Hermeneutics

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Biblical Hermeneutics is the study of the interpretation of Scriptures. Hermeneutics is often referred to as both a science and an art. It is a science because there are specific rules concerning hermeneutics. It is also an art because the task of hermeneutics is not a mechanical, dry procedure. As Henry Virkler said, communication is flexible.

The first half of the process of hermeneutics is referred to as exegesis. The goal of exegesis is to discover the meaning of the text through the author's intent. Once the meaning is discovered, then the principles are applied. This application of the principles is the second half of the process of hermeneutics, referred to as contextualization.

One principle of hermeneutics often practiced among Evangelical Christians is "Scripture interprets Scripture," which is the principle that we should read any passage of the Bible in light of the entire Bible and not build a doctrine or position on a single proof text. The principle also holds that we should read obscure passages of Scripture in light of clear passages. Orthodox and Catholic hermeneutics likewise holds as the primary hermeneutical principle that obscure passages of Scripture must be read in light of clear passages as being from the one mind of one Divine Author (the Holy Spirit of God) interpreted infallibly by the same Author guiding the Magisterium in accordance with Apostolic Tradition (see Apostolic succession).

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