The Christocentric Principle – A Jesus-Centred Hermeneutic

This article was published in Conspectus, the peer-reviewed journal of the South African Theological Seminary.

There are many different understandings of the word ‘Christocentric’ both among past and current scholars. In this article the author aligns with those who regard the life, teaching and person of the Lord Jesus Christ as the locus of doctrinal formulation and proclamation but applies this approach specifically to the hermeneutic enterprise. The key contention is that scripture should be interpreted primarily from the perspective of Jesus’ character, values, principles, and priorities as revealed either directly or indirectly by the biblical revelation of what he said and did. This is called the Christocentric Principle. The article proceeds from interacting with other scholars who hold a similar view, to identifying the biblical support for the argument, to a brief example of how the principle can be applied. Before concluding, the author deals briefly with some objections to the central idea espoused.

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