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The Tabula Rasa Fallacy

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The place to begin is by acknowledging that no interpreter, including you, approaches the text tabula rasa, like a razed slate just waiting to have the truth inscribed on you.

Carl Henry has long been fond of saying that there are two kinds of presuppositionalists: those who admit it and those who don't. We might adapt his analysis to our topic: There are two kinds of practitioners of hermeneutics: those who admit it and those who don't. For every time we find something in the Bible (whether it is actually there or not!), we have interpreted the Bible.

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1 [ Back ] For further discussion of additional points on this particular interpretive challenge, see my "Must I Learn How to Interpret the Bible?", Modern Reformation, May/June 1996.
2 [ Back ] Ibid.

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Issue: "Hermeneutics: Has God Really Said?" July/August 1999 Vol. 8 No. 4 Page number(s): 29-32, 43

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