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Hermeneutics 101: What is Biblical Theology


As a part of our summer curriculum, I am teaching through our doctrine class and my first attempt at our new hermeneutics class. The class consists of two major elements. The first is reading through Robert Plummer's 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible. I think this book is outstanding for laymen. It is a great read and an even better resource for teachers to have on their shelves.

The second element to this class are my lectures built off of Graeme Goldsworthy's Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scriptures. Though I find myself at serious odds with Goldsworthy (look for my book review in the future), the book is wonderful as an introduction for Biblical Theology. I am attempting to mix in many of my own personal views and opinions throughout the lectures. Those lectures will be presented here in video form.

PDF Notes

Class Review

The discussion of this class was excellent. There was some lengthy review over the different perspective on inspiration. There wasn't much disagreement. Just simple "working out" to the practical conclusions of many common understandings. 

There was some interesting discussion on how "dictated" certain portions of the Scripture truly are. In particular were 1) the examples of the law and 2) the "thus says the Lord" of the prophets. I'm not sure I would come down in the conservative portion of the field. But I certainly came down far enough from the liberal playground.

Without going into the extreme details, I personally prefer for people to focus their attention on the written Scriptures when we discuss inspiration. Technically that doesn't include the graven stone tablets, which we can't confirm were written in Hebrew, nor requires verbatim dictation of the visions of the prophets. Especially with respect to the prophets it is a modern mindset that perceives a verbal dictation to these portions of the prophets. It is certainly possible that this is what happened. But we shouldn't be dogmatic unless the Scriptures stress it. Instead, it is safer to say that the prophets clearly communicated faithfully the visions that the LORD God gave to them. No error was introduced into God's message for His people.

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