Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Hermeneutical Hoops" and Tithing

    Recently, Les Puryear posted about tithing. I think he makes some good points criticizing the hermeneutical principle that he focused on, which is: if a command is not repeated in the New Testament, then it does not continue. I first came across that principle when reading Ryrie. More recently I've seen it in a Ben Witherington book: “The basic rule of guidance about such things is that if the Old Testament commandment is reaffirmed in the New Testament for Christians, then we are still obligated to do it. If it is not, then we are not" (Jesus and Money, 21).

    I really don't have any issue with Puryear's critiques. My main point in mentioning his post is to point out that I don't hold to that hermeneutical principle whatsoever. I think all of the following are overly simplistic:
- If it's not repeated, it's repealed.
- If it's not repealed, it continues.
- The moral law continues and the moral law is comprised of the 10 commandments.

    That's what I love about the way J. Daniel Hays' says we should interpret the Old Testament laws in Applying the Old Testament Law Today,” Bibliotheca Sacra 158:629 (Jan 2001). His brilliant five step process is much closer to my methodology than what Puryear criticizes. Hays addresses the same issue in a chapter in Grasping God's Word (Zondervan).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A link to the paper that works as of 30-Sep-2011: