the challenge of the new hermeneutic

The Challenge of the
New Hermeneutic
• Merriam-Webster: “1. The study of the
methodological principles of interpretation (as
of the Bible). 2. A method or principle of
• A “hermeneutic” (singular) is a refined method,
approach, or some other tool or system
employed when interpreting.
• 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”!
• *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
• 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!

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