Why are there so many different interpretations of Scripture? How did the apostles interpret Scripture? Are they to be our model? What about the early Church? Should we look for a hidden meaning in Scripture? During this session, the student should come to a basic understanding of what is involved in the hermeneutical processes, by looking at biblical hermeneutics as practiced through the centuries. The primary goal of this session is to introduce the students to the most common mistakes that people make in their hermeneutic—devaluing the human element of Scripture. The concept of biblical docetism will be further explained and illustrated. By the time this lesson is complete, the student should be convinced that a proper understanding of the authorial intent with regards to the Scriptures is just as basic as a proper belief in the inspiration of the Scriptures. The history of interpretation will be briefly covered in order to learn from both the successes and failures of the past so that we might approach interpretation with more integrity and a healthy fear. In the end students should understand that true application cannot be taken from the Scriptures unless we use a historical-grammatical hermeneutic.
Session Reading (for self-study students)
“Chicago Statement of Biblical Hermeneutics” (Appendix 2 in the Student Notebook)