phenomenological

Creation Hermeneutics: The Role of Science

October, 2017

As Christians, we believe the Bible is the Word of God without error in the original manuscripts. We trust that God has overseen the preservation of the texts. There are some minor differences among the many available copies, but those differences don’t affect any major doctrines. The extant copies are so numerous and similar that what was in the originals is often discernible. The canon of scripture is closed. So we have a reliable Word that we are commanded to study and live by.

The question naturally arises as to how we should interpret scripture. Since scripture is from God, it is absolute truth that is superior to all other ways of knowing, including philosophy and science. Where scripture has spoken clearly, it has the last epistemological word. To understand what scripture teaches on a topic, all the relevant passages must be considered. Scripture can never contradict itself, so our interpretation must be consistent with all the relevant passages. Sometimes the words of a passage must be studied in their original language to understand how the translators dealt with them. Grammar and context must be considered. The type of literature must be discerned—is a passage written in narrative form or something else? Sometimes a particular topic may not be addressed in scripture or it may be alluded to figuratively, allegorically, or even phenomenologically. Phenomenological language can provide an accurate description of how something is experienced but without an intent of a complete physical description.

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