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By Kieran Beville

Until the Enlightenment, biblical hermeneutics was usually seen as a form of special hermeneutics. It was thought that Scripture required a special form of interpretation. In the nineteenth century, it became increasingly common to read Scripture just like any other writing. Schleiermacher argued against a distinction between “general” and “special” hermeneutics. He proposed a general theory of hermeneutics applicable to all texts, including the Bible.

Jewish Interpretation

There is evidence of interpretation and editing within the Old Testament (see Deut. 34:10). Ezra and his Levitical assistants explained the meaning of the Scriptures (Neh. 8). Did these returning exiles speak Hebrew? It could have been preserved as the language of their religion, but they were seventy years in captivity and must have spoken the language of Babylon.

how-to-interpret-the-bible2Early Christianity regarded Jesus as the interpretive key to the Old Testament. They understood the Old Testament in messianic terms. The apostolic fathers engaged in both the instruction of converts and apologetics against Jewish critics. Church councils settled a disagreement between groups that could not otherwise come to an agreement. During the time of the Reformation, there was renewed interest and ability in Greek and Hebrew. There was a decline of interest and a growing criticism of the Vulgate and the doctrines derived from it. There was an increased reading of the Bible in the vernacular, English and German especially. Martin Luther asserted only Scripture has authority for the believer (Sola Scriptura). The Catholic response was to reaffirm tradition. Thus they reaffirmed the authority of the Vulgate.

Pietism

Pietism arose as a reaction to the focus on intellectual Protestant scholarship. Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism that lasted from the late seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century, and later. It influenced Protestantism and Anabaptism generally. It inspired Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement and Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement. The Pietist movement combined the Lutheranism of the time with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety. Pietism shares an emphasis on personal behavior with the Puritan movement, and the two are sometimes confused. But there are important differences, particularly in the concept of the role of religion in government.

Pietism was a reaction to dogmatism, scholasticism and formalism. Thus, it emphasized the need for a personal commitment to Christ. Within Pietism devotional, practical Bible study was stressed.

The Enlightenment

During the Enlightenment human reason sat in judgment over the authority of the church and ultimately over against the Bible. The dogmatism of Rationalism prevailed. It asserted that the human mind is an independent authority capable of determining truth. Spinoza (a Jewish/Dutch philosopher of the seventeenth-century and a forerunner of Enlightenment thinking) argued that the Bible should be studied as any other book. In this school of thought reason was supreme in studying the Bible.

Liberalism

The nineteenth century saw the rise of liberalism. There was increased confidence in scientific methods. The historical-critical method assumed that the use of human reason was the best tool to understand the Bible. This school of thought promoted the idea of reason free of theological constraints as a sufficient tool. The Bible was studied as any other text.

how-to-study-your-bible1Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) was a German theologian, philosopher, and biblical scholar. He is known for his attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant Christianity. He also became influential in the evolution of Higher Criticism.

Higher Criticism (also known as Historical Criticism) is a branch of literary criticism that investigates the origins of ancient texts in order to understand “the world behind the text.” The primary goal of historical criticism is to ascertain the text’s original meaning in its original historical context. It aims to find and explicate the text’s literal sense. It seeks to understand the historical situation of the author and recipients of the text. Thus an ancient text may serve as a record or source for reconstructing the ancient past. Schleiermacher’s work forms part of the foundation of the modern field of hermeneutics. Because of his profound impact on subsequent Christian thought, he is often called the “Father of Modern Liberal Theology.”

The Neo-Orthodox movement of the twentieth century (spearheaded by Karl Barth) was in many ways an attempt to challenge his influence. Higher criticism sought to understand the Bible purely as a human, historical document. The concept of hermeneutics acquired at least two different meanings ~ these are related but nevertheless distinct.

First, in the older sense, biblical hermeneutics may be understood as the theological principles of exegesis. In fact, it is often virtually synonymous with “principles of biblical interpretation” or “methodology of biblical exegesis.” Second, the more recent development is to understand the term “biblical hermeneutics” as the broader underpinnings of interpretation. This relates to philosophy, linguistics, etc. Thus the question is posed: “How is understanding possible?” The rationale of this approach is that, while Scripture is more than just an ordinary text it is in the first instance a text. It is a text which human beings try to understand. In this sense, the principles of understanding any text apply to the Bible as well. They apply regardless of whatever other specifically theological principles one might want to consider in addition to that. In this second sense, then, all aspects of hermeneutics (philosophical, linguistic, etc.) are considered to be applicable to the biblical texts as well.

