Hermeneutical Frameworks 2

Overarching Theme of the Bible

  1. Covenant Theology: Redemption
    • Advantages:
      1. Takes Luke 24:27 seriously “he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself”
      2. Provides unity for whole Bible
    • Problems:
      1. Cannot do a good job in explaining Wisdom literature, esp Song of Solomon
      2. Man centered?
  2. Dispensationalism: The glory of God
    • Advantages:
      1. God centered
      2. Encompasses Wisdom literature
    • Problems:
      1. Too general
      2. Does not take Luke 24:27 seriously
      3. Does not provide a strong unity
  3. Suggested Principle: The Revelation of God in Jesus Christ
    • Advantages:
      1. God is primarily glorified in redemption, so includes the advantages of Covenant Theology
      2. Takes the Christ-centred nature of Luke 24:27 seriously
      3. Takes seriously other Christ-centered passages such as Col 1:15-20; John 1:1-18 which refer to the old creation
      4. God centered
      5. Encompasses Wisdom literature

Exegetical Principles of Dispensationalism

  • Pay careful attention to the dispensation DISCONTINUITY
  • Interpret literally unless the context demands metaphor
  • Theology cannot be derived from narrative (e.g. we are not to expect the miraculous events of Acts today)
  • Each dispensation (except the last) ends in failure. (Another argument for cessationism)

Exegetical Principles of Covenant Theology

  • Determine whether to interpret literally or spiritually according to how well each would fit within the system
  • God always deals with people in terms of covenants
  • Each administration of the covenant has parallels which can be inferred from other administrations
  • building up to final victory

Exegetical Principles of New Covenant Theology

  • Discontinuity of Covenants & Continuity of way of salvation
  • The superiority of Christ over Moses
  • Look carefully at how N.T. authors applied the type/fulfillment motif

Examples of issues that are answered differently depending on your view of covenants

  1. Distinction between priest and people in O.T. (including clothing)
  2. Praise and worship (cf. regulative principle)
    • music (+instruments, Psalms only?)
    • litergy or freedom in worship
    • leadership in worship (front led or participatory)
  3. Who is the covenant with? Children? whole families? individuals?
  4. Role of the Spirit in our times
    • gifts
    • the nature of the kingdom
  5. Wealth
  • Valuable resource: John S. Feinberg, Continuity and Discontinuity—Perspectives on the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, (Weschester, IL: Crossway, 1988)
    • contains history of “Overarching Theme”
    • The danger of using the wrong controls on our exegesis
    • Training a church to discern

Updated 2009-10-11 (build:10) by Andrew Fountain