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Collapse SummarySummary
Collapse IntroductionIntroduction
Let's define sound doctrine
Let's focus on sound doctrine about God
Let's focus on sound doctrine from the Bible
Let the Bible tell us how to study the Bible
What aspects of God are we interested in?
Collapse Why is finding sound doctrine difficult?Why is finding sound doctrine difficult?
Satan tries to spread lies
We like lies
Other people accept lies
All this makes truth rare
Collapse Why should we have sound doctrine?Why should we have sound doctrine?
So that we don't worship in vain
So that we don't destroy ourselves
So that we don't persecute true believers
Collapse Sound doctrine is top secretSound doctrine is top secret
Do you really have sound doctrine?
God hides sound doctrine
Why does God hide sound doctrine?
Man cannot find sound doctrine
Collapse From whom is sound doctrine hidden?From whom is sound doctrine hidden?
From the clever and intelligent
From those who don't understand God's power
From the scoffer
From the liar and deceiver
From those who suppress the truth
From the wicked
From those who don't have a good heart
From those who receive glory from men
Collapse The source and channel of sound doctrineThe source and channel of sound doctrine
Sound doctrine comes from Christ
Sound doctrine comes through the Holy Spirit
Collapse To whom is sound doctrine revealed?To whom is sound doctrine revealed?
To those who seek
To those who fear the Lord
To those who love the truth
To those who obey God
To the humble
Collapse How to test whether you have sound doctrineHow to test whether you have sound doctrine
You understand what God expects?
You know you still sin?
You are trying to stop sinning?
You are making progress in stopping sinning?
Do you love?
Are your prayers answered?
Collapse Unscriptural methods for getting sound doctrineUnscriptural methods for getting sound doctrine
Having no method
Using the historical / grammatical method
Collapse Interpret Scripture properlyInterpret Scripture properly
How did Jesus interpret Scripture?
A scriptural approach to getting sound doctrine
Collapse Parting thoughtsParting thoughts
Seek to know the Lord
Test every spirit
Estimate yourself soberly
Ask God to teach you
Make yourself the guinea pig
Study, practice, then teach
When you teach, refuse quarrels
When you teach, be gentle
When you teach, be loving
Guard what is entrusted to you

Using the grammatical-historical or normative method

Having no method for studying Scripture is certainly a bad thing. But coming up with your own method is not very sensible either. Common sense would dictate that if God gave you a puzzle He would also give you the decoder to the puzzle. So don’t go and try and come up with your own decoder.

But some people have done just that!

I’m not kidding. There is this method called the normative hermeneutic – that is, the so called standard way of interpreting Scripture. It is also sometimes called the grammatical-historical method. It has rules for how to get the meaning of words, phrases, sentences, figures of speech, and so on. It says that more recent text must be interpreted in the light of older text. It gives preference to simplicity, clarity, knowability, elegance and efficiency.

All this may sound very sensible and logical, but the humble man doesn’t go by logic! He looks to the teacher to even teach him how to learn.

So my question is this: where does Scripture back such a strategy?

And did Jesus use such a strategy? The follower of Jesus will also follow Him in interpreting Scripture, won’t he?

Jesus was the master at understanding and explaining the Old Testament. Yet, He never used the grammatical-historical method for interpreting the Old Testament. Do you ever see Him explaining a verse in the Old Testament by expounding on the root of some ancient Hebrew word?

If you want to learn how to interpret Scripture correctly you should study how Jesus interpreted Scripture. Learn from the Master, not from some ignorant so-called scholar.

Further, do you see Stephen in Acts 7 or Paul in various places, or any of the other disciples using anything remotely resembling the normative hermeneutic when expounding the Old Testament? None of the writers of the New Testament used the grammatical-historical method when quoting the Old Testament! So why should you?

Some people proudly say that they are “Sola Scriptura” meaning that they stick to the Bible only, but when it comes to figuring out how to interpret the Bible they don’t get their ideas from the Bible but from some man-made method like the grammatical-historical method. I find that quite funny.

Paul specifically mentions that an accurate handling of the word of truth involves not wrangling about words (2 Tm 2:14, 15). However, the grammatical-historical method inevitably leads to wrangling about words and therefore cannot be the correct way to interpret Scripture.

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