Chapter II:48: Hermeneutical Canons, Part 1

Our AUTHOR yet supplies for us hermeneutical Canons rightly to be observed: 1.  that the Exposition of Scripture ought principally to be made by the very Words of Scripture found elsewhere, but those that are Clearer, not obscurer, or equally obscure:  AUGUSTINE, book II de Doctrina Christiana, chapter IX, opera, tome 3, part I, column 19, well advised, In order to illustrate obscurer expressions let examples be drawn from clearer expressions.  But, although it is hardly able to be sufficiently commended, that in the Interpretation of Scripture we ought to makde the Biblical style familiar to ourselves, according to the example of Paul and others, who with him were lead by the same Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 13; nevertheless there is not to be such a scrupulous adherence to the Biblical expression that we altogether abstain from other words that are suitable to denote a matter, and are well-known by use, which sort of word is Sacrament, which, having been received by Ecclesiastical use, has become the most familiar for designating the signs and seals of the Covenant of Grace; or even from those that the impiety of heretics playing with the words of Scripture has required to be used, which sort of word is ὁμοούσιος/ homoousios.[1]

[1] The term, ὁμοούσιος/homoousios, was used by the orthodox of the fourth century to express that Christ share the same nature with the Father, and also to expose the error of the Arians, who were content with the words of Scripture, but not its sense, on this matter.

1 thought on “Chapter II:48: Hermeneutical Canons, Part 1

  1. Westminster Confession of Faith 1:9: ‘The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture [which is not manifold, but one], it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.’

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