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How Yeshua Messiah And The Apostles Interpreted Holy Scripture

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A Critical Study Of Internal Hermeneutic Principles

The following post consists of notes I took while going through a video series on Biblical Hermeneutics by Don K. Preston, D.Div.  This information will absolutely open the eyes of your spiritual undertanding of the holy scriptures like never before.

There are what I have termed seven Internal Hermeneutic Principles which all Christians need to apply and understand in order to properly interpret the O.T. scriptures.  There are other important interpretive rules that are necessary which are external to scripture, but these are internal rules determined from scripture itself.  These principles explain and define the internal framework for how the New Testament apostles and Yeshua himself saw the O.T. scriptures, interpreted them, taught them, and applied them. I will now list these seven principle and provide the scriptural support references for each one. Please take time to go through these and review the scripture references.  Again, these are not the ONLY hermeneutics that are necessary for proper interpretation, but these are part of the overall set of principles by which we must approach scripture in order to obtain a proper exegesis of the intended meanings of the writers.  To ignore these rules or otherwise fail to apply them will result in serious doctrinal errors.

INTERNAL HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #1:

The N.T. writers were, themselves, Hebrews, writing about Hebrew promises found in the Hebrew O.T., and these N.T. writers AFFIRM they preached NOTHING but the “Hope of Israel” found in the O.T. They were looking forward to the fulfillment of the very same promises given to Old Covenant Israel which the O.T. prophets had already spoken of for hundreds of years and for which they all, both N.T. and O.T. prophets, sought diligently to obtain and comprehend.

Scripture References:

Acts 24:14-15 [KJV]
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”

Acts 26:22-23 [KJV]
“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”

1 Peter 1:9-12 [KJV]
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #2:

Peter said the O.T. prophets did not understand either the TIME or MANNER (nature) of their own prophecies.  However, they did understand that the events they foretold would not be fulfilled or revealed in their day.

Scripture References:

1 Peter 1:9-12 [KJV]
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Numbers 24:14-17 [KJV]
“And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”

Daniel 8:26-27 [KJV]
“And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

Daniel 12:6-9 [KJV]
“And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

INTERNAL HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #3:

The N.T. writers and Jesus Christ himself said that the TIME of the things foretold by the O.T. prophets had ARRIVED and they were then living in the prophesied LAST DAYS of Israel’s Old Covenant in the 1st century A.D.

Scripture References:

Luke 16:16 [KJV-Strongs]
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

Matthew 13:17 [KJV-Strongs]
“For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Hebrews 1:1-2 [KJV-Strongs]
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”

1 John 2:18 [KJV-Strongs]
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 Peter 4:5-7 [KJV-Strongs]
“Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

Luke 4:17-21 [KJV-Strongs]
“And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Acts 2:16-21 [KJV-Strongs]
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

INTERNAL HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #4:

The N.T. writers tell us emphatically that, THROUGH INSPIRATION AND REVELATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY were now divinely interpreting and explaining the true time and meaning of the O.T. prophets.

Scripture References:

Romans 16:25-26 [KJV-Strongs]
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

1 Corinthians 2:6 [KJV-Strongs]
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:”

Ephesians 3:3-5 [KJV-Strongs]
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

INTERNAL HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #5:

The N.T. writers clearly demonstrate they are now interpreting the O.T. prophecies of the Kingdom, the Parousia, the Messianic Temple, Messianic Sacrifices, Messianic Priesthood, Salvation, and the Restoration and Regathering of Israel…..as being SPIRITUALLY FULFILLED REALITIES in the body of CHRIST!

Scripture References:

2 Corinthians 6:16 [KJV-Strongs]
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Paul cites or draws from these verses in 2 Corinthians 6:16:

Exodus 29:45 [KJV-Strongs]
“And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.”

Zechariah 2:10 [KJV-Strongs]
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.”

Leviticus 26:11-12 [KJV-Strongs]
“And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.”

Ezekiel 37:24-28 [KJV-Strongs]
“And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.”

1 Peter 2:3-10 [KJV-Strongs]
“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Peter cites or draws from these verses in 1 Peter 2:3-10:

Psalms 34:8 [KJV-Strongs]
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Psalms 118:22 [KJV-Strongs]
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”

Isaiah 8:14 [KJV-Strongs]
“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 28:16 [KJV-Strongs]
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

Isaiah 61:6 [KJV-Strongs]
“But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.”

Hosea 2:23 [KJV-Strongs]
“And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.”

INTERNAL HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #6:

The N.T. writers tell us that ALL elements of Old Covenant Israel were only typological shadows, patterns, and examples pointing forward to their SPIRITUAL REALITIES IN CHRIST. These elements would include the holy city Jerusalem, the Temple, the People, the Land, the Altar, the Levitical Priesthood, the Feasts, Sabbaths, and Holy Days, and the Sacrifices…the entire cultus of Old Covenant Israel.

Scripture References:

Colossians 2:16 [KJV-Strongs]
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 [KJV-Strongs]
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Hebrews 9:19-28 [KJV-Strongs]
“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

Hebrews 8:1-7 [KJV-Strongs]
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

1 Corinthians 10:1-11 [KJV-Strongs]
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [AGE = Greek “aion] are come.

INTERNAL HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE #7:

In summary, the N.T. writers declared that because the O.T. prophets did not understand either the nature or time of their prophecies, and because the Old Covenant elements were typological of the New Covenant elements, and because the Holy Spirit was now revealing the TRUE manner and times of all these things through THEM, we MUST accept the final authority and word of Jesus Christ and his apostles concerning the final disposition of all these things.

Scripture References:

Hebrews 1:1-3 [KJV-Strongs]
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

John 14:26 [KJV-Strongs]
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Mark 4:11 [KJV-Strongs]
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

Romans 16:25 [KJV-Strongs]
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

1 Corinthians 2:7 [KJV-Strongs]
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Ephesians 1:9-10 [KJV-Strongs]
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 3:3-6 [KJV-Strongs]
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Colossians 1:26 [KJV-Strongs]
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

There is a Youtube video playlist which is the source of this information, but I warn you, Don Preston is very thorough and there is some repetition of material between videos. However, I will provide the link here for anyone wishing to watch the series; it is WELL worth the time.  Preston is an excellent scholar and teacher.

Biblical Hermeneutics Video Playlist – Don K. Preston

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