Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Biblical Interpretation 10

A large portion of grammatical interpretation aims not only for the understanding of a single word; but also more importantly, how the word under consideration relates to the other words within the text. To get at the intended meaning of an author the interpreter must be able to understand the words and how they relate to one another to make the text meaningful. This really is at the heart of grammatical interpretation. Here is where the line must be drawn between eisegesis and exegesis. In eisegesis the interpreter comes to the text and reads into it his own preconceived ideas and doctrines. Exegesis, on the other hand, examines a text and takes from the text what is truly said, and from that he formulates his doctrines and understanding of the Word. One must be cautious of interpreters who look for new meanings in a text or who seek to find something to awe people with. Charles Hodge said that after years of teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary the thing he was most proud of was that in all his years of teaching the seminary never taught anything “new” they stayed faithful to the historic truths of Scripture.

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