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Archive for the ‘historical grammatical hermeneutics’ Category

(NOTE: The following is a quick sketch of my thoughts on the hermeneutical connection between Calvinism, Presuppositionalism and Dispensationalism; I plan sometime in the future to interact more with the literatures on Covenant Theology, hermeneutics and Presuppositionalism, particularly the essays in Revelation and Reason by the faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary, many of whom I have grown so much from their work!)

As Christians, one’s ultimate authority should be the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, etc).  Its authority should be over every area of our lives.  If we truly believe the Word, we would live our lives in light of it’s truth; namely it should be interpreting our experience, prescribing to us what to do and not to do, along with the Word providing the provisions of God’s truths that motivate one to obedience (Note: John Frame’s Perspectivalism is helpful here, with his triade of the situational, normative and existential).  That’s a round-about way of saying that knowing Scriptural truths should lead us to apply God’s Word.  Heed the word of James 1:22 (NASB):

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

If we could illustrate this truth:

Bible apply to life

But one must remember that one can also misapply God’s Word.  That can happen in two ways: (1) One can misinterpret the truths from the Bible, (2) or one can misinterpret one’s situation and apply the wrong Biblical remedy, even though the principles themselves are true and from God’s Word.  Two quick examples: With (1), you have a cultist who thinks the Bible teaches salvation by works which bring with it  an array of negative effects (damnation in eternity, and present experience of  unresolved guilt, condemnation from one’s conscience, etc).  An example of (2) is when you have someone who knows that the Bible teaches marriage fidelity between a man and a woman; but then this individual is calling a particular girl he likes to be faithful to him–even though they are not in a relationship and she doesn’t want to be with him.  He just merely thinks he’s married already.

The fact that we can misapply God’s Word by misinterpreting what it says should sober us and make us desire to be more conscious of how we interpret the Bible.  In fact, interpretation of God’s Word has logical priority over it’s application, because one cannot apply God’s Word if one does not understand or know it.  In order to get the proper interpretation, we want to apply good and sound principles of interpretations to the Word.  The study of the principles, method and other presuppositions involved in interpretation is called hermeneutics.

We illustrate it like this:

Bible hermeneutical bridge to life

To reach the goal of applying the Bible to one’s life, the journey of interpretation travels over a hermeneutical “bridge.”  I think the bridge is quite an appropriate analogy since it is foundational for interpretation.  Furthermore, a good hermeneutic will rise above and not crumble into the sea of meaninglessness, subjectivism, etc.

If one wants to be more nuance, we might add that the content of one’s interpretation of the Bible is what we call doctrine.  Think of God’s attributes, the Trinity, Incarnation, etc.  For the purpose of this essay, we will call bodies of doctrines ” theology.” The content of our theology will impact our lives, but we want to make sure they are coming from God’s Word.  Our illustration is thus modified:

Bible hermeneutical bridge to theology

 

Theology can be quite broad.  For instance, we have the following traditional divisions in theology:

  • Bibliology (Doctrines pertaining to the Word of G0d)
  • Theology Proper (Doctrines pertaining to God Himself and His Works)
  • Anthropology (Doctrines pertaining to man)
  • Hamartiology (Doctrines pertaining to sin)
  • Christology (Doctrines pertaining to Christ)
  • Soteriology (Doctrines pertaining to Salvation)
  • Pneumatology (Doctrines pertaining to the Holy Spirit)
  • Ecclesiology(Doctrines pertaining to the church)
  • Eschatology (Doctrines pertaining to Last things)

More could be added, to include:

  • Israelology (Doctrines pertaining to the ethnic group of Israel)
  • Apologetics (Doctrines pertaining to the defense of the faith)

Or things concerning a “Christian philosophy:”

  • Epistemology (Philosophy of knowledge)
  • Metaphysics (Philosophy of reality)
  • Ethics (Philosophy of moral standards)
  • Aesthetics (Philosophy of beauty)

We can go on and on, but you get the idea.

As one notice above, I put apologetics under theology, because I believe apologetics ultimately is the application of God’s Word to unbelief.  I also believe one’s theology will shape one’s apologetics:

Bible hermeneutical bridge to apologetics

 

The divisions in theology that will shape one’s apologetics include the following (note the sample questions):

  • Theology Proper (Is God knowable or not?)
  • Bibliology (Is God’s revelation of Himself clear?  Is the Bible self-evidencing?)
  • Anthropology (What is man and does he have dignity and meaning?)
  • Hamartiology (What is the extent of man’s sinfulness and how will he interpret the evidences?)
  • Soteriology (How does God bring people to a saving knowledge of Himself?)
  • Pneumatology (What is the role of the Holy Spirit in apologetics?)

How Calvinistic Theology answer the above question will lead to a method called Presuppositional apologetics (those unfamiliar with Presuppositional apologetics might want to listen to Greg Bahnsen’s lectures first):

Bible hermeneutical bridge to calvinistic theology then presuppositional apologetics

 

If we answer the above questions we get this:

  • Is God knowable or not?  Yes (Psalm 19:1-6).
  • Is God’s revelation of Himself clear?  Yes (Romans 1:18ff, Psalms 19).
  • Is the Bible self-evidencing?  Yes (Luke 16:31).
  • What is man and does he have dignity and meaning?  Yes, because He’s made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26 cf. James 3:9).
  • What is the extent of man’s sinfulness and how will he interpret the evidences?  Total depraved, who suppresses the truth (Romans 1:18ff).
  • How does God bring people to a saving knowledge of Himself?  Among many things, the Gospel being preached (Romans 10:14-15); ultimately, salvation is not on the basis of man’s will (John 1:12) since man doesn’t even seek God (Romans 3:10) unless God bring about through His effectual call.
  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in apologetics?  Holy Spirit convicts and regenerate sinners on the occasion of the Gospel being preached (John 16:8, Titus 3:5, etc).

The above answer will definitely shape how one goes about defending the faith such as what constitute as evidences, the weight of the evidences and how does the nonbeliever handles the evidences, who should be in the “dock,” etc.

No doubt the Calvinist believes that his answer is properly drawn out from the Scriptures (see the verses with it; obviously space does not permit a lengthy exposition of the above but an older Reformed Systematic Theology text by Berkhof can be accessed here).  The Calvinist will say that his correct interpretation of the Scriptures is the result of a strong hermeneutical foundational “bridge.”

What is the Calvinist’s foundation that led him to arrive at his answer in interpreting Psalm 19, Romans 1, Luke 16:31, Titus 3:5, etc?  It’s the historical-grammatical approach:

Bible historical grammatical hermeneutical bridge to calvinistic theology then presuppositional apologetics

He interprets the passages in it’s original context, with consideration of the function and meaning of words while aware of the literary forms of what’s he’s reading.  He looks at the verses and is careful to draw out grammatical and syntactical insight from the Bible.  To that I say praise the Lord!

Recognizing how foundational hermeneutics is should definitely make us give it some attention in one’s own theological approach and also when we dialogue with others; and an important litmus test of a good hermeneutic is consistency.

When the subject of Dispsensational theology comes up, the majority of Calvinists reject it (there are of course a subset that are Dispensationalists). An example of this rejection happened in a recent discussion I had with a particular individual:

Dispensationalism is built upon two foundations or presuppositions. (Ryrie et. al.) Number one is that we must absolutely make the distinction between Israel and the church. We must not confuse those two. The second foundation or presupposition is that we must take a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, especially Old Testament prophesies. So, from that foundation, it is asserted in dispensationalism that God has two peoples, his earthly people – the Israelites, and his heavenly people – the Church.

From that, it is taught that in the OT, God primarily dealt with his earthly people, gave them his law, promised to give them the land of Canaan forever etc. So, when it comes to reading the books of the major and minor prophets, and the prophesies concerning the regathering of Israel into the land, the rebuilding of the temple, the sending of a Davidic king to physically reign on earth etc., they expect all that to be fulfilled literally.

This individual also added: “Reformed theology on the other hand, sees the history of salvation completely differently.”

To reject Dispensationalism because of it’s literal, historical and grammatical hermeneutics as a Calvinists seems problematic:

  1. If Dispensational theology is the product of interpreting the Bible via a literal reading of the Scriptures, then IT IS what the Bible teaches.
  2. Calvinism is arrived at from a literal hermenutic.  So is Dispensationalism.  If I may give the analogy, both Calvinism and Dispensationalism are like two trucks of God’s truth crossing the hermeneutical bridge of historical and grammatical approach:

Dispensationalism Calvinism Hermeneutical Bridge

 If you want to “blow up” the bridge, you also blow up the very bridge that Calvinism is traveling on.  If you don’t attack the bridge, Calvinism comes out from the Bible–with Dispensationalism right behind it.

