Dr. Wayne Grudem (bio) has been lecturing through his text on Systematic Theology during his Sunday School class at Scottsdale Bible Church. I jotted down the following notes while listening to his second lecture on mp3 (first lecture HERE) on basic Bible hermeneutics (how to interpret the Bible).
The following are four big picture items to keep in mind when we read and interpret the Scriptures –
The Bible is an historical document
- The Bible means today what it meant in history (it’s original context)
- A Bible passage means what the author intended for the ORIGINAL reader to understand **
- We must study historical context
The primary response should be the response the author intended for his readers **
- The authors wrote what they did, because they expect the readers to respond in some way
- In seeking application from a passage, ask what application the author originally intended
- The whole of the Bible is [primarily] about God (not primarily helpful tips for living) see Baptist catechism below
The center of the whole of the Bible is Jesus Christ
- The OT looks forward to Him
- The NT flows from Him
- All true application is ultimately in Him – Lk 24:27
**NOTE: We must remember the Divine author sometimes means more than a human author intends.
Baptist Catechism (Spurgeon Edits), 1677 (1855), Question #3
Q. What do the Scriptures principally teach?”
The preacher sought to find out acceptable words:
and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
The words of the wise are as goads,
and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies,
which are given from one shepherd.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished:
of making many books there is no end;
and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep his commandments:
for this is the whole duty of man.