Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Chapter 7 of Louis Berkhof’s book Principles of Biblical Interpretation (PDF online here) entitled Theological Interpretation, has some great quotes that make an appropriate follow-up to my last post. Enjoy!

The more perfect revelation of the New Testament illumines the pages of the Old. Sometimes New Testament writers furnish explicit and striking explanations of Old Testament passages, and reveal depths that might easily have escaped the interpreter. (137-138)

The Word of God is an organic production, and consequently the separate books that constitute it are organically related to one another. The Holy Spirit so directed the human authors in writing the books of the Bible that their productions are mutually complimentary. (138)

The interpreter should make it his aim to discover, not merely what message each book contained for the contemporaries of the authors, but what permanent value it has, what word of God it conveys to all following generations. (139)

God revealed himself not only in words, but also in facts. The two go together and are mutually complimentary. The words explain the facts, and the facts give concrete embodiment to the words… It follows from the preceding that the expositor may not rest satisfied with a mere understanding of the Scripture narratives as such. He must discover the underlying meaning of such facts as the call of Abraham, the wresting of Jacob, Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt, the deep humiliation through which David passed before he ascended the throne. Full justice must be done to the symbolical and typical character of Israel’s history. (142-143)

It is patent that the types present the truth in a veiled form, while the New Testament realities dispel the shadows and make the truth stand forth with undimmed luster. (146-147)

In giving man His Word, He was not only perfectly aware of all that was said, but also of all that this implied… Says Bannerman: ‘The consequences that are deduced from Scripture by unavoidable inference, and more largely still the consequences that are deduced from a comparison of the various Scripture statements among themselves, were foreseen by infinite wisdom in the very act of supernaturally inspiring the record from which they are inferred; and the Revealer not only knew that men would deduce such consequences, but designed that they should do so.’ Therefore not only the express statements of Scripture, but its implications as well, must be regarded as the Word of God. (158-159)

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