My personal approach in hermeneutics is literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutics. Literal, in the sense that every word that is used or written in the Scripture has the normal meaning in general usage, whether it is in speaking or writing. The grammatical and historical settings should be taken into consideration because the syntax (grammar) and historical settings play an important role in interpreting the Scripture. One should be aware that the Bible is given in the plain text-form, but should pay attention to the interpretation of it, since it is the divine Word of God.
Reasons Why I think it is the best Approach!
- Because the biblical text must be interpreted literally, in the plain sense or at the face value, and only this method of interpretation gives a better understanding of what the Scripture is trying to convey. One should not think that God’s Word has some hidden, mysterious meaning, because God did not give His Word to confuse the readers. It is also vital for one to note that God gave His Word in a plain sense, to His people. If He desires that His people should understand His Word clearly, then it should be interpreted plainly. God desires to communicate to His people plainly. If God wants to communicate with a hidden agenda through His Word, then how can He be a trustworthy God? The Scriptures clearly states that God cannot lie! (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2). Therefore, God cannot contradict Himself! In fact, God is the creator of the Universe and the originator of the language. If He is the originator of the language, and if His desire is to communicate to the mankind, then He must convey that message in the plain, normative sense.
- Because this method interprets or helps the interpreter to accurately understand the prophesy given in the Scriptures. For instance, there were prophecies that literally occurred in the past, such as the birth of Christ (Isaiah 9:6), His ministry, (Deut. 18:15), and His resurrection (Psa. 2:7; Hosea 6:2; Zech. 12:10; Job 19:25-26).
- Because it helps one approach the Scripture objectively. In other words, Scriptures should be approached in an objective manner. It is true that many readers or all have presuppositions when approaching the Scripture. But the literal or the normal interpretation gives the meaning of the Scripture objectively then imposing the meaning into the Scripture, which is a subjective approach. Literal hermeneutics helps one from the danger of imposing meaning into text that is not there.
- Finally, Consistency is very important in ones hermeneutical method. Lack of consistency can cause one to interpret Scripture wrongly. In this literal-grammatical-historical method of hermeneutics, consistency can be noticed when interpreting all the Scripture, including prophecy.
Question: What is your method of interpretation and why do you think that your method is important or it produces accurate understanding of the Scripture? Leave a comment below!
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