Hermeneutics

Wednesday, Sept. 21                           

We all believe that God’s Word is correct and straightforward, but it’s still true that divine truth being communicated to finite human beings presents problems.  Jesus frequently said things that the disciples did not understand.  He often had to explain things in greater detail, and even then they had a hard time grasping the message.  He said “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear (John 16:12).”  And statement came at the end of their three or so years of “seminary” training.  Communication is always difficult.  What the speaker thinks he’s saying may not be what the hearer is hearing.  It’s compounded when two languages are involved, and particularly when dealing with fine points of revealed truth.  In case you are not grasping what I’m saying, hermeneutics is important.  The early scholars had communication problems.  The Scriptures were read and studied in two main languages, Greek and Latin, and in several other languages.  There were about ten “mother tongue” languages spoken by these scholars.  Add to that the difficulty of explaining how three can be one, or how Christ could have two natures—and you have some major problems.  Oh, yes, one more thing.  Every scholar had preconceived ideas and did all he could to promote his views, sometimes omitting or minimizing known truth.  Satan, of course, capitalized on all these problems, doing his best to distort the truth.  What’s amazing is that essential truths came through unscathed.  And hermeneutics was recognized, used, developed, polished, codified, and preserved.  We are the beneficiaries of all this.

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