Archive for the ‘Hermeneutics’ Category

Another example of a failure to interpret Scripture properly

Arthur PinkAnother example of failure at this point is the frequent use made of Galatians 6:15, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (or “new creation”). It is most proper and pertinent to use that verse when showing that neither the ceremonial ordinances of Judaism nor the baptism and Lord’s supper of Christianity are of any worth in rendering us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. So too, though much less frequently, we are reminded that,

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6),

that is out of gratitude to God for His unspeakable Gift, and not from legal motives—only for what they may obtain. But how very rarely does the pulpit quote

“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Corinthians 7:19)

—that which respects our submission to the Divine authority, our walking in subjection to God’s will, is omitted. It is only by placing these three verses side by side that we obtain a balanced view. We are not vitally united to Christ unless we have been born again; we are not born again unless we possess a faith that works by love; and we have not this saving faith unless it be evidenced by a keeping of God’s commandments.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

HERMENEUTICS: Analogia Scripturae and Analogia Fidei

By Bill Hier

This is the title of chapter two of CONFESSING THE IMPASSIBLE GOD: The Biblical, Classical, & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility (CIG). The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the two most necessary hermeneutical principles that are required when doing theology – not only theology proper, as is the concern of CIG, but all theology. As the title states, these are the hermeneutical principles of Analogia Scripturae and Analogia Fidei, which are the Latin phrases for The Analogy of Scripture and The Analogy of the Faith.

Before going forward, defining these most important hermeneutical principles, and stating where they come from, is necessary.

To put it simply, these principles are not formulated and then imposed upon Scripture, but rather, and drawn from the way that the Biblical writers themselves did theology. Thus, they come from Scripture, and so, from God – they are principles of understanding Scripture which the Author of Scripture imbedded in His Special Revelation to us, that we might not make the mistake of pitting Scripture against Scripture, but could rather understand it, and all the doctrines which it teaches us, by a synthesis of the whole.




Read the entire article here.

Approaching God in prayer through our mediator Christ Jesus

Arthur PinkAsking God in prayer is one thing; asking becomingly, rightly, acceptably and effectually is quite another. If we would ascertain how the latter is to be done, the Scriptures must be searched for the answer. Thus, in order to ensure a Divine hearing, we must approach God through the Mediator:

“Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you” (John 16:23).

But to ask the Father in His name signifies very much more than just uttering the words “grant it for Christ’s sake.” Among other things it signifies asking in Christ’s person, as identified with and united to Him; asking for that which accords with His perfections and will be for His glory; asking for that which He would were He in our place. Again, we must ask in faith (Mark 11:24), for God will place no premium upon unbelief. Said Christ to His disciples, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7), where two further conditions are stipulated. In order to receive we must ask according to God’s will (1 John 5:14) as made known in His Word. What a deplorable misuse has been made of Matthew 7:7, through failure to interpret it in the light of collateral passages!

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

THE need of collecting and collating all passages dealing with the same subject—name it and claim it refuted

Arthur PinkTHE need of collecting and collating all passages dealing with the same subject, where cognate terms or different expressions are used. This is essential if the expositor is to be preserved from erroneous conceptions thereof, and in order for him to obtain the full mind of the Spirit thereon. Take as a simple example those well-known words, “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). Few texts have been more grievously perverted than that one. Many have regarded it as a sort of blank check, which anybody—no matter what his state of soul or manner of walk—may fill in just as he pleases, and that he has but to present the same at the throne of grace and God stands pledged to honor it. Such travesty of the Truth would not deserve refutation were it not now being trumpeted so loudly in some quarters. James 4:3, expressly states of some, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”: some who “ask” do not receive! And why? Because theirs is but a carnal asking—“that ye may consume it upon your own lusts”—and therefore a holy God denies them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Briefer statements are to be interpreted by fuller ones-Example 2: Putting away spouse for adultery

January 19, 2016 2 comments

Arthur PinkMuch harm has been done by some who, without qualification, pressed our Lord’s words in Mark 10:11,

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her,”

thereby subjecting the innocent party to the same penalty as the guilty one. But that statement is to be interpreted in the light of the fuller one in Matthew 5:32,

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced [for any other cause] committeth adultery”

— repeated by Christ in Matthew 19:9. In those words the sole Legislator for His people propounded a general rule: “Whosoever putteth away his wife causeth her to commit adultery,” and then He put in an exception. namely that where adultery has taken place he may put away, and he may marry again. As Christ there teaches the lawfulness of divorce on the ground of marital infidelity, so He teaches that it is lawful for the innocent one to marry again after such a divorce, without contracting guilt. The violation of the marriage vows severs the marriage bond, and the one who kept them is, after divorce is obtained, free to marry again.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Old and New Perspectives on Paul: A Third Way?

January 14, 2016 1 comment

By J. V. Fesko

John Barclay, professor of divinity at Durham University in England, has written a sizable contribution to New Testament studies in Paul and the Gift. His basic thesis is that gift is the proper first-century category for comprehending Paul’s term grace (2). His primary focus is examining the divine gift giving, which for the apostle Paul is God’s gift of Christ (4).

Barclay believes gift is the best way to understand Paul’s concept of grace for three chief reasons.

First, grace is a multifaceted concept that theologians frequently use but seldom define. Some stress the incongruity of grace (giving to an unworthy recipient); others the efficacy of grace. Barclay points out that these different “perfections” of grace (conceptual extensions) aren’t better or worse interpretations of the concept, just different aspects of it (6). He identifies six possible perfections of grace (70–75, 563):

•Superabundance—the size or permanence of a gift

•Singularity—the giver’s sole and exclusive desire to express benevolence and goodness

•Priority—the timing of the gift, namely, that it takes place prior to the initiative of the recipient

•Incongruity—a gift given without regard to the worthiness of the recipient

•Efficacy—the effect of the gift, namely, what the gift is designed to accomplish

•Non-circularity—the gift escapes reciprocity and a system of exchange




Read the entire article here.

Briefer statements are to be interpreted by fuller ones-Example 1: Brother sins against me

Arthur PinkBriefer statements are to be interpreted by fuller ones. It is an invariable rule of exegesis that when anything is set out more fully or clearly by one writer than another the latter is always to be expounded by the former, and the same applies to two statements by the same speaker or writer. Particularly is this the case with the first three Gospels: parallel passages should be consulted, and the shorter one interpreted in the light of the longer one. Thus, when Peter asked Christ, “How often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” and our Lord answered “Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21, 22) it must not be taken to signify that a Christian is to condone wrongs and exercise grace at the expense of righteousness; for He had just previously said, “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear [heed] thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (v. 15). No, rather must Christ’s language in Matthew 18:22, be explained by His amplified declaration in Luke 17:3, 4—“If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him”: God Himself does not forgive us until we repent (Acts 2:38; 3:19)! If a brother repents not, no malice is to be harbored against him; yet he is not to be treated as though no offense had been committed.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures


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