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Scripture Reading:  2 Peter 1:12-21


Hermeneutics (Part 2)


Hermeneutics and Bible Authority:

God has Spoken to Us by Christ



1.  Brethren are abandoning the “old” hermeneutics (time-tested, scripturally sound ways of interpreting scripture & establishing Bible authority) for a “new” hermeneutic.

2.  However, NH leaves man w/ no certain guide, standard or authority (Jgs. 21:25).

3.  In order to properly understand the Bible (& to refute the errors of the "new hermeneutics") we must understand 3 fundamental truths.



  A.  The Periods of Time of God Speaking to Man is Divided into Two Epochs – Heb. 1:1-2.

    1.  “In time past” (of old time) – OT revelation by prophets.

    2.  “In these last days”NT revelation by His Son.

    3.  Both revelations are in the form of words which can be understood by the common laws of human language – Heb. 2:1-3.

  B.  Christ is the Full Embodiment and Expression of God – Jno. 1:1 (Col. 2:9); Col. 1:15.  (Called “the Word”)

    1.  He fully revealed the grace & truth of God – Jno. 1:14, 17-18

    2.  This revelation is given in words which man can & must understand to obtain eternal life – Jno. 12:48-50.


II.  THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST IS EXPRESSED IN THE WORDS OF THE NT (Jno. 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2:13; 4:6; 14:37; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Jno. 9). 

  A.  His Authority is Revealed in a Word (message) that was Delivered - Taught - Learned.

    1.  Delivered – Jude 3 (Jno. 16:13).

    2.  Taught – Mk. 16:15; 2 Ths. 2:15.

    3.  Learned – Rom. 16:17; (Eph. 4:20-21).

  B.  Christ’s Authority is Revealed in General and Specific Terms.

    1.  “Go” – Mk. 16:15.  (General, allowing choices)

    2.  Preach “gospel” – Mk. 16:15 (Specific message, eliminating all else).

  C.  His Authority is Established (made known) in Three Ways:  

    [These principles of communicating authority are not peculiar to the Bible; they are inherent in the function of language.]  Illus:  Lord’s Supper…

    1.  What? – Direct statement or command – 1 Cor. 11:24.

    2.  When? – Approved example (1st day of week – Acts 20:7).

    3.  How often? – Necessary inference (every 1st day – Acts 20:7).

  D.  The Apostles Understood & Established Christ’s Authority in these Same Three Ways Acts 15.

    1.  15:7-11 – Holy Spirit falling upon Gentiles approved example of God’s acceptance of them.

    2.  15:12 – God’s approval of preaching to Gentiles is necessarily inferred from the miracles of Paul when he preached to Gentiles.

    3.  15:16-19 – The direct statement of Amos 9:11-12 promised the same salvation to Jews & Gentiles alike.

    4.  15:24 – When God is silent, we are not to teach or act!

  E.  The Word of the Lord was Preserved & is to be Applied “Forever”1 Pet. 1:23-25; 2 Pet. 1:12-15.

    1.  Religious error (incl. the NH) often claims the NT gives only vague generalities but it is not strictly binding today.

    2.  Such error cuts us off from the authority of Christ & His word – We are left without a clear standard, only the opinions, emotions, traditions and wisdom of man (Col. 2:8).

    3.  Ever-abiding word continues to contain divine authority!



  A.  Divine Revelation is a Pattern of “Truth in Love” Eph. 4:15; cf. 1 Tim. 3:14-15; 2 Tim. 1:13.

    1.  We are saved when we obey its pattern (mold) – Rom. 6:17.

    2.  Must follow the NT pattern – 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Jno. 9 (Col. 3:17).

      a.  Must establish Bible authority for what we teach & do – 1 Ths. 5:21-22

      b.  Must not transgress, alter or go beyond its authority – Acts 15:24.  (Silence of the Scriptures restrains us from acting.) 

      c.  We must speak where the Bible speaks & be silent where the Bible is silent – 1 Cor. 4:6 (Heb. 7:12-14).

  B.  Restoration is Necessary when we Depart from the Bible (Divine) Pattern (1 Tim. 4:1).  [it is also possible, because we can understand the pattern of truth!]

    1.  Departure destroys right relation with God & with His people – 2 Jno. 9-11.

    2.  Where there is departure & apostasy, we must plead for restoration & salvation (Jer. 6:16; Jas. 5:19-20).  Consider Josiah (2 Chrn. 34:29-33)



1.  NT is God’s message to us through His Son Jesus Christ.

2.  NT contains/reveals His authority for us to live by (Col. 3:17).

3.  We must be content with what God has said instead of rationalizing on the basis of what He has not said!