There are obvious examples of this in the links between twentieth-century philosophy and Christian theology. For example, Rudolf Bultmann’s hermeneutical approach was strongly influenced by existentialism, in particular by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Since the 1960s the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer has had a wide-ranging influence on biblical hermeneutics.[1]

Theological Hermeneutics as Traditional Christian Biblical Exegesis

This particular form of theological hermeneutics deals with various principles that can be applied to the study of Scripture. The canon of Scripture is an organic whole, rather than an accumulation of disparate individual texts.[2] So any interpretation that contradicts any other part of Scripture is not considered to be sound. Thus biblical hermeneutics differs from hermeneutics as generally understood. Within such traditional Protestant theology, there are a variety of interpretive formulae. These are generally not mutually exclusive. Therefore, interpreters may adhere to several of these approaches at once.

The Historical-Grammatical Principle

This is based on historical, socio-political, geographical, cultural and linguistic contexts. This method is a Christian hermeneutics process which strives to discover the biblical author’s original intended meaning in the text.[3] The process for determining the original meaning of the text involves an examination of the grammatical and syntactical aspects, the historical background, the literary genre and theological considerations. The historical-grammatical method identifies the one original meaning of the text and its significance. The significance of the text is essentially the application of the principles from the text.

The Original Meaning of Texts

The aim of the historical-grammatical method is to discover the meaning of the passage as the original author would have intended it. It is to discover the meaning as the original hearers would have understood. The original passage is seen as having only a single meaning or sense. Milton S. Terry has said:

A fundamental principle in grammatico-historical exposition is that the words and sentences can have but one significance in one and the same connection. The moment we neglect this principle we drift out upon a sea of uncertainty and conjecture.[4]

INTERPRETING THE BIBLEMany practice the historical-grammatical method using the inductive method. This is a general three-fold approach to the text: 1) observation; 2) interpretation; 3) application.5] Each step builds upon the other, and so they follow in order. The first step of observation involves an examination of words, structure, and literary forms. After observations are formed, then there is the second step. This is interpretation which involves asking questions and formulating answers to those questions. After the meaning is derived through interpretation, then there is the third step. This is application. Application involves determining both the theoretical and practical significance of the text and appropriately applying this significance to today’s context. Technically speaking, the grammatical-historical method of interpretation is distinct from the determination of the passage’s significance in light of that interpretation. In other words, meaning and application are separate. Taken together, interpretation of the passage along with determining the meaning defines the term (biblical) hermeneutics.[6] We now need to compare this method briefly with other approaches to biblical interpretation.

Proof-Text Method

Prooftexting is the practice of using isolated quotations from the Bible to establish a proposition. All Bible scholars use isolated texts to share a biblical view. Even the apostle Paul in Romans Chapter 9 quotes eleven times from other parts of the Old Testament.[7] Forty plus authors wrote sixty-six book over a 1,600-year period, all of which make up one book. Therefore, if we are to understand what the Supreme author meant on a given subject, we must extract every verse that covers that subject, as long as it is contextually talking about the same thing, and we are not taking it out of context. None of the Bible authors was exhaustive on any subject. Where interpreters go wrong in their “bad proof-texting” is they take scriptures out of their context and twist them to fit their own personal ideas. Again, in the proof-text approach, verses and short sections of text are used to support a particular topic or position. Interpretations based on the proof-text method are often isolated from the context surrounding the verse. Critics claim it often neglects the historical setting and type of literary genre. The proof-text approach can be utilized in support of unorthodox teachings. In this method, applications tend to be allegorical in nature.[8]

Reader-Response Method

This is a postmodern form of literary criticism. It explores the capacity of the biblical texts to shape, revise or confirm the expectations readers bring to their reading of the text. This approach challenges the assumption of much of modern hermeneutics, which understands the main task of exegesis is to approach the text as a disinterested exegete. Reader-response theorists maintain that the reader and the text are interdependent. What is important then is not so much the intent of the original author of the text but the “conversation” between reader and text that emerges in the reading of the text.[9] In the reader-response method, the focus is on how the book is perceived by the reader ~ not on the intention of the author. So reader-response criticism is a school of literary theory that focuses on the reader (or audience) and his or her experience of a literary work. In contrast to other schools and theories that focus attention primarily on the author or the content and form of the work.

BIBLICAL CRITICISMLiterary theory has long paid some attention to the reader’s role in creating the meaning and experience of a literary work. Modern reader-response criticism began in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in America and Germany, in work by Norman Holland, Stanley Fish, Wolfgang Iser, Hans-Robert Jauss, Roland Barthes, and others. Important predecessors were I. A. Richards, who in 1929 analyzed a group of Cambridge undergraduates’ misreadings. Louise Rosenblatt, who, in Literature as Exploration (1938), argued that it is important for the teacher to avoid imposing any preconceived notions about the proper way to react to any work and C. S. Lewis in An Experiment in Criticism (1961).

