April 16, 2012

Some of you serious bible readers may find this essay by Ben Witherington useful. I did. Oh, and, about that big word, “hermeneutic,” that is that stage of biblical interpretation in which the commentator says to himself, “I know what the text says (exegesis), but what does it mean (hermeneutic)?

One of the perennial problems Christian readers of the Bible have is figuring out the relationship of the OT to the NT, or the old covenant to the new covenant, and in particular the relationship of the Mosaic covenant to the new covenant. Too often what happens in conservative Protestant circles is that the Bible is read in a flat way, such that it is assumed that anything said in the OT is just as revealing of God’s good and perfect will or highest and best for humankind as anything said in the NT.

Sometimes this is even linked to an assumption that such a hermeneutic is required if you are going to have ‘a high view of Scripture’. And sometimes this whole line of thinking is held at arms length by discussions about ‘progressive revelation’. As much as I agree that we must indeed see the earlier revelation in light of the later and fuller revelation in Christ, this is not the whole story.



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