Four principles of older hermeneutics [Richard Barcellos]

#1 The Holy Spirit is the Only Infallible Interpreter of Holy Scripture.

…later texts shed interpretive light on earlier texts

#2 The Analogy of the Scriptures (Analogia Scripturae)

“The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself . . .” (2LCF 1.9).

#3 The Analogy of Faith (Analogia Fidei)

The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. (2LCF 1.9)

#4 The Scope of the Scriptures (Scopus Scripturae)

Coxe said, “. . .  in all our search after the mind of God in the Holy Scriptures we are to manage our inquiries with reference to Christ.”[6]

Their Christocentric interpretation of the Bible was a principle derived from the Bible itself, and an application of sola Scriptura to the issue of hermeneutics. In other words, they viewed the Bible’s authority as extending to how we interpret the Bible. Or it could be stated this way: they saw the authority of Scripture extending to the interpretation of Scripture.

[HT: Reformedontheweb]

Biblical Typology [Mark Chanski | RBS | VIDEO]

Reformed Baptist Seminary:

Pastor Mark Chanski
Pastor Mark Chanski

What is typology? What are some examples of types in the Bible? What are the biblical principles to guide the interpreter in discerning and expounding biblical types? Pastor Mark Chanski, professor of Hermeneutics for Reformed Baptist Seminary, addresses these and other questions in the lecture below. If you’d like to audit the entire class, click here.

58 minute video:


Richard Barcellos’ Journey in the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility + Recommended Resources for Studying the Doctrine

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

Richard Barcellos:

…in my journey in impassibility, there was a time when I was not equipped to understand the issues in such a manner as to be able to make my way through various discussions on a properly informed level. In other words, I found myself in over my head quite often, at first not even realizing it. At one time, I was sympathetic to what men like Rob Lister, Donald Macleod, and K. Scott Oliphint are now advocating. However, I do not think I was able to read those views with the proper lens of the historic Christian doctrine of God, which I think is the biblical view, and that which was assumed and confessed by the framers of our confession. What I once thought was somewhat of a contemporary side issue I now believe to be a front-and-center issue. Impassibility, in its classical and pre-critical/Enlightenment form, is what we confess…

I could not have articulated a consistent view of divine impassibility at that time. It took further study, careful reflection, reading, thinking, reformulating, interaction with others, etc. There was a time when it was easier for me to say what I did not believe than what I did believe about this issue.

Having said all that, I am not claiming one needs to obtain a Ph.D. in historical theology to understand the classical doctrine of divine impassibility. I am simply trying to communicate the fact that for me this has been a journey. I suspect it has been (and I hope will be) for others as well. I encourage all to take the time to study the right sources in order to understand what the classical doctrine is and is not asserting.

Read the rest of Dr. Barcello’s journey.

Here are the resources he recommends:

  1. arbca gaThe Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America commissioned its Theology Committee to provide a position paper on this issue, explaining the language and doctrinal intent of its confession (i.e., “without . . . passions”). You can download a copy of the paper here. This document advocates nothing new; it simply seeks to explicate what classical Christian theism taught and teaches on divine impassibility. [Our post on this]

  2. GodwoPassions_CoverFront_01062015 (1)The book edited by Pastor Samuel Renihan, God without Passions: a Reader, is extremely helpful. In this work you can read what Reformation and post-Reformation theologians said about divine impassibility. The Introduction by Sam is really helpful as well. You can order a copy here. [Our post on this]

  3. The Confessing Baptists interviewed Sam, discussing the book and the doctrine of divine impassibility here.

  4. Sam RenihanSermon Audio messages by Sam on divine impassibility can be found here. There were delivered to the church Sam pastors so they are very useful for all. [Our post on this]

  5. cam porter-02Pastor Cam Porter has a Sunday School lecture on divine impassibility here[Our post on this featuring the entire series]

  6. JIRBS 2014The Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies 2014 has an excellent article written by Dr. James Dolezal on divine impassibility. You can order a copy here[Our post on this]

  7. James DolezalThe Reformed Forum has an extensive discussion about divine impassibility with Dr. James Dolezal here. If you are like me, you will have to listen to this more than once. This is almost like a semester-long course on divine impassibility in less than two hours. [Our post on this]

  8. Pastor Jim ButlerThe Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog posted a brief, but very helpful, piece entitled, “A Brief Statement on Divine Impassibility,” written by Pastor Jim Butler. You can find it here[Our post on this]


AUDIO from “Baptists: Rooted in Covenant Grace” Conf. feat. James Renihan now online [5 MP3s]

Below is Dr. James Renihan’s audio from Grace Baptist Chapel‘s annual Theology Conference “Baptists: Rooted in Covenant Grace”.

