Thursday, April 8, 2010

Redemptive Historical Hermeneutic and Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology is the study of the bible as an unveiling story. The focus of the story is the Lord Jesus Christ as messiah and savior. It receives its authority from the scripture alone but, it also incorporates the known history of the period in which the scriptures were written. The more that archeologists and historians learn about the history and culture of the times that the bibles messages were written to…. The audience that the bible was written to… the more precise the theological interpretations can be. 

Luke 24:27 states; And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” The Greek word translated as expounded in this passage is diermeneuo and is related to the word that we get hermeneutics from today. In other words, beginning with the Pentateuch and then the rest of the Old Testament scripture Jesus interpreted how the scripture pointed to him. This idea is punctuated farther on in the passage. In Luke 24:44-45; “Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." (45) And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” It is interesting that Jesus had to open their understanding in order for them to comprehend the scriptures. Especially in view of the fact his disciples, being Torah observant Jews, had been taught the scriptures from the time they were small…. still, they did not understand and comprehend them. Could this be the scroll that could not be opened in Revelation 5:4 and, could this be the fulfillment of Revelation 5:9? I think it is. Revelation has a way of going back and forth in time with events… in other words, it not only prophesies future events but it also reports things that had already happened. An example would be the war in heaven. Certainly, Satan was cast down to earth prior to the Christ event… he was running to and fro in the earth at the time of Job.

Now then, whether or not one accepts the above analysis, Jesus did open their understanding and he did show them a way of interpreting scripture. The way he showed them was this… they were to find him (Jesus) and his redemptive vocation in the scripture. His focus was that the scripture was there to point to him and redemption. He made this clear to the Pharisees in John 5:39-40; “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (40) But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Jesus did not just teach a messiah centric hermeneutic. The Pharisees taught that all scripture points to messiah… they had a Christ centered hermeneutic. The problem was that it missed Jesus of Nazareth as the messiah. So then, Jesus did not just teach a Christ centered hermeneutic… he taught a Jesus of Nazareth centered hermeneutic. He opened their understanding so that they could see him as messiah and this gives the scripture a redemptive focus. This redemptive focus is the foundation for Redemptive Historical Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus removed the scales from their eyes to help them understand as He removed the scales from Paul’s eyes to help him understand. Isn’t it funny how you can have the best of everything right in front of your face and don’t even see it? There are a couple of things that I pray for on a regular, and one is for the God to help me to see with spiritual eyes and hear with spiritual ears.


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