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Posts Tagged ‘Hermeneutics’

The law of first mention

September 18, 2018 Leave a comment

28. The law of first mention. Very frequently this is of great help in arriving at the meaning of a wor or expression. Since there be but one Speaker throughout the entire Word, and He knew from the beginning all that He was going to say, He has so ordered His utterances as to forecast from the outset whatever was to follow. Thus, by noting its setting and associations, the initial occurrence of anything in the Scriptures usually intimates to us how it subsequently will be employed. In other words, the earliest pronouncement of the Holy Spirit on a subject very frequently indicates, substantially, what is found in the later references thereto. This is of real assistance to the expositor, supplying him with a kind of key to what follows. So far as we are aware, attention was originally directed to this canon of exegesis by Lord Bacon (1600), and for more than forty years this writer has made use of the same, putting it to the test in scores of instances; and while he has found a few cases where the first mention of a term failed to intimate clearly its future scope, he has never met with one that was out of harmony therewith; and the vast majority of them were invaluable in serving to define their significance and scope. This will appear from the illustrations which follow.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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Using the law of contrast

September 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Ere leaving this division of our subject, one other example of its importance and value. By making use of the law of contrast we are able decisively to determine the controversy which Socinians have raised upon that momentous verse, For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we [which were destitute of acceptable obedience] might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor-inthians 5:21). That is one of the profoundest and most comprehensive statements to be found in the Scriptures concerning the atonement, containing as it does a brief epitome of the whole plan of salvation. Enemies of the Gospel insist that the “made sin” ought to be translated “made a sin offering,” but such is entirely inadmissible, for in that case the antithesis would require us to render “that we might be made a righteous-offering of God in Him”—a manifest absurdity. The contrast which is here drawn fixes the exact meaning of the terms used. Believers are legally constituted righteous in Christ before God, and therefore the contrast demands that Christ was legally constituted sin—guilty in the eyes of God’s Law. The grand truth affirmed in this verse is the exchange of places with the counter imputations thereof: our sins were reckoned to the account of our Surety, rendering Him judicially guilty; His obedience is reckoned to our account, rendering us judicially righteous before God.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

In connection with the interpreting of Scripture the value of this principle of comparing two things or passages and of observing their variations may be still more definitely seen by placing them side by side

September 4, 2018 Leave a comment

In connection with the interpreting of Scripture the value of this principle of comparing two things or passages and of observing their variations may be still more definitely seen by placing side by side our Lord’s parable of the wedding feast of Matthew 22:1-10, and the parable of the great supper of Luke 14:16-24. The commentators have carelessly assumed that they teach the same thing, but a close examination of them will show that, though they have a number of things in common, they present quite different aspects of Truth: illustrating, respectively, the external, general and powerless call of the Gospel and the internal, particular and effectual call of God. In the former it is “servants” (in the plural number) who are engaged (vv. 3, 4, 6, 8, 10); whereas in the latter it is “that servant” (v. 21), “his servant” (v. 21), “the servant” (vv. 22, 23). It is to be noted that their commissions are not the same: the servants are instructed to “call them that were bidden to the wedding” (v. 3), to “tell them” (v. 4), and to “bid to the marriage” (v. 9), and nothing more; whereas the servant was not only to “say to them that were bidden, Come” (v. 17), but also to “bring in” (v. 21), and to “compel them to come in” (v. 23).

When those distinctions are dully weighed, it should be quite evident that, whereas in Matthew 22 the “servants” are the ministers of God sent forth to preach the Gospel to every creature, “the servant” of Luke 14 is none other than the Holy Spirit, who by His invincible power and effectual operations quickens God’s elect into newness of life He alone is able to overcome their natural disrelish for and opposition to Divine things, as He alone is competent to “bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” Nor could anyone less truly say of his efforts, “Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded” (Luke 14:22). As Christ was the “servant” of the God head (Matthew 12:18-20) during the days of His flesh, so the blessed Spirit is the “servant” of Christ during this era (John 16:14; Acts 2:33). This interpretation is further confirmed by the fact that the servants were “entreated spitefully” and even “slain” (Matthew 22:6). Moreover, we read of them,

“So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all [into the local churches] as many as they found, both had and good” (Matthew 22:10),

for they were unable to read hearts; but no such statement is made of the Servant, who “brings” (to heaven) those with whom He deals.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

It is not to the hurried nor to the cursory reader that its treasures are revealed

It is not to the hurried nor to the cursory reader that its treasures are revealed. What a startling and solemn contrast there is between Christ was “numbered with the transgressors” (Mark 15:28), and Judas was “numbered with” the apostles (Acts 1:17). Kataluma is used only in Luke 2:7, where it is rendered “there was no room for them in the inn”; and in Luke 22:11, where it is translated “guestchamber”— where the Savior partook of the passover with His disciples. The woman of Thyatira in Acts 16:14, had her heart opened by the Lord so that she might “take unto her” (which is the meaning of the Greek word rendered “attend”) the message of God’s servant; but the woman of Thyatira in Revelation 2:20, opened her mouth for the purpose of seducing God’s servants! Only twice do we read of the Lord Jesus being kissed, and what a contrast: the woman’s kiss of devotion (Luke 7:38), Judas’ kiss of betrayal (Matthew 26:40)!

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

How much we miss through failing to heed carefully that word, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”

How much we miss through failing to heed carefully that word, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13). If we spent more time in prayerfully meditating on the Scriptures, we should oftener have occasion to say with David,

I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

There are two references to “the king’s dale”

There are two references to “the king’s dale”: in the one Melchizedek brought forth that which symbolized Christ (Genesis 14:17, 18); in the other, Absalom erected a monument to himself (2 Samuel 18:18). What a marked (and probably designed) contrast there is between the expressions

there fell of the people that day about three thousand men” (Exodus 32:28),

and

the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41)

—the only occasions where “about three thousand” is used in Scripture. Similar too is this example: “there were with him [David] about four hundred men” (1 Samuel 22:2), and there “rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves” (Acts 5:36). In 1 Samuel 28:24), we read of the “fat calf” of the witch of Endor; in Luke 15:23, we are told of “the fatted calf’ which was killed for the prodigal son! Katischuo occurs only in “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”—the Church (Matthew 16:18), and “the voice of them and of the chief priests prevailed” (Luke 23:23) with Pilate against Christ, to consent to His crucifixion.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Many illustrations of this principle are found in connection with words and expressions that are used only twice in the Scriptures, and startling are the contrasts between them

August 7, 2018 2 comments

Many illustrations of this principle are found in connection with words and expressions that are used only twice in the Scriptures, and startling are the contrasts between them. Apopnigo occurs only in Luke 8:7, 33:the one having reference to the seed being choked by thorns; the other where the demon possessed swine were choked in the sea. In Luke 2:1-5, apographe is employed in connection with the Firstborn Himself being enrolled on earth, whereas in Hebrews 12:23, it refers to the Church of the Firstborn enrolled in heaven. Apokueo is used in James 1:15, 23: of lust bringing forth sin, and of the Father begetting us with the Word of Truth. Apolausi.s is applied to the things which God has given us to enjoy lawfully (1 Timothy 6:17), and to the refusal of Moses to enjoy the unlawful pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25). Anthrakia is found only in John 18:18, where Peter joined Christ’s enemies before “a fire of coals,” and in 21:9, where the disciples fed before one in the presence of Christ. Choramakros is the “far country” into which the prodigal took his journey (Luke 15:13), and a very different one to which Christ went at His ascension (Luke 19:12). Panoplia is used of the enemy’s “armor” (Luke 11:22), and of the armor Christ has provided for the saints (Ephesians 6:11, 13).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures