Biblical Hermeneutics: Foundational Considerations -- By: Robert L. Thomas

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 13:2 (Fall 2008)
Article: Biblical Hermeneutics: Foundational Considerations
Author: Robert L. Thomas

Biblical Hermeneutics: Foundational Considerations

Robert L. Thomas

Robert Thomas studied at Moody Bible institute and at Faith Theological Seminary. From 1956 to 1959, he was an instructor and grading assistant at Dallas Theological Seminary while completing his doctoral program. Dr. Thomas is best-known for A Harmony of the Gospels (editor, Moody Press, 1978), and Revelation 1-7: An Exegetical Commentary (Moody, 1992), and its companion volume Revelation 8-22, also published by Moody (1995). Dr. Thomas also served as the general editor for the award winning New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance (Holman, 1981). Dr. Thomas has served on the board of directors for the Orinoco River Mission and for the Bible Church Mission. Throughout his years of ministry, he has been active in his local church, in Bible conference ministries, and in pulpit supply. In 1959 he became the first full-time seminary faculty member at Talbot Theological Seminary. He served at Talbot as chairman of the department of New Testament Language and Literature until 1987 when he joined the faculty at The Master's Seminary.


A gradual drift from confidence in the integrity of the Bible is well underway. A vast portion of Christendom does not adhere to belief in the verbal (every word) plenary (in every section) inspiration (God-breathed) and thus inerrancy of God’s word. Believers with a high view of inspiration need to face this reality as David faced Goliath—not intimidated, but ready to take up the challenge.

How To Remedy The Drifting

Second Timothy 2:15 provides the remedy that would halt the doctrinal slippage that was happening in Ephesus. This verse and its context bring out several key elements to arrest the drift.

Timothy’s Goal

Paul does not tell Timothy to attack the problem directly, but instructs him to use indirect means. In essence, he says, “Do not confront these men directly, though sometimes that may be necessary (“reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering,” 2 Timothy 4:2b). Rather your goal, Timothy, is to gain the approval of God by making yourself an unashamed workman. Concentrate on the positive side of teaching the Word of truth. Be a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser. You are not to allow yourself to be distracted by mere human considerations. You are to have an eye that is single toward His will and glory. You are looking for His seal of approval. Strive to maintain His standards so that you have nothing to be ashamed of before Him.”

The word for “approved” (dokimon) in ...

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