Archive for the ‘Hermeneutics’ Category

Comparison is useful also for the purpose of amplification

November 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkComparison is useful also for the purpose of amplification. Not only does one Scripture support and illuminate another, but very often one passage supplements and augments another. A simple yet striking example of this is seen in what is known as the Parable of the Sower, but which perhaps might be more aptly designated the Parable of the Seed and the Soils. The deep importance of this parable is intimated to us by the Holy Spirit in His having moved Matthew, Mark and Luke to record the same. The three accounts of it contain some striking variations, and they need to be carefully compared together in order to obtain the complete pictures therein set forth. Its scope is revealed in Luke 8:18: “Take heed therefore how ye hear.” It speaks not from the standpoint of the effectuation of the Divine counsels, but is the enforcing of human responsibility. This is made unmistakably clear from what is said of the one who received the seed into good ground—the fruitful hearer of the Word. Christ did not describe him as one “in whom a work of Divine grace is wrought,” or “whose heart had been made receptive by the supernatural operations of the Spirit,” but rather as he that received the Word in “an honest and good heart.” True indeed the quickening work of the Spirit must precede anyone’s so receiving the Word as to become fruitful (Acts 16:14), but that is not the particular aspect of the Truth which our Lord was here presenting; instead, He was showing what the hearer himself must seek grace to do if he is to bring forth fruit to God’s glory.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage for proof

November 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur Pink“He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them” (Mark 6:5). So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage in proof that the power of His incarnate Son was limited, and that there were occasions when His merciful designs were thwarted by man. But a comparison of the parallel passage in Matthew 13:54-58, at once gives the lie to such a blasphemous assertion, for we are there told “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Thus it was not any limitation in Himself, but something in them, which restrained Him. In other words, He was actuated by a sense of propriety. The emphasis both in Mark 6:5, and Matthew 13:58, is on the word “there,” for, as the context shows, this occurred at Nazareth where He was lightly esteemed. To have performed prodigies of power before those who regarded Him with contempt had, in principle, been casting pearls before swine; as it had been unfitting to have wrought miracles to gratify the curiosity of Herod (Luke 23:8)— elsewhere He did many supernatural works. In Genesis 19:22, the Lord could not destroy Sodom until Lot had escaped from it, while in Jeremiah 44:22, He “could no longer bear” the evil doings of Israel — it was moral propriety, not physical inability.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Scripture needs to be compared with Scripture for the purpose of elucidation

November 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkScripture needs to be compared with Scripture for the purpose of elucidation.

“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21, 22).

The commentators are about equally divided between two entirely diverse views of what is signified by the figurative expression “coals of fire” being heaped upon the head of an enemy by treating him kindly: one class contending that it means the aggravating of his guilt, the other insisting that it imports the destroying of a spirit of enmity in him and the winning of his good will. By carefully comparing the context in which this passage is quoted in Romans 12:20, the controversy is decided, for that makes it clear that the latter is the true interpretation, for the spirit of the Gospel entirely rules out of court the performing of any actions which would ensure the doom of an adversary. Yet an appeal to the New Testament ought not to be necessary in order to expose the error of the other explanation, for the Law equally with the Gospel enjoined love to our neighbor and kindness to an enemy. As John tells us in his First Epistle, when inculcating the law of love he was giving “no new commandment,” but one which they had had from the beginning; but now it was enforced by a new example and motive (2:7, 8).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The value of comparing Scripture with Scripture appears in the corroboration which is afforded

Arthur PinkMore specifically. The value of comparing Scripture with Scripture appears in the corroboration which is afforded. Not that they require any authentication, for they are the Word of Him who cannot lie, and must be received as such, by a bowing unreservedly to their Divine authority. No,but rather that our faith therein may be the more firmly and fully fixed. As the system of double entry in bookkeeping provides a sure check for the auditor, so in the mouths of two or three witnesses the Truth is established.

