Hermeneutics

Hermeneutics

Praise God for Chapters and Verses

If you have ever read theological writings from the sixteenth century (or before), you will notice something about the Scripture references used in the writings. For example, in Luther’s masterpiece, The Freedom of a Christian (1520), arguing for the Spirit’s role in freedom, he says: “As Christ says in John 4[:14], it is a ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” The reason verse 14 is in brackets is because verse 14 was not what Luther wrote. An editor…

Why Is Preaching A Big Deal?

Henry Bullinger (1504-1575) is not a common household name. Many readers of this blog have never heard of him. But Bullinger is a name Christians should be familiar with. He played a key role when the church was in desperate need of reformation in the sixteenth century. We could write many blogs on how God used Bullinger to reform the church in a more biblical direction. But I want to focus on one way God used him. Bullinger was one…

Keep Hoisting the Sails

For many of us, right about now, we are stuck in a rut with our daily Bible reading. We started the year well, with great intentions and ambitions to read the Bible in a year. But somehow, Leviticus is boring us to death! So, with that said, I want to remind you that the means of grace God has orchestrated, like Bible reading, is like sailing. A sailor cannot control the wind one iota. All the sailor can do is…

What is the Bible About?

I am convinced that many Christians functionally read their Bible as if it is about them.  For example, the temptation of Jesus by the devil in the wilderness is a well-known event. What many Christians do (I have done this in the past) is they read Matt 4:1-11 and ask the question, “How does this passage apply to me?” What they take away many times is this: Jesus memorized the Scriptures; during his hour of temptation he quoted Scripture to…

Never Read a Bible Verse

I once heard some advice that is well worth repeating: “Never read a Bible verse.” As a Protestant, “never read a Bible verse” might sound more like pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. This couldn’t be further from the truth! The point in the phrase “never read a Bible verse” means “never interpret a verse outside of its context.” After all, the three most important rules of interpreting the Bible are (1) context, (2) context, and (3) context. Unfortunately, many times we…