3. I realize that one might object to my second point, that the interpretation is not as literal for the Old Testament prophetic books, etc.  However, there are prophecies in the Old Testament that are taken literally in predicting the fulfillment of the Messiah.  I would say that the same historical-grammatical hermeneutic that Christian apologists used to demonstrate that the Old Testament points towards Christ is also the same hermeneutic which reveal certain promises to Israel in the Prophetic genre:

Hermeneutics Bridge

Sometimes these Messianic prophecies and promises to Israel are closely interwined in the text.  The same historical grammatical approach in the Messianic passage also yield the promises of God to Israel.  Again, for the Calvinist who reject Dispensationalism it’s a case of inconsistency:  Will one accept these literal Messianic prophecies while rejecting the embedded promises to Israel as being literal?

I can only provide a sketch at this time but Lord willing I would like in the future to explore more Messianic prophecies and how some are sitting right next to additional promises God made towards Israel.  These are promises to Israel that God hasn’t fulfilled yet–and suggests eschatological significance.  I have looked briefly in Zechariah 12:10 in the past as one example and again, I hope to explore more of Christ in the Old Testament–while also discovering promises to Israel in the context as well.

CONCLUSION

I know many who read this are cautious about the subject of Dispensationalism; like you, I’m rather weary of  the sensationalism of Pop Dispensationalism (think of Left Behind Series, Chick Tracks, the guy who read the headlines to interpret the Bible, those who have End Times as a hobby horse but have no love for other truths in Scripture , etc).  But it seems that as we look at the hermeneutical foundation for Presuppositional Apologetics, it does have implication concerning Dispensationalism.  Specifically: the very hermeneutic that leads one to interpret the Bible and become a Presuppositionalists is also the very hermeneutic that gives us from the Bible Dispensational truths.

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Having just finished our Saturday Weekly Series on Hermeutics and the Covenants, I thought it was good to put all in one location the outlines of all three hermeneutics courses we have on our blog.  Lord willing, sometime in the future I want to make a fourth level hermeneutics course on Logic for Biblical Hermeneutics.

I think it’s important for Christians in terms of spiritual life, practical theology, systematic theology and apologetics to be conscious of our hermeneutics.  To that end, I hope this would be helpful.

LEVEL ONE: INTRODUCTION TO HERMENEUTICS

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session One: Introduction

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Two: How Should We Study Theology? Issues of Sources and Authority

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Three: Doctrine of Special Revelation

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Four: The Doctrine of the Self-Attesting Word of God

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Five: Doctrine of Inerrancy and Ramifications for Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Six: Doctrine of Biblical Clarity

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Seven: The importance of Words and Grammars

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eight: Context Part I: The Immediate Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Nine: Context Part II: The Chapter and Book Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Ten: Context Part III: The Entirety of Scripture

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eleven: The Aid of Natural Revelation in Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Twelve: Hermeneutics and Apologetics

LEVEL TWO: BIBLICAL GENRES (LITERARY FORMS)

SESSION ONE: DEFINITION OF GENRE AND DO THEY EXIST?

SESSION TWO: THE IMPORTANCE OF GENRE IN INTERPRETATION

SESSION THREE: PROSE I: OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVE

SESSION FOUR: PROSE II: OLD TESTAMENT HISTORICAL NARRATIVE

SESSION FIVE: PROSE III: LAW

SESSION SIX: POETRY I: WHAT IS HEBREW POETRY?

SESSION SEVEN: POETRY II: LAMENT

SESSION EIGHT: POETRY III: PRAISE

SESSION NINE: POETRY IV: PROVERBS

SESSION TEN: POETRY V: OTHER HEBREW WISDOM

SESSION ELEVEN: PROPHECY I: ANNOUNCEMENT OF JUDGEMENT

SESSION TWELVE: PROPHECY II: ORACLE OF SALVATION

SESSION THIRTEEN: PROPHECY III: APOCALYPTIC

SESSION FOURTEEN: NEW TESTAMENT HISTORICAL NARRATIVE/ GOSPELS

SESSION FIFTEEN: EPISTLES

APPENDIX SESSION ONE: PARABLES

APPENDIX SESSION TWO: INTER-RELATIONSHIP OF GENRE IN INTERPRETATION

a-covenant-with-god

LEVEL THREE: BIBLICAL COVENANTS

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a-covenant-with-god

I. Definition

a. A Near Eastern form of literature that offers “a binding agreement between two parties…”[1]

b. “Covenant in the OT essentially incorporates a legally binding obligation.”[2]

II. Two forms of Covenants

a. Note: Covenants appear throughout the Ancient Near East during the era of the Old Testament.  It seems that the Old Testament intentionally structure the format that appear around them.[3]

b. Voluntary partnership

i.      Both parties enter into the covenant voluntarily.

ii.      The terms of the covenant is agreed upon bilaterally.

iii.      Examples include Jacob and Laban (Genesis 31:54) and David with Jonathan (1st Samuel 18:3-4).

c. Imposed by a superior on a subordinate

i.      “It usually designates an agreement made to or for, not with, the subordinate, depicting a legally binding promise which one party makes toward another.”[4]

ii.      The terms of the covenant is agreed upon unilaterally.

iii.      Examples include Noahic, Abrahamic and Davidic Covenant.

III. Elements of a Covenant

a. Pledges or gifts

b. Signs

i.      “Though similar to a pledge or gift, which was given when enacting a human covenant, the sign of a divine covenant was generally a repeatable memorial.”[5]

ii.      Examples include: Circumcision and the Rainbow.

c. Witnesses

Can be others or God

d. Consequences

i.      Blessings

1. Obedience to the covenant bring forth good fruits.

2. Positive consequences.

ii.      Curses

1. Disobedience to the covenant bring forth severe punishments.

2. Negative consequences.

e. Promises

i.      Covenants are forms of promises.

ii.      Covenants with God depends on God to fulfill it.

f. Conditionality

i.      This is only for covenants that are of voluntary partnership.

ii.      Not the case for covenants that are unilateral.

IV. Identifying Biblical Covenants in the Bible

a. By Biblical covenants, this syllabus is referring to covenants that include God as a party.

b. We can only know the covenants that God made from what He has revealed to us in His Word.

c. Given the above, there is no room for any man-made ideas of covenants that are the result of speculations.

d. Therefore, Biblical covenants are identified by what the Scripture explicitly identify as covenants.

i.      While covenants are promises, not every promise is a covenant.

ii.      As a result, covenant can only be identified when it is called a covenant.

V. Importance of Covenants in Hermeneutics

a. It is a frequent theme found in the Scriptures

i.      “The covenant idea itself, first mentioned in Genesis 6 during the days of Noah, is intricately woven into the fabric of the biblical account all the way through to Revelation 11 where the “ark of His covenant” reappears in the temple. The word itself occurs in 27 of 39 OT books and in 11 of 27 NT books.”[6]

ii.      Given how frequently it is mentioned, it is important to understand the Covenants that appear in the Bible.

b.      It is God’s promise found in the Scriptures

i.      Covenants are the thread that goes through the entire Bible.

ii.      The Bible is about God as the Hero: He is the one who will keep His promises.

iii.      “For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.  In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold ofthe hope set before us.”  (Hebrews 6:16-18)

 


[1] Bill T. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer, Readings From the Ancient Near East, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic), 96.

[2] Irvin Busenitz, “Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: The Noahic Covenant and the Priestly Covenant”, The Master’s Seminary Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 1999), 173.

[3] Bill T. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer, Readings From the Ancient Near East, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic), 96.

[4] Irvin Busenitz, “Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: The Noahic Covenant and the Priestly Covenant”, The Master’s Seminary Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 1999), 176.

[5] Ibid, 178.

[6] Irvin Busenitz, “Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: The Noahic Covenant and the Priestly Covenant”, The Master’s Seminary Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 1999), 173.

 

GO TO PART 2

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Bible 2

 

Ideally in a perfect world, I would love to develop and teach a four level hermeneutics course and lecture series.  Level One would be Introduction to heremeneutics.  Level two on the Literary Forms/Genres found in the Bible.  Level three would be on the covenants of the Bible and it’s hermeneutical implications.  Finally level four would be a course on Logic.  Then there’s other hermeneutical topic that deserve to be taught in it’s own right as well (perhaps as an elective?): how does the NT uses the OT, and Finding Christ in the Scriptures, etc.

I have made Level one and two available online.

Beginning next Saturday, Lord willing we will feature outlines as teaching aides going over the covenants that are explicitly found in the BIble that has hermeneutical implications.

It will be a short series.

Stay tune!

And pray!

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bassano_jacopo_garden_of_eden

The topic of the historicity of Adam as the first man is a hot topic today in theology since some Evangelicals have come out to deny the historicity of Adam. The following is an outline from a bigger series I have going through a Biblical view of man.  I hope the following is helpful to think about how various genre that is unquestionably literal found in the Bible interprets the meaning and genre of Genesis 1-3 literally.

Purpose: To consider the arguments for the historical Adam as the first man God created.

I. Special Creation of Adam and Eve according to Genesis 1-2

a. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-31)

i.      This is the more general account of the creation of man, Genesis 2 will be more specific.

ii.      “Man” here is literally “Adam” in the Hebrew.

iii.      Notice here the plurality within God creating man

1. “Let Us make

2. “in Our image

3. “according to Our likeness

iv.      Notice the role of man in God’s creation in this verse.

b. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

 i.      This account is more specific than Genesis 1.

 ii.      Again, “man” here is literally “Adam” in the Hebrew.

iii.      Two details of Adam’s creation

1. Formed from the ground

2. God breathed into his nostril

c. “The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:22)

i.      This account is the creation of the first woman, later named Eve in Genesis 3:20.

ii.      Note Eve was made from Adam’s rib.

II.  There have been those who have questioned the historicity of the Bible’s account of the creation of man with Adam being the firstMan.  For example:

a. Tremper Longman III[1]

b. Bruce Waltke: From a headline of the news, “OT Professor Bruce Waltke resigns from RTS Orlando Faculty amid historical Adam and Eve controversy”[2]

c. Peter Enns: “Likewise, Israel’s story was written to say something about their place in the world and the God they worshiped. To think that the Israelites, alone among all other ancient peoples, were interested in (or capable of) giving some definitive, quasi-scientific, account of human origins is an absurd logic. And to read the story of Adam and Eve as if it were set up to so such a thing is simply wrongheaded.”[3]

III. Objections comes down to an issue of hermeneutics

a. In his book against the historical Adam, Peter Enns writes, “One cannot read Genesis literally—meaning as a literally accurate description of physical, historical reality—in view of the state of scientific knowledge today and our knowledge of ancient Near Eastern stories of origin.”[4]

b. The role of presupposing evolution in shaping interpretation of Genesis 1-3: “If evolution is true, one can no longer accept, in any true sense of the word ‘historical,’ the instantaneous and special creation of humanity described in Genesis, specifically 1:26-31 and 2:7, 22.”[5]

IV. Why we should interpret Genesis 1-2 and Adam literally and historically

a. Genre of Genesis 1-2 is narrative and hence it should be treated as revealing literal information.

i.      The essential elements of Hebrew narratives include[6]:

1. Scene

a. This is probably the most important element.

b. Scene involves sequence of event in the narrative.

c. In the Hebrew text, the component of scene can be established by the pattern of wayyiqtol.[7]

i.      Wayyiqtol is a syntactical construct of a conjunction (wow consecutive) + prefixed form/preterite/imperfect verb.

ii.      Wayyiqtol is often used to establish temporal or logical sequence.

2. Plot

This concerns the beginning, middle and ending of the development of the narrative.

3. Character

Who is involved in the narrative?

4. Setting

Where in space/time does this narrative takes place?

5. Point of view

ii.      Genesis 1-2 has the element of the literary form of narrative

1. Scene:

a. Sequences of days (Genesis 1), Creation of AdamàGod’s dialogueàCreation of Eve (Genesis 2)

b. Genesis 1-2 has many Wayyiqtol is a syntactical construct of a conjunction (wow consecutive) + prefixed form/preterite/imperfect verb.

2. Plot: Five days of creation then the creation of man on the sixth day and then rest (Genesis 1); Lonliness of Adam then creation of Eve (Genesis 2)

3. Character: God, Adam and Eve.

4. Setting: The newly created world (Genesis 1), Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10-14)

5. Point of view: God’s point of view of creation chronologically (Genesis 1), God’s point of view of creation of man specifically (Genesis 2)

b. How does the rest of the Bible interpret Genesis 1-2?

i.      Methodological consideration

1. Since some say that Genesis 1-2 was originally not intended to be interpreted literally, that it’s meant to be understood as symbolic, so we have to ask the question of how the rest of the Bible interpret Genesis 1-2.

2. If the rest of the Bible as God’s infallible Word interpret Genesis 1-2 literally such as believing in a literal Adam and Eve, then we ought to see this data as God’s perspective on Genesis 1-2 and purpose of writing it is literal.

 ii.      Within Genesis

1. Note: Adam and Evil is presuppose as historical lest the rest of Genesis becomes nonsensical.

2. Narrative of the fall in Genesis 3 presupposes a literal Adam and Eve.

3. Those that have children are real, historically existent people.  Adam and Eve had children and therefore historically existed.

a. Adam and Eve is described as having children such as Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-2).

b. Adam described in a genealogy (Genesis 4:25, 5:1)

iii.      Book of Job: “Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,” (Job 31:33)

At a minimum, this presupposes the story of Genesis 3 and a reference to Adam.

 iv.      Book of Hosea: “But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.” (Hosea 6:7)

1. Here the sin of God’s people are compared to Adam’s sin.

2. Only a real person can transgress a covenant.

v.      Genealogies: 1 Chronicles 1:1, Luke 3:38.

1. Genealogy as a literally form is meant to refer to real people.

2. Adam is referred to in genealogies and therefore God’s Word is here attesting to the fact that Adam was historical.

vi.      Reinforcing the historicity of genealogies, Jude 14 as a straight forward epistle indicating God’s own Word interpreted genealogies literally.

vii.      Both Adam and Eve are presupposed as real in 1 Timothy 2:13-14.

1. Paul could have just invoked his apostolic authority concerning how women ought to behave.

2. The event of the fall of Adam and Eve is invoked here as the basis for Paul’s admonition.

viii.      Paul’s preaching of the Gospel to Athenian philosophers presupposes Adam as the father of all: “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,” (Acts17:26)

1. Note that the Greeks did not believe God made all man from one person.

2. They believe that their own race (Greeks) had nothing to do with others since they were far more superior.

3. Yet Acts 17 is Paul’s sermon that lays the foundation to make the Gospel intelligible and he found it important to bring up Adam as the first man of all.

 ix.      Adam is presuppose as historical figure in the underpinning of the Gospel.

1. Just as Christ was historical and imputed righteousness for justification so too was Adam presupposed as historical imputing sin (Romans 5:12-21).

2. Just as Christ was historical and gave us life so too was Adam presupposed as historical giving us death (1 Corinthians 15:20-58).


[4] Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2012), 137.

[5] Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam, (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2012), xiv.

[6] The following essential elements are found in Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “Narrative”, Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995), 69-76.

[7] The discussion about the wayyiqtol is from Robert B. Chisholm Jr., From Exegesis to Exposition, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 119-120.

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We have just finish posting the outlines for an introductory and genre hermeneutics series I use when I teach on this topic.  For the sake of convenience, I’ve posted the links to both series here.

I think it’s important for Christians in terms of spiritual life, practical theology, systematic theology and apologetics to be conscious of our hermeneutics.  To that end, I hope this would be helpful.

LEVEL ONE: INTRODUCTION TO HERMENEUTICS

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session One: Introduction

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Two: How Should We Study Theology? Issues of Sources and Authority

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Three: Doctrine of Special Revelation

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Four: The Doctrine of the Self-Attesting Word of God

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Five: Doctrine of Inerrancy and Ramifications for Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Six: Doctrine of Biblical Clarity

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Seven: The importance of Words and Grammars

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eight: Context Part I: The Immediate Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Nine: Context Part II: The Chapter and Book Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Ten: Context Part III: The Entirety of Scripture

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eleven: The Aid of Natural Revelation in Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Twelve: Hermeneutics and Apologetics

LEVEL TWO: BIBLICAL GENRES (LITERARY FORMS)

SESSION ONE: DEFINITION OF GENRE AND DO THEY EXIST?

SESSION TWO: THE IMPORTANCE OF GENRE IN INTERPRETATION

SESSION THREE: PROSE I: OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVE

SESSION FOUR: PROSE II: OLD TESTAMENT HISTORICAL NARRATIVE

SESSION FIVE: PROSE III: LAW

SESSION SIX: POETRY I: WHAT IS HEBREW POETRY?

