Archive for the ‘Hermeneutics’ Category

Four principles of older hermeneutics

February 14, 2017 1 comment

Four principles of older hermeneutics:

#1 The Holy Spirit is the Only Infallible Interpreter of Holy Scripture.

#2 The Analogy of the Scriptures (Analogia Scripturae)

#3 The Analogy of Faith (Analogia Fidei)

#4 The Scope of the Scriptures (Scopus Scripturae)


Source [RBAP]

Words with different meanings:Example 3

February 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkLet us now consider a few examples wherein the same English word is given a number of variants. As in the well-known words of our Lord, “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matthew 8:22), so the word “see” is used in two different senses in Hebrews 2:8, 9: “But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus…owned with glory, and honor,” where the first refers to open sight, the second to faith’s perception. “Ransom” is by power as well as by price. Sometimes God defended or delivered His people by destroying His enemies: Proverbs 21:18; Isaiah 43:4; Pharaoh and his hosts at the Red Sea. Many have been much perplexed by the markedly different applications made of the word “burden” in Galatians 6:2, 5: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ…. Every man shall bear his own burden.” The former has in view the burdens of the Christian’s infirmities, which should be sympathetically, prayerfully and practically shouldered by his brethren and sisters. The latter has reference to individual responsibility, his personal state and destiny, which he must himself discharge, that cannot be shifted upon others. The Greek word for the former is “weights,” or loads— calling for a friendly hand. The latter signifies a “charge,” or trust imposed.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Words with different meanings:Example 2

Arthur PinkThe Greek word diatheke occurs thirty-three times; its common meaning— like the Hebrew berith being “covenant.” In the Authorized Version it is so rendered twenty times, and “testament” thirteen. Now a covenant is, strictly speaking, a contract between two parties, the one promising to do certain things upon the fulfillment of certain conditions by the other; whereas a testament or will is where one bequeaths certain things as gifts. There seems to be nothing in common between the two concepts, in fact that which is quite contrary. Nevertheless we believe our translators rightly rendered the term both ways, though not always happily so: most certainly it should be “covenant” in 2 Corinthians 3:6; Revelation 11:19. It is rightly rendered “covenant” in Hebrews 8:6, and “testament” in 9:15, for a statement is there made to illustrate a certain correspondency between the preparatory and the ultimate in God’s dispensations. A will does not become valid while the perso making it is alive: it can only take effect after his decease. Hebrews 9:15-17, treats of a disposition showing the manner in which men obtain an inheritance through the riches of Divine grace. Thus, instead of using syntheke, which more exactly expressed a covenant, the Holy Spirit designedly employed diatheke, which was capable of a double application.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Words with different meanings: Example 1

Arthur Pink18. Words with different meanings. There are many terms in the Scriptures which are by no means employed uniformly. Some have diverse senses, others are given varied shades of one general sense. That does not mean they are used arbitrarily or capriciously, still less in order to confuse the minds of the simple. Sometimes it is because the original term is too full to be expressed by a single English equivalent. Sometimes it occurs with another form of emphasis. More often it is the various applications which are made of it to several objects. Thus it is an important part of the expositor’s task to trace out those distinctions, and, instead of confounding the same, make clear each fresh sense, and thus “rightly divide the word of truth.” Thus the Greek word Paracletos is rendered “Comforter” of the Spirit in John’s Gospel, but “advocate” of Jesus Christ in his first Epistle (1 John 2:1). There appears to be little in common between those expressions, but when we discover that the Greek term means “one called to one’s side (to help),” the difficulty is removed, and the blessed truth is revealed that the Christian has two Divine Helpers: a practical and a legal; one within his heart and one in heaven; one ministering to him, the other engaged for him.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Equally dangerous and disastrous is that interpretation which has made the parable of the laborers in the vineyard teach salvation by works

Arthur PinkEqually dangerous and disastrous is that interpretation which has made the parable of the laborers in the vineyard teach salvation by works. Since the parable affords a notable example of the importance of heeding the setting, we will offer a few remarks thereon. After the rich young ruler’s refusal to leave all and follow Christ, and His seeking to impress upon His disciples the solemn warning of that sad spectacle, Peter said,

“Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore?” (Matthew 19:22-27).

