modern academic sciences. The author argues that most of the exegetical programmes of interpretation were apologetic. This apologetic goal was achieved by using neo-Kantian ideas to separate historical exegesis from theological interpretation.
This article explores the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and whether there are structural connections between the two. Did the order of the the Old Testament books influence the ordering of the books of the New Testament canon? The article further considers what the possible implications are for the reading and interpretation of the Bible as one book.