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Basic Hermeneutics Orientation

This is the first lesson of a basic study of hermeneutics.

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Basic Hermeneutics Orientation

  1. 1. BASIC HERMENEUTICS A Short Course on Hermeneutics Dr. Jerry F. Smith Training in Ministry Essentials Jerry F. Smith, Doctor of Theology (ThD) & Ministry (DMin) ● Missionary ● Pastor-Teacher ● Evangelist ● Faith Missionary Church World Outreach Ministry ● jfrsmth@gmail.com ● http://pastorjerrysblog.blogspot.com/ ● http://c-ed.blogspot.com ● http://fmcoutreach.blogspot.com/
  3. 3. “It was very good.” Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. What does this statement tell us about God’s Creation?
  4. 4. Did Adam and Eve eat an “apple?” Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. How do we know?
  5. 5. Jesus fed five thousand “men” Matthew 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. Did Jesus feed 10,000 -- 15,000 people?
  6. 6. “As A man thinks in his heart so is he” A proverb often used for positive thinking BUT, is this an accurate interpretation? Proverbs 23:7 For as [HE] thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:6-7 6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: (7) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
  7. 7. It is a reference to beware of people who flatter you; NOT positive thinking Psalm 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
  8. 8. Where Two or Three Are Gathered … Does this refer to PRAYER? Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
  9. 9. Matthew 18:15-20 15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 FOR where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
  10. 10. The CONTEXT of this verse is CHURCH DISCIPLINE That God would be present with CHURCH MEMBERS they sought to make matters right and restore a fallen member. God is as much with ONE praying Christian as He is with MANY
  11. 11. Grammar Matthew 18:20 FOR where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. We also need to consider the GRAMMAR of the text The conjunction FOR is joining this thought with the previous (context) . . .
  12. 12. “Eye of a needle” Rich people cannot be saved?! Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Here you must consider the EXPRESSIONS of that time
  13. 13. “When pigs fly!” - It’s impossible! A similar English expression is: “When pigs fly.” Example: He’ll get a perfect score on his test when pigs fly. In the same sense, the Lord was speaking about those who trust in their riches. Of course they CANNOT enter heaven, because they won’t TRUST in Christ. Remember, the Lord was speaking to the rich young ruler prior to that statement (context).
  14. 14. The KEY point is what the Lord said next: Matthew 19:25-26 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. NO ONE can be saved without Divine intervention!
  15. 15. “Touch not the Lord’s anointed!” Psalm 105:13-15 “When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; (14) He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; (15) Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Many church leaders will use this verse to warn and intimidate brethren not to challenge their authority. But is that an accurate interpretation?
  16. 16. CONTEXT is everything Psalm 105:8-12 “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, … (10) And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: (11) Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: (12) When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.”
  17. 17. Touch not the Lord’s anointed This is NOT speaking about pastors, but speaks of God’s people, Israel. The they in this passage is a reference to the Lord’s people, the nation of Israel. God is warning other nations not to hurt His people. “Anointed” is a reference to “they,” the people of Israel – God’s people … NOT ONE MAN
  18. 18. In the New Testament, EVERY believer is "anointed." 2Corinthians 1:21 “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God” No one believer can claim any special status as God's "untouchable anointed" over other believers. In the NT, ALL believers are “anointed.”
  19. 19. Believers DON’T SIN?? 1John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. But what about . . . Romans 3:23 For all have sinned Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin
  20. 20. Compare Scripture with Scripture 1John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he [Christ] is, so are we in this world. How IS He [Christ]? 1John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
  21. 21. I can do all things through Christ … Can I use this verse to assure victory in a sporting event? Other situation? • What was the CIRCUMSTANCE surrounding Paul writing this text? • What was he speaking about? • What was the CONTEXT? – Was it a sporting event? – Was it a new job? – Was it a break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend?
  22. 22. CONTEXT is EVERYTHING when interpreting Scripture Philippians 4:10 10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
