The superiority of an originalist hermeneutic

By David Gunn

In the previous article, I suggested that there are three essential principles for an originalist interpretation of Scripture: the text means what the author meant; the text means what it says; and the text cannot mean what it never originally meant. In this installment, I’d like to examine a few popular non-originalist hermeneutical approaches that are in vogue today, and then offer some reasons why I believe originalism is far superior to these approaches.

Popular Non-Originalist Approaches

For the purposes of this article, we won’t be discussing approaches that have mainly held sway outside our fundamentalist and conservative evangelical circles (such as the higher criticism of Protestant liberalism or the new hermeneutic of Fuchs and Ebeling). One needn’t embrace these obviously problematic approaches to drift into unsound hermeneutical waters. Here are just a few of the problematic hermeneutical approaches that have become popular closer to home.