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What Are Presuppositions?

Pre-sup-pose 1. To assume or suppose in advance 2. To require or involve necessarily as an antecedent condition.
The American Heritage Dictionary

In Relation to Hermeneutics:

We Do NOT Mean:

We DO Mean:

Who Has Presuppositions?

Where Do Presuppositions Come From?

Suspect Presuppositions:

Appropriate Presuppositions

What are Biblical Presuppositions?

- . . . the principles for interpreting the Bible are simply descriptions of the way people think and read when they seek to understand the meaning of any writing. They are not inventions, they are discoveries. Rather than being created, they are observed. If they were arbitrarily devised by man, then each person could make up his own rules. But since these principles are part of the way man normally communicates, they are to be considered universal. They are not special rules applicable only to Bible study. Basic Bible Interpretation, Roy B. Zuck, pp 60-61.

1. The Bible is Supernatural in Character

God is the ultimate author of the Bible.
NAU 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

NAU 2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

The Bible is completely sufficient to reveal everything that is necessary to live exactly as God wants us to live.
NAU 2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Psalm 19:7-14

Only a person who is born again can understand the God-intended significance of the Bible for a persons life individually or a group of people collectively (a church, a family, a nation, the world).
NAU 1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

2. The Bible is Natural in Character

God used men (humans) to transmit His Word.

NAU 1 Peter 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

God used normal, human communication to reveal exactly what He wanted us to know and understand.

God provided a revelation that can be understood, as God intended it to be understood despite human limitations. The central issue in understanding the meaning of the Bible is to remove your own ideas and submit to the ideas you find in the Bible, as you discover its natural, normal meaning.


This suggests that the Bible was not written in an unintelligible code to be deciphered by some magical formula. Since it was written in the languages of the people (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek), it did not have to be decoded, deciphered, or translated. Those who read the Bible did not need to read into, beyond, or between words for some deeper or other-thannormal meaning. God communicated truths about Himself in the languages of the people who first read the Scriptures languages they knew. The basic presupposition of interpretation is that God is a God of sense, not of nonsense. By this, I mean that whatever God reveals through His ancient spokesmen must have made sense both to them and to their hearers. . . . The very fact that we have a Bible at all, from the human standpoint is an indication that it made real sense to the people. It spoke to them where they were. Basic Bible Interpretation, Roy B. Zuck, pp 61ff .

By the clarity of Scripture we mean that God has written something humans can readily understand. Martin Luther developed the idea of the clarity of Scripture:

1. _______________________ Clarity

2. ________________________ Clarity




Level Four

Bible Exposition


Level Three

Systematic Theology Biblical Theology

Church History

Philosophy of Religion Apologetics

Homiletics Counseling Christian Education Administration Missions Evangelism Contemporary Society


Level Two

Biblical Exegesis


Level One

Biblical Introduction

Biblical Languages