SESSION SEVEN: POETRY II: LAMENT

SESSION EIGHT: POETRY III: PRAISE

SESSION NINE: POETRY IV: PROVERBS

SESSION TEN: POETRY V: OTHER HEBREW WISDOM

SESSION ELEVEN: PROPHECY I: ANNOUNCEMENT OF JUDGEMENT

SESSION TWELVE: PROPHECY II: ORACLE OF SALVATION

SESSION THIRTEEN: PROPHECY III: APOCALYPTIC

SESSION FOURTEEN: NEW TESTAMENT HISTORICAL NARRATIVE/ GOSPELS

SESSION FIFTEEN: EPISTLES

APPENDIX SESSION ONE: PARABLES

APPENDIX SESSION TWO: INTER-RELATIONSHIP OF GENRE IN INTERPRETATION

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GO TO APPENDIX ONE

I. Introduction

a. You have probably heard the saying “Let Scripture interpret Scripture”.

b. Throughout this series on hermeneutics and Genre course, one can see the inter-relationship of Genre.  This inter-relationship of genres is important in interpretation.

c. One more fully appreciate the principle of “Let Scripture interpret Scripture” in seeing how one particular genre of Scripture can shed interpretative light of another genre of Scripture.

d. This appendix summarizes how each genre can be further illuminated by another genre of Scripture. (NOTE: This outline is not exhaustive)

e. This outline might be helpful as a guide to the hermeneutics of proper cross-referencing.

II. Interpretative insights of a Biblical passage in light of similar genre

a. Find if there are other places that are similar in Genre and see if there is new information provided to get a more fuller pictures.

Example: Looking at the four Gospels to get a picture of one incident.

b. Pay attention to progressive revelation: Are their more information provided in later revelation of the same Genre?

Example: Book of Revelation gives more details of prophecies than Isaiah, Daniel, etc.

III. Interpretative insights of a Biblical passage in light of other genre

a. Old Testament Narrative

i.      Proverbs: Are there any particular wise proverb that address the particular slice of reality of this text?

ii.      New Testament Narrative/Gospels: Has Jesus and the early church authoritatively preach on this text, revealing insights within the text or further details?

iii.      Epistles:

1. Similar to New Testament Narrative, does the Epistles offer any insights into the text or further details?

2. The Epistles are especially helpful in giving theological interpretation of Old Testament Narratives.

b. Old Testament Historical Narrative

i.      What applies for Narrative above (insights from Proverbs, New Testament Narrative/Gospels and Epistles) applies here as well.

ii.      Narrative: Are their any Covenants and promises described previously in Old Testament narratives that illuminate what is going on in this particular text?

iii.      Laws: This provides the biblical standard of norms to make a moral judgment of the event in the Historical Narrative.

iv.      Lament and Praise Poetry: Does the Psalms provide further insight of the difficulties or celebration of the events in the Historical narrative?

v.      Announcement of judgment and oracle of salvation: Are there any prophetic books that occur simultaneously with the events going on?

c. Old Testament Laws

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative:

1. Provides the historical and situational circumstances that the Laws are prescribed to.

2. Also, are their any Covenants and promises described previously in Old Testament narratives that illuminate what is going on in this particular text?

3. Are their examples of laws illustrated?

ii.      Praise and announcement of judgment: Are their any given perspectives of the Law of God provided in these genres?

iii.      New Testament Narrative/Gospels and Epistles: Does these genres reveal any Old Testament Laws are no longer applicable for today?

d. Lament and Praise

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative:

1. Provides the historical and situational circumstances that the Lament or Praises Psalms are prescribed to.

2. Also, are there any Covenants and promises described previously in Old Testament narratives that illuminate what is going on in this particular text?

ii.      New Testament Narrative/Gospel and Epistles: Did the New Testament further expounded on these texts?

e. Proverbs

i.      Laws: Since Proverbs is by nature “slice of reality”, it is also important that any imperative is seen within the boundary of the Law.

ii.      Epistles: Again, since Proverbs is by nature “slice of reality”, it is also important that any imperative within Proverbs be viewed within the boundary of the commands and prohibition of the New Testament.

iii.      New Testament Narrative/Gospel and Epistles: Did the New Testament further expounded on these texts?

f. Other Hebrew Wisdom

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative: Provides the historical background.

ii.      Law, Proverbs and the Epistles: Especially in the “Counter-Wisdom” literatures, it is important to interpret things in light of the theological and moral boundaries of Scripture.

g. Announcement of Judgment

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative:

1. Can provide the historical background of when the text was written.

2. Also, are there any Covenants and promises of curses described previously in Old Testament narratives and historical narratives that illuminate what is going on in this particular text?

ii.      Law: What are God’s command and prohibition that God is not pleased with, that result in this announcement of judgment?

iii.      Oracle of Salvation and Apocalyptic: In light of the doom and gloom of Announcement of Judgment, is there any hope to be found in the Oracle of Salvation o r the Apocalyptic Genre?

h. Oracle of Salvation

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative:

1. Can provide the historical background of when the text was written.

2. Also, are there any Covenants and promises of blessings described previously in Old Testament narratives and historical narratives that illuminate what is going on in this particular text?

ii.      Announcement of Judgment: Oracle of Salvation is seen as good news in light of the announcement of judgment.

iii.      Apocalyptic: Are there further expansion and details of hope to be found in Apocalyptic genre that can illuminate the oracle of Salvation?

i. Apocalyptic

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative:

1. Can provide the historical background of when the text was written.

2. Also, are there any Covenants and promises of blessings and curses described previously in Old Testament narratives and historical narratives that are being described as being fulfilled in this particular text?

ii.      New Testament Narrative/Gospel and Epistles: Did the New Testament further expounded on these texts?

j. New Testament Narrative/Gospel

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative:

Are there any Covenants and promises of blessings and curses described previously in Old Testament narratives and historical narratives that are being described as being fulfilled in this particular text?

ii.      Law: Are there certain behavior and manners that needs to be understood in light of the Old Testament Law?

iii.      Lament, Praises, Announcement of Judgment, Apocalyptic: Are there any prophecies that are being fulfilled here

iv.      Epistles: Are there further theological explanations of historical realities to be found in the epistles?

k. Epistles

i.      Narrative & Historical Narrative and New Testament Narrative/Gospel:

1. Are their any illustrations found in the Epistles that comes from these narratives and require previous background familiarity of these narratives?

2. Are there any Covenants and promises of blessings and curses described previously in Old Testament narratives and historical narratives that are being described as being fulfilled in this particular text?

ii.      Lament, Praises, Announcement of Judgment, Apocalyptic: Are there any prophecies that are being fulfilled here?

l. Parables

i.      Law: Are there certain behavior and manners that needs to be understood in light of the Old Testament Law?

ii.      New Testament Narrative/Gospel: Does the rest of the Gospels happen to provide information important to understanding the parable’s details?

iii.      Epistles: In regards to one’s interpretation of the Parables, is it within the boundary of theological and moral orthodoxy as expounded in the Epistles?

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GO TO PART XV

I. Identifying Parables

a. Definitions

i.      Popularly defined as “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.[1]

ii.      Stein holds that it is“A figure of speech in which there is a brief or extended comparison.”[2]

iii.      Comes from a Greek term “parabole” which “means literally to ‘throw alongside,’ and that’s what parables do.  They make comparisons.  They align one thing next to another to clarify the second.”[3]

iv.      “Realistic stories, simple in construction and didactic—in purpose, that convey religious truth and in which the details often have a significance beyond their literal narrative meaning.”[4]

b. Three Classification

Since Parables are hard to define, as if it was on a sliding scale of forms.  It is helpful to think of it in terms of three classifications.  Here it is presented from more complex to simpler forms:

i.      Parable proper[5]

1. Also called “True parable.”[6]

2. It is story-like[7], with narrative elements of plot, character and setting.[8]

ii.      Similitude

These “are more like illustrations taken from everyday life that Jesus used to make a point.”[9]

iii.      Parabolic Sayings[10]

These are in reality metaphors and similes.[11]

II. Principles in interpreting New Testament Parables

a. Since Parable Proper is a type of narrative in its form[12], principles of interpreting narratives would apply to these parables.

b. Pay attention for “lead-in”

i.      What was stated or happening in the moment before the parable was given?

ii.      “The lead-in establishes a set of expectations in the listener/reader so that we expect the parable to illustrate a concept.”[13]

iii.      It is something like stepping on a land mine, which sets off the parable being delivered.

