An Introduction to Bible Hermeneutics

The request was made to define Bible Hermeneutics, here is a start in…

Bible Hermeneutics 101

1. (1) Bible hermeneutics, see

(2) The Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation (ASPI) at

(3)Hermeneutics, the Science of Biblical Interpretation. at and

(4) Bernard Ramm at…/Faithp…/Ramm.html

to name a few off the top of my head. That is a good question, and a description should be developed and posted, thank you.

2. First of all, the Bible is (1) divine in origin, all 66 books of the Bible came from God the Father Himself through the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit; (2) absolute in authority in that while you might want to bring science, or human wis- dom, or even religious authority above the authority of the Word of God as a cri- terion for understanding and interpreation, it just will not work; (3) sufficient in its message, and if we do not find what we are looking for and need, it is from a lack of effort or of hermenutics; for the very purpose of the Bible as entrusted to the Hebrews as oracles of God, is that God might in each generation and in each nation of peoples communicate–it is for communication and not simply study or scholarly research; (4) it is high fidelity in communication, what God tries to do in the Bible, God will do with just a little amount of cooperation on your part in proper Bible rules for understanding {hermeneutics}; and (5) the Bible is self-interpretative–why in the world do you think the Apostle Peter told us “no scripture is of any private interpretation”? And let me answer that as it is because what the Prophets said in the OT the Apostles and Jesus explained in the NT, and vice versa, also what the Apostle Paul wrote in his 14 epistles that was hard to understand, and even as “some wrested to their own destruction”, like the Apostle Peter wrote, Peter interprets, and vice versa; and so on and on and on through the 27 books of the NT and the 39 of the OT; and finally (6) the same Spirit of God that wrote these books is the Spirit that explains these books to us.

3. You must get into the hermeneutics habit, and if you do you will be surprised how much more open the message and messages of the Bible are to you, which is to allow some other part of the Bible to explain and interpret a verse or chapter in a place of the Bible where you are puzzling. It is the hermeneutics principle of “Compare Scripture with Scripture”. In short, it is to say that the same God who wrote Romans also wrote I John and Jude, etc, so that what God wrote, or had written, one place will not only be consistent with all other places, but will amplify and explain and interpret if you would. And furthermore as you have started your journey through the whole Bible in these TOP 12 TOPICS, a journey originating from the OT quotes in the NT, and since each place such is quoted there is an explanation and interpretation either by Jesus or an Apostle {also the two associates of Paul, Dr. Luke and John Mark}. And furthermore sometimes it is the other way, the usage in the OT makes clear what is in the NT. ISN’T IT MARVELOUS WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US IN BOTH PROVIDING A BOOK FOR GUIDANCE AND LIFE, AND THEN PROVIDING ALL THESE ASSURANCES THAT WE WILL, WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE, UNDERSTAND IT!

“The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.” (Psalm 29:7,8)

4. The Bible is a book about Jesus. One way to know if you are getting the proper message and messages from God in the Bible is if you (1) learn more about Jesus, (2) Learn Jesus properly for as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:20 “this is not the way your learned Christ”, an obvious indication that Christ can be learned improperly, and (3) get that warmness in the heart that the Bible is “alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit”–yes, the Bible is much larger than leather, and pages, and words as it is the living and active Word of God; that is it is like having God set down in our living room and talk to us, and (4) you get closer to God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength.Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
(Psalm 29:1,2)

5. Just use the ASPI, Authorized Semi_Public version on any version or translation and in any language. The ASPI, you know from II Peter 1:20,21: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”    

John MacArthur
“On the sufficiency of Scripture, Ps 19:7-14 is the most monumental statement ever made in concise terms. Penned by David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it offers an unwavering testimony from God Himself about the sufficiency of His Word for every situation. It counters the teaching of those who believe that truth gleaned from modern psychology must augment God’s Word:
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.  

7.  There are no short and simple answers except ASPI and II Peter 1:20,21, that is the reason we trained on the subject in Bible classes at Ouachita Baptist, Baylor, and Southwestern Seminar. And study good conservative Bible teachers like Bernard Ramm on “Hermeneutics, the Science of Biblical Interpretation”.

8.  Might it be suggested that since learning theory dictates that we learn by rote memory, example, trial and error, and problem solving to participate in the bible sessions to follow in the group Apostles and Prophets. With many examples of good hermeneutics in exegesis based on the internal structure of the Bible, the recommended method can be picked up. To give you a clue the course development, and textbook, started with a list of all the OT quotes in the NT. then listed in the order of the Bible, then making a topical outline to follow that listing, finding that the Apostles in the NT quoted from the Prophets, then interpreted that quote, then implemented it in applications. It is quite exciting.

9.  Or there is also the approach also on the developed somewhat magic outline of the Bible above, built on the internal structure of the Bible, that goes for the Topical approach, letting the Bible itself determine the main topics; for example of the 12 Top Topics of the Bible, Top Topic #3 on “The Consistency of the Content:”

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