Biblical Hermeneutics Essay

3733 Words Oct 2nd, 2013 15 Pages
“Biblical Hermeneutics”

By: Rev. Clint A. Starnes

September 7th, 2013

In its most basic definition, biblical hermeneutics refers to the art and science of biblical interpretation. It is considered an art because understanding, which is required for interpretation, requires a feel for the subject matter being interpreted, not just an analyzation of data. Biblical hermeneutics is also considered a science due to the fact that some aspects of the interpretation process resemble the activities of natural science. Because of this dual nature of hermeneutics, it is almost impossible for an interpreter to arrive at a neutral conclusion. Good or bad, most biblical interpreters translate scripture based upon
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A scholar of this school of thought, Theodore of Mopsuestia, stated that the primary method for interpreting Scripture should be the grammatical-historical method. This method stated that a text should be interpreted according to the rules of grammar and the facts of history. The exegetical principles of this school of thought laid the groundwork for modern exegesis. Augustine, who lived from A.D. 354 – 430, was a genius in certain aspects of biblical exegesis. He was part of the Western School of interpretation. He developed significant theories of biblical interpretation such as: the interpreter must possess a genuine Christian faith & the literal and historical meaning of Scripture should be held in high regard, to name a few. Unfortunately, Augustine forsook most of his own principles and tended to follow a method of allegorization. His theories, however, became the predominant view of the middle ages.
The period known as “Medieval Exegesis” lasted from approximately A.D. 600 – 1500. Little original exegesis was done, with most biblical students concentrating on compiling the works of the patriarchal exegetes. During this period however, a four fold meaning of Scripture, originally developed by Augustine, became the primary method of biblical interpretation. The principles of this method stated that in each passage of Scripture there were four meanings, letter, allegory, moral, and anagogy (eschatological). During this
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