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Principles of Faithful Biblical Interpretation

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Hold in your mind this image from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress: the path to the Celestial City. The central figure of the story, Christian, is summoned to leave the City of Destruction and sojourn upon this difficult path. The path is straight, but fraught with peril. If Christian can faithfully walk this path, avoiding snares like the House of Legality, Vanity Fair, and Doubting Castle, he will arrive at his destination safely. Bunyan reminds us that we do not travel alone: just as Christian had Faithful, Hopeful, and Great-heart, so we too walk in the company of other saints.

God's word is described as a lamp to our feet in this journey (Ps. 119:105). Without properly interpreting the word, the church will fall into cavernous ruin. In this chapter, we will examine seven principles of faithful biblical interpretation. Some of these principles reinforce one another, while others balance each other. All of these principles interlock. If we get these principles right, our churches will thrive. If we get them wrong, our churches will wither. The costs of failure are immeasurably large; the rewards of success are unimaginably great. So we cry out with the Psalmist, "Give me life according to your word!" (Ps. 119:25) With that prayer, we will begin examination of the following seven principles:

1. The clarity of Scripture

2. The necessity of the Spirit

3. Christocentric exegesis

4. A New Covenant perspective

5. Sola scriptura

6. The sufficiency of Scripture

7. The testimony of the persecuted cloud of witnesses

Kuruvilla, Finny. King Jesus Claims His Church: A Kingdom Vision for the People of God (Kindle Locations 1177-1191). Anchor-Cross Publishing. Kindle Edition.