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 Governmental hermeneutics

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Sir Emeth Mimetes
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PostSubject: Governmental hermeneutics   Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:21 am

How do we practice proper hermeneutics in context of biblical government?

Our goal here is to discern what is the biblical guidelines for government. We study the Bible to learn how we should form opinions regarding how government ought to operate. There are difficulties, however. We cannot just re institute the Mosaic theocracy: it was in an entirely different covenant and made for an entirely different purpose. This is evidenced by the many ceremonial laws mixed in with civil and moral laws. Our job now is to "rightly divide the word of truth." We need to find out if there are applicable truths to be found in the ceremonial laws and moral laws, and apply the civil laws to today's culture and technologies without losing the principles involved. How are we going to do this?

People have proposed many ways to do this. I have found many to be very helpful. There are those who point out that God clearly defines the reason for many of His laws, some are abominations to Israel, others abominations to God. Clearly something that is an abomination to God is a sin, while something that is only an abomination to Israel is a ceremonial law, but still, what about the rest?

This thread is a brainstorming and analysis discussion on not only ideas and methods for gleaning truths for government form Scripture, but also to post insights gleaned from Scripture for the edification and growth of others in the forum.

  • Do you agree with the premise of this thread?
  • Do you know of any reliable methods to determine applicable truths for Scripture in this area?
  • Have you found any good insights to share with us on the subject of the structure and function of government from Scripture?


NOTE: after we have discussed this and come to some conclusions, we will move it into the Welcome Instructions room to keep the discussion open instead of archiving it.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Dr. HipopĆ³tamo
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PostSubject: Re: Governmental hermeneutics   Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:20 pm

I do agree with both the premise that we need to apply Biblical truths to our government, and also that it can be hard to use the principles in the old testament since they were in a much different situation.
I think specifically in the Law, some things are to be kept the same, some of the principles of justice can be put to use in different ways, and some were only for that government specifically. Those that should be kept might include things like "eye for eye, tooth for tooth." (By the way, I do not think the fact that Jesus said this is a wrong attitude for individuals to have necessarily means it is a wrong way to punish crime. God instituted this method of punishment in Israel for a reason.) Some laws cannot be used today, but the principles can be used. Although we don't have oxen who are in the habit of goring people, we do have cars and some of those accidental death principles might be able to be applied to automobile accidents. Also, there were principles about things like treating aliens well. (I'm not necessarily saying the Bible clearly supports any on position on immigration laws, but we should not "mistreat or oppress an alien." We need to discernment to understand exactly how that plays out in our situation.) Then there are laws that I believe were just for that specific nation, like that anyone who broke the Sabbath should be put to death. These are all just examples, and not intended to be at all exhaustive.
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PostSubject: Re: Governmental hermeneutics   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:48 pm

As you might be about to say, this thread is dependent on the one on the applicability of the OT law to NT era governments, including gentile ones.

I think Dr. H is on the right track, altho I disagree with some of his conclusions.
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