I’m a bit disappointed with myself for letting a few days pass between postings.  Suffice it to say I’ve been busy at work and busy at home.  I came across an old posting on Challies.com where he did a nice summary of the next chapter in Knowing Scripture, which I replicate here.  It’s a lot easier to blog when someone better writes it!

In the third chapter, Sproul dedicates a chapter to an introduction to hermeneutics. Do not be scared by this technical word as it simply means “a list of rules and guidelines for interpreting Scripture.” Some of the concepts he introduces are:

  • The analogy of faith. This says that Scripture interprets Scripture, or that one passage supports and explains another. It also means that one part of Scripture never corrects another part, for Scripture needs no correction.
  • Literal Interpretation. This says that Scripture needs to be scrutinized as literature, paying attention to grammar, word choice and genre. Just because the Bible is a special book does not mean we can ignore standard literal interpretation.
  • Genre Analysis. This says that Scripture must be analyzed for genre and it is crucial that we distinguish between genres such as history and poetry.
  • Grammatico-Historical. This is a method of interpreting Scripture that focuses on, among other things, grammatical constructions and historical context. This is the traditional and most accurate method of hermeneutics.
  • Authorship and Dating. It is important to understand the dating of a particular book or passage as well as its authorship.

You might ask where you can get all this information when you read your Bible.  I would suggest that a good study Bible, if you do not already have one, might be very helpful.  The ESV Study Bible was just named the book of the year by World Magazine.  I use the online version and several guys at church have the hard copies.

Bible commentaries are also helpful when you want to dig deeply.  Always remember that the weakest part of your personal Bible study is the fact that you are reading it in English.  There are complexities in the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic that are not present in our versions of the Bible, and a good commentary by a Godly bible scholar will help unlock mysteries.