Baptists Rooted in Covenant Grace


Session 1 “Genealogy Baptist Style” [MP3]

Session 2 “How Christians Have Put the Bible Together”[MP3]

Session 3 “How Christians Have Put the Bible Together (Part 2)”[MP3]

Session 4 “How Early Baptists Put the Bible Together”[MP3]

Lord’s Day Worship Service – “Haggai 2:10-19 The Nature of True Religion”[MP3]

‘Rightly Dividing the Word’ [John Samson] 18 Rules for Interpreting the Bible [AUDIO + VIDEO]

John Samson
John Samson

John Samson:

[H]ere are a some simple rules of interpretation (hermeneutics) which should at least get us started. May God use these brief words to encourage you as you search out the truths of God’s word, for His glory:


1. Consider the Author – who wrote the book? (what was his background, language, culture, vocation, concerns, education, circumstance, what stage of life?)


2. Consider the Audience (why was the book written? who was the audience? what would these words have meant to its original recipients?)


3. The Meaning of Words (this has become a lot easier in our day with all the information and technology at our disposal. The computer program Bibleworks 8 is especially recommended).


4. Historical Setting (avoid anachronism – trying to understand the past while viewing it wearing 21st century glasses – will not help toward understanding the original meaning of the author).


5. Grammar – (how things are being expressed – imperative is a command, a subjunctive would be “would you like to do this?” – two quite different meanings result)


6. Textual Issues – (are there any questions about the earliest or most authoritative manuscripts in comparison with others of a later date – and how does this influence our understanding of what was originally written)


7. Syntax – this refers to words and their relationship with one another. […]


8. Form of Literature (we should interpret the Bible literally, but that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize that parables are parables, and that to interpret them correctly, we interpret them as literal parables! Historical narrative is historical narrative, nouns are nouns, verbs are verbs, analogies are analogies)


9. Immediate Context (a text out of context becomes a pretext. It can be made to say something not intended by the author). Always check the immediate context of a verse or passage to determine the correct interpretation.


Bible key interpretation10. Document Context (in Romans, there is a certain argument Paul is pursuing, and this helps us to determine what is meant in isolated verses when we know the purpose for what is being written. Always keep the author’s broad purpose in mind when looking in detail at the meaning of texts). […]


11. Author’s Context (this refers to looking at all of a person’s writings – John’s writings, Paul’s writings, Luke’s writings, etc.).


12. Biblical Context (the broadest context possible, the entire Bible; allowing us to ask if our interpretation is consistent with the whole of Scripture. Scripture is never contradictory to itself.


13. Understand the difference between prescriptive and descriptive statements in the Bible. Is the verse telling us to do something, or does it describe an action someone does? […]


14. Build all doctrine on necessary rather than possible inferences. […]


15. Interpret the unclear passages in Scripture in light of the clear. Though all Scripture is God breathed, every passage is not equally clear (easy to understand). […]


16. Build doctrine on didactic (teaching) statements in Scripture rather than possible inferences from narrative passages […]


17. Think for yourself but not by yourself […]


18. Avoid hyper allegorical interpretations […]

He made his way through each of the above points in the last four Dividing Line broadcasts:

Dec. 2, 2014 MP3:



Dec. 4, 2014 MP3:



Dec. 9, 2014 MP3:



Dec. 11, 2014 MP3:


[sources: 1, 2, 3]

‘New Testament Use of the Old Testament’ [Roger Nicole] 14-page PDF

Roger Nicole
Roger Nicole

Check out Reformed Reader‘s edited and summarized version of Roger Nicole’s “The Old Testament in the New Testament.” article from volume one of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (ed. Frank Gaebelein):

“One very notable feature of the NT is the extent to which it alludes to or quotes the OT. It appeals to the OT in order to provide proof of statements made, confirmation for positions espoused, illustration of principles advanced, and answers to questions raised. …[There is] a very close relationship between the Testaments. Eight propositions clarify this relationship.”


1) The NT writers assumed that the OT in its entirety was meaningful and relevant for their own time.


