JESUS and Parables and Hermeneutics

Definition - "Hermeneutics" — Greek word "hermeou” - to explain, to

interpret something, Luke 2:27, to make the meaning clear,

Biblical  Hermeneutics - "the science of interpreting the Bible"


I.   General Hermeneutics

     A. Broad Principles.

          1.  Clarity of Scripture — Not written to confuse or conceal but to communicate and be clear.

          2. The Bible is the Word of God — God communicating to man in written word.

          3. Accommodation in Revelation — God using human language, human ideas, human thoughts, culture and so on. 

          4. Progressive Revelation — God has revealed more and more of himself and of other truths to man.

          5. Scripture interprets Scripture — the Bible is the total context.

               So obscure and difficult passage in light of total scripture and of clearer passages. This is because "the Bible is a unity."

          6.  Analogy of Faith — all doctrine agrees. Yet often to be held in tension as we do not have the      whole picture as God does. God's mind communicating to man's understanding.

          7.  Interpretation does differ from Application - One meaning, yet different message to different people in application  to life.

          8. The teaching of the Holy Spirit is necessary for understanding the Bible so the interpreter needs:

               a.  A new heart — (I Cor. 2:14) — born again child of God.

               b.  A hungry heart — (I Peter 2:2) — like digging for treasure.

               c.  An obedient heart (Psalm 119:98-100) — have to be willing to obey and. practice what read    (James 1:22-                        25).

               d. A disciplined heart (Matthew 7:7) — even in hard, dry times.

               e.  A teachable-heart (Hebrews-4:12,13) — never know all. Seek God "(Matthew 6:33)

          9. The Bible can be adequately understood in the translations.





     B. General Interpretive Procedure (Principles)

          1.  The context — around it (immediate). Remote -  the book itself, the type of literature it is; the entire      Bible.

          2.  The Words (language) Used - words are important in conveying the intended message and meaning.  

          3.  The Grammar Employed - the form of the words and the relationship of the words, how the words are used.

          4.  The Author 's Purpose and Plan -  He is not a detached observer. He is a disciple, a believer in     Jesus Christ!

          5. The  Historical and Cultural Background — "No event occurs in a vacuum...

Every biblical event and teaching arose from and is a part of a particular history and culture." Mickelsen, Better Bible Study, p57.

II. Special Herneneutics

     A. Short figures of Speech - a word or phrase used to communicate something , other than its literal,     natural meaning.

     B. Figurative language – word or expression represents something else that can be readily compared, and understood.  

     C. Allegories - a story or teaching meant to convey a figurative meaning.

     D. Parables - one central message or idea. Matthew 13.

     E.  Typology - a correspondence of one or, at the most, two points between a person, event or thing in the Old Testament and  a person, event or thing in the New Testament. These are "actual".

     F.  Symbolism - a sign which suggests meaning rather than stating it. Anything which suggests or stands for a meaning in addition to its ordinary one.

     G. Prophecy - not primarily concerned with foretelling the future. . .one basic aim,' "to help the people know God as the most genuine reality that they could know and experience." Better Bible Study, p.83.

     H. Creation and Climax - issue is "how literal or how figurative?"

     I.   Poetry and Wisdom literature - balance of thought rather than sound. Rhythm of logic.

     J.  Hebrew idioms - an idiom is an expression peculiar to one particular language.

     K. Riddles, meant to tax the ingenuity of the hearer or reader.  


The Bible has both . . . Authority (God’s) and Relevance!

The Bible, authors use

     1.  Descriptive Language. Describes. Tells. Relates (Indicative).

     2.  Prescriptive Language. Prescribes. Commands (Imperative).