I have always loved science. Even as a kid, I loved watching scientists do experiments in the lab on tv. I loved learning about science. My favorite study in science was geology, the study of rocks. One thing that people don’t realize is that interpretation of literature is a science as well. That is why hermeneutics is the science of studying literature.
When we say that hermeneutics is a science, we are saying there are rules to interpretation, and a testable, repeatable process is involved in reading. Here are some rules to keep in mind:
1. The text will never have a meaning other than what the author originally intended.
2. the author had an original audience to whom he was writing.
3. Statements should be read in the context of the sentences and paragraphs surrounding the statement, the book as a whole should be kept in mind when reading that statement, and the genre should be kept in mind when reading the statement.
4. Grammar and words determine meaning.
5. If general truths can be drawn out of a passage, draw them out.
6. If the general truths apply to you, then apply them.
7. Interpret the passage from the author’s worldview, not your own.
8. Study as much about the author and the original audience as best as you can to understand the message better.
These rules apply to newspapers, the constitution, contracts, and any type of literature. They are especially important when reading the Bible because it is the Word of God written by God through men. It was written to God’s people as a revelation about himself.
To teach the basics of interpretation and applying the rules to the Bible, I wrote The Using Hermeneutics Series. The first book walks the reader through the process of hermeneutics by applying them to an Old Testament case law. This book is called When My Ox Gores My Neighbor: Using Hermeneutics to Travel From Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion. The second book teaches the same principles but also teaches how to build a hermeneutical theology. It applies the principles of interpretation to an introduction to a New Testament letter. It is called Romans Roadblocks: Using Hermeneutics to Discover the Essentials of the Christian Faith. These resources will teach you the science as well as the art of hermeneutics. These resources teach biblical interpretation through demonstration.
Thank you for reading this I hope that this has blessed you. To get these resources you can go to the resources page. If you want to read the Bible and understand it you can go to the resource page and get the Using Hermeneutics Book Series. If you buy these books they will teach you how to study God’s Word and you will be helping this ministry greatly. Please consider buying my books to help support this blog, I can’t do this on a regular basis without you. They also make great gospel tracts. Not only do they find out how to study the Bible but they read the gospel over and over again. Lord bless you and study God’s Word.