iv.      Example: Luke 15:2.

c. Look for obvious language of comparison

i.      Words such as “like” or “as” are indicators of comparison which is important in interpreting meanings.

ii.      Example: Matthew 13:33.

d. Pay attention to any summary of the parable given[14]

i.      Does the text itself tells us what it means?

ii.      What does the narrator who wrote the Gospels has to say?[15]

iii.      What did Jesus have to say about the parable itself?

e. Consider how the passage fits into the whole of the narrative

i.      What section of the epistles is the passage coming from?

ii.      “Sometimes the placement of the parables in the Gospel suggests meaning.”[16]

f. Find out about the historical background of the materials mentioned in the Parable.

i.      In considering the nature of parables as, the background ought to be taken seriously.

ii.      Be aware that “the various terms used in the parable evoke attitudes and responses in the reader today which are quite different from and even antithetical to those evoked in the hearers in Jesus’ day.”[17]

iii.      Example: The Samaritan mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan is shocking to the original Jewish hearers, and it is our job to enter into the Biblical world and understand what was going on.

iv.      Background material to the Epistle can be found within the Scriptures itself:

1. Does the Old Testament inform us of certain practices and values that can illuminate the parable?

2. Are their practices and values that is mentioned in the Gospels which put the parables object lessons in perspective?

v.      Background materials can be found outside of the Scriptures as well: 1st Century primary sources, Bible hand books, sources on archaeology, texts on history, commentaries, etc.


[1] Rober H. Stein, An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus, (Philadelphia: The Westminister Press), 15.

[2] Ibid, 22.

[3] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 103.

[4] Leland Ryken, How to Read the Bible as Literature, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 202.

[5] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 103.

[6] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 137.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 104.

[9] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 138.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 109.

[13] Ibid, 116.

[14] Ibid, 117.

[15] Rober H. Stein, An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus, (Philadelphia: The Westminister Press), 78.

[16] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 117.

[17] Rober H. Stein, An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus, (Philadelphia: The Westminister Press), 75.

 

GO TO APPENDIX 2

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GO TO PART XIV

I. Identifying Epistle

a. Definitions

i.      Letters that are found in the New Testament.

ii.      Written first century letters that was occasional documents (“arising out of and intended for a specific occasion”).[1]

iii.      “An epistle is a letter designed for wide circulation that addresses current issues and revives personal relationship.”[2]

b. Elements

i.      Six elements[3]

1. Name of the writer

2. Name of the recipient

3. Greetings

4. Prayer wish or thanksgiving

5. Body

6. Final Greeting and Farewell

ii.      Two main parts

1. Indicatives

a. The factual statement of Christian truth that a Christian ought to know.

b. Typically the bulk of indicatives are found in the beginning section of the epistle.

2. Imperatives

a. The command, exhortation and prohibition that a Christian ought to practice.

b. Typically the bulk of the imperatives are found in the ending section of the epistle.

II. Principles in interpreting Epistles

a. Remember: “A text cannot mean what it never could have meant to his or her readers.”[4]

i.      Fee goes on to write that “This rule does not always help one find out what a text means, but it does help to set limits as to what it cannot mean.”[5]

ii.      Hence this principle is the objective controlling principle regulating the following principles and other hermeneutical principles in interpreting the epistles.

b. Identify the elements of an epistle

i.      Identifying the elements are helpful keys to interpreting its function in the text.

ii.      Asking these questions might help:

1. Who is the author and what do we know about him?  Where the author located at during the writing, and what was was he going through?

2. Who are the recipients, what was their relationship to the author and where were the recipients located?

3. What was included and what was excluded in the greetings that were not typically found in other New Testament epistles?

4. What was the content of the epistle’s prayer wish or thanksgiving, and the reason for them?

5. What was the main body addressing about?

c. Consider how the passage fits into the whole of the epistle

i.      What section of the epistles is the passage coming from?

ii.      How does the passage contribute to the part, section and whole?

d. Find out the historical context of the epistle.[6]

i.      In considering the nature of epistles as a document addressing an occasion (see the above definition of the epistle), the background ought to be taken seriously.

ii.      Background material to the Epistle can be found within the Scriptures: Book of Acts.

In a fascinating interdependence of the Biblical genre, the book of Acts as a New Testament narrative help illuminates the background information for the epistles!

iii.      Background material to the Epistle can be found outside of the Scriptures: 1st Century documents, archaeology, history, etc.[7]

e. The imperatives are to be grounded in the indicatives

The epistle’s “theological worldview provides the rationale for  behavior by grounding the imperative in the indicative.  That is, the epistles command, rebuke, and exhort, but they do so on the basis of the character and work of God.[8]

f. The implication of the epistles’ indicatives are found in the imperatives

The indicatives in the epistles are to be believed and if believed, should result in a change of behavior as covered in the imperative section of the epistle.


[1] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 48.

[2] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 152.

[3] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 46-47.

[4] Ibid, 64.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid, 49-54.

[7] See my outline, “The aid of natural revelation as tools in hermeneutics”, in the basic course of hermeneutics available at https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/introduction-to-hermeneutics-series-session-eleven-the-aid-of-natural-revelation-in-hermeneutics/ .

[8] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 155-6.

 

GO TO APPENDIX ONE

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GO TO PART XIII

I. Identifying New Testament Narrative and Gospels

a. Definitions

i.      Narratives is a literary form which gives historical details and it’s meaning found both in the Old and New Testament.

ii.      Gospels are a form of narrative found in the New Testament, which record the life and ministry of Jesus.

iii.      For the purpose of this outline, Gospels and New Testament narratives are considered together.

1. Principles for interpreting New Testament narratives are applicable to the Gospels.

2. Further principles for the Gospels will also be covered.

b. Where the genres can be found in the New Testament

i.      Gospels

1. Matthew

2. Mark

3. Luke

4. John

ii.      Non-Gospel Narrative

1. Acts

c. Elements[1]

i.      The essential elements include:

1. Scene

a. This is probably the most important element.

b. Scene involves sequence of event in the narrative.

2. Plot

This concerns the beginning, middle and ending of the development of the narrative.

3. Character

Who is involved in the narrative?

4. Setting

Where in space/time does this narrative takes place?

5. Point of view

ii.      Other elements:

1. Dialogues

2. Parables

3. Rhetorical devices[2]

II. General principles in interpretations

a. For New Testament Narratives and Gospel

i.      Consider how the text fits into the greater context of the section or book.

1. Each passage is part of a section that gives meaning to the greater whole.

2. The greater whole controls what each part means.

ii.      Considering the theology of the text

1. Make a distinction between descriptive and prescriptive passages.

2. Some of the accounts of events in narratives are not moral examples to emulate.

iii.      When possible, the proper interpretation of other portion of the Bible must be taken into account in interpreting particular narrative events.

1. Pay attention to antecedent theology.

a. What are prior revelation in the Bible that might shed some light on the historical narrative?

b. What theological theme previously revealed in the Old Testament is now being given fuller details in the passage under scrutiny?

2. Utilize the Epistles

Epistles can give fuller theological explanations of events recorded in the Gospel or Acts.

iv.      Asking theological questions of the text

1. What does this account tell us about God?

2. What does it tell us about the human condition?

3. What does it tell us of the world?

4. What does it tell us of the people of God and their relationship with Him?

5. What does it tell us of the individual believer’s life of faith?

v.      Watch the characters

1. Who are the main characters in the narrative?

Why are they important and what purpose do they serve in the text’s intention?

2. Who are the supporting characters in the narrative?

They are the foil for a reason, so why are they mentioned and how does this serve the text’s intention?

3. God is always in the narrative, even if He is not explicitly mentioned

This is why it is important to ask the theological questions of the text (see above).

vi.      Attention to the details of each scene

1. What has taken place previously in Biblical history at that location? Is there any significance of this?

2. What was the political and religious climate of the location?

vii.      Be conscious of the setting

There might be relevant background information that aid in interpretation.

viii.      Discern the point of view even within dialogues

1. Distinguish between dialogues and straight narrative.

2. Non-dialogues serve as the “Voice of God” about the event.

3. The words of Jesus or the prophets are authoritative!

4. The dialogue can portray the point of view of the speaker.

5. This is true unless the narrative makes it clear otherwise that the dialogue is a lie.

6. Point of view from human dialogue might not be truths from God.

ix.      Understand the plot

The plot is how each scene relates to each other!

b. For the Gospel

i.      Compare the parallel account in other Gospels

1. What are further facts given in the other Gospels about this event?

2. Why did the particular gospel made the editorial choice of what to include, and what not to include?

ii.      The teachings of Jesus must be read with care

1. What is He saying?

2. Why is He saying it?

3. How does this apply to me today?

iii.      The theological significance of Jesus miraculous works

1. It is important that these are not interpreted as prescriptive realities of the Christian life and ministry today per se.

