Biblical Hermeneutics

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					                                Biblical Hermeneutics

The Bible, it cannot be repeated often enough, was not given to man to be an inspiring word, but the
command word. It is not intended to please men, but to declare to him what he is in himself, and what
he must be in the Lord. The Bible is inspired, not inspiring; it is infallible, because it is the word of
God. But, for the abstractionist, the Bible is often a gauche book which must be spiritualized and read
symbolically in order to be made palatable.
                                                Rousas J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, p. 117

It is not only unwise, but it is wicked to be disheartened because of the external feebleness of the
Church, compared with the work she has to do, and the enemies she has encountered. God is her
strength, her glory and her hope, and to despair of her is to deny God.
                                                                                        Thomas V. Moore

The newspaper has no prerogative to challenge God's word of truth. Nor do those who read the
newspapers. As faithful disciples of Christ, we are to trust God as the sovereign controller over human
history (Eph. 1:11; Isa. 46:10; Dan. 4:35; Ps. 115:3). If God says something is going to happen, then it
shall happen; it is to our discredit if we are men of little faith with respect to His promises.
                                                                                               Greg Bahnsen

You must understand what the Bible says before you can say what the Bible means.
                                                                                            David Chilton

Four problems that many Christians have regarding the Bible: (1) Not reading enough (e.g., II Tim. 3),
(2) Not understanding the text and the context (e.g., timing and historical setting), (3) Reading into
Scripture what you think it says, and (4) Not comparing Scripture with Scripture (e.g., Matt. 7:13-14
with Luke 13:23).

There have been many fool's errands in the history of Christendom which could have been prevented
with a little careful exegesis.
                                                                                     Douglas Wilson

The word of God originated in a historical way, and therefore, can be understood only in the light of
history ....It is impossible to understand an author and to interpret his words correctly unless he is seen
against the proper historical background.
                                                                                             Louis Berkhof

                                Biblical Hermeneutics
It is of the first importance, in interpreting a written document, to ascertain who the author was, and to
determine the time, the place, and the circumstances of his writing. . . . Herein we note the import of
the term grammatico-historicial interpretation. We are not only to grasp the grammatical import of
words and sentences, but also to feel the force and bearing of the historical circumstances which may in
any way have affected the writer. Hence, too, it will be seen how intimately connected may be the
object or design of a writing and the occasion which prompted its composition.
                                                                                               Milton Terry

Father, our desire is to have Your Word to be an open book before us. We know that we cannot make
this happen by our own wisdom and so we turn to You with a desire that Your visit us with knowledge
and depth of insight. We ask that troublesome passages be cleared up and that complexities of our own
devising be removed. We know that some things in Scripture are hard to understand. But, we also know
that those who twist them are ignorant and unstable and they twist them to their own destruction.
Father, we seek this knowledge so that You will be glorified. Please keep us far away from the pride
and the folly that brags about gifts that You have given in grace. This doctrine of Your kingdom is a
controverted one within Your kingdom so we pray that we would come to understand Your word, not
only in substance, but also in manner. Father, we pray that Your Word would encourage us greatly. We
pray that we would be lifted up and we would be able to see that all the kingdoms of men from the
vantage point of our head, the Lord Jesus Christ. What must the kingdoms of earth look like from Your
right hand? Father, grant us the faith of Joshua and Caleb. We are tired of the unbelief that sees only
the giants in the land and never the Almighty in heaven. Father, please open Your Word for us. For
Jesus sake. Amen.
                                                                                          Douglas Wilson

Father of lights, You illumine all things. We know that apart from You nothing can be. We know that
apart from Your wisdom, no one can know. We seek that wisdom from Your hand, Father, and we ask
that You would be pleased to give it for no other reason than that we ask in Jesus name. We confess
that when everything else is said and done there is no other reason. The text before us is a difficult one
and we humbly ask for Your protection in it. Please keep us from accepting anything on any human
authority. We ask that Your Spirit would subdue us so that we would receive our portion from Your
hand alone. Please keep us from rejecting anything simply because it is unusual to us. We know that
many things that pertain to godliness are unusual to us. We pray for clear minds and clean hearts.
Father, your wisdom extends beyond the heavens. For You to answer our prayer - giving us some of
that wisdom - would take nothing away from Your inexhaustible supply and would add to Your infinite
glory. We pray that You would bring this about. In Jesus Name. Amen.
                                                                                          Douglas Wilson

