What Was a Major Principle of Biblical Interpretation used by the Puritans?

Answer, A Christological focus. Now what the puritans meant by the phrase Christological focus in interpretation needs explained. A major principle of interpretation used by the Puritans was the idea, firmly rooted in Scripture, that all of God’s Word points to Christ.

  • John Owen states, “There are, therefore, such revelations of the person and glory of Christ treasured up in the Scripture, from the beginning unto the end of it, as may exercise the faith and contemplation of believers in this world, and shall never, during this life, be fully discovered or understood.”
  • Thomas Adams (1583–1652) remarks that Christ is the “sum of the whole Bible, prophesied, typified, prefigured, exhibited, demonstrated, to be found in every leaf, almost in every line…. Christ is the main, the centre whither all these lines are referred.”
  • Similarly, commenting on how Christ is the scope of the Scriptures, Richard Sibbes (1577–1635) remarks: “Christ is the pearl of that ring, Christ is the object, the centre wherein all those lines end: take away Christ, what remains?—Therefore, in the whole scriptures let us see that we have an eye to Christ; all is nothing, but Christ.”

Because Christ, as the God-man, makes revelation possible to sinful, finite creatures, He also becomes the foundation and center of the Bible. Christ is, as it were, the fundamentum Scripturae (basic principle of Scripture).


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