2. It is important to understand the purpose of His miracle as testifying to the truth of Jesus as Messiah.

iv.      Implications of the Kingdom of God and the Covenants

1.      “One dare not think he or she can properly interpret the Gospels without a clear understanding of the kingdom of God in the ministry of Jesus.”[3]

2.      In light of Jewish eschatological anticipation of the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven), how do we understand the events in Jesus ministry?

3.      What aspects of the various biblical covenants point towards Jesus have been fulfilled in His first advent, and what aspects of biblical covenants remain to be fulfilled?

a.      Fulfilled aspects of the Covenant testify to Jesus as Lord!

b. Aspects of the Covenant that remain to be fulfilled will have implications for eschatology.[4]


[1] Many of these elements are found in Old Testament narratives and historical narratives as we-ll.  Much is borrowed from the previous session on Old Testament narratives in this outline.

[2] See my basic hermeneutic course for the fundamentals of the historical grammatical approach, in which items such as idioms, hyperbole, etc must be taken into account.

[3] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 131.

[4] This is a fascinating relationship between hermeneutics (principles in interpretation), genre (Gospels) the biblical covenants and systematic theology (specifically, eschatology)!

GO TO PART XV

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GO TO PART XII

I. Identifying Apocalyptic Genre

a. Definition

i.      The word apocalypse comes from the Greek word apocalypses, which means an “uncovering, disclosure, revelation”[1]

ii.      According to Gordon Fee, it is Hebrew prophecy which “looked exclusively forward to the time when God would bring a violent, radical end to history, an end that would mean the triumph of right and the final judgment of evil.”[2]

iii.      It is the prophetic literary form that “proclaims that God has not turned his back on the world but will radically and unexpectedly intervene and introduce a universal solution that will solve all problems.”[3]

iv.      Apocalyptic genre is a prophetic literary form which seeks to comfort the faithful, and warn those who are worldly, in light of upcoming future end.

b. Further identifying aspects

i.      Apocalyptic has only one final solution: Total destruction.[4]

ii.      Apocalyptic announces that God will intervene supernaturally to bring the end of man’s sinfulness.[5]

c. Apocalypse as a composition of other genres

i.      As it is evident in our course on prophetic genres, prophetic genre is a more complex literary form, and it is in some sense a blend of other literary genre.

ii.      “Apocalyptic is a hybrid genre, partaking of narrative, poetry, and prophecy.”[6]

1. Narrative: Apocalyptic literature has plot, character, setting and point of view.[7]

2. Poetry: It is highly symbolic with vivid illustrations, and it’s style can be filled with Hebrew parallelism.[8]

3. Prophecy: It has two genre of prophecy, announcement of judgment and oracle of salvation.

A case can be made that Apocalyptic is really a combination of announcement of judgment, with an announcement of salvation concerning the final end.

d. Elements

i.      As a hybrid genre, it has elements of these genres

1. Plot

2. Character

3. Setting

4. Point of view

5. Hebrew parallelism

6. Accusation

7. Announcement

8. Reference to the future

9. Mention of radical change

10. Mention of blessing

ii.      Unique elements

1. Dualism[9]

a. Good verses evil

b. Unlike pagan dualism, the good and God is greater than the evil side.

2. (Extensive) Symbolism

e. Some place in Scripture where can Apocalypse be found[10]

i.      Daniel 7-12

ii.      Isaiah 24-27

iii.      Ezekiel 38-39

iv.      Joel

v.      Zechariah 1-6

vi.      Matthew 24-25

vii.      Mark 13

viii.      Luke 21

ix.      Revelation

II. Is Apocalyptic Genre important for the Christian?

a. First and most important: It is in the Bible!

b. Jeffrey Arthurs has noted that this genre makes up more than the genre of proverb or parable.[11]

Since these genre and subgenre are important enough to learn to interpret it accurately, how much more should a genre which appears more often and require more skill in interpreting!

c. The Bible itself says the one who reads one of its Books that is largely apocalyptic will be blessed

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy , and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)

III. Principles in interpretation

a. Identify the unique elements and the composite elements

i.      As stated previously in other lessons, consciously identifying elements help strengthen one’s interpretation by bringing to awareness what is in the text.

ii.      However, identifying elements is even more important as the difficulty of the genre require more skill and consciousness to the text’s literary elements.

iii.      Therefore, since Apocalyptic is a hybrid genre of narrative, poetry and other prophetic genres, and hermeneutical principles for poetry, narrative and prophetic genres apply here as well.

All the principles from Session Three to Four, Sessions Six through Eleven applies here as well.

b. Read apocalyptic in view of a context of crisis.[12]

i.      Most of the time apocalyptic was written during persecution or a crisis.

ii.      This is an important background information to keep in the back of the interpreter’s mind.

c. Approach Apocalyptic imagery by starting with the images that is already interpreted.[13]

i.      Sometimes, the text itself reveals what the images mean and symbolize.

ii.      These images, which have been explained, it can throw light to what other images meant!

d. Have previously revealed Scriptural ideas and images brought to bear in interpreting Apocalyptic imagery

i.      Bruce Metzger “has figured that of the 404 verses in Revelation, 278 contain one or more allusions to the Old Testament[14]

ii.      Let Scripture interpret Scripture through antecedent theology![15]

e. Do not attempt to identify the significance of every detail.[16]

i.      “One must see the visions as wholes and not allegorically press all the details”[17]

ii.      In other words, don’t forget the bigger picture!

f. “Keep all options open for how apocalyptic predictions will be fulfilled”[18]

i.      We do not know everything about the future, so we can not say we know for sure.

ii.      Isaiah 55:8 reveals that man’s thought is different than God’s thought, and apocalyptic genre is indicative of this truth.


[1] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 179.

[2]Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 233.

[3] D. Brent Sandy and Martin G. Abegg Jr., “Apocalyptic” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 186.

[4] Ibid, 179.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 180.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 185.

[10] Sources: Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 232; Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 180; D. Brent Sandy and Martin G. Abegg Jr., “Apocalyptic” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 184-185.

[11] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 179.

[12] D. Brent Sandy and Martin G. Abegg Jr., “Apocalyptic” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 188.

[13] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 237.

[14] Jeffrey Arthurs, Preaching With Variety: How to Re-Create the Dynamics of Biblical Genres, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 186.

[15] This is the valuable insight of Old Testament professor Walter Kaiser.

[16] D. Brent Sandy and Martin G. Abegg Jr., “Apocalyptic” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 189.

[17] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 237.

[18] D. Brent Sandy and Martin G. Abegg Jr., “Apocalyptic” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 189.

 

GO TO PART XIV

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GO TO PART XI

I. Identifying Oracles of Salvation

a. While there are prophetic genre that brings bad news (see Session Eleven on Announcement of Judgment), there are also prophetic genre that brings good news: The Oracle of Salvation.

b. Definition

i.      Also goes by the name promise.[1]

“Promise is the assurance that the LORD will deliver his people and renew his blessing.”[2]

ii.      What is meant by salvation?

“Salvation is any act of God’s goodness and care, of his justice and fairness, of his grace in answering the prayers of sinners.”[3]

iii.      Thus, an oracle of salvation is God’s promise or prophetic reassurance of His promise that He will act in a way that show’s his graciousness and care.

iv.      It is “a word from God that assures people of the validity of God’s promise during a crisis and of his deliverance from an adverse situation.”[4]

c. Elements[5]

i.      Reference to the future

ii.      Mention of radical change

iii.      Mention of blessing

d. Two sub-genre

i.      Promise of Salvation

1. These “address the needs of the people by using the form of an oracle of assurance to an individual.[6]

2. Elements[7]

a. Reassurance

b. Future transformation

c. Basis for reassurance

ii.      Proclamation of Salvation

1. This form “responds to a communal lament and, in doing so, draws much of its language from lament.”[8]

2. Elements[9]

a. Lament

b. Reassurance

c. Future transformation

d. Basis for reassurance

II. Principles in interpretation

a. Prophetic literature is largely poetic, and hermeneutical principles for poetry applies here too.

i.      “God spoke through his prophets largely by poems…”[10]

ii.      Therefore, all the principles in Session Six concerning parallelism apply here as well.

b. Identify the elements within the text.

