Saturday, September 3, 2011

The hermeneutics of Jesus and his followers I


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to interpret the scripture just as Jesus did? Wouldn’t it be helpful to use Jesus hermeneutic in all biblical interpretation? Is it possible to understand and employ Jesus hermeneutic? If Jesus had a specific hermeneutic and, if we could understand it, why wouldn’t the followers of Jesus use his hermeneutic only?

The answer to the first three questions is yes and the answer to the fourth question ought to be yes and why it isn’t baffles me. I realize that there are number of hermeneutical lenses that one can use but what is completely perplexing is this question; why wouldn’t followers of Jesus use his hermeneutic exclusively? Can someone please answer that for me? If there is a good reason to not use Jesus hermeneutic then I would like to hear it. The fact remains from my perspective that there is no reason not to use the hermeneutic of Jesus and his followers.

So then, what is the hermeneutic of Jesus and his followers? In short, it is a solely redemptive Christo-centric hermeneutic that uniquely sees Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfillment of the entire Jewish scripture. I am speaking of both the Torah and the Tanakh; i.e., the thirty nine books that make up the Old Testament, and Jesus hermeneutic, is found in the pages of the twenty seven books of the New Testament. A large portion of the New Testament text is the explanation of --the interpretation of --the Old Testament in a solely redemptive, Jesus of Nazareth centric, way.

The foundation of Jesus hermeneutic is found in Luke chapter twenty-four. It can be specifically found in Luke 24:27 & 44-47. I will post each of these passages here.

Luke 24:27  “Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”

Luke 24:44-47  “Then He told them, "These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled."  (45)  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  (46)  He also said to them, "This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day,  (47)  and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

One of the more important parts of the above passages is verse forty-five. He opened their understanding. I will show later in a post that this is related to the Lamb opening the scroll in Revelation chapters five and ten.

What is included in a hermeneutical system or lens?
  • The method of interpretation of a text
  • The presuppositions that go into the writing of a text
  • The historical setting and context of the time of the writing of the text
  • The authority of the message of the text


In this series I will look at how Jesus viewed and formed these precepts into his hermeneutical lens. Further I will show that while the first century church embraced these principals completely the early church fathers abandoned many in favor of the hermeneutical principals of the Scribes and Pharisees.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus opened their understanding in their time, but most importantly, the Holy Spirit opens our understanding now. The Holy Spirit will show us so much if we but pray and ask Him to open our minds to understand, and give us the required perception to put God's word into action in our lives.

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