In her article, “Group Thinking: Reading the Bible with new eyes is not easy to do,” author Andree Seu listed some good hermeneutical habits she is cultivating daily as she reads the Word.
(This article appeared in the February 14, 2009 edition of World Magazine)
1) Whenever possible, read a verse as applying to myself (e.g., “Be filled with all the fullness of God” -Ephesians 3:19).
2) Do not assume, without good reason, that a teaching is meant only for the early church (e.g., “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” -1 Corinthians 14:1; “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” -James 5:14).
3) Do not assume, without good reason, that a blessing is meant only for the future, at Christ’s return (e.g., “that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the greatness of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the daed” -Ephesians 1:18-20).
4) Prefer, unless there is good reason, the plain meaning of a passage, over the poetic or deflated (e.g., “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” -Ephesians 3:20).
5) Err on the side of expecting too much from God (e.g., “Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you” -John 16:23).
God wants us to understand His Word. He can make a flower grow through the cracks in a city sidewalk. But it’s much easier to have the eyes of your heart enlightened when you’re surrounded by other people with good eyes; hermeneutics is communal. Still, you can always be the first one in your pond.
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.