Consciously identifying elements as listed earlier will help strengthen one’s interpretation of clauses and sentences.

c. If possible, try to identify the specific historical situation from other area in Scripture.

i.      An aspect of oracle of salvation is a future reversal of the announcement of judgment.

ii.      Knowing this background would lead to a further appreciation of God’s faithfulness.

d. Have the announcement of judgment give light to oracle of announcement.

i.      This shows the inter-relationship of genres, and the importance of this in hermeneutics.

ii.      Grace of the oracle of Salvation would be best appreciated in light of announcement of judgment.

e. Remember the Covenants and other promises God made earlier.

Oracle of salvation are not only based upon previous promises but they complement them and even give further details.

f. Realized that some of the prophecies have been fulfilled, others are still awaiting fulfillment.

i.      The prophecies fulfilled should be the basis of trusting that what God says is true.

ii.      The prophecies awaiting fulfillment should give us hope for the future.


[1] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 178.

[2] Willem A. VanGemeren, “Oracles of Salvation” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 140.

[3] Ibid, 139.

[4] Ibid, 145.

[5] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 178.

[6] Willem A. VanGemeren, “Oracles of Salvation” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 143.

[7] Ibid, 144.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid, 144-145.

[10] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 179-180.

GO TO PART XIII

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GO TO PART X

I. What a Prophet is and does

a. What a prophet is

i. A prophet is an office that God calls an individual to; usually he is called in a supernatural event of a Divine Confrontation of some sort.[1]

ii.      “God enables prophets to speak and act as he desires.”[2]

iii.      He is a representative of God.[3]

iv.      “The biblical terminology used for the prophets indicates that they ‘see’ things usually not perceived by others.”[4]

v.      A Prophet lives a exemplary moral life (1Samuel 12:3-5), unlike false prophets (Isaiah 28: 7-8; Jeremiah 23:10-14).[5]

b. What a prophet does

i.      He represents God.

ii.      He is a spokesperson for God.[6]  Thus, he utters God’s Word.

iii.      “The prophets were covenant enforcement mediators.”[7]

iv.      Prophecy was written and spoken at the same time[8]

1. He verbally communicates his message.[9]

2. It was written down: Isaiah 8:1, 16; 30:8; Jeremiah 36:2; 51:60; Ezekiel 2:9-10; 43:11-12; Habakkuk 2:2

3. Why did prophets write down their material?

a. “Given that understanding of the eternal significance of the divine Word, we should expect the prophets to commit their words to writing.”[10]

b. Vindicate the truth of the Prophet’s message.[11]

II. Identifying Announcement of Judgment

a. Definition

i.      Announcement of Judgment were messages of the prophets which warns the people about God’s judgment.

ii.      It serves as a rebuke to the people from Yahweh himself.

b. Elements within an Announcement of Judgment[12]

i.      An accusation

1. This shows what it is that God is accusing the people of.

2. It is the sin that the Prophet is pointing out to the people.

ii.      An announcement

1. The announcement is usually in the second person.[13]

2. This shows what God will do if the people will not repent.

c. Forms of Announcement of Judgment

i.      Prophecy of disaster

Elements[14]

a. Diatribe- Indication of the situation.

b. Threat- Prediction of disaster.

c. Including characterization- Something about the messenger or the hearer.

ii. Woe oracle

a.      “ ‘Woe’ was the word ancient Israelites cried out when facing disaster or death, or when they mourned at a funeral…no Israelite could miss the significance of the use of that word.”[15]

b. Elements[16]

i.      Exclamation of dismay introduced by woe or alas.

ii.      Participle describing wrongful action or noun giving a negative characterization of the people.

iii. Prophetic lawsuit

a. A legal motif.

b.      “God is portrayed imaginatively as the plaintiff, prosecuting attorney, judge and bailiff in a court case against the defendant, Israel.”[17]

c. Elements[18]

i.      Introduction- “Calling audience to hear and often appealing to heavens and earth as witnesses.”[19]

ii.      Statement of accusation

iii.      Prosecuting attorney’s address

iv.      “Description of the inability of cultic ritual to atone for such wrong acts”[20]

v.      Warning- Calling the listeners to turn back to God and obey Him.

III. Principles in interpretation

a. Prophetic literature is largely poetic, and hermeneutical principles for poetry applies here too.

i.      “God spoke through his prophets largely by poems…”[21]

ii.      Therefore, all the principles in Session Six concerning parallelism apply here as well.

b. If possible, try to identify the specific historical situation from other area in Scripture.[22]

In the amazing flow of the Bible’s diversity (various genres) and unity (the inter-dependence of the various genre), narratives and historical narratives in the Bible are helpful in this regard.  This will enrich one’s interpretation.

c. Identify the elements within the text.

Consciously identifying elements as listed earlier will help strengthen one’s interpretation of clauses and sentences.

d. Identify the sins which the people were rebuked for.

Pay attention to what sins God grieved over, and practically how this address us today if we have similar sins.

e. Remember the Covenants, the Covenants that are antecedent to the Prophetic text.

i.      Remember as stated earlier, prophets are covenantal enforcers.

ii.      In yet another beautiful illustration of how the Bible can interpret the Bible itself through various modes of Genre and the interplay of genres, the Law genre and narrative texts which stipulate the conditions of the Covenants are important background information to keep in mind when approaching announcement of judgment.


[1] Michael J. Williams, The Prophet and His Message, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed), 54-55.

[2] Ibid, 70.

[3] Ibid, 71.

[4] Ibid, 69.

[5] Ibid, 67-68,

[6] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 166.

[7] Ibid, 167.

[8] C. Hassell Bullock, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books, (Chicago: Moody Press), 33.

[9] Michael J. Williams, The Prophet and His Message, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed), 74-75

[10] C. Hassell Bullock, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books, (Chicago: Moody Press), 32.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Trent C. Butler, “Announcement of Judgment” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 160.

[13] Ibid, 162.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 178.

[16] Trent C. Butler, “Announcement of Judgment” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 163.

[17] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 177-8.

[18] Trent C. Butler, “Announcement of Judgment” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 163.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 179-180.

[22] Trent C. Butler, “Announcement of Judgment” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 166.

GO TO PART XII

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GO TO PART IX

I. Identifying other Hebrew Wisdom literature

a. There are other Hebrew Wisdom literatures in the Bible besides Proverbs (Session Nine).

b. Remember that Hebrew Wisdom are concern with[1]:

i. Divine reward of good and punishment for evil

ii. Living responsibly or recklessly

iii. Knowing the truth of God’s creation

iv.Good citizenship.

c. Other books of Hebrew Wisdom Literature in the Canon of Scripture include:

i. Job

ii. Ecclesiastes

iii. Song of Solomon

d. Importance of the fear of the LORD in Non-Proverbial Wisdom literature

i. “The concept of the fear of the LORD infused Hebrew wisdom tradition with religious and ethical dimension as well, distinguishing it to some degree from its ancient Near Eastern counterparts.”[2]

ii. Where the concept of the fear of the LORD as the beginning of wisdom is reaffirmed:

1. Job 28:28

2. Psalm 111:10

3. Ecclesiastes 12:13

e. Hebrew Wisdom can invite readers to be extra reflective of what is written

i. Unlike the direct forwardness of Proverbs, Non-Proverbial wisdom literature can be more indirect in getting the message across.

ii. It can get more illustrative in describing something than straight forward propositions.

iii. Example: Song of Solomon describes a relationship between lovers instead of just saying, “Lovers should be in love with one another”.

f. Non-Proverbial Wisdom literature can also deal with ultimate foundational issues of meaning and life.

i. In other words, Non-Proverbial Wisdom literature can be quite “philosophical”.

ii. Example: Ecclessiates discusses about the vanities of life.

II. Principles in interpretation

a. Remember that the Fear of the LORD is foundational in Non-Proverbial wisdom literature.

i. The fear of the Lord is what keeps the “shrewdness of Proverbs from slipping into mere self interest, the perplexity of Job from mutiny, and the disillusion of Ecclesiastes from final despair.”[3]

b. Sometimes Non-Proverbial wisdom literatures require extra care of the greater context of the book in interpretation.

i. It is especially obvious of the danger of quoting verses in such literature without the context to teach something that the verse or the entire Bible really does not teach.

ii. It is important that one interpret a verse in light of the development of the thought progressing throughout the bo

iii. Example: Was Job’s friends correct in their assessment of Job?  Has it been revealed in the book what God thought about the perspectives offered by Job’s friends?

c. Expect disturbing propositions to be brought up, but not necessarily endorsed.

i. Since Hebrew Wisdom literature does deal with deal with ultimate foundational issues of meaning and life, and Hebrew Wisdom literature are creatively written to be thought-provoking, expect disturbing propositions to be brought up.

ii. There exists the literary device of counter-wisdom or anti-wisdom wisdom, where the “use of tension is the real genius of speculative or discussion wisdom”[4]

iii. Are all ideas raised necessarily endorsed by the author as the right view?  Remember to see the entirety of the book, and how it flows!

d. Pay attention to repetition

i. What is repeated again and again does have some importance.

ii. The question to ask about Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes would be: What is the repeating theme in these two books?