2) The NT writers were convinced that many of the events of the life of our Lord and indeed of the beginnings of the Christian church had been prophesied in considerable detail by OT writers.


3) The ground of the NT writers’ faith in the prophetic vision of the OT was their conviction, frequently and variously expressed, that the OT is the Word of God.


4) Because they viewed the OT as the Word of God, the NT writers did not hesitate to interpret its statements, not merely in terms of what the human authors could have thought, but in terms of what God himself meant in speaking through the prophets.


5) In many cases the NT writers, illumined by the Holy Spirit, perceived with greater clarity than the OT writers themselves God’s intended meaning behind some prophecies. What the prophets had seen only dimly and in terms of general principle, the NT writers saw in the glowing light of fulfillment in a perspective in which a wealth of details fall into place.


6) The NT writers had such a deep insight into the fullness of God’s redemptive purposes that they could perceive foreshadowings and parallelisms where others might easily have missed them altogether. In many such cases it is not necessary to hold that the OT writers completely understood the way their pronouncements would relate to their fulfillment in the NT.


7) In a number of cases the NT authors saw a significant relationship between a diversity of OT passages. Sometimes they made this plain by a juxtaposition of quotations; in other cases, they appear to have united two or more passages in an illuminating combination.


8) While the NT writers draw attention mainly to the meaning of OT passages, they did not hesitate to build an argument on one word of the original text. This method of quoting the OT manifests a supreme confidence in the divine authority of even then minutest details of Scripture.


This isn’t the exact same as the above reference but looks to be very similar:

Roger Nicole, “New Testament Use of the Old Testament,” Carl F.H. Henry, ed., Revelation and the
Bible. Contemporary Evangelical Thought. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958 / London: The Tyndale Press,
1959. pp.137-151.:

Download (PDF, 52KB)

2013 SoCal Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference AUDIO now online. Feat. G.K. Beale, Barcellos, J. Renihan

The Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference posted the audio from last year’s conference [October 24-26, 2013] that took place at Trinity Reformed Baptist Church, La Mirada, CA.

Christology in the Book of Revelation: Keynote Speaker G.K. Beal
Christology in the Book of Revelation: Keynote Speaker G.K. Beal
Guest speakers include Dr. Richard C. Barcellos and Dr. James M. Renihan.
Guest speakers: Dr. Richard C. Barcellos and Dr. James M. Renihan.

The purpose of the SCRBPC is for the edification of confessional Reformed Baptist pastors and other interested men who are in the ministry or training for the ministry. The SCRBPC will function within the theological framework of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (2nd LCF) and The Baptist Catechism (BC).

The audio from the 2013 Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference is now available on Sermon Audio:

SCRBPC 2013 on SermonAudio [RSS]

Lecture 1: Christology and the Letter to Laodicea Dr. Gregory Beale [mp3]

Lecture 2: Christology and the Doctrine of Inerrancy Dr. Gregory Beale [mp3]

Lecture 3: Symbolism and Interpretation in Revelation Dr. Gregory Beale [mp3]

Lecture 4: A Test Case in Symbolic Interpretation Dr. Gregory Beale [mp3]

Lecture 5: Theology on Target: The Scope of the Whole James M. Renihan [mp3]

Lecture 6: Christ as the Scope of Scripture Richard Barcellos [mp3]

Note:  Lectures from this conference will not be turned into a book as previously planned.

Interview #55 – Richard Barcellos – The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology [Audio Podcast]

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos


The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology Geerhardus Vos and John Owen, Their Methods of and Contributions to the Articulation of Redemptive History [Paperback] by Richard C Barcellos
The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology: Geerhardus Vos and John Owen, Their Methods of and Contributions to the Articulation of Redemptive History
by Richard C Barcellos
AMZ $29 | RBAP $16 | WTS $29 ]

 “The thesis of this study is that Geerhardus Vos’ biblical-theological
method should be viewed as a post-Enlightenment continuation of the
pre-critical federal theology of seventeenth-century Reformed orthodoxy.”

 Richard Barcellos

On episode 55 of our interview podcast we are replaying an interview from ReformedCast. Why? Because ReformedCast is, “discontinuing operations effective June 15, 2014. All MP3s will be removed at that time.”

