Bible Interpretation (hermeneutics): The Historical-Critical Method
Bible interpretation (hermeneutics) -- Principles For Interpreting The Bible.
The Historical-Critical Method-- (a.k.a. name "higher criticism"/ theological liberalism). There are two kinds of liberalism operate:
a. Classical (radical) liberalism -- denies God's supernatural intervention in the world; hence, it denies the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ, miracles, etc.
- Unfortunately, the user of this method cannot accept the Bible's claim to be divinely inspired by God.
b. Moderate (progressive) liberalism—The users see themselves as "moderates" perceive as standing between the "extremism of the left" (classical liberalism) and "the extremism of the right" (which they label as "fundamentalism" or "ultra conservativism").
- Although moderate liberals reject classical liberalism's outright denial of supernatural events in the Bible
- Nevertheless, they endorse liberalism's skepticism regarding the full inspiration, trustworthiness, and authority of the Bible.
The Moderate (progressive) users BELIEVE that:
- (a) The Bible is not fully inspired (i.e., some parts of the Bible are more inspired than others).
- (b) The Bible is not fully trustworthy (because of alleged discrepancies, contradictions, and mistakes).
- (c). The Bible is not absolutely authoritative in all that it teaches or touches upon (portions allegedly shaped by the personal or cultural prejudices of the writers and their times are "uninspired" and not binding on us).
- (d) Because of the Bible's many human writers, there is "diversity" in Scripture (i.e., pluralism or conflicting theologies in the Bible).
Their GOAL of Interpretation.
- a. Relying upon "reason dialoguing with Spirit" or "sanctified imagination."
- b. They seek to reconstruct the meaning of Scripture by recreating the real-life situations, the various socio-cultural elements that allegedly shaped the biblical text in a long evolutionary development from its earliest stages to its present form.
- c. In some cases, they may attempt to draw applications ("positive principles") for our time.
A stumbling block to biblical understanding and faithfulness to the text. CM