7 Basic Principles (An Overview)

Here are the 7 basic principles of Biblical Hermeneutics (interpreting the Scriptures).

The Priority of the Original Languages: Though there are some great translations out there, none are perfect (they actually can’t be) so any decision with regard to the interpretation of the Bible has got to be with respect to the Hebrew/Aramaic (OT) and Greek (NT).

Figurative Language: Shouldn’t we take the Bible “literally”? Absolutely, we should! However, most people have not thought through what that statement means. As this blog continues I will describe 22 common figures of speech that the Bible uses to communicate to us.

Progressive Revelation: God has revealed more of Himself and His truth to His people as history has gone along. In other words, God rarely revealed all of the truth there is to know on a subject the very first time He communicated about that subject. As time went along, His people gained a fuller understanding of His truth.

Historical Propriety: The primary meaning of the text is inextricably linked to the original author and his intended meaning to the original audience.

Contextual Interpretation: Any passage of scripture has to be interpreted in relation to the passage(s) before and after it. No text of the Bible is an isolated island and the whole Bible relates to itself.

Analogy of Scripture: Not only does every scripture passage relate to the rest, because the Bible has one true author, namely God, every text in all the inspired scriptures does not contradict itself.

History of Interpretation: A recognition of the gift of teaching throughout all of church history must temper the desire to innovate in interpretation. The same Holy Spirit that leads modern readers into all truth was active 10 years ago, 100 years ago, and 1,000 years ago. Due respect must be paid to prior Christian understanding.

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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