Original Research

Hermeneutiek, Schriftgezag en Triniteit

B. Wentsel
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 33, No 3 | a631 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v33i3.631 | © 1999 B. Wentsel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 August 1999 | Published: 17 August 1999

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B. Wentsel, Gravenhage, Netherlands

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Hermeneutics, the authority of Scripture and the Trinity of God

In order to evaluate a scholarly theological publication any student has to be conversant with the philosophical, confessional and social-contextual suppositions (prejudices, apriori’s, the so-called “glasses”) forming the background and frame of interpretation as applied by the author. The presence of suppositions is sometimes predominate and clear, sometimes subordinate and hidden. H. Berkhof for instance, applies at least six sets of apriori’s in his interpretation of the Bible (see Christelijk geloof – 1973). Underlying the use of these interpretative “glasses” a student has to locate the deepest religious source, the point of departure. Apriori’s can, however, be bad and good. The author of this article is convinced of the necessity of applying at least twelve suppositions in the interpretation of the Bible.

In this article the following suppositions will thus be stressed: (1) The Bible is considered as the book of Gods revelation. (2) The fact that the Holy Spirit inspired prophets, apostles, evangelists and collectors (= theopneustia) is supported. (3) The term “Word of God” has a specific meaning as Logos of creation, prophecy, commandment, gospel and so on. (4) The supposition that the Bible is the book of God’s covenant implies that the berit is uniting all the different books and all loci of the Christian faith. (5) In order to interpret the Bible in a just way it is necessary to be reborn. (6) The right balance between the value of the Old and the New Testament should be upheld. It should also be confessed that Jahweh (= He is present for us) is the triune God. (7) The normativity of the whole Bible should be acknowledged in relation to the main contours of God’s revelation (and not only in isolated texts) and even in relation to changing cultural background of the Pésachfeast, the sacrifice-torah and the structure of the covenant. (9) In our interpretation of the Bible we should be on the alert for influences of the devil in opposition to the Holy Spirit. (10) For twenty centuries we have already been members of the Church, the body of Christ. Individualism within the body of Christ can thus imply an underestimation of the work of the Holy Spirit. (11) We remain one Ekklèsia and must listen to the interpretation of the Bible by all churches. (12) The Lord is king over all domains and spheres of life. He also reigns over (leaders of) political, educational and societal-structural affairs, as well as over heads of industry.


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