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Archive for the ‘D: New Hermeneutic’ Category

The New Hermeneutics and New Testament Bible Study Methods

By Chris Reeves

(Note: This article was taken from material in a larger outline entitled “Out With the Old and In With the New: The Cry of the New Hermeneutic” by the same author. This thirty page outline has many useful quotes and references about the New Hermeneutics, a refutation of each of the main points of the New Hermeneutics and a large bibliography. This outline can be ordered from Truth Bookstore.)

Over the past ten to fifteen years we have seen a new theory being promoted among some of our brethren regarding the study and interpretation of the Bible. This theory has been called the “New Hermeneutics” (hereafter, NH). Hermeneutics is a big word but it simply means “interpretation.” Hermeneutics is the process of interpreting the Scriptures. According to the NH, the old way of interpreting God’s word must be abandoned for a new and improved method of Bible interpretation. What is the “old way” or the “old hermeneutic”? For starters, NH advocates say that using commands, examples and necessary inference to establish Bible authority is an old, man-made tradition dating back to the days of Alexander Campbell and this method must go. In addition to this, NH advocates want to abandon any method of Bible interpretation that seeks to find a pattern of truth in a fixed body of first century teach- ing (the New Testament), in order to apply that pattern of truth to the 20th century church. In short, we are told by these NH advocates that we should abandon any rational, “systematized” method of Bible study for an “existential” (emotional) experience with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. A good example of the current and typical NH approach to a study of God’s word is found in an article by John Allen Chalk entitled, “My Life with the Bible: A Meditation on Hermeneutics” (Wineskins, January/February 1994, 20). In this article he writes:

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New Hermeneutic Glossary

By Roy H. Lanier, Jr.

It has been puzzling to me as I read some of the new papers, magazines, and bulletins seen recently across our nation. Somehow I have been missing something. I cannot quite understand what is being said.

Then it dawned on me that I was not using the right dictionary. When I stumbled across the idea of this glossary and began to use it, things began to clear.

If you wish to understand some of our brethren, take note of the following definitions:

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The New Hermeneutic

Chris Reeves

(Note: This material was taken from a larger outline entitled Out With the Old and In With the New: The Cry of the New Hermeneutic by the same author. This thirty page outline has many useful quotes and references about the New Hermeneutic, a refutation of each of the main points of the New Hermeneutic and a large bibliography. This outline can be ordered from the Guardian of Truth Bookstore.)

Like the Athenians of Paul's day, many religious people throughout time, and some Christians recently, have been fascinated "to tell or hear some new thing" (Acts 17:21), as if that new thing were better or truer than the old things. For example, from the 3rd through the 6th centuries A.D., there was NeoPlatonism. Later among the denominations there have been such movements as New Divinity, NeoThomism, NeoOrthodoxy, NeoPentecostalism, NeoEvangelicalism, New Morality (Situation Ethics) and New Age. In my lifetime there have been several new religious trends among certain brethren such as NeoCalvinism, the New Unity Movement, and now, the New Hermeneutic.

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