Sunday 9:30am & 10:30am
Wednesday 6:00pm 
X Close Menu

Simple Thoughts

Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Featured Posts
  • All Posts

A couple of weeks ago, I told my children that I was taking a seminary course called Intro to Hermeneutics. They playfully attempted to pronounce the word. My four-year-old daughter stood up and exclaimed, “I know! It’s Herpa-tooth-picks!” Once the laughter subsided, my oldest daughter asked a thoughtful question, “Daddy, what is hermeneutics?” Taking a deep breath, I replied, “Well, it is the task of trying to figure out the intended meaning of a specific passage in the Bible so that we follow it correctly.” With a look of satisfaction, she slumped back onto the couch. I thought to myself, “NAILED IT!
I realize that this definition may be a little simplistic for the academically elite, but it might just work for us blue collar Believers. If we split the definition into two parts and add a little explanation, we can begin to understand why we need hermeneutics and how we do it. 
The first part of the definition says, “It is a task of trying to figure out the intended meaning of a specific passage of the Bible.” This is the purpose and the process. The purpose is “to figure out the intended meaning of a specific passage of the Bible”. Whose intended meaning are we trying to figure out? The author who wrote it. It is very important to remember that we are not trying to figure out what “I” think it means. We are always trying to determine what that author who wrote it intended it to mean. Determining the author’s intended meaning is why we need a process. The process of discovering the author’s intended meaning is often referred to as the inductive Bible study method. This method employs three simple steps: Observation, Interpretation, and Application. Observation involves looking for clues like repeated words and phrases, structure and style, special words, and asking questions. Observation leads to interpretation where we think about the context, compare with other passages, and consult commentaries. From our interpretation will flow application. Application is when we determine how we should respond.
The second part of the definition, “so that we follow it correctly”, is the goal of hermeneutics. We want God’s word to make a difference in our lives today. To say it another way: We don’t just want to interpret God’s word, we want His word to interpret us. Hopefully this simple definition will help you as you study God’s word.

 

When Things Change

Look around you. Are things changing in your world? My world is changing, and it's changing much faster than I ever expectedmy parents recently sold their home place and are moving into senior housing, my oldest son is 4 years away from driving, my oldest daughter is starting to wear make-up (UHG!), and my two youngest children have started telling me that I'm middle-aged ...

Keep Reading

When You are Praying

"When you pray..." "When you are praying..." "Pray, then" When we read these verses there is no doubt that our Lord expects us to pray (Matthew 6:5,7,9). Every believer should be ready to go into his/her closet to talk with the Father. When we are bowed in prayer our Father hears our deepest longings most clearly and we receive His replies most gladly. It during times of ...

Keep Reading

Hermeneutics?

open bible

A couple of weeks ago, I told my children that I was taking a seminary course called Intro to Hermeneutics. They playfully attempted to pronounce the word. My four-year-old daughter stood up and exclaimed, "I know! It's Herpa-tooth-picks!" Once the laughter subsided, my oldest daughter asked a thoughtful question, "Daddy, what is hermeneutics?" Taking a deep breath, I repl...

Keep Reading

Mining God's Word

BAHH! BAHH! BAHH! BAHH! You sling your arm across your body to silence the horn that has pulled you from your rest; its 5:30am again. Although you would like to go back to sleep something pulls you from your warm bed. What could possess you to wake up this early on a Saturday morning? Reading your Bible. The past several weeks has taught you a valuable lesson about Bible ...

Keep Reading

Figuring Out the Intended Meaning

Last week's article introduced us to hermeneutics. If you remember, I faced a moment of truth when my daughter asked, "Daddy, what is hermeneutics?" I replied with a simple but usable definition: Hermeneutics is the task of trying to figure out the intended meaning of a specific passage in the Bible so that we follow it correctly. Now the question is, "How do we figure out...

Keep Reading