We didn’t want these resources to disappear off the Internet so we asked the ReformedCast host, Scott Oakland, if we could republish the interviews he conducted over the past several years that fit our site/podcast scope. He graciously agreed! So, here is the first, fitting, replay (we’ll add onto these every now and then throughout the year.)


family treeFrom his January 31, 2011 post on this interview:

We will be joined by Dr. Richard Barcellos, and we’ll discuss his book “The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology. Dr. Barcellos received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. In 1990 he planted a church in Southern California and pastored there until July of 2006, when he relocated to Owensboro, KY, and is now a member of the Board of Directors at  Midwest Center for Theological Studies. He is the managing editor of Reformed Baptist Theological Review (RBTR), author of In Defense of the Decalogue, and co-author of A Reformed Baptist Manifesto. He has also contributed articles to RBTRFounders Journal, and Table Talk. Professor Barcellos is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and one of the pastors of Heritage Baptist Church of Owensboro, Kentucky.

Note: Since this is an old episode some of the information above and in the podcast is old as well. He is now pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA. and RBTR has ceased (but  we now have JIRBS.)

Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcher or by Email.



New Testament Exegesis Outline / Sermon Prep Template PDF [David Norczyk]

Eliezer Salazar:

greek bible headerIn preparation for an upcoming sermon I will preach at my church, Grace Providence Church, my pastor sent me the following template he created and uses to prepare his sermons. Bless your pastors and never underestimate the work of a preacher. It is hard work!


“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, NASB.


“The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” – Galatians 6:6, NASB.

You can access the template here [PDF]:

Download (PDF, 306KB)

James White v. Richard L. Pratt Jr. and the not/yet of the New Covenant [RBAP Preview]

case covenantal infant baptismAnother preview of the upcoming book from RBAP “Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology“. From one of James White’s chapters:

Other authors in The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism present the thesis that the New Covenant experiences a gradual growth or fulfillment over time, so that the final establishment awaits the consummation of the ages in the coming of Christ. In fact, Richard L. Pratt, Jr. supports the exegetical conclusions we presented regarding the inherent soteriological nature of the New Covenant in his presentation. Directly contrary to Pastor Niell, Dr. Pratt writes…

Read the rest [14 min. readout]

Should we read the Old Testament like some early disciples of Christ did? Richard Barcellos answers

The 12 Apostles
The 12 Apostles

via Reformed Baptist Fellowship:

I want to look briefly at John 2. In this passage, we will note that some early disciples give evidence of the concept of Christ as the target of the Old Testament, that to which it pointed. I think this will become clear in the discussion below. But should we read the Old Testament like they did? I think the answer is yes. We will discuss this toward the end of this post.

Read the rest [9 min. readout]

How to Preach Christ from Old Testament Prophecy [Fred Malone]

Fred Malone, having answered the following questions:

Illustrated his last answers from a



Now sets out to…

provide an example of how to preach Christ from OT prophecy.  Christ is not mentioned in the text of the prophecy itself, but He is in the whole. Malachi 4:5-6 says:


5. Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.


Using the “grammatical, historical, and theological” hermeneutic, we interpret each OT passage according to the whole counsel of God in light of Jesus Christ, the center of God’s revelation to man.

Read [12 min. readout]

Interview #30 – Voddie Baucham – Joseph & The Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way

PodcastPromo30 Voddie Baucham Joseph

On episode 30 of our podcast, we interview Pastor Voddie Baucham Jr. about his newest book “Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way”. We get into Gospel-centered preaching, Redemptive-Historical Preaching, Christ in the Old Testament, preaching, hermeneutics and more.

Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunes or by Email

Joseph and the Gospel Voddie Baucham

[Paperback | Kindle]


Links Mentioned:

Post-Interview Music:

God Moves in a Mysterious Way (feat. Jeremy Casella)
Indelible Grace Music
From the Album Joy Beyond the Sorrow: Indelible Grace VI

Dr. G. K. Beale interviewed at SCRBPC 2013 [Video]


Brandon Adams, who is the video-guy behind, just put up the following three (short) videos that he got from last week’s Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference:

Christology in the Book of Revelation:

Dr. G. K. Beale discusses the focus of his lectures at the 2013 SCRBPC: Christology in the Book of Revelation

Forthcoming books:

Dr. G. K. Beale talks about his current writing projects…

New Testament Hermeneutics:

Dr. G. K. Beale discusses whether or not there is anything New about how the New Testament interprets the Bible…