Thus we find our Lord employing this method in John 5, making manifest the excuselessness of the Jews’ unbelief in His deity by appealing to the different witnesses who attested the same (vv. 32-39). So His apostle in the synagogue at Antioch, when establishing the fact of His resurrection, was not content to cite only Psalm 2:7, in proof, but appealed also to Psalm 16:10 (Acts 13:33-36). So too in his Epistles: a striking example of which is found in Romans 15, where, after affirming that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers,” he added, “And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy,” quoting Psalm 18:49, in proof; but since this was a controverted point among the Jews, he added further evidence—note his “And again” at the beginning of verses 10, 11, 12. So also “by two immutable things [God’s promise and oath]… we might have strong consolation” (Hebrews 6:18).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

In His grace and wisdom God has fully provided against our forming misconceptions of any part of His Truth

Arthur PinkIN His grace and wisdom God has fully provided against our forming misconceptions of any part of His Truth, by employing a great variety of synonymous terms and different modes of expression. Just as our varied senses, though each imperfect, are effective in conveying to our minds a real impression of the outside world by means of their joint operation, so the different and supplementary communications of God through the many penmen of Scripture enable us to revise our first impressions and enlarge our views of Divine things, widening the horizon of Truth and permitting us to obtain a more adequate conception of the same. What one writer expresses in figurative language, another sets forth in plain words. While one prophet stresses the goodness and mercy of God, another emphasizes His severity and justice. If one evangelist exhibits the perfections of Christ’s humanity, another make prominent His deity; if one portrays Him as the lowly servant, another reveals Him as the majestic King. Does one apostle dwell upon the efficacy of faith, then another shows the value of love, while a third reminds us that faith and love are but empty words unless they produce spiritual fruit? Thus Scripture requires to be studied as a whole, and one part of it compared with another, if we are to obtain a proper apprehension of Divine revelation. Very much in the New Testament is unintelligible apart from the Old: not a little in the Epistles requires the Gospels and the Acts for its elucidation.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The principal subjects treated in the Scriptures are presented to us more or less piecemeal

Arthur PinkThe principal subjects treated in the Scriptures are presented to us more or less piecemeal, being scattered over its pages and made known under various aspects, some clearly and fully, others more remotely and tersely: in different connections and with different accompaniments in the several passages where they occur. This was designed by God in His manifold wisdom to make us search His Word. It is evident that if we are to apprehend His fully made known mind on any particular subject we must collect and collate all passages in which it is adverted to, or in which a similar thought or sentiment is expressed; and by this method we may be assured that if we conduct our investigation in a right spirit, and with diligence and perseverance, we shall arrive at a clear knowledge of His revealed will. The Bible is somewhat like a mosaic, whose fragments are scattered here and there through the Word, and those fragments have to be gathered by us and carefully fitted together if we are to obtain the complete picture of any one of its innumerable objects. There are many places in the Scriptures which can be understood only by the explanations and amplifications furnished by other passages.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

To a very large extent, and far more so than any uninspired book, the Bible is a self-explaining volume

Arthur PinkTo a very large extent, and far more so than any uninspired book, the Bible is a self-explaining volume: not only because it records the performance of its promises and the fulfillment of its prophecies, not only because its types and antitypes mutually unfold each other, but because all its fundamental truths may be discovered by means of its own contents, without reference to anything ab extra or outside itself. When difficulty be experienced in one passage it may be resolved by a comparison and examination of other passages, where the same or similar words occur, or where the same or similar subjects are dealt with at greater length or explained more clearly. For example, that vitally important expression “the righteousness of God” in Romans 1:17—every other place where it occurs in Paul’s epistles must be carefully weighed before we can be sure of its exact meaning, and having done so there is no need to consult heathen authors. Not only is this to be done with each word of note, but its parts and derivatives, adjuncts and cognates, are to be searched out in every instance, for often light will thereby be cast upon the same. That God intended us to study His Word thus is evident from the absence of any system of classification or arrangement of information being supplied us on any subject.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures


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