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22 Principles of General Biblical Interpretation

How to Eliminate Apparent Bible Contradictions

The following is an article repost from:   http://www.truthortradition.com/articles/22-principles-of-biblical-interpretation which contains a fairly decent short list of some basic principles of Biblical hermeneutics which are a good staring point for developing sound interpretational skills.  Some of the statements in this article reflect conclusions based on a decidedly futurist eschatological view, but the rules are nonethless worthwhile.

Many Christians agree that the Word of God is “the Truth.” Yet from one Bible come thousands of differing interpretations about exactly what “the Truth” is. It was never God’s intention that people read the same document and come away with different ideas about what it is saying. God wants us all to be likeminded about His Word.

1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

One of the major reasons why people have different ideas concerning what the Bible says is that they use different rules or standards for interpreting it. We believe that the following principles, called “canons of interpretation” are essential to understand and apply if there is to be any hope of Christians getting to the truth when they read the Bible.

1. The Bible was written for believers, not for skeptics.

The Bible was not written for unbelievers, but for those willing to search diligently for the truth. Some of the language of Scripture is written with the specific intent of confounding those who either do not have ears willing to hear or who are unwilling to be diligent in their study (Prov. 2:1-5; 25:2; Matt. 13:10-13). To arrive at the truth, one must have faith in God and trust in the integrity of His Word. It is important to be diligent in study and realize that God does not honor study for study’s sake. God will not open the understanding of those who are merely curious. The Christian must have a heart both to know and act on the knowledge he finds in Scripture. Prayer and faith that God will work in us are necessary for properly understanding the Bible and seeing its awesome precision and harmony.

2. The original text was perfect, and the Bible we have today is complete.

The Bible is the revealed Word of God, perfect in its original writing, including all books of the Old and New Testament, commonly recognized as the true canon of Scripture. Though there were more than 40 “writers,” there is but one “Author,” God. Since the canon of Scripture (the books which are recognized as authentic and authoritative) has been established by men, the possibility remains open that some text or book might have been added or removed from what God originally “breathed.” From our study, we are satisfied that this is not the case. The burden of proof, therefore, is upon those who doubt that the accepted canon of Scripture is indeed authoritative. They would have to show irreconcilable contradictions with the whole of Scripture. As far as we know, no one has ever done so, and all extra-biblical documents brought forth by critics of the canon as “left out of the original” have within them clear contradictions of the God-breathed text.

3. Principles of interpretation vary according to the literary form of the text involved.

The Bible contains language used for every purpose for which language is designed. There is narration, lists, salutations, conversation, poetry, song, fiction, parable, allegory, history, prayer, etc. Principles of interpretation vary according to which of these literary forms a passage is written in. For example, we would not employ the same rules of interpretation to the content of a parable that we would to a section of narrative.

The Bible is an accurate and inspired record of many events that were not inspired by God, and thus Scripture quotes the words of many men and women who were not speaking for God. The reader must carefully note who is speaking and/or acting. Unless God or Jesus Christ is speaking, or a passage is in narrative form, what is said or done by others may not be directly inspired by God. For example, the Pharisees said Jesus was Beelzebub, but of course that is not true. What they said was not true, but that they said it is true. What is inspired is the biblical witness itself, not necessarily every word and event that it bears witness of.

4. The original text was God-breathed and without error or contradiction.

The Bible, as the Word of God, cannot contradict itself. No teaching can be right if it creates contradictions with the clear teaching of other scriptures. The student must never take the position that there are contradictions or errors in the Word, but, if faced with an apparent contradiction or error, must continue to work until the pieces of the Word of God fit together perfectly like a well cut jigsaw puzzle. Patience, prayer and continued study may be necessary, and the pieces should never be “squeezed into place.” Time is not important—handling the Word honestly is.

5. Apparent contradictions or errors are due to transmission errors, mistranslation or misunderstanding.

Since the original text was perfect, apparent contradictions must be properly noted and attributed to one of the following three causes, and then they can be explained.

a. Our failure to understand the original meaning of what is written (remedied by #6 below).

b. An error in translation as translators attempted to reproduce the meanings from one language into another (remedied by #7 below).

c. An error resulting from the transmission of the text, as scribes who copied each manuscript made various mechanical mistakes or theological alterations to the text (remedied by #8 below).

6. Properly understanding the context is essential for proper interpretation.

The Bible must be read carefully, with appropriate attention paid to each detail of the context, because God has a purpose for what is said, who says it, where it is said, when it is said, how it is said, to whom it is said and why it is said. Logic demands that words and verses must not be wrested out of context and made to mean something foreign to the original meaning of the text.

7. There is no “perfect version.”

No version or translation can properly be called “the Word of God” as it was originally given by holy men of God (2 Pet. 1:21 – KJV). Every translation is inherently limited. It is impossible to translate from one language to another and get the sense of the original exactly correct, as any translator of any language will attest. Words in the original can contain figurative meanings or cultural meanings that simply cannot be brought into English, or cannot be brought into English without a lengthy explanation (which is the purpose of a Bible Commentary). Furthermore, the exact understanding of English words may vary from person to person and region to region (which is why different English dictionaries have varying meanings for the same word). If possible, therefore, a wide variety of translations must be consulted, and it is most helpful to develop a familiarity with the original languages.

8. No Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic manuscript is “God-breathed.”

Scholars do not believe that any of the “original autographs,” the texts actually written by Moses, David, John, Paul and others, exist today. Therefore, no one manuscript or Greek, Aramaic or Hebrew text is “God breathed,” as the original was. Furthermore, no text we have ever seen that has been assembled by a textual committee or text editor is “the Word of God.” We believe that the information exists to assemble a text that would be extremely close to the original, and research, especially now that it is being aided by computers, is ongoing to construct a text that is as close to the original as possible. At this time, to build a text resembling the original, alternative readings from a variety of text families must be consulted in search of the reading that is most likely to be the original, integrating that reading with both the context and the whole scope of Scripture.

9. It must be recognized that the great subject of the “Old Testament” is Jesus Christ.

The subject of the Bible from Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22:21 is Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The “Old Testament (Covenant)” points to his coming and provides many symbols, types and foreshadowings of his life and ministry.

a. “The Old Testament” is a misnomer. The word “Testament” is in itself misleading. We get “testament” from the Latin word testamentum, which was the Latin translation of the Greek word diatheke. A “testament” is a statement or declaration (often given shortly before death). A covenant, on the other hand, is an agreement between two parties. The Greeks had no covenants and thus had no word for covenant. Any Hebrew reading “the Old Covenant” would immediately think, “Since this is a ‘covenant,’ if I accept it, what am I agreeing to do?” There are many covenants established by God in the course of redemption history. Each must be carefully noted as to whether it was conditional or unconditional, and whether it has been fulfilled in part or in whole. Because “the Old Covenant” actually refers to the Mosaic covenant that was fulfilled when Christ instituted a new covenant at his death, the Four Gospels are actually part of the “the Old Covenant.” Thus, when referring to the Books from Genesis to Malachi, “The Hebrew Scriptures”(or Tanakh) is the technically correct term.

b. The Four Gospels actually complete “The Old Testament” and record the inauguration of “The New Testament (Covenant).” Of course, there are a few verses in the Gospels that record events after the death and resurrection of Christ. The New Covenant had been technically instituted, but because the covenant promises had not been fulfilled, the people lived as if they were under the Old Covenant. It is often the case with covenants that there is a period of time between when they are actually instituted and when the promises made come to pass. God made a covenant with Abraham for the land, and it still has not been fully realized. Jonathan made a covenant with David, but died before any of the covenant promises came to pass. Just because the New Covenant was ratified “in Christ’s blood” does not mean that immediate changes went into effect.

c. The “New Testament (Covenant)” is initiated by the shedding of Christ’s blood, is partially enjoyed by the Church and is fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom when God’s promises to Israel that are now held in abeyance are fulfilled.

10. The words in the Word must be carefully studied to determine if they have a unique biblical meaning.

As the Author of Holy Scripture, God can use words in a unique manner. Therefore, the words of God’s Word may need to be understood according to a unique biblical usage. One must first assume that God uses the words in the Word in their standard usage of the day. After thorough study, it may be determined that God has assigned a special meaning to a word.

a. Almost every word has a semantic range of usage that must be considered in order to determine what meaning (or meanings) is appropriate. When there are several possible meanings of a word, the context must determine the appropriate one.

b. Some words or phrases have more than one meaning that fits in the context, bringing a poetic richness to biblical language. These meanings do not contradict, but layer one truth upon another. This is apparent in modern language in the commonly employed figure of speech called double entendre.

c. It occasionally happens that a word will be used in two different ways in the same verse.

d. Where the Bible has already defined a term, it need not define it again, and its meaning should be kept consistent in the interpretation of various passages in which it occurs unless the context will not permit it.

