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Hermeneutic Premises for Bible Study

Hermeneutic Premises

Dr. Mike Johnston

With exegesis as our goal, we study context and discover truth. It now becomes incumbent upon the student to examine this truth under the following three hermeneutic premises.

First, the Grammatical Premise

  • Scripture with one meaning can provide many applications
  • Take Scripture as normal language; “plain sense of the language”
  • Interpret words and Bible Books in light of the author’s times
  • Interpret according to the context
  • If an inanimate object describes a living being — then it’s figurative
  • If an expression is out of character with the thing described — it’s figurative
  • Parables are heavenly stories earthly meanings. Many on “Christian” television assign meanings to them the Lord never intended which causes deception in the church
  • Prophetic statements are to be taken literally and normally — unless the context compels otherwise

Second, the Historical Premise

  • Interpret in light of Biblical historical context
  • Revelation is basically Jewish and is progressive; later revelation explains earlier
  • Events of history become spiritual truths only if Scripture designates

Third, the Theological Premise

  • Any text without a context is a pretext
  • Scripture must be understood grammatically before it can be interpreted theologically
  • A doctrine is not Biblical unless it sums up all that Scripture says (The Old Scofield Bible offers many of these doctrinal summaries making for great study)
  • No contradictions in Scripture
  • An implied teaching must have support in another passage
  • If a verse seems to contradict established truth, the passage must be contextually evaluated to be rightly understood (this is where cults become egregious)
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Categories: Hermeneutics, Misc
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