The history of biblical interpretation, sometimes called Sacred Hermeneutics, is not a straight road. From the allegorical method to the historical-grammatical method, interpreters have not agreed on very much when it comes to how to ascertain meaning and determine application of the scriptures.
Currently, churches are dealing with the effects of post-modernism. Individual interpretations dominate the scene. If there are no absolutes, no standard upon which to base one’s truth, then the biblical meaning is up for grabs. My interpretation is as good as yours, so it goes.
Christ’s church is not immune to the invasion of dangerous philosophical approaches to interpretation. The application of command, example, and inference has in some quarters relegated to antiquated methodology. Some have said that such an approach has led to improper conclusions as to what is true and encouraged a separation with those who interpret differently. Abuse of this hermeneutic method (command, example, and inference) has indeed rendered illogical conclusions and interpretations, but properly used, this hermeneutic can benefit our attempts to live godly lives today. To employ this hermeneutic to determine right from wrong, correct versus incorrect, pleasing versus displeasing to God is helpful. To abuse might lay heavy burdens on others that the Lord did not intend.
In this book we will investigate both the exegetical and the hermeneutical processes. Exegesis determines what the text meant to the author, and hermeneutics helps apply the text to modern day parallels. Relying primarily on repeatedly reading the text, the whole biblical book, looking at it from a particular perspective each time, we will attempt to exegete the text. Having determined the meaning, we are better equipped to apply certain hermeneutical guidelines to the text’s principles, commands, examples, and inferences. In so doing, the biblical student can best determine what is right and how the text impacts his life today.
Author: Charles Speer