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 answers to all of these questions should be a resounding yes/of course. Jesus most definitely taught his followers a unique distinctive hermeneutic so I will try to uncover it.
In the last couple of posts I have looked at Luke 24:27,44-47. I have shown that first and foremost Jesus and his followers used a hermeneutic that showed that He was the Messiah and the complete focus of the scripture. This is especially reinforced in John 5:39-40.
John 5:39-40 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. (40) And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.
Therefore Jesus taught that the sole purpose of the scripture was to direct the reader to him so that they could come to him for life. This is evidence of one of the presuppositions that Jesus brought to scripture interpretation and it is a good time to answer the following question; what were the presuppositions that Jesus brought to his interpretation of scripture?
- Jesus and his followers redefined the phrase/term word of God, word, word of truth, word of the truth, from scripture to either Himself the living word or the gospel.
- He, Jesus was uniquely the promised Messiah
- The end of the age was nigh i.e, it was within the first century time frame
- He, Jesus was installing and instituting the New Covenant
- He, Jesus was instituting the Kingdom of God
- The scribes and Pharisees –- the rulers of the Jews were apostate and in danger of the imminent day of the Lord’s wrath, foretold of in the prophets, which would come to their generation
- All of the Old Testament prophecies were about to be fulfilled in the first century time frame
- After the resurrection, the Spirit continued to teach the hermeneutic of Jesus to his followers who wrote the New Testament.
- Ultimately, the hermeneutics of Jesus would overthrow the specularia of Moses and establish but one covenant… the new covenant
Each of these presuppositions will be examined in greater detail as these posts move along. Interestingly, these presuppositions have led to the establishment of presuppositions that I in turn bring to the entire text of the bible. It is my view that these presuppositions must be used in any hermeneutic that claims to be Christian.
- The definition of the term/phrase word of God is Jesus or the gospel in the New Testament writings
- Progressive revelation is a rule of thumb for all Christians
- The Old Testament must be viewed based upon progressive revelation
- Progressive revelation found in the New Testament must alter the understanding of things written in the Old Testament
- Redemption was the basis for creation
- Jesus and his followers interpretation of Old Testament passages preempts earlier interpretations.
- Jesus alone is the Israel of God and all *in Christ* inherit that same position
- Obedience under the New Covenant is the obedience of faith -- Paul called it obeying from the heart also.