‘Biblical hermeneutics’ is the science and discipline of biblical interpretation. It inevitably involves exegesis, which is the act of interpreting, explaining and drawing out the meaning of the text. The goal in applying the principles of hermeneutics is, to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), and fully to understand the meaning of what the text is saying. In this regard there are three key questions:
- What does the text say?
- What did the text mean to those who originally read it?
- What does the text mean to me now?
Biblical interpretation is complicated by the fact that the Bible is written in many literary styles. Some passages are instructive, prescriptive, and concrete; others are narrative, imaginative and/or poetic. Some commands are historically conditioned and others are timeless. To help us understand and submit to the authority of biblical principles, we humbly seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we study the Scriptures.