The Challenge of the New Hermeneutic Hermeneutics? • Merriam-Webster: “1. The study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible). 2. A method or principle of interpretation.” • A “hermeneutic” (singular) is a refined method, approach, or some other tool or system employed when interpreting. Hermeneutics? • A Hermeneutics Illustration: • “A bang in the night A life ended too quickly Glass shards on the ground” • What is this haiku about? A shooting? A car wreck? A suicide? Something else? • However you arrive at a conclusion, the process is “Hermeneutics”, and your method/approach is your “hermeneutic”! Hermeneutics? • *Important*: Hermeneutics is what YOU bring to the table when reading/interpreting a piece of material. Hermeneutics is NOT what the material does for you, but what you do for the material. • The haiku example: The haiku provides information to the reader (bang, night, glass, etc.), but the reader must interpret that information to find meaning. Hermeneutics is the reader’s job, not the haiku’s job! How does God instruct us through His Word? • God’s Word instructs with “Commands, Examples, & Necessary Inferences” (C.E.NI.). • God “tells” us some things in His Word (command/direct statement). Ex. Acts 17:30. • God “shows” us some things in His Word (approved example). Ex. Philippians 3:17. • God “implies” some things in His Word (necessary inference). Ex. Gambling, drug use, abortion, dancing, sprinkling, etc. How does God instruct us through His Word? • Is “Command, Example & Implication” divine or manmade? • Jesus recognized that God communicates this way (Matthew 19:3-6). • The apostles recognized that the Scriptures teach this way (Acts 15). • Gospel preaching necessarily appeals to these forms of communication (Acts 17:1-4). About the “New Hermeneutic” • Many have promoted a “new hermeneutic”, a new method of interpreting the Scriptures, dismissing C.E.NI. as the “old hermeneutic”. • Most attempts to define the “new hermeneutic” are confusing, excluding example & implication from biblical teaching. • *Important*: C.E.NI. is not a hermeneutic, because it is not a matter of interpretation! C.E.NI. is how God chooses to instructs us in His Word, whether we accept it or not! We should read and use the scriptures as Jesus and His apostles did!