Aspects of Biblical Hermeneutics: Confessional Principles and Practical Applications (Text)

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    This supplement to the CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY contains four essays delivered to the Council of Presidents and the joint theological faculties of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod meeting in St.Louis Nov. 29-30, 1965. The topics were assigned to the essayists by the program committee and were designed to dovetail. This is particularly true of the papers by Bouman and Bohlmann, which should be read and studied as a unit. The papers stimulated considerable discussion when they were first presented, although none of the participants in the conference feel that there was enough time to discuss· them adequately. They have undergone no substantive editing. Careful study of these papers will make a decided contribution toward resolving some of the theological arguments which bother us. Many of us who heard them originally feel that we want to read them a second and a third time before we reach a final decision concerning some of the opinions stated in the papers. The four essayists were in agreement that the Holy Scriptures are the final norm for Lutheran theology, and that a Lutheran theologian, by definition, bows cheerfully to this norm. There were two questions put in sharp form by each essayist: What is the nature of Scripture? How does one arrive at a sure grasp of its meaning? Regardless of the form each question may take (and the questions are posed by theologians in a bewildering variety of forms), the questions themselves finally are reduced to these bedrock pastoral concerns. The answer to these questions leads one directly to the heart of the Christian faith, salvation through faith in the incarnate Son of God. Or does faith in the incarnate Son of God lead directly to the answer to these two questions? HERBERT T. MAYER


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