(Read Part 6)

We have been considering four essential principles that are necessary to holding a proper understanding of literal interpretation. These are the univocal nature of language, the jurisdiction of authorial intent, the unitary authorship of Scripture and the textually-based locus of meaning.

Here are some concluding thoughts about the entire subject we have been studying.

What do these factors of literal interpretation mean for certain aspects of current dispensational McCune Quote 6-14-16interpretation? They rule out double fulfillment, near and far fulfillment, some prophecies that are considered “generic,”[1] “typological-prophetical” interpretation, “patterns” of fulfillment and certain forms of indirect “linkage” (including “complementary fulfillment”) between Old Testament prophecies and the present age. Despite the denials and nuances to the contrary, this all comes perilously near to simple resignification of a text. These all violate one or more of the above principles of literal interpretation, and result in the confusion of Israel and the church and other distinctions to one degree or another.

Without elaboration, some of the implications of the above four factors of literal interpretation are seen in the following chart:

McCune Chart June 14, 2016The New Testament use of the Old Testament is a complicated field of study, but it would be better hermeneutics to say that the self-contained, textually-based meaning of the Old Testament is never violated or given resignification in the New Testament. It would be more prudent to look for an application or an adaptation by the New Testament of the textually-based Old Testament meaning. This could be in an analogical or a principial fashion, such as that in Acts 13:46-47 (cf. Isa. 49:6), or in 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 (cf. Isa. 28:11), or in Matthew 2:15 (cf. Hos. 11:1), to name a few. In this way, the integrity of the text of both testaments is upheld. Also, the integrity of human language—along with the truth intentions of the Biblical authorship—is maintained.

Dr. Rolland D. McCune served at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary from 1981 to 2009 as professor of systematic theology, dean of the faculty and president. He previously taught at Central Baptist Seminary for 14 years. He is the author of A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, 3 vols. (Allen Park, MI: DBTS, 2008-2010) as well as other books and many journal articles. It is a truly a blessing to welcome him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.

Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Rolland D. McCune. Used by permission of the author.

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995
by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

[1] As an example, the “prophet . . . like” Moses in Deut. 18:18 is a series of individuals that culminated in Jesus Christ, “the Prophet” (John 1:21). This is made clear in Deut. 18:9-22, especially vv. 21-22.