Reader-response theory recognizes the reader as an active agent who imparts “real existence” to the work and completes its meaning through interpretation. Reader-response criticism argues that literature should be viewed as a performing art in which each reader creates his or her own, possibly unique, text-related performance. It stands in total opposition to the theories of formalism and the New Criticism, in which the reader’s role in re-creating literary works is ignored. New Criticism had emphasized that only that which is within a text is part of the meaning of a text. No appeal to the authority or intention of the author was allowed in the discussions of orthodox New Critics. No appeal to the psychology of the reader was allowed in the discussions of orthodox New Critics.

Kinds of Reader-Response Criticism

One can sort reader-response theorists into three groups. First, there are individualists who focus on the individual reader’s experience. Second, there are experimenters who conduct psychological experiments on a defined set of readers. Third, there are uniformists who assume a fairly uniform response by all readers. One can, therefore, draw a distinction between reader-response theorists who see the individual reader driving the whole experience and others who think of literary experience as largely text-driven and uniform (with individual variations that can be ignored). The most fundamental difference among reader-response critics is probably between those who regard individual differences among readers’ responses as important and those who try to get around them.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM - Beyond the BasicsIn 1961, C. S. Lewis published An Experiment in Criticism where he analyzed the readers’ role in selecting literature. He analyzed their selections in light of their goals in reading. Stanley Fish explored the reading tactics endorsed by different critical schools, introducing the idea of “interpretive communities” that share particular modes of reading. Richard Gerrig in the U.S. has experimented with the reader’s state of mind during and after a literary experience. He has shown how readers put aside ordinary knowledge and values while they read ~ treating, for example, criminals as heroes. He has also investigated how readers accept, while reading, improbable or fantastic things (Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief”) but discard them after they have finished.

In Canada, David Miall, usually working with Donald Kuiken, has produced a large body of work exploring emotional or “affective” responses to literature. They have used both experiments and new developments in neuropsychology. They have developed a questionnaire for measuring different aspects of a reader’s response. There are many other experimental psychologists around the world exploring readers’ responses, conducting many detailed experiments.[10] Two notable researchers are Dolf Zillmann and Peter Vorderer. Both work in the field of communications and media psychology. Both have theorized and tested ideas about what produces emotions such as suspense, curiosity, surprise etc. in readers.

Wolfgang Iser is a uniformist who asserts this response is controlled by the text. In his model, the text controls so that the reader’s activities are confined within limits set by the literary work. Another important German reader-response critic was Hans-Robert Jauss, who defined literature as a dialectic process of production and reception. For Jauss, readers have a certain mental set, a “horizon” of expectations from which perspective each reader, at any given time in history, reads.

Objections

Reader-response critics hold that in order to understand a text, one must look to the processes readers use to create meaning and experience. Traditional text-oriented schools, such as formalism often think of reader-response criticism as anarchic, chaotic or lawless ~ showing no respect for established laws or rules. Traditional text-oriented schools, such as formalism often think of reader-response criticism as subjective ~ that is, allowing readers to interpret a text any way they want. Text-oriented critics claim that one can understand a text objectively and that one can understand a text while remaining immune to one’s own culture, status, and personality. To reader-response based theorists, however, reading is always both subjective and objective. Some reader-response critics (uniformists) assume a bi-active model of reading where the literary work controls part of the response, and the reader controls part. Individualists claim that the reader controls the whole transaction.

APOLOGETICSAnother objection to reader-response criticism is that it fails to account for the text being able to expand the reader’s understanding. Readers can and do put their own ideas and experiences into a work. They are at the same time gaining new understanding through the text. This is something that is generally overlooked in reader-response criticism. Some artworks are now purposely being fabricated which lack meaning. Such artworks are fabricated only to generate a “reader” response. If the reader response is guided and governed by interpretative communities, then the reader response rather than handing a freedom to the reader empowers the leaders of an interpretative community against the reader.

Research has shown that listening to emotionally intense parts of a story; readers respond with changes in heart rate. This indicates activity in the sympathetic nervous system.

Intense parts of a story were also accompanied by increased brain activity in a network of regions known to be involved in the processing of fear. Reader-response critics readily share the concerns of feminist critics and critics writing on behalf of gays, ethnic minorities, or post-colonial peoples. Everything can be processed through these interpretive grids.

