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What is the Hermeneutical Triad?

In this presentation, Dr. Köstenberger introduces a set of hermeneutical lenses called “the hermeneutical triad”—history, literature, and theology. This hermeneutical triad forms the backbone of his and Richard Patterson’s hermeneutics text, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation.

History, Literature, and Theology

What is the “hermeneutical triad”? In short, the core proposal is this: for any passage of Scripture, regardless of genre, it is necessary to study the historical setting, the literary context, and the theological message. Thus the hermeneutical triad consists of history, literature, and theology.

Authorial Intent Hermeneutic

Such a triadic approach is grounded in an authorial-intent hermeneutic that embraces the common-sense notion that successful communication depends first and foremost on discerning an author’s or speaker’s communicative intent …

To read Dr. Köstenberger’s full lecture given at Criswell College, click here.