Hermeneutics

“Dispensationalists hold to the originalist approach to hermeneutics.”

"Dispensationalists . . . believe (1) that meaning is contained in words, (2) that words can have a broad semantic range, (3) that that range is limited in any instantiated use of those words by historical context, and (4) that the original intention of the author is both fixed and impervious to evolution." - Snoeberger

549 reads

Review of ‘Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels’ by Richard Hays

Review of Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels,* Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017, 524 pages, paperback.

Richard B. Hays has established himself as one of the foremost NT scholars in the world, based on enduring works like The Moral Vision of the New Testament and Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. He has been at the forefront of the study of such seemingly obtuse but telling elements of the study of the NT as “metalepsis” and “figural interpretation.”

Metalepsis in biblical studies is the incorporation and use of the OT in the New, particularly by way of partial allusion, employed in a new context that draws attention to aspects of the larger previous context.

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An update on Paul Henebury's book

"I thought I would write something about the book I have been writing for some time now. The book is called The Words of the Covenant: A Biblical Theology. It’s subtitle is Old Testament Expectation. I am working with the publisher to finalize the manuscript. Lord willing it will be at the printers in the summer. " - Paul

646 reads

Two Testaments, but One Bible

When we cross over from the OT into the NT we might think that we ought to expect a very clear continuity. After all the OT, particularly the covenants and the Prophets have led us to expect a great future for the nation of Israel. Even though that people had gone and done their own thing, we would think that God would stick with His covenants and promises to that nation and bring them to Himself. We would also expect to see the arrival of the Messiah, the One whom Israel was expecting. Israel would finally have peace and prosperity under the protection of their Christ. They would be able to trust in Him to reign over them, and they could look to Him for blessing and guidance.

And as we enter the NT through the doors of the Synoptic Gospels this picture doesn’t seem to be upset; this indeed is the track that we appear to be on. Matthew, of course, starts off with a genealogy of the King1 and includes a number of announcements in the early chapters of his biographical narrative that encourage the reader to believe that, with the coming into the world of Jesus, the promised Kingdom was “at hand.”

1593 reads

Review: 40 Questions About Biblical Theology

A Review of 40 Questions about Biblical Theology* by Jason S. DeRouchie, Oren R. Martin, and Andrew David Naselli, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2020, 400 pages, paperback.

How does one review a well-written and well researched book on Biblical Studies that one disagrees with almost entirely? That is the position I find myself in with this book. DeRouchie, Martin, and Naselli are all subscribers to the fast-spreading approach to the Bible called “Progressive Covenantalism,” an approach first annunciated for most people by Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum’s Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants, which I reviewed here.

What this means is that fans of New Covenant Theology are going to really like this book, fans of Covenant Theology are going to approve of much in it (even though CT draws some criticisms), “Essentialist” (to use Joseph Parle’s word) and Progressive Dispensationalists are going to like it a lot less, and “Biblical Covenantalists” (that’s me) are going to really take issue with it. I say this so that my biases will be clear.

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The Writing of the Two Testaments: A Consideration

An interesting phenomenon in regard to the reading of the Old Testament and the New is the respective chronologies of the authorship of the canons. Whereas the Old Testament was written over a period of approximately 1,300 years – taking Job as the earliest book (c.1750 B.C.) and Malachi as the last book (c. 450 B.C.), the New Testament was written within one average human lifetime. This represents a vast difference which ought to be given more consideration than it has.

The Writing of the OT

If we consider the span of years for the writing of the Old Testament we get something like this (citing representative examples):

  • Job – 18th Century B.C.
  • The Pentateuch – Mid 15th Century B.C.
  • Many Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles – 10th Century B.C.
  • Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah – 8th Century B.C.
  • Isaiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk – 8th to 7th Century B.C.
  • Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, 1 & 2 Kings – 6th Century B.C.
  • Zechariah, Ezra/Nehemiah, Malachi – 5th Century B.C.

During that time history witnessed the beginning of the nation of Israel under Moses, and the dominance and eventual waning of Egyptian and Babylonian dynasties, plus the Hittite, Assyrian, Persian empires, and the onset of the Greek empire. Israel rose to become a powerful state in the days of David and Solomon; then split into two kingdoms until some centuries later both parts of those kingdoms went into captivity.

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The Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic

Origen Teaching His Students - Jan Luyken (1700)

Communication involves at least two parties in its process: the communicator who delivers the message and the recipient. Both individuals must follow some basic principles for communication to occur: the communicator must express the message clearly, and the recipient must understand the communicator’s meaning in its context. If individuals follow these rules for communication, how much more significant is the practice of attempting to understand correctly what God has recorded for them in His Word? This attempt at accurate comprehension is the study of interpretation, also known as hermeneutics. Biblical fundamentalists should be committed to an accurate understanding of God’s Word, and this understanding begins with accurate hermeneutics. The purpose of this article is to discuss the grammatical-historical hermeneutic (1) by distinguishing it from the allegorical hermeneutic, (2) by tracing the history of those two methods up to the Reformation, and (3) by explaining the basic principles of the grammatical-historical method.

2574 reads

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