The Task of Hermeneutics

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  -2 Tim. 2:15


  • 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible by Robert L. Plummer (Kregel, 2010) 
  • Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. Revised (Zondervan, 2012)

Dangerous Ways to Read the Bible

  • Like a yearbook
  • Like a fortune cookie
  • Like a book scrap


  • You cannot fully discover the biblical content until you rightly study the biblical context.
  • If you study the Bible out of context, you study it just like the devil [Luke 4:1-11].
  • Exegesis: discovering the original meaning of a biblical text
  • Hermeneutics: interpreting the Bible into different contexts
  • The Bible has eternal relevance: It speaks to all people at all times in all cultures.
  • The Bible has historical particularity: It was first written to a particular people at a particular time in a particular culture.
  • A text cannot mean what it never meant.

The Interpretive Journey

  1. Grasping the text in their own town.  What did the text mean to the original audience?
  2. Measuring the width of the river to cross.  What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
  3. Crossing the principlizing  bridge.  What is the theological principle in the text?
  4. Consult the biblical map.  How does our theological principle fit with the rest of the Bible?
  5. Grasping the text in our town.  How should individual Christians today live out the theological principles?