11. The Bible should be understood literally whenever possible. 

[Caution!  This rule implies that literal interpretation is the “default” method.  That is somewhat misleading.  There is a dangerous, overly simplistic “rule of thumb” which many people use as their ONLY principle of hermeneutics:  “The Bible says what it means and means what it says!”  This “one-size-fits-all” heremeneutic mantra will lead to certain exegetical CATASTROPHE!  The bible is composed of many different types of literary styles, such as poetry, apocalyptic prophecy, parables, factual & historical narrative, etc.  A different interpretive mode is required for each style depending on the type of passage being interpreted. Understanding of “Special Hermeneutics” must be gained as described in Milton S. Terry’s excellent scholarly treatise on Biblical Hermeneutics. (TKC)]

The Bible should be understood to communicate literal and historical fact whenever and wherever possible. If understanding something literally creates a contradiction with a known fact or another scripture, a figure of speech is likely being employed.

a. As used by God in the Bible, figures of speech are usages of words or sentences that emphasize a particular truth. They are used for the purpose of giving additional force to the truth conveyed, emphasis to the statement of it or depth to its meaning.

b. If a word or words are used in a figure of speech, then that figure can be named and described, and the purpose of its use determined. As workmen of the Word, we are bound to diligently examine the figure of speech for the purpose of discovering and learning the truth that is thus emphasized. The study of figures of speech in the Bible is highly technical and quite exact. Calling something “a figure of speech” is never to be the refuge of those who simply do not want to believe the literal truth of a passage of Scripture. Some theological systems employ an allegorical interpretation of the Bible. This is not the proper way to handle God’s Word, and leads to false interpretations.

Figures of speech are identified in three categories: 1) idioms, 2) grammar and 3) syntax. Idioms are words or phrases peculiar to a particular language, often closely related to customs and history of a people. Figures of syntax include illustrative figures, types of rhetoric and changes in meaning. The names are derived from the Greek and Latin systems.

Identification of the figures of speech used in a particular verse can be crucial to its correct interpretation, and the presence and force of figures ought always to be considered by the Bible student.

12. The customs and culture of the biblical world must be understood. 

[Context and audience relevance are HUGE! (TKC)]

The Bible is written within the culture and thought forms of the Middle East. Its language sparkles with references to the everyday life and customs of the times in which it was written. While these references were well known to those who lived in Bible times, we must become familiar with their manner of life, idioms, customs and culture in order to arrive at the proper understanding of Scripture as it would have been understood in Bible times.

13. A knowledge of the structure of a passage can be valuable for interpretation.

God’s Word is the most intricate piece of literature that has ever been written, and scholars have long noticed that much of it has an easily discernible structure that adds beauty, helps with interpretation and testifies to the greatness of the Author, God. The structure of a passage of Scripture can clarify the main ideas, correspondence, parallelisms and contrasting ideas. Structure occurs in two basic forms:

Alternation:

A

B
A

B

Introversion:

A

B

B

A

E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible and How to Enjoy the Bible are good sources for more structure in Scripture.

14. Identical things must be distinguished from similar things.

The Bible often repeats the information contained in it. For example, the Four Gospels record many of the same events. Chronicles and Kings often repeat the same records. The Prophets often speak of things also recorded in other places in the Old Testament. Thus, there are many times when the same event is recorded with slightly differing details, or two different events are recorded that may, at first reading, appear to be the same event. The Bible must be carefully analyzed to determine that which is similar, but not identical, and that which may at first seem only similar, but which is in fact identical.

a. Things equal to the same thing are equal to (or identical with) each other.

b. The same individual, place or reality (like the new birth) may be called by different names.

c. Sharing similar attributes does not create identity, only similarity.

e. Sharing the same name does not create identity (e.g., both “Joshua” and “Jesus” = Yeshua).

15. God, like any other author, can use “literary license.”

God is the Author of the Bible, and therefore may employ literary license, changing the chronological order of a narrative or breaking up a narrative into a thematic presentation of events or concepts. “Scripture build-up” or “narrative development” describes the process of putting all the pieces together from various narratives into a complete picture.

a. 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings are written from one perspective. 1 & 2 Chronicles covers the same basic events, but is written from another point of view and emphasizes different details.

b. The Four Gospels break up the entire literary portrait of the Savior into four prophesied perspectives: King, Servant, Man, Son. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are written from each of these perspectives, respectively.

c. The Church Epistles are written from the perspective of doctrine (right belief and practice), reproof (where not believing or practicing rightly) and correction (where teaching error). Romans (faith), Ephesians (love) and Thessalonians (hope) are doctrinal epistles. 1 & 2 Corinthians and Philippians are reproof epistles. Galatians and Colossians are correction epistles.

16. The word “all” can be used in a universal or limited sense.

The word “all” or “every” is used in the Bible just as it is used in everyday speech and writing, either to mean “all without exception” or “all within a particular category.” The context will determine the meaning.

a. Sometimes general statements are contradicted by particular experiences or other scriptures. There are many proverbs that indicate that the righteous will prosper, but other verses say that sometimes the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. The general statement is a “truism,” though not necessarily true in every case.

b. For example, the statement that “all men are liars” should not be taken to mean that Jesus, as a man, was a liar, or that women are not therefore liars.

