Friday, March 23, 2007


Wikipedia has a good starter article on hermeneutics. The 10,000 foot view is, "How do you interpret the Bible?" Any reading requires interpretation. If I say, "I'm on fire", am I literally on fire? (if so, please put me out). Or am I making a metaphor? The Bible is the same way.

Mark 9:43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off". Did Jesus want us to cut our hands off? To pluck our eyes out (four verses later)? No, He is showing how valuable our souls are, compared to the body parts we know we value.

My hermeneutic is influenced by the dispensalitionalists I learned from. But I am currently reviewing my dispensational influences.
  • The main rule is context; words within verses, verses within chapters, chapters within books. Books are the best granularity. But all the books taken together do form a cohesive story.
  • Use the Bible to understand the Bible (kind of like how you allow a science fiction writer to write the rules for his universe). The result is a story more incredible than any fiction. This from a collection of books written by dozens of people over hundreds (if not thousands) of years.
  • Factor in the translation, and check the original language, as needed. Translations are usually pretty good, and more is better. The original language (keeping in mind the audience) is the ultimate source.

1 comment:

Alan said...

A bunch of fairy stories..You would do better interpreting mold on a piece of bread or water stains on wallpaper or strange shaped vegetables that look a little bit like, oh wait, you already do.