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The New Hampshire Confession an Exposition

O. C. S. Wallace

AUTHOR’S FOREWORD

This book was used twenty years in the form, and with the contents, prescribed by Dr. J. M. Frost. About one-third of the original material has been cut out, and certain changes have been made in the arrangement, in order that as a textbook it might conform to a new plan for the books used in the Training Course for Sunday School Workers. As in the original book, the several articles of the New Hampshire Confession, with the original proof-texts, are placed at the beginnings of the several expositions. For the convenience of those who use the book in courses having ten lesson periods, there are nine chapters instead of eighteen. Among other things omitted, to make the book of the required size, is an Introduction giving the history of the New Hampshire Confession. These changes have been made under the direction of Dr. P. E. Burroughs, who also prepared the questions following the several chapters, and the General Foreword.

O. C. S. W.

May 1, 1934.

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The definition of the word “interpretation”

Arthur PinkTHE word “interpretation” has in this connection both a stricter or narrower meaning and a looser or wider one. In the former sense, it signifies to bring out the grammatical force of the passage; in the latter, to explain its spiritual purport. If the expositor confine himself rigidly to the technical rules of exegesis, though he may be of some service to the pedant, he will afford little practical help to the rank and the of God’s people. To discourse upon the chemical properties of food will not feed a starving man, neither will tracing out the roots of the Hebrew and Greek words (necessary though that be in its proper place) the better enable Christ’s followers to fight the good fight of faith. That remark connotes neither that we despise scholarship on the one hand nor that we hold any brief for those who would give free rein to their imagination when handling the Word of God. Rather do we mean that the chief aim of the expositor should be to bring together the Truth and the hearts of his hearers or readers, that the former may have a vitalizing, edifying, transforming effect upon the latter.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

No scripture is to be interpreted without regard to the relation in which it stands to other parts

PinkLet it, then, be settled in the mind of the expositor that no scripture is to be interpreted without regard to the relation in which it stands to other parts. Adherence to this fundamental rule will preserve from the wresting of many a verse. Thus, when we hear Christ saying, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), attention to His previous declaration, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:31), will preclude any idea that He was, in His essential person, in any wise inferior; therefore the reference in John 14:28, must refer to His mediatorial office, wherein He was subservient to the Father’s will. “Must,” we say, for the Son is none other than “the mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6), “the true God” (1 John 5:20). Again, such words as “be baptized, and wash away thy sins” (Acts 22:16) must not be understood in a way that conflicts with “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7), but regarded as a symbolical “washing” only. “To reconcile all things unto Himself” (Colossians 1:20) cannot teach universalism, or every passage affirming the eternal punishment of the lost would he contradicted. 1 John 3:9, must be understood in a way consistent with 1 John 1:8.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The exposition made of any verse must be in agreement with the Analogy of Faith

Arthur PinkThe exposition made of any verse in Holy Writ must be in entire agreement with the Analogy of Faith, or that system of truth which God has made known unto His people. That, of course, calls for a comprehensive knowledge of the contents of the Bible—sure proof that no novice qualified to preach to or attempt to teach others. Such comprehensive knowledge can be obtained only by a systematic and constant reading of the Word itself—and only then is any man fitted to weigh the writings of others! Since all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, there are no contradictions therein; thus it obviously follows that any explanation given of a passage which clashes with the plain teaching of other verses is manifestly erroneous. In order for any interpretation to be valid, it must be in perfect keeping with the scheme of Divine Truth. One part of the Truth is mutually related to and dependent upon others, and therefore there is full accord between them. As Bengel said of the books of Scripture, “They indicate together one beautiful, harmonious and gloriously connected system of Truth.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures