A Bible Hermeneutics Definition

How Bible interpretations, or hermeneutics of the Bible, affect the way we read the scriptures

A Bible Hermeneutics Definition

When looking for a Bible hermeneutics definition, the simplest is: Bible interpretations. The many ways people approach and interpret the Biblical texts can all be understood as hermeneutics of the Bible.

For as long as there have been Biblical texts, there have been Bible hermeneutics, or Bible interpretations. One hermeneutics definition (given by Bernhard W. Anderson in a piece he wrote for Bible Review) is that Bible hermeneutics are “modes of [Bible] interpretation[s].” In another Bible Review article, James A. Sanders offered a Bible hermeneutics definition as “interpretive lens[es]” through which one reads the Bible. Going a step further, the Merriam-Webster dictionary extends its hermeneutics definition to include not only the methods or principles of (Bible) interpretations but also the study of those very Bible interpretations. In short, the hermeneutics of the Bible are the many ways people approach and understand the Bible.

Bible hermeneutics even take place within the Biblical text itself. In the Hebrew Bible, the authors of the psalms and the prophets often referred back to earlier parts of the Torah and incorporated their own kinds of Bible interpretations and ways of understanding the text in their own current situations. Those who translated and copied the early Biblical texts also sometimes inserted their own Bible interpretations into their works.

In the years leading up to the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., several different Jewish groups had risen to prominence, including the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. Although they were all Jewish, each group had very different Bible hermenutics. Definition of what happened to the soul after death, proper temple sacrifice and the importance of study of the law differed among these groups because of their varying Bible interpretations. Christianity also began as a Jewish sect, but as Jesus’ followers developed their own Bible hermeneutics in relation to the law and the role of the messiah, it became a distinct religion. The uniquely Christian Bible interpretations are reflected in the writings of the New Testament as well as in the different order of Biblical books in the Christian Old Testament compared to the Jewish Hebrew Bible.

Today there are countless Bible hermeneutics, or Bible interpretations, as the Bible has been studied from just about every viewpoint or angle imaginable. Many modern readers interpret the text through a particular lens to gather further meaning, whether it be a feminist lens, an ecological lens, a social justice lens or even the lens of source criticism. These are all types of Bible hermeneutics.

Even archaeology, which is the focus of BAR, is one of these hermeneutics of the Bible. By studying the remains of ancient people and how they lived, and comparing their finds to the texts, archaeologists in the Holy Land are able to offer exciting new Bible interpretations.

Whatever your preferred method or Bible hermeneutics definition, there’s virtually no wrong way to do it.

 


 

Read how noted scholars arrive at a Bible hermeneutics definition:

Bernhard W. Anderson, “The Bible: Word of God in Human Words.” Bible Review, Jun 1997, 22, 56.

James A. Sanders, ““Spinning” the Bible.” Bible Review, Jun 1998, 22-29, 44-45.

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  1. Desiree says

    No “wrong” way to do it? What is the “it”? There are many ways to interpret the Bible, but weather a way is “right” or “wrong” I guess would depend on your aim. If the goal is the truth, truth by its very nature is exclusive. Therefore, if “truth” is the aim, there may indeed be a “right” and a “wrong” way to go about it.

  2. Desiree says

    *whether

  3. Wayne says

    “Whatever your preferred method or Bible hermeneutics definition, there’s virtually no wrong way to do it.”

    Really??? Are you an advocate of situational ethics? Are the Scriptures merely a religious book or is it the “living, active Word of God” inspired by His Spirit as the Scriptures themselves claim?

    There definitely is a WRONG method of interpreting the Bible and million of people fall into that category. Far too many start with their own fallible sinful biases and search the Scriptures for only that which supports their predetermined positions. There are definitely those who “twist [the Scriptures] to their own destruction.,” (2 Peter 3:16). They do not want God’s perspective, standards, Truth, or Kingdom; they want to fulfill their own sinful lusts and bents. Hence, they abuse, misuse, misinterpret, and twist the Scriptures.

  4. DOROTHY says

    THANK YOU
    GOD HAS GIVEN YOU WISDOM TO SERVE HIM AND
    OTHERS WELL.
    THE BIBLE GIVES ME THE WISDOM THAT I NEED FOR DAILY LIVING’
    I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT IT.

