In endeavoring to understand a text we apply the principles of Biblical Hermeneutics (ΕΡΜΗΝΕΥΤΙΚΑ), the science and art of interpretation. Relying on the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit "to lead us into all the truth," we employ hermeneutical principles to "rightly divide the Word."
The practical application of hermeneutics is Exegesis (ΕΞΗΓΗΣΙΣ), meaning "to lead out" and hence metaphorically "to draw out in narrative, and unfold in teaching." From Louw and Nida: "to make something fully known by careful explanation or by clear revelation."
The verbal form of "exegesis" occurs but once in the New Testament, a hapax legomenon, but this solitary instance shows its intrinsic meaning: "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."
Chief among the hermeneutical tools we employ for sound exegesis are:
- Learn the Lexical Meanings - Find the natural and native meanings of words
- Consider the Context - Anchor a text within its semantic, authoral and cultural milieu
- Apply the Analogy of Faith - Scripture interprets Scripture and will not contradict itself
- Analysis of Specific Words
- Every branch in me
- Gender of the Holy Spirit
- Groaning and Gospel Hope
- John 1.1 - A god?