Jesus Our Interpretation: A Hermeneutical Proposal

It is fairly common to hear people in the Church say that “truth isn’t an idea, truth is a person.” What they mean by this is that the Word of God is truth, and the Word became flesh in the person of Jesus. So in a way truth was personified, Incarnated in the Person of Jesus. This is quite true.

But it seems to me we need to take this down into the details. If Jesus is the truth, then Jesus is interpretation. Jesus is the key that allows us to read the Word of God properly. It is now well known that truth depends upon where you stand, truth is effected by where you happen to be standing. To say that Jesus is truth means that we have chosen to stand in a certain place, to hold certain beliefs and allow them to effect what we see around us.

So far we have not said much of what a few Reformed people have said. But there is more.

If Jesus is our interpretation, then we regularly distort the Scriptures. If Jesus is our interpretation, then His emphases in the gospels become primary tools for how we understand the rest of Scripture. But this isn’t what we do. As good students of systematic theology, we take all of the references on a topic and arrange them together in a logical sequence, giving each element equal weight. But if Jesus’s life becomes the hermeneutic by which we understand everything else, then our balance is suddenly seen as imbalance and Jesus’ biases become balanced. Because Jesus reveals to us the inner-most Godhead, His life provides us with a hermeneutic that allows us to reorient ourselves elsewhere in Scripture, provides us with the ability to weight our emphases properly.

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