17. The Bible is full of small words with big meanings.

[Study of the original languages of the biblical texts is VITAL here because many translations, expecially the KJV, are often ATROCIOUS when it comes to proper and consistent rendering of important definite articles. (TKC)]

Prepositions and conjunctions are especially important for directing the flow of thought in a context, and failure to notice their effect sometimes leads to massive error.

a. The biblical usage of the noun cases, especially the genitive (“of”) is important to discern properly.

b. The use of the article “the” must be carefully noted, especially when used with the words “holy spirit.”

c. The emphasis of the word “also” must be properly placed.

d. The use of “but” and “not” must be recognized for the degree of contrast or negation they signify in a passage.

18. Time, and time words, are essential to proper interpretation. 

[There is no possible way to overstate the importance of time words and imminency statements in the Bible.  Without doubt the time/imminencey statements are some of the most highly overlooked, ignored, and discounted passages in the Bible.  Many of them are almost completely obliterated due to erroneous translation of the Greek words “aion” and “mello”.  The doctrinal presuppositions and biases of the translaters can only be overcome with proper study and exegesis.  (TKC)]

Time words must be carefully noted in regard to whether an event occurs in the past, the present or the future. Similarly, the use of abstract biblical terms like “sanctification” or “justification” should be identified as to whether they are in the beginning, the middle or the end of a process (or perhaps some combination of the three), and whether the process is ongoing or has been completed in the past.

a. Sometimes two or more events happen simultaneously even if they are recorded at different times or in different books.

b. Sometimes a record is out of chronological order in a particular book, because chronology is of secondary importance in the relating of the narrative. The material may be organized thematically rather than chronologically.

19. It is important to understand biblical prophecy.

Prophecy as foretelling of the future must be distinguished by two criteria: prophecy that is conditional and prophecy that is unconditional. Prophecy must also be examined in light of whether it has been partially or completely fulfilled in the past, partially or completely fulfilled in the present, or is totally reserved for the future. Sometimes prophecy can be fulfilled in more than one way at more than one time.

[I suspect the above statements reflect presuppostional bias based on a futurist eschatological (futurist) view of the original author of this article.  Any supposed “double fulfillement” or “partial fulfillment” asserted my be proven within the content of the texts. Such cannot merely be alleged in order to fit one’s private theological or eschatological position. (TKC)]

20. It is necessary to distinguish between a believer’s permanent spiritual standing before God and his “walk.”

The believer’s spiritual standing before God and his experiential “walk” must be distinguished. His standing is the position and relationship he has with God, that which he has obtained by grace because of Christ’s accomplishments on his behalf. His “walk” is his actual life and experience, referring to the attitudes, words and actions that he manifests (Rom. 12:1; Eph. 4:1). For example, a Christian is righteous in the sight of God because of the saving work of Christ, which is why believers are called “saints” (literally “holy ones”). At the same time he may be lacking righteousness in his walk because his actions do not line up with the Word and will of God.

21. It is essential that the reader determine “to whom” a particular scripture is addressed.

[The principle of “Audience Relevance” is enormously important and is perhaps even more overlooked than the time and imminency statements in the Bible.  We must acknowledge that when we read the Bible WE ARE READING SOMEONE ELSE’S MAIL.  The Bible was written FOR US, but not written specifically TO US.  This fact can not be overstated! (TKC)]

Not every verse in the Bible is to be applied to every person in every age. For example, we do not sacrifice animals today because the verses commanding that are not addressed to us. As Christians, we must be careful to note those scriptures that are addressed to us and distinguish them from those not to us. Even though we can learn from the entire Bible, we are not necessarily supposed to obey every command in it.

a. Administrations (sometimes called “Dispensations”) must be divided accurately, and basic changes in God’s dealings with man discerned. These changes affect God’s commandments and what is and is not sin, such as in regard to dietary restrictions, the regulations of civil government, the mode of worship, financial giving, Church leadership, etc. [For further study read our booklet Defending Dispensationalism: Standing Fast in the Liberty.]

b. Because of differing expectations, commandments, etc., interpretation and application of Scripture must be determined in light of to whom each section of Scripture is addressed, whether it be Jews, Gentiles or the Church of God (1 Cor. 10:32).

c. To whom a particular book is addressed must be noted; sometimes this can change even in the middle of a particular passage (e.g., Rom. 11:13).

22. Difficult verses must be interpreted in light of clear verses.

The Bible contains many verses on many subjects, and some of them are easy to understand, while others are more difficult. Usually, it is the case that there are many more clear verses on a subject than difficult verses. Proper exegesis requires that difficult verses must be interpreted in the light of the many clear verses on the same subject. The scope of the entire Bible must be the final judge of what constitutes truth and error.

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How Yeshua Messiah And The Apostles Interpreted Holy Scripture

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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