Grammatical-historical hermeneutic

I understand how this frame of interpretation arose but the authors of the New Testament did not use it. Whether the its the Elijah connection to John the Baptist to Melchizedek to Christ being the rock that followed the Israelites to water baptism and the crossing of the red sea; the NT commentary and interpretation of the OT uses an entirely different hermeneutic. Why do people think this approach is valid today?


Good question. I think there are aspects of historical-grammatical method that are tied into modernist ideas about the right way to interpret texts and some of those ideas are dated. I think it is also important to note that currently Bible scholars use elements from a variety of interpretive approaches. The approach is more holistic and takes into consideration that the historical and cultural context determines much of the intended meaning. There is also more emphasis now on on how different biblical texts fit with the whole message of Scripture and God’s redemptive plan throughout history. I think we have a different idea about what the Bible is as revelation than the first century interpreters did, and we also have a different cultural approach to texts (in a post-Gutenberg, highly literate society) than they did, so there is no reason to expect us to have the same hermeneutic as the authors of the NT.

1 Like

I’m curious on what ways did the writers of the New Testament connect the Red Sea to baptism versus how we do now days? What’s the hermeneutical differences of that?

That is totally fair, I was just coming from an evangelical background and hearing this reliance that what inspired writers did not themselves use so it was a bit of cognitive dissonance for me. I do not mind more holistic views but I found myself in communities that view Scripture very woodenly and I do not see evidence for that.

1 Like

I understand the disconnect and I think many pastors who went to seminary in the 70s have not kept up with biblical scholarship and teach outdated stuff. It is certainly true that no NT author was reading the Hebrew Scriptures through the lens of some twentieth century inerrancy construct and that should be something we think about. I work in Bible translation and many Evangelicals who are totally on board with the idea that everyone should be able to read the Bible in their own language are horrified to realize what the linguists who are consulting on the translations think about language and interpretation because it doesn’t match their outdated ideas about “literal meaning.”

1 Like

I like Bonhoeffer’s ‘hermeneutic’, if you can call it that, but I don’t really know why you couldn’t. He acknowledges textual criticism, but…

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.