Historical-Critical Method[11]

The historical-critical method is an interpretative technique employed by many academic biblical scholars in secular universities. It is also used by some Christian theologians. The method utilizes higher criticism in an attempt to discover the sources and factors that contributed to the making of the text. It seeks to determine what it meant to the original audience. The historical-critical method treats the Bible in the same way as other “human” texts. It embraces a naturalistic methodology and as such, for example, precludes interpretations, which allow prophetic foresight on the part of the authors.[12] Historical-critical scholars are less interested in determining what the text means for people today. For these reasons, conservative Christians tend to reject the method.[13]

Trajectory Hermeneutics

This is also known as Redemptive-Movement hermeneutics. It is an approach within postmodern Christianity which suggests that parts of the Bible can have progressive, different meanings as a culture unfold, advances, and matures. One teaching under this view is that homosexuality was once a sin but has now become acceptable. This is due to cultural changes and advances in understanding of psychology and the social sciences. Advocates of trajectory hermeneutics may point to Romans 1:18-32 to say that Paul is speaking to those who violate their sexual orientation ~ that is those who go against their natural desire. But a homosexual’s natural desire is for the same sex, which is now defended as natural by some.

One proponent of trajectory hermeneutics is William J. Webb, who says that the moral commands of the Bible were a significant improvement over the surrounding cultures. He says they were relevant to the Christians who lived at that time. He suggests that some such directives are possibly not for contemporary Christians.[14]

Biblical Hermeneutics

The Bible today is essentially the same as when it was originally written. We have upheld the historical-grammatical approach to hermeneutics. The essential question we have been examining is “how is meaning determined?” We have explored the importance of identifying what the author intended. We have spoken about the difference between exegesis and eisegesis. We are to draw out what is there, not to manipulate the text by projecting our views/opinions into it.

There is a need to bridge the gap between then and there and here and now. Every reader is an interpreter. Nobody approaches any text free of presuppositions or bias. There are certain assumptions (presuppositions) about the Bible’s inspiration. According to the liberal view, the Bible is a record of human concepts about God. The writers were inspired in the same way as Shakespeare. The conservative view asserts that God used the personalities of the writers in such a way as to provide the message that he wanted. The message is inspired (God-breathed). There is a difference of opinion among those who hold this view as to whether the Bible is inerrant in all its details (without error) or inerrant in all that it claims to teach regarding salvation and God’s dealings with humanity. The latter position would allow for some historical, geographical, scientific, or numerical errors.

What are the implications of each position? If the latter position is taken, how can the Bible be trusted when it comes to matters regarding salvation, Christian living and morality? Most of the groups that have taken the latter position end up questioning teachings regarding salvation as well.

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EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …

CRISIS OF FAITH: Saving Those Who DoubtCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt 

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …

Investigating Jehovah's Witnesses: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s WitnessesINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …

Translation and Textual Criticism

THE COMPLETE GUIDE to BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition] 

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.

CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation DifferencesCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT The Science and Art of Textual CriticismTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" [Third Edition]MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …

Biblical Studies

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of GodHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & ContentTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded] 

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …

THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded] 

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical HermeneuticsINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …

HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to HermeneuticsHOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …

THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern PeopleTHE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …

DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in RevelationDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy ChurchesA Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …

DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …

JOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK: Experience the Ministry of Jesus in a Spiritually Captivating WayJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Bible AnswersANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …

Bible Doctrines

WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …

IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast RevealedIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …

The SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …

WHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …

Miracles? - Do They Still Happen Today?: God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith HealingMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing 

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …

HOMOSEXUALITY - The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …

Christian Fiction

THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm's LengthTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …

THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed WrathTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …

SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to  …

The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER 

When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …

WRITE PLACE, RIGHT TIME: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist 

“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.

[1] Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method, on hermeneutics.

[2] See the chapter on canonicity.

[3] Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1984).

[4] Terry, Milton S., Biblical Hermeneutics: a Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, (Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan, 1974), 205.

[5] Hendricks, Howard G., Living by the Book (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 349.

[6] Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1984),  565.

[7] The quotations are found in Romans chapter 9, verses 7 (Genesis 21:12), 9 (Genesis 18:14), 12 (Genesis 25:23), 13 (Malachi 1:2, 3), 15 (Exodus 33:19), 17 (Exodus 9:16), 25 (Hosea 2:23), 26 (Hosea 1:10), 27, 28 (Isaiah 10:22, 23), 29 (Isaiah 1:9), and 33 (Isaiah 28:16).

[8] Kaiser, Walter C., An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994), 31-32, 298.

[9] Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 99.

[10] One can consult their work through their professional organizations, the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media, and International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and through such psychological indices as PSYCINFO.

[11] Not to be confused with the historical grammatical method.

[12] Coogan, Michael D., The Old Testament, a Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, (Oxford University Press, 2005).

[13] Farnell, F. David, Edward D. Andrews, Thomas Howe, Thomas Marshall, Benjamin Cocar, and Dianna Newman. Basics of Biblical Criticism: Helpful or Harmful? [Second Edition] (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2016).

http://www.christianpublishers.org/apps/webstore/products/show/5346435

[14] Webb, William J. Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis, (Authentic Media, 2002).

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