Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Preface to 1st edition 11
Preface to 2nd edition 16

Book One

The Source of Truth 17

  1. Introduction 18
  2. How knowledge is acquired and truth established 21
    • A philosophical process of acquiring knowledge 22
    • A theological Process 25
    • The error of experience or reports before scripture 27
    • The error of poor analysis and interpretation 27
    • Theories of truth 29
  3. The Bible and truth 32
    • The Bible and revelation 34
    • The inspiration of scripture 36
    • Facets of inspiration 38
    • The extent of biblical inspiration 40
    • The impact of the Reformation on the doctrine of inspiration 41
    • The truthfulness and trustworthiness of the Bible 42
    • The divine-human authoring partnership 43
    • Nothing in the Bible is superfluous 45
    • Preservation and collation of the manuscripts 46
    • The Canon of Scripture 47
    • Once was lost but now is found 48
    • The criteria revisited 49
    • The Gospel of Thomas 51
    • The Sufficiency of the Bible 57
    • The reliability of the New Testament 57
  4. Five forms of the Word of God 59
    • The Proclaimed Word of God 61
    • Translation and Interpretation 62
    • The Illuminated Word 66
    • The Manifested Word 67
  5. Jesus as the source of truth 69
    • Jesus is God 71
    • Other testimonies to Jesus and his divinity 73
    • Implications of Jesus as the divine source of truth 74
    • Jesus the Centre 75
    • Jesus the Interpreter of Scripture 76
  6. Importance of identifying the source of truth 78
    • The implications of regarding sense data and reports as the source of truth 79
    • The implications of regarding church and Bible as the source of truth 80
    • The implications of regarding Jesus as the source of truth 81
    • Simplified and clearer hermeneutical principles 81
    • Greater possibility of doctrinal unity 83
    • The unity of the scriptures 84
    • The greatest benefit 84

Book Two

Comprehending the Truth 86

  1. Introduction 87
  2. A History of Biblical Interpretation 90
    • Ancient Jewish Interpretation 91
    • Patristic Interpretation 95
    • Medieval, Reformation, and Post-Reformation Interpretation 101
    • Making sense of historic trends 105
  3. Modern Interpretive Options 106
    • The direction of interpretation 108
    • Correlating modern interpretive options with historic trends 110
  4. The Text and the Meaning 112
    • Sensus Plenior 113
    • Can a text contain more than one meaning? 114
    • Literal or Figurative 116
    • Allegorical interpretation 118
  5. Both-And Exegesis 121Mystery 127
    • Antinomies 121
    • Flatland 123
    • Interpretive Triads 125
  6. Levels of Meaning 130
    • Four Levels of Meaning 132
    • A return to the Fathers of the Faith 137
    • A note on Gnosticism 160
  7. Christocentricity 161Encountering Jesus in the Bible 174
    • One-dimensional  Christocentricy. 163
    • Two-dimensional Christocentricity 166
    • Three-dimensional Christocentricity 167
    • The Christocentric Principle 170
    • Applying the Christocentric Principle 171
  8. Conclusion 178
    • Appendix  A  – A philosophical model of knowledge acquisition 181
    • Appendix  B   –  Theories of Truth 186
    • Appendix  C  –  Modern hermeneutic options 188
    • Appendix D   The Christocentric Principle – 190
    • A Jesus-centred hermeneutic 190
    • Abstract 190
    • Introduction 191
    • Definition 193
    • Biblical Underpinning 195
    • Application Example 199
    • Objections 201
    • Trinitarian or Theocentric hermeneutics 201
    • Canonical hermeneutics 202
    • Dogmatic hermeneutical systems 203
    • Conclusion 204
    • Reading List 206