General Revelation and Biblical Hermeneutics

Robert L. Thomas | May 18, 2010

General revelation’s noticeable impact on biblical interpretation has resulted from applying a broader definition of general revelation than is justifiable. Considerations for prohibiting general revelation from including such matters as science, mathematics, literature, and music include the following: (1) “General” cannot refer the content of the revelation; (2) biblical references to general revelation limit it to information about God; (3) sin distorts human discoveries of the non-Christian world in secular fields; and (4) general revelation is readily accessible to all, not just to specialists in various fields. Hermeneutics deals with the principles of biblical interpretation. Unwarranted definitions of general revelation have led to widespread attempts to integrate general with special revelation, a step that is unwarranted because truth exists in varying degrees of certitude, all truth does not possess the same authority, all truth does not fall on receptive ears, and general revelation does not include the fields of secular study. The emergence of integrative efforts has coincided with a growing tentativeness in biblical hermeneutics because of the integration of secular disciplines with biblical hermeneutics. Psychology’s promotion of self-love provides a good example of the adverse effects of general revelation and integration on biblical hermeneutics.

Vol. 9, no. 1 (Spring 1998)

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Thomas, Robert L.. "General Revelation and Biblical Hermeneutics." The Master's Seminary Journal 9, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 4-23.