The Principle of Single Meaning

Robert L. Thomas | August 25, 2009

That a single passage has one meaning and one meaning only has been a long-established principle in biblical interpretation. Among evangelicals, recent violations of that principle have multiplied. Violations have included those by Clark Pinnock with his insistence on adding “future” meanings to historical meanings of a text. Mikel Neumann and his expansion of the role of contextualization, Greg Beale and Grant Osborne and their views about certain features of Revelation 11, recent works on hermeneutics and their advocacy of multiple meanings for a single passage, Kenneth Gentry and his preterist views on Revelation, and Progressive Dispensationalism with its promotion of complimentary hermeneutics. The single-meaning principle is of foundational importance in understanding God’s communication with mankind, just as it has been since the creation of the human race. The entrance of sin in Genesis 3 brought a confusion in this area that has continued ever since.

Vol. 12, no. 1 (Spring 2001)

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Thomas, Robert L.. "The Principle of Single Meaning." The Master's Seminary Journal 12, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 33-47.