Lutheran Religion E



Lutheran Religion E continues our Online Christian Library with Lutheran books based upon Lutheran orthodoxy by Johann Ernesti.


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1  Elementary Principles of Interpretation (1842)

2  Elements of Interpretation (1822)

3  Elements of Interpretation (1827)

4  Principles of Biblical Interpretation Volume 1 (1832)

5  Principles of Biblical Interpretation Volume 2 (1833)



Johann August Ernesti was a pastor's son born at Tennstedt, 1707. Studying at the University of Wittenberg and the University of Leipzig, he became a professor at the Thomas School of Leipzig and later the University of Leipzig. Though of Lutheran orthodoxy, he was more well known for his expertise in the area of hermeneutics, the art and science of text interpretation.

The following is an excerpt from the "Author's Preface" of his book, Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. I.

Many years ago, when, in my academical lectures, I had interpreted the Apostolic Epistles, I was requested, by many, who had found those lectures useful, to deliver also some rules of Interpretation, by applying which, to practice, they might be directed in the investigation of the sense, and supplied with reasons for establishing it. When I observed to them, that interpretation was one of that class of things which rest almost entirely upon practice and observation, and admitted but of a few heads of advice, which might more efficaciously be propounded in the very act of interpretating: that there existed no peculiar method for interpreting Greek and Latin authors, which could be embodied in a system of rules; and that, in interpreting them, everything must be referred to use and practice, while yet, in every age, there had been excellent interpreters: that men, and especially young men, were prone to deceive themselves, by supposing, that they could do anything as soon as they possessed a rule for doing it; and were thereby led to relax their efforts, in practice and application: I was still importuned to reduce these heads of advice into some regular system, on the plea, that it was scarcely possible I should find opportunity to notice and illustrate them all, while lecturing upon, and interpreting, a few books.


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