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Long For Truth: Hermeneutics: What, How, Why, When, Where?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hermeneutics: What, How, Why, When, Where?

It's important to start 2015 right. And for the believer that usually means a resolution to read more of the Bible. And it's a good resolution. But how about a resolution, not only to read more of God's Word, but to study it!

Most people seem to be content with reading 3, or 4, or maybe even 5 chapters a day. But how many people would actually sit down for a solid hour to study? When I say study I don't just mean reading, and highlighting, and such. I mean digging deep; going beyond the norm and really understand and applying that Word to your daily living.

That's what the main goal is for hermeneutics. It's not just reading, it's studying and applying. And hopefully, God will grant me the grace to help you on your journey. This series intends to walk you through, step-by-step, the hermeneutical process. My goal is to get you started by taking 1 chapter from the Bible and really analyzing it to the point where you know exactly what it says and how you apply it. 1 chapter doesn't sound too ambitious, but you'll soon discover that it's a lot of work. Whew!

For this particular series I'm going to be using a few tools that you may want to invest in or find other comparable tools. Here's what you'll need in general:

  1. I'm going to be using two key textbooks to outline the hermeneutical process. They are Grasping God's Word and Preaching God's Word. Both book are co-authored by the same author and compliment each other. Pictures of them are below. 

  2. You'll also need some kind of text editor such as MS Word, Pages, Open Office, etc. Copying and pasting is much easier than trying to hand-write Scripture passages. 
  3. I'll be mainly using Logos Bible software and making reference to theWord Bible software. You can use a plain old Bible but I believe software will make your time in the Word much more efficient. Don't worry about price, there are a lot of good free ones that work fine. I'll mention them during our journey. 
  4. Most of all you'll need patience! This is not going to be an easy task. I promise you, at some point you'll get frustrated and want to quit. You'll get angry and slam your Bible shut. You'll think it's too hard. And it will be. Don't expect a pay-off right away. Study takes time but the fruit it reaps will be well worth it in the end. 

We're going to take this slow so that we can digest every little part. At the end of each section I'll try to post a short video walking you through the process of what we went over that day. I know some people need to actually see it in action to aid in the learning process. It's okay, I'm like that, too. 

That's pretty much it for this post. In the next post I'll discuss some common pitfalls of interpretation before we actually dive into a text. Remember, we're going to take this slow. We need to learn this process and practice a little at a time as we learn. In the end, we'll be able to put the whole thing together. 

God bless you in this new year, and I hope you'll keep coming back to enrich your time in the Word.

Soli Deo gloria!

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