The Lord returned a twofold answer: the first part, as the question was legitimate, declaring that both here and hereafter there should be abundant reward to those who followed Him (vv. 28, 29). In the second part our Lord searched Peter’s heart, intimating that behind his inquiry was a wrong spirit—a carnal ambition which He had so often to rebuke in the apostles: shown in their disputes as to which of them should be greatest in the kingdom and which should have the chief seats therein. There was a mercenary spirit at work in them which considered they had claim to higher wages than others: since they were the first to leave all and follow Christ, thereby magnifying their own importance and laying Him under obligations. Hence the parable of Matthew 20:1-15, is preceded by the words. “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first,” and followed by similar words.

Since there be no room to doubt that the parable of the laborers in the vineyard was designed to illustrate the words in Matthew 19:30, and 20:16, it is clear that it was never intended to teach the way of salvation— to interpret it so is entirely to miss its scope. The Lord’s object was manifestly to impress upon His disciples that, unless they mortified the same, the evils of the heart were of such a character as to rob the earliest and most prolonged external devotion of all value, and that the latest and briefest service unto Him would, by reason of the absence of self-assertion, be deemed worthy in His sight of receiving reward equal to the former. Moreover, He would have them know that He would do what He would with His own—they must not dictate the terms of service. It has been justly observed by Trench in his notes on this parable that an “agreement was made by the first hired laborers (20:2) before they entered upon their labor—exactly the agreement which Peter wished to make: “what shall we have?”—while those subsequently engaged went in a simpler spirit, trusting that whatever was right and equitable the householder would give them.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Much erroneous teaching has resulted from failure to heed simple rules that pertain to interpreting parables

January 17, 2017 2 comments

Arthur PinkAs intimated above, much erroneous teaching has resulted from failure to heed those simple rules. Thus, certain theologians who are basically unsound on the Atonement have argued from the parable of the prodigal son that, since no sacrifice was needed to reconcile him to the Father or provide access to the bosom of His love, God pardons absolutely, out of pure compassion. But that is a manifest wresting of the parable, for it is not as a Father but as the righteous Governor that God requires a satisfaction to His justice. Equally so is it a serious misrepresentation of the grace of the Gospel if we reason from the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:23-35) that Divine grace is ever exercised unto men except through a propitiatory sacrifice, a reparation made to the broken Law, which God has accepted (Romans 3:24). Those parables were never intended to teach the ground of Divine forgiveness: it is wrong to force any parable to display a whole system of theology. Some have even drawn from Christ’s forbidding His disciples to pluck up the tares an argument against the local church’s exercising such a strict discipline as would issue in the disfellowship of heretical or disorderly members— refuted by His teaching in Revelation 2 and 3, where such laxity is severely rebuked.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

It is important to obtain a right understanding of the parabolical representation itself, since it supplies the basis of the spiritual instruction

Arthur Pink Fourth, it is important to obtain a right understanding of the parabolical representation itself, since it supplies the basis of the spiritual instruction. Unless we understand the natural allusion, we cannot give a satisfactory exposition of the language in which it is set forth. Care has also to be taken that we do not extend the representation beyond the bounds in which it was intended to move. That representation becomes obvious when we concentrate upon the leading idea of the parable and allow its details to make that more distinct. A parable must not be broken into parts but looked at as a whole, though let it not be forgotten that every detail contributes to its central truth, there being no mere verbiage. Usually the context makes clear what is its purpose and purport. Thus the parable of the king taking account of his servants (Matthew 18:23) was in reply to Peter’s inquiry in verse 21; that of the rich fool in Luke 12 was occasioned by a spirit of covetousness on the part of one who desired to obtain a part of his brother’s inheritance. Those in Luke 15 grew out of what is related in its opening verses. Parables bear upon the more fundamental aspects of duty and deportment rather than on the minute details of either.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures