Jesus Christ: The Interpretive Key to the Holy Scripture

In Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics, Graeme Goldsworthy expands upon the thesis that the gospel (and by that he means the gospel of the person of Jesus Christ) is the definitive key to all Christian hermeneutics (biblical interpretation). Commenting on Goldsworthy's book on the Reformation Theology website (click here to read the whole article) J.W. Hendryx asserts that
Errors and inconsistencies in our understanding of Bible texts occur when our interpretation is less than Christ-centered... Unless our study, however diligent, leads us to see that all Scripture points to Jesus Christ, our study is in vain.
I agree wholeheartedly with his assertion (though I might disagree with some of his conclusions in the full article). In my view, the issue of being fully "Christ-centered" is indeed the "crux" of what we're discussing in this blog.

How, we are asking, does Jesus Christ himself shape our approach to Scripture? In this we are clearly acknowledging that Jesus is above Scripture (or said another way, Scripture serves to reveal Jesus). We worship Jesus, not the Bible. But to hold this view is NOT to devalue Scripture. Rather it is to affirm and rightly use it for what it is -- God's gift to humanity to reveal Godself in the person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.

In order to approach Scripture rightly, in accordance with this God-given purpose, we seek God's own answer to the question, Who is Jesus Christ? And of course, that answer takes us to Scripture where a Christ-centered hermeneutic has led the church historically to find and formulate the doctrine of the Trinity (with Jesus being the incarnate second person of the Godhead), the doctrine of humankind's adoption in Jesus, the doctrine of Jesus' continuing (now glorified) humanity, etc.

To the scriptural revelation of Jesus Christ is added, through the Spirit, our personal experience (encounter) with Jesus. This experience (which is subjective because it is personal), must be understood (interpreted) in the light of the revelation of Jesus given to us in Holy Scripture. This approach toward experience protects individuals and the church from the vagaries of subjective personal experience.

And so whether we're talking about the Bible or about experience -- it's all about receiving God's revelation of Jesus Christ as the God who has added our humanity to his divinity -- a union that is very real and one that can not be broken.