Grammatical-Historical and Historical-Critical Methods, Explained and Compared

by nrweastman

Have you seen or heard of the terms “grammatical-historical” and “historical-critical” methods of interpretation?

Are you clear on them? If these confuse or intimidate you, I highly recommend you take 45 minutes and get a sense of exactly what they are, how they are practiced, the philosophies/perspectives that birthed each method, and, of course, how they impact you. These aids will help you do that fairly quickly, in about 45 minutes:

  1. First, get a tutorial through two brief but very helpful answers on a wiki site called the “Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange” (
  2. Next, read “The Presuppositions of the Historical-Grammatical Methods as Employed by Historic Lutheranism” by Raymond F. Surburg, which one of the wiki respondents references. In it, Surburg summarizes much of what many Christians, scholars or not, practice, either de facto or de jure, when interpreting.

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