Father, we confess our ignorance before You although You have been kind enough to bestow Your
Word upon us. Too often we have left it unread. We confess that when we do come to Your Word our
habits of mental sloth govern what we do read. Father, please stir in us a godly industry. Give us a

                               Biblical Hermeneutics
hunger for Your Word just as newborn babies hunger for that milk which is their life. As we learn, we
ask that we not be puffed up with the knowledge that we receive, but rather that, by Your Spirit, we be
built up in wisdom. Father, we also confess that in our lack of interest in what Your saints have said
and done in ancient times, we have been guilty of the sin of schism. We have falsely thought that the
communion of saints only applies to those saints now living. Father, we come to You for sustenance
just as our brothers and sisters who suffered under Nero who looked to You. Grant us, we pray, the
same faithfulness as we share with them one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We ask that we might stand
before You in the same way they did - under the authority of Your Word and on the righteousness of
Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
                                                                                          Douglas Wilson

Father, we have come to a subject that we have become accustomed to think contrary to Your Word.
We pray that you would remove the blinders from our eyes. Let us see that You have appointed Your
Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to a throne that is above every throne and have given Him the name that is
above every name. We are Christians, but Father we pray that You would make us exultant Christians.
The fear of the devil is fitting for savages and for those still dammed in spiritual darkness. But, You
have brought us out of darkness and Your light triumphs over darkness wherever the two meet. Father,
we pray that we take this word of encouragement from Your Word. We pray that You would protect us
from the folly of importing any type of wishful thinking into Your Word. Your Word is perfect like
gold and would not be improved with the dross of our intellect bringing in corruption. We pray that
Your Word would reign over us as we consider these things. We pray, in our lives to follow, that Your
Word would reign over us as we seek to live out these things. In Jesus Name. Amen.
                                                                                           Douglas Wilson

Father, please open our eyes and hearts. We come to You needing the instruction of the Holy Spirit.
We thank You for promising His presence with us. It is very necessary. We are very thick sometimes.
We confess that learning and study, while blessed instruments in Your hand, are impotent in
themselves to reveal the treasures of Your Word. We ask You to bless and anoint Your people as we
come before you with open Bibles. Father, unless You build the house those who build it labor in vain.
And, unless You unfold a passage it will remain complex and dark. We want to walk in the light of
Your Word. We want to receive the blessings promised in it. We ask and beseech You to be kind to us,
Your people, and to teach us Your Word. We confess, in many parts of the Church today, confusion
about Your Word is prevalent - a result of disobeying Your Word. Father, we have been a part of this.
Please forgive us, cleanse us, and teach us. In Jesus Name. Amen.
                                                                                      Douglas Wilson

Father, when Your Word is neglected we not only neglect the small things, but over time we come to
neglect the great things. We come to the teaching concerning Your kingdom, one of the treasures that
Your Church has come to neglect. We pray Father, that as we consider what Your Word says
concerning this subject, that You would be pleased to teach us, by means of Your most Holy Spirit. If

                                Biblical Hermeneutics
scales are to be removed from our eyes, we pray that You would do that. If faulty assumptions are to be
corrected, we pray that You would do that also. If lessons need to be unlearned, we ask that You would
accomplish it. Father, we open our Bibles and we open our hearts. Please teach us. In Jesus name.
                                                                                        Douglas Wilson

Father, we pray for light as we approach Your Holy Word. We know, that as sinners we are prone to
mishandle it, supposing that we are wise as we do so. Protect us, Father, from our follies. Please protect
us from that spiritual pride which assumes that the work of sanctification has accomplished more than
it really has. We ask that Your Word would rule over us and bring us into a good understanding. We
pray that we would always keep the traditions of our church in a subordinate place never coming to the
point where we usurp the living Word for something that we have manufactured or understood. Father,
we pray that everything that You will teach us would glorify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We
pray that You would lift His name up in our presence so that outsiders would know that You have been
pleased to visit us. In this visitation we pray that Your attributes would be set forth and magnified and
all according to Your Word. As we turn to that Word, we ask You to send Your Spirit to accompany us
so that we do not lose our way. In Jesus name. Amen.
                                                                                            Douglas Wilson


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