Hermeneutics (pt 2)

II. The Good News

Hallelujah friends, God has spoken! The infinite God of the Universe has revealed Himself and His glorious character to finite man! This is really great news! We could not know GOD apart from him revealing himself to us. The primary way God speaks today is through His external Word. Thus it is our great privilege to figure out the spiritual significance of God’s Holy Word. To study the Bible to know its meaning. This of course can only be done through the Holy Spirit’s enablement, (see 1 Cor 1-2). Passages like 1 John 2:20 and 1 John 2:27 should provide every believer with hope. All of us can accurately understand the Word of God because of the H.S. The H.S. guides true believers into the Truth! This is very good news.

Of course, this truth does not eliminate the need for diligent study (1 Tim 2:15 makes that clear). This does not eliminate the need for gifted teachers either (Note 1 Cor 12:28 & Eph 4:11); But it does mean you (lay people) are not totally reliant on us. I hope this reminder is received as good news this evening! God has provided us a light onto our feet and a lamp until our path. We can know something of the mind of Christ and the will of God.

III. A Basic Definition

Before I move forward in this lecture let me 1st try and define this seminary word for you: “Hermeneutics” is simply a set of principles. It’s the science and art of interpreting the Bible. Bernard Ramm adds, “It is a science because it is guided by rules within a system; and it is an art because the application of the rules is by skill, and not by mechanical imitation.” More specifically sound hermeneutics “determine the rules which are legitimate in the interpretive process and those which are not.”

Another key concept that must be understood is the word exegesis: This means to lead the meaning out of the text, to show the way, or to interpret the proper meaning. IN other words, the human interpreter must avoid imposing a preconceived notion into any given text (Eisogesis). Our goal as we study the bible is to determine the original meaning of the text! We want to know what God meant when He, by the Holy Spirit, led the prophets and apostles to write the Holy Scriptures! (see Dr. Thomas’ exegetical theology chart for more detailed info).

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