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  6. L says

    SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED: HERMENEUTICS

    But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines, and the basis of all reforms. THE OPINIONS OF LEARNED MEN, THE DEDUCTIONS OF SCIENCE, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority,– not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. BEFORE ACCEPTING ANY DOCTRINE OR PRECEPT, WE SHOULD DEMAND A PLAIN “THUS SAITH THE LORD” IN ITS SUPPORT. {GC88 595.1}
    We should exert all the powers of the mind in the study of the Scriptures, and should task the understanding to comprehend, as far as mortals can, the deep things of God; yet we must not forget that the docility and submission of a child is the true spirit of the learner. SCRIPTURAL DIFFICULTIES CAN NEVER BE MASTERED BY THE SAME METHODS THAT ARE EMPLOYED IN GRAPPLING WITH PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS. We should NOT ENGAGE in the study of the Bible WITH THAT SELF-RELIANCE with which so many enter the domains of science, but with a prayerful dependence upon God, and a sincere desire to learn his will. WE MUST COME WITH A HUMBLE AND TEACHABLE SPIRIT TO OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE FROM THE GREAT I AM. Otherwise, evil angels will so blind our minds and harden our hearts that WE SHALL NOT BE IMPRESSED BY THE TRUTH. {GC88 599.1}
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    THIS IS THE HIGHER CRITSICM THE CHURCHES NOT ONLY THE ADVENTIST BUT THE EVANGELICALS AND THE BAPTIST AND THE ROMAN CATHOLICS CHURCH ( THE ORIGINATORS OF HERMENEUTICS FOR CHRISTIAN DISPENSATION WHICH THEY READILY RECEIVED FROM THE JEWISH PHARISEES.)………
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, AVOIDING PROFANE AND VAIN BABBLINGS, AND OPPOSITIONS OF SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED:
    Colossians 2:8-9 BEWARE LEST ANY MAN SPOIL YOU THROUGH PHILOSOPHY AND VAIN DECEIT, AFTER THE TRADITION OF MEN, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    From the time that the Word of God was first written down Satan has consistently and constantly attacked the Word, first by NOT allowing people to own it, by burning it, and by arousing ungodly men to unrighteously divide the Word of God. So that Satan can bring more false doctrine to the people, which are looking for God. According to the verses below the LORD gave us the Word AS IT READS, those who are consecrated to God will understand what the LORD is commanding us and warning us, but the heart must be totally and utterly consecrated and committed to our Father and His Son.
    Isa 45:19 KJV
    (19) I HAVE NOT SPOKEN IN SECRET, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

    Isa 48:16 KJV
    (16) Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I HAVE NOT SPOKEN IN SECRET FROM THE BEGINNING; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

    Amo 3:7 KJV
    (7) Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he REVEALETH HIS SECRET unto his servants the prophets.

    Hab 2:2 KJV
    (2) And the LORD answered me, and said, WRITE THE VISION, AND MAKE IT PLAIN UPON TABLES, THAT HE MAY RUN THAT READETH IT.

    Joh 18:19-21 KJV
    (19) The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
    (20) Jesus answered him, I SPAKE OPENLY TO THE WORLD; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; AND IN SECRET HAVE I SAID NOTHING.
    (21) Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

    Our LORD said nothing in secret !but has left us instruction how to read and study His Word.

    Isa 28:7-15 KJV
    (7) But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
    (8) For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
    (9) WHOM SHALL HE TEACH KNOWLEDGE? AND WHOM SHALL HE MAKE TO UNDERSTAND DOCTRINE? THEM THAT ARE WEANED FROM THE MILK, AND DRAWN FROM THE BREASTS.
    (10) FOR PRECEPT MUST BE UPON PRECEPT, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT; LINE UPON LINE, LINE UPON LINE; HERE A LITTLE, AND THERE A LITTLE:
    (11) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
    (12) To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
    (13) BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD WAS UNTO THEM PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT; LINE UPON LINE, LINE UPON LINE; HERE A LITTLE, AND THERE A LITTLE; THAT THEY MIGHT GO, AND FALL BACKWARD, AND BE BROKEN, AND SNARED, AND TAKEN.
    (14) Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, THAT RULE THIS PEOPLE WHICH IS IN JERUSALEM.
    (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: FOR WE HAVE MADE LIES OUR REFUGE, AND UNDER FALSEHOOD HAVE WE HID OURSELVES:

    Col 2:8 KJV
    (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through PHILOSOPHY AND VAIN DECEIT, AFTER THE TRADITION OF MEN, AFTER THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, and not after Christ.

    1Ti 6:20-21 KJV
    (20) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, AVOIDING PROFANE AND VAIN BABBLINGS, AND OPPOSITIONS OF SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED:
    (21) WHICH SOME PROFESSING HAVE ERRED CONCERNING THE FAITH. Grace be with thee. Amen. The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea, which is the chiefest city of Phrygia Pacatiana.

    2Pe 3:15-17 KJV
    (15) And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; IN WHICH ARE SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, WHICH THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.
    (17) Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, BEWARE LEST YE ALSO, BEING LED AWAY WITH THE ERROR OF THE WICKED, FALL FROM YOUR OWN STEDFASTNESS.

    Open the majority of books or informative tracts, in book stores, which say they can teach you, on how to read and understand, the Word of God, and you will discover with a little in depth study that, THE BASIS FOR THEIR UNDERSTANDING WILL BE PHILOSOPHY.

    We are instructed by the Word of God to not use man’s ways of dividing the Word, but to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth. Please take note of what our LORD says in Jeremiah:

    Jer 17:5 KJV
    (5) Thus saith the LORD; CURSED be the man that TRUSTETH IN MAN, AND MAKETH FLESH HIS ARM, AND WHOSE HEART DEPARTETH FROM THE LORD.

    But if we rely on the LORD only and not on man:

    Jer 17:7 KJV
    (7) BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT TRUSTETH IN THE LORD, AND WHOSE HOPE THE LORD IS.

