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Don’t let the title of this blog frighten you. While the term “hermeneutic” may be unfamiliar to you, it simply refers to the strategy a person uses when reading and interpreting Scripture.
Every good biblical expositor follows a set of rules to guide their study of the Bible. If there are no rules it is easy to make the Bible say just about anything! So there must be a few basic assumptions and a few rules to follow in order to arrive at conclusions that are logical and God-ordained.
Our assumptions may be things such as the belief that the Bible is an inspired book, having come to us from God through the biblical writers. Then there’s the belief that we should attempt to understand things such as context and author’s intent.
However, there is one more major principle that I believe every Christian must follow when interpreting Scripture. We find this principle in the story of the road to Emmaus. After the death and resurrection, two disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus when they were joined by a third party who managed to keep his identity hidden from them. This third party was Jesus.
You will remember that the disciples expressed their dismay and confusion over the death of Jesus, the one they had believed to be the Messiah. Jesus’ response to their concern sets the standard for biblical interpretation.
Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:25-27
Jesus’ hermeneutic was simply: the entire Bible is ultimately about Jesus! This means that every passage must be seen through the lens of Jesus. What does this passage tell us about Jesus? What does it tell me about God’s plan as revealed through Jesus?
The Bible is ultimately the story of God’s great love, the enemy’s attempt to destroy the object of God’s love, and God’s plan to restore to Himself that which was taken from Him. Jesus is the principle character of this story. Everything revolves around and hinges on Him. Therefore, every proper interpretation of Scripture will be rooted in and grounded upon Jesus.
Jesus is our all! He is our everything! And Jesus is the centerpiece of our understanding of Scripture.