Do We Need Hermeneutics?

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

So if the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, then we don’t need Hermeneutics, and for that matter, we don’t need the church telling us what to believe, right? Wrong!

The Bible is truth, God’s word. It is not written in some strange “Holy Ghost Language,” it conforms to regular grammatical rules, normal wordings, common phrases. The Bible means what it says, however, it does not always say what we think.

The goal of hermeneutics is to, through a uniform process, get at the meaning of the Bible. Our problem is that we’re not all that objective. That’s where the church comes in. If you want a sure fire way to end up “tossed to and fro” then retreat to an isolated study of God’s word.

The Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth, but he didn’t say how. It is the Holy Spirit himself who gave you a brain and the ability to use it. And he works through the church. He never said he would lead each of us (or any one of us) into all truth, just that he would lead US into the truth. We need a community committed to hermeneutics, getting at the truth together (cf. Eph 4).

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.
This entry was posted in Church, Hermeneutics. Bookmark the permalink.