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Bible - Interpretation

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Eight Rules of Interpretation    Books: Online   

Eight Rules of Interpretation
"...the Eight Rules of Interpretation used by legal experts for more than 2500 years.

  1. Rule of Definition.
    Define the term or words being considered and then adhere to the defined meanings.
  2. Rule of Usage.
    Don't add meaning to established words and terms. What was the common usage in the cultural and time period when the passage was written?
  3. Rule of Context.
    Avoid using words out of context. Context must define terms and how words are used.
  4. Rule of Historical background.
    Don't separate interpretation and historical investigation.
  5. Rule of Logic.
    Be certain that words as interpreted agree with the overall premise.
  6. Rule of Precedent.
    Use the known and commonly accepted meanings of words, not obscure meanings for which their is no precedent.
  7. Rule of Unity.
    Even though many documents may be used there must be a general unity among them.
  8. Rule of Inference.
    Base conclusions on what is already known and proven or can be reasonably implied from all known facts.

"It will be worth your time to acquaint yourself with these rules and commit them to memory or jot them in the flyleaf of your Bible. Using them will keep you free from cultism and false teachings. All the early Church Fathers used them. Irenaeus used them when he wrote Against Heresies, which dealt with Gnosticism and other untruths. Every law court religiously follows them and honest theologians dare not violate them. Much false teaching is the result of violating one or more of these universal rules of interpretation."

- From "Who Said Women Can't Teach?" by Charles Bromley.


Secular The Critical Study of Biblical Literature: exegesis and hermeneutics Extensive entry in the Encyclopædia Britannica
Christian The Eight Rules of Interpretation An expanded version, by a different author.
Christian Figures of Speech Understanding idioms as used in Scripture. By Robert L. Bradshaw.
Christian The Holy Spirit and Hermeneutics A look at the role of the Holy Spirit in relation to the interpretation of Scripture. By Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D. Associate Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Christian Ignorant and Unenlightened If a concept is nowhere mentioned in the Bible (like "Trinity"), does that mean it's not a Biblical concept and is therefore false? By Greg Koukl
Christian Interpreting the Biblical Wisdom Literature by Robert Bradshaw
Christian Interpreting the New Testament Letters by Robert Bradshaw
Christian Interpreting Old Testament Law by Robert Bradshaw
Christian Language Robert Bradshaw on the study of words and their meaning.
Christian Rightly Interpreting the Bible by Dr. Ron Rhodes
Christian The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Inspiration and Illumination of Scripture by Robert Bradshaw
Christian Science, Subjectivity And Scripture (Is Biblical Interpretation "Scientific"?) by Greg Bahsen
Christian Scripture Twisting Methods of the Cults James Sire shows how cults misinterpret and twist the Word of God.
Christian Studies in Hermeneutics By Robert Bradshaw.
Christian Why do spirit-filled Christians interpret scripture differently? By Ron Rhodes


- Books: Online -
Christian Basic of Bible Interpretation by Bob Smith, associate pastor of Peninsula Bible Church of Palo Alto, California. Covers the interpetive principles, the interpretive process, figurative language, Biblical languages and structural analysis. Very helpful. Available in HTML and Adobe's PDF format.


Christian Biblical Hermeneutics The purpose of Andrew Simeon Kulikovsky's extensive site is "to present a comprehensive and coherent methodology for Biblical interpretation."