  23. 23. Paul wrote this letter to the church in Philippi • To let them know that God has taught him to be content in times of plenty and in times of desperation (he’s writing this letter in prison). • Whatever came Paul's way, he handled with faith. It could be stoning, prison, shipwreck, beatings, etc. • This passage does NOT say that I can accomplish great feats of strength, but a reminder to exercise faith and trust God in the midst of the ups and downs of a life given fully to the cause of Christ.
  24. 24. Tithing Is it a New Testament Practice? The ONLY verses in the ENTIRE King James NT that mention the word “tithe” or “tithing” are: Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Also, Matthew 23:23) In BOTH cases, the Lord was rebuking Pharisees for their failure to exercise justice and love BOTH cases were regarding the Law of the OT
  25. 25. Can a believer’s name be blotted out of the Book of Life? Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
  26. 26. Can we LOSE our salvation? Hebrews 6:4-6 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
  27. 27. Other interpretations we will discuss: • Are believers KNOWN for loving PEOPLE or loving EACH OTHER? • What SIN keeps us from Heaven? • Does God PUNISH countries for their sins? • “You’re NOT a Christian if …” – Is this an accurate statement from Scripture? • What does it mean to OUTLINE a book of the Bible? • When should I use commentaries and Hebrew & Greek?
  28. 28. gods?? Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. BUT what about . . . Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:
  29. 29. Scripture tells us John 10:34-35 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken … This text means that the Jews were like gods compared to those who were without the law; They were the people of God in the Old Testament
  30. 30. BE CAREFUL: Don’t make a doctrine on a single verse Here is an example used by the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. • There is nowhere else in the Bible that suggests that man is a “god.” • But this single verse is used to support the Mormon doctrine that man has the capacity to become a god.
  31. 31. Comparing Scripture with Scripture: Internal evidence There are abundant verses that demonstrate that this is in no way true: Deuteronomy 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. 1Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 2Samuel 7:22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee … Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
  32. 32. Scripture must agree with itself To AVOID ERRORS, Scripture must agree with any doctrine drawn from a single passage.
  33. 33. FALSE TEACHING: MOST if not ALL cults deny that JESUS is GOD You need to be able to defend your belief that JESUS is GOD Can you PROVE that JESUS is GOD from the Bible? John 1:1 & 14 John 8:58 & Exodus 3:14 John 20:28 Colossians 2:9 1Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13; 1Peter 1:1 Revelation 1:17-18 & Isaiah 44:6
  34. 34. Beliefs of some CULTS Islam: “Jesus was no more than a mortal whom Allah favored and made an example to the Israelites” (Sura 43:59). Jehovah's Witnesses: Jesus, one who is an angel who became a man Mormons: “That Lucifer, the son of the morning, is our elder brother and the brother of Jesus Christ.”
  35. 35. Kenneth Copeland: “Jesus has a beginning and an end.” Benny Hinn: “Have you been begotten? So was He. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn.” Iglesia Ni Cristo: “If there is any verse which people claim proves the alleged deity of Christ, this verse has been wrongly interpreted by the people.” Bro. Eddie Soriano: “The Jesus and Christ of the Bible is not God the Father.”
  36. 36. The Lord commands us to check things out before we just embrace them 1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
  37. 37. GOD teaches us to . . .
  38. 38. SEARCH the Scriptures Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
  39. 39. STUDY the Scriptures 2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  40. 40. COMPARE Scripture with Scripture 1Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
  41. 41. Without proper hermeneutics, everyone can make up their own ideas about what God says Studying the Bible without proper hermeneutics leads to a PERSONALIZATION of the text's meaning that IS NOT always appropriate nor accurate. There may be MANY applications of Scripture, but only ONE interpretation of Scripture
  42. 42. When we say Hermeneutics, we mean the study of interpreting the Bible There are many things that can affect a proper interpretation of the Bible: Knowledge of God (His attributes) Bible versions Understanding of Bible Cohesion Context Culture Grammar
  43. 43. Figures of speech Theological approach (Covenant, Dispensational, New Covenant) Approaches to study (exegesis or eisegesis) Methods of study (inductive or deductive) Study Aids Knowledge of the Scriptures (comparing) Ignoring time-tested interpretations (interpretations throughout history)
  44. 44. Our course • This is a short course on Basic Hermeneutics • We will discover how to interpret the Bible using ITSELF • We will look at various ways that can help us understand the Bible more accurately
  45. 45. NEXT LESSON: Which Bible Version?

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This is the first lesson of a basic study of hermeneutics.


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