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Reformed Biblical Hermeneutics

Reformed biblical hermeneutics is a method of interpreting the Bible that emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of Christ-centeredness. It is based on the belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it is therefore without error. Reformed biblical hermeneutics also emphasizes the importance of understanding the historical context of the Bible and the original meaning of the text. This historical-grammatical method strives to find the author’s intended meaning, i.e. what the author’s hearers at that time would have assumed the words to mean.

Reformed theologian Geerhardus Vos emphasized the idea of redemptive history. This is the belief that the Bible tells the story of God’s redemptive work in the world, from creation to the new creation – that all of Scripture points to Jesus Christ, who is the central figure of redemptive history. This view does not replace the grammatical-historical method, rather, it is built upon it.

“Scripture interprets Scripture.” Another important principle of Reformed hermeneutics is the idea of the analogy of faith. This is the belief that all of Scripture must be interpreted in light of the whole of Scripture. In other words, no single passage of Scripture can be interpreted in isolation from the rest of the Bible. 

Reformed hermeneutics also  posits the perspicuity of Scripture, meaning that it is sufficiently clear and understandable as to communicate to the common reader what is essential to salvation and the knowledge of God. This principle goes hand-in-hand with the historical-grammatical method of interpretation.

 

Here are some of the key features of Reformed hermeneutics:

  • The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
  • The Bible is without error.
  • The Bible is sufficiently clear, and understandable to the common reader about salvation and the knowledge of God.
  • The Bible is the ultimate authority for Christian faith and practice.
  • The Bible must be interpreted in light of its historical context.
  • The Bible must be interpreted in light of its original meaning.
  • The Bible must be interpreted in light of the whole of Scripture.
  • The Bible must be interpreted in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Reformed hermeneutics is a valuable tool for understanding the Bible and its message for today. It is a method that is based on the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, and the importance of Christ-centeredness.

 

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