[1] Donald K. Berry, An Introduction to Wisdom And Poetry Of the Old Testament, (Nashville: Broadman And Holman Publishers), 4.

[2] Andrew E. Hill, “Non-Proverbial Wisdom” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 256.

[3] Derek Kidner, An Introduction to Wisdom Literature: The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press), 17.

[4] Andrew E. Hill, “Non-Proverbial Wisdom” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 271.


GO TO PART XI

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GO  TO PART VIII

I. Identify Hebrew Proverbs

a. Proverbs as Hebrew wisdom literature

i. What is wisdom in the Hebrew Bible?

1. “Wisdom is the ability to make godly choices in life.”[1]

2. In the Hebrew Bible wisdom refers to predominantly practical activities.  Action and thinking are inseparable.”[2]

3. “Wisdom indicates skill or ability: to perform manual labor like spinning (Exodus 35:25), to discern good and evil (Job 28:28), to solve riddles (Proverbs 1:6), or, generally, to know how to live well.”[3]

4. Wisdom concern with[4]:

a. Divine reward of good and punishment for evil

b Living responsibly or recklessly

c. Knowing the truth of God’s creation

d. Good citizenship.

ii. Hebrew Wisdom literature will thus focus on the above subject.

iii. Proverbs is categorize under Wisdom literature.

b. Definitions

i. Wisdom sayings that are “short, self-contained, poured out apparently at random.”[5]

                   ii.It is “a brief, particular expression of a truth.”[6]

c. There are two major types[7]

i. Instructions

1. Usually second person in nature.

2. Didactic in nature, for the listener to do something.

3. Largely found in Proverbs 1-9, 22:17-24:22, 31:1-9.

ii.Sayings

1. Usually third person in nature.

2. General observation about life.

3. Largely found in Proverbs 10-22:16.

II. Principles in interpreting Proverbs

a. All the principles in Session Six apply here as well.

b. Identify whether it is an instruction or a saying.

i. Instructions should be treated as instructions.

ii. Proverbs that are in the sub-genre of Sayings must especially take note of principle “d” and “e” here.

c. Proverbs as slice of reality

i. Biblical Proverbs cannot be false, because the Word of God is never false.[8]

ii. Biblical Proverbs are thus true, but they present a slice of reality.

iii. Given that life is complex with various acts and consequences, a “proverb is always true in the slice of reality it describes.  It does not pretend to describe all of reality, just one segment of it.”[9]

iv. Thus, a Proverb should not be view alone, but compared with the canonical whole for more fullness.[10]

v. Objection:This “slice of reality” is unbiblical and a theory invented to get away from the problem of Proverbs being not true.

1. First off, this “slice of reality” approach does not conflict with any Biblical truth.

a. Rather, this approach makes the entirety of Biblical Proverbs (and its relationship to other Scripture) coherent.

b. It is important that one might not like the idea of “slice of reality” because it make sense of proverbs, but that is a far from attributing the “slice of reality” approach as not making any sense.

2. Examples of Biblical evidence for “slice of reality”

a. Proverbs 15:22 and Proverbs 19:21

i. In planning for success, it is wise to have many counselors (Proverbs 15:22).

ii. Yet, it is God’s counsel and will which will be fulfilled over the plans of man (Proverbs 19:21).

iii.  Synthesis: One seek wisdom from those who can be deem counselors, while acknowledging that God’s plan will prevail over man’s plan.  Thus, seeking the Lord’s wisdom and guidance is essential.

b. Proverbs 13:23 and 13:25

i. Does the wicked always get their punishment in this side of eternity, such as the wicked being in need of food such as suggested in Proverbs 13:25?

ii. Yet, injustice can also be done against the poor on this side of eternity (Proverbs 13:23).

iii. Synthesis: While injustice can be done by the wicked, God disapprove of the wicked and can even bring punishment such as with hunger even before the commencement of the final judgment.

c. Proverbs 26:4-5

i. Note its near proximity, where it is highly implausible that the writer write contradictory statement back to back.

ii. The “Slice of Reality” paradigm make sense of the text.

3. Yet, “slice of reality” is used in secular context, but there is no objection to it.

a. “We need no telling that a maxim like ‘Many hands make light work’ is not the last word on the subject, since ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’.”[11]

i. The first proverb captures a slice of reality that in some circumstances, many help makes things easier.

ii. Yet, the second proverb captures a slice of reality that in some circumstances, many help makes things more difficult.

iii. Both slice of reality are equally true.

b. Thus, “slice of reality” is not just an approach only toward Biblical Proverbs, but in other areas as well and not a ploy to run away from a problem.

vi. Since a Proverb is a slice of reality, interpreting and applying a Proverb also require wisdom.

1. Requiring the wisdom to properly interpret and apply a Proverb should lead a believer to be on his knees, praying for wisdom which is given by God (James 1:5).

2. Requiring the wisdom to properly interpret and apply a Proverb should lead a believer to practice interpreting Proverbs.

With all pun intended, “Practice makes perfect!”

d. Proverbs provides no middle ground between proper and improper conduct

i. “The choice of a ‘one or the other’ mode of conduct is the premise for nearly all the ethical content of the book.”[12]

ii. This is also known as the Doctrine of the Two Ways.[13]

iii. This framework is helpful when one encounter proverbs that provide indicative observations, with no written instructions.

e. Pay attention for the any values given.

i. Proverbs provide the lens for value judgment.

ii. There are equational proverbs

1. This is when a subject’s value is stated as the same with another object.

2. For example, see Proverbs 10:15, 10:20, 10:23.

iii. There are Better-Than proverbs[14]

1. This is a comparison of two objects, where one’s value is greater than another.

2. For example, see Proverbs 12:9.

iv. There are abomination sayings[15]

1. This tells the reader God’s view of right and wrong.

2. For example, see Proverbs 15:8.

f. Be aware of personification

Examples:

1. Wisdom and folly as women[16]

2. Fire speaking (Proverbs 30:16)

g. Pay attention to sarcasm

1. This has a way of capturing the truth in a ironic and memorable way.

2. See Proverbs 18:11

h. Concentrate on what the text teach about who God is.

i. It is always important to be theo-centric in our interpretation.

ii. The fear of the Lord is foundational in grasping Proverbs (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10).

iii. The fear of the Lord is what keeps the “shrewdness of Proverbs from slipping into mere self interest.”[17]

iv. Lennart Bostrom, has identified Proverbs’ creation theology, God’s retribution and order, and theology proper (God’s transcendence, sovereignty and personal).[18]


[1] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 206.

[2] Donald K. Berry, An Introduction to Wisdom And Poetry Of the Old Testament, (Nashville: Broadman And Holman Publishers), 5.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, 4.

[5] Derek Kidner, An Introduction to Wisdom Literature: The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press), 25.

[6] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 217.

[7] Ted A. Hildebrandt, “Proverb” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 239.

[8] For a fuller treatment of the theological basis for this claim, see “Doctrine of Inerrancy” Part I through III, under systematic theology articles at http://www.teamtruth.com.

[9] Ted A. Hildebrandt, “Proverb” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 248.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Derek Kidner, An Introduction to Wisdom Literature: The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press), 26.

[12] Donald K. Berry, An Introduction to Wisdom And Poetry Of the Old Testament, (Nashville: Broadman And Holman Publishers), 122.

[13] Ibid.

[14] T. A. Perry, Wisdom Literature and the Structure of Proverbs, (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press), 40-44.

[15] Ted A. Hildebrandt, “Proverb” Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 243.

[16] Donald K. Berry, An Introduction to Wisdom And Poetry Of the Old Testament, (Nashville: Broadman And Holman Publishers), 129-131.

[17] Derek Kidner, An Introduction to Wisdom Literature: The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press), 17.

[18] Lennart Bostrom, The God of the Sages: The Portrayal of God in the Book of Proverbs, (Stockholm, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell International).


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