    1Ch 21:13 KJV
    (13) And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: LET ME FALL NOW INTO THE HAND OF THE LORD; FOR VERY GREAT ARE HIS MERCIES: but let me not fall into the hand of man.

    In all certainty if we are not relying on the hand of God, then we are relying on the Accuser; Satan to teach us through man’s arrogance and self elevation above the divine. When we have to bring ourselves down low, to allow our Father to work, with His Spirit through us. That we may be led into all truth.
    As David said in Psalms:

    Psa 119:130 KJV
    (130) The entrance of thy words giveth light; IT GIVETH UNDERSTANDING UNTO THE SIMPLE.

    Therefore:

    Psa 119:104 KJV
    (104) Through thy precepts I GET UNDERSTANDING: therefore I HATE EVERY FALSE WAY.

    Now I don’t know about you, but the way it sounds, the Word of God has been written in such a way that WE SIMPLE FOLK WILL UNDERSTAND. AND DO NOT NEED DEGREES AND DIPLOMA’S, ALL WE NEED IS THE UNCTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM JESUS EVEN OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.

    And further more in Peter we are told that the Word is its own expositor ;

    2Pe 1:20 KJV
    (20) Knowing this first, that NO prophecy of the scripture is of ANY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION.

    Therefore our LORD gave us warnings continuously to beware of these things;

    Mar 12:24 KJV
    (24) And Jesus answering said unto them, DO YE NOT THEREFORE ERR, BECAUSE YE KNOW NOT THE SCRIPTURES, NEITHER THE POWER OF GOD?

    We have been warned by God about these people, these false shepherds, these wolves in sheep’s clothing;

    Mat 16:6 KJV
    (6) Then Jesus said unto them, TAKE HEED AND BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES.
    Mat 16:11 KJV
    (11) HOW IS IT THAT YE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I SPAKE IT NOT TO YOU CONCERNING BREAD, THAT YE SHOULD BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES?
    Mat 16:12 KJV
    (12) Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of THE DOCTRINE OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES.

    These people have allowed themselves to be misled by Satan as prophesied by Paul in;

    1Ti 4:1-2 KJV
    (1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall DEPART from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, AND DOCTRINES OF DEVILS;
    (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their CONSCIENCE SEARED WITH A HOT IRON;

    They had of the light before them but chose not to follow the LORD in His Word, may our Father have mercy upon these unfortunate souls. WHO PURPOSELY MISLEAD THE PEOPLE THAT THEY MAY REALISE THEIR FAULTS AND REPENT OF THEIR WAYS.

    We are told not to partake of these deeds in Ephesians;

    Eph 5:6-13 KJV
    (6) LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU WITH VAIN WORDS: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    (7) BE NOT YE THEREFORE PARTAKERS WITH THEM.
    (8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT:
    (9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
    (10) PROVING what is acceptable unto the Lord.
    (11) And have NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS, BUT RATHER REPROVE THEM.
    (12) FOR IT IS A SHAME EVEN TO SPEAK OF THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE DONE OF THEM IN SECRET.
    (13) But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: FOR WHATSOEVER DOTH MAKE MANIFEST IS LIGHT.

    We must all have the desire to do God’s will at all times, even though it is difficult, but we must not keep quiet, we must raise the standard for our LORD. Even though persecution is one of the responses of the world, towards a true follower of God. As in the words of Jeremiah; Jer 20:9 KJV
    (9) Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

    THE B.R.I. (BIBLE RESEARCH INSTITUTE) OF THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS, THE ONES WHO PURPOSELY MISLEAD GOD’S PEOPLE, WITH FALSE WAYS OF DIVIDING THE WORD OF GOD. ( ARE WE NOT TOLD BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO TO READ AND STUDY THE WORD OF GOD FOR OURSELVES AND NOT TO BE LED BY THE NOSES.READ PROVERBS 2:1-5 AND 2TIM 2:15)THEY USE PHILOSOPHICAL WAYS OF DIVIDING THE WORD OF GOD WHICH COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. HERMENEUTICS IS THE NAME THEREOF AND COMES DIRECTLY FROM HERMES THE GOD OF THE GREEK MYTHOLOGY. IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET PLEASE LOOK IT UP FOR YOURSELF. TAKE NOTE OF WHAT OUR LORD SAID TO US IN MATT 24:4,5; MARK 13:5,6; LUKE 21:8.

    2Ti 2:15 KJV
    (15) STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.

    HE COULD NOT KEEP QUIET HE HAD TO VOICE THE LAW OF THE LORD, I HOPE WE CAN ALL STAND UP FOR OUR FATHER AND NOT FALTER, BUT BUILD OUR FOUNDATIONS ON THE ROCK, EVEN CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR.

    Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
    James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. I Disagree, John MacArthur | Mary DeMuth linked to this post on October 29, 2013

    [...] cessationalism vs. continuationalism is an arguable point via hermeneutics, the way one interprets and reads Scripture. But, in my opinion, there is no reason to divide on [...]


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