Essays on Hermeneutics

by Jon Zens

Christians desire the Word of God. Their love to Christ directs them to search the Scriptures, for they testify of Him. However, Christians reading the same Bible come away with some very diverse ideas about what it teaches. This has been perplexing to many.
In this issue of Searching Together, we want to deal with matters related to how we interpret Scripture (hermeneutics). It would be very unrealistic for us to think we can resolve major hermeneutical issues at this time. But we believe that we can stimulate your thinking in several directions.

One direction would be to help us all be more self-conscious of the baggage we bring to the text even before we attempt to interpret it. We all have presuppositions ideas and concepts that we assume to be correct that influence our reading of the Bible.

Another direction would be to briefly examine some sections of Scripture that evoke disagreement among believers, in hopes that some clarity and mutual understanding might emerge. The selection of issues and texts arises from matters we have encountered over the years through materials sent to us, or through questions and comments that have come up during our visits to fellowships around the country.

We hope you will enjoy this hermeneutic smorgasbord.

Hermeneutics is Everything!  There are abundant examples of abuses of the Bible.  What is needed to come to a right understanding of its truth?

No Humility / No Hermeneutics  What about our attitude when we are interpreting the Scriptures?  A look at the "Hermeneutical Community."

Finding Contradictions: A Pick and Choose Hermeneutic?  Often, it is our biases that cause damage when trying to rightly interpret the word of God.

"Moses Wrote of Me:"  How Should We Use the Old Testament?  The Old Testment is interpreted properly only when it is seen with Christ as its center.

Salvation for the "World"  When we are told that salvation is for "the world," exactly what do the biblical writers mean by that?

The Hermeneutics of Baptism: Acts of the Apostles  Are the defenders of infant baptism using sound principles of hermeneutics?

Righteousness Without the Law: Romans 3:21  Are our only choices in understanding this passage Covenant Theology or Dispensationalism?

Israel -- Unsubmitted to God's Righteousness: Roman 9-11  Is the religious interest in modern Israel based on the right use of Scriptures?

Why Did Paul Talk About the State?  Romans 13  According to a right use of Scripture, how should Christians regard the government?

Differences About Days: Romans 14  What should happen in the body of Christ when Christians differ in their views about celebrating certain "holy" days?

Half the Priesthood Silent? 1 Corinthians 11 & 14  If women in Christ are truly a part of the New Covenant priesthood, should they be silent in the church?

Whose Door Is Christ Knocking At? Revelation 3:20  A text used much in evangelism, but does its use in Revelation applying it to the lost?

When Is the Millennium? Revelation 20:1-10  If we look closer at the Scripture on the thousand year reign of Christ, what will we find?