HERMENEUTICS has been one of the big topics of the last 25 years. A seemingly endless series of books has been produced and academic papers written.
However, 'hermeneutics' is not only the preserve of academia. The Christian who says "I'm just a simple Bible-believer" can be just as adept at imposing an interpretation on the text as the most sophisticated theologian. Nor is 'hermeneutics' an entirely modern question. Christians have always struggled with how to read and apply the Bible, and have adopted various ways of doing so.
In fact, the history of how Christians have read and applied the Bible is most instructive, especially if we take note of what was really happening in the various historical developments. What we find repeatedly is that when people were asking 'What do we think about the Scriptures?' they were really asking 'What do we think about Christ?'. This is because what we think about the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ, will run parallel with what we think about the inscripturated Word of God, the Bible.
The apostolic answer to the hermeneutical question is the correct one: Jesus Christ is the God-man, saviour and Lord, to whom the apostles and all the Scriptures testify. This means that the objective historical Jesus is in fact the content of the gospel message and the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). The apostle's answer comes from taking seriously the fact that Jesus claims to be the truth. There is a sense in which the apostles understood the Old Testament as providing the substructure of the gospel - and so the Old Testament helps us understand the New Testament. But the main thrust of the New Testament is on the person of Jesus as the one who makes clear what the Old Testament is all about. So the apostle's hermeneutical position is that the gospel is the power of God for interpreting the Bible.
Read the rest of Hermeneutics and Christ at BeginningWithMoses.org
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