Biblical Hermeneutics

Biblical Hermeneutics D1-1






Question 1

Bible interpretation involves a deeper understanding and knowledge of the word of God. The interpretation is faced with various challenges which include cultural distance, the distance of language, geographical distances, and distance of time. The easiest challenge to the interpretation of the Bible is the geographical distance which is the difference in positions from where it was first written (Zuck, 2002). The geographic distance is perhaps a situation that does not hold so much on the interpretation factors since some people of the same language and culture can also be separated by space difference. Far from that, the geographical distance cannot affect the position of understanding the bible regarding the meaning and getting the real words. This can be solved since it doesn’t affect interpretation so much (Kaiser, Walter, and Moises, 2009)

On the other hand, the distance of language can be difficult to solve since it is the barrier between two language groups. For instance, it is true that that interpretation entirely depends on the language of the original authors due to the difference in meaning and words. In most of the case, understanding a language that is far from your language may be a challenge due to the basic purpose and other grammar problems that will automatically affect the interpretation (Fraser and Ryan, 2010). For example, the Hebrew language is very far from the African languages and therefore for the sake of adequate interpretation, it will call for a clear understanding of the original bible language in comparison to the current language. The original language of the Bible has few words as compared to the other translation, and hence for a clear interpretation, the original may be needed for some words. Therefore, this can be solved by comparison learning between the languages (Fee, Gordon, and Douglas, 2014).

Question 2

The history of bible interpretation become some periods in the past. During the Reformation period that took place in the 1500s, the reformers built on the literal approach of the Antiochene schools and the victories in understanding the bible (Grant, Robert, and David, 2008).  Martin Luther who claimed to be one of the monks during those times stressed on the literal sense of the Bible. In his book, he wrote that the scriptures are to be retrained in their simplest forms and meanings ever possible to enable the understanding of the grammar and the little sense of the words. He stressed back from the origin that literal method of interpretation that has led to the emphasis of the original languages. Moreover, Luther emphasized that every Christian has the possibility of studying and understanding the bible by himself or herself when he or she decides to make that effort (Luther, 2012).

Presently, most of the bible scholars use the literal method of going through the Bible from its original Hebrew language. Despite the various translation of the Bible from the original language that has taken place ever since with the aim of making sure that the word of God is spread in different settings. Therefore, based on the Luther and his scholar’s concern of the method of interpretation which they believed to be having much impact than the others that were given by others scholars, there has been some progress in the understanding magnitude of the bible. The original Hebrew and Greek languages have been at the top with people making references based on the text words and their meanings for making the comparison (Daniell, 2003).


Daniell, David. The Bible in English: Its history and influence. Berghahn Books, 2003.

Grant, Robert McQueen, and David Tracy. A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible. Fortress Pr, 2008.

Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas Stuart. How to read the Bible for all its worth. Zondervan, 2014.

Fraser, Ryan Noel. The spiritual narratives of adoptive parents: Constructions of Christian faith stories and pastoral theological implications. Texas Christian University, 2010.

Kaiser Jr, Walter C., and Moises Silva. Introduction to Biblical hermeneutics: The search for meaning. Zondervan, 2009.

Luther, Martin. Martin Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish People: A Reader. Fortress Press, 2012.

Zuck, Roy B. Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth. David C Cook, 2002.