By: Mark McGee / GraceLife Ministries
This study quotes heavily from the college textbook titled "Methodical Bible Study: A New Approach to Hermeneutics" by Dr. Robert Traina.
Meaning and Place of Evaluation
Evaluation follows interpretation. Interpretation is the meaning of a Biblical passage. Evaluation is the relevance and usefulness of a Biblical passage.
"In view of the meaning of evaluation, two facts should be stressed regarding its proper place in methodical study." The first is "that evaluation must follow interpretation and not precede it or be simultaneous with it." The second is "that evaluation must precede application proper."
Some of the worst mistakes made in Bible study are getting these processes out of order. Many students want to rush to application before observing. Many want to evaluate before or even without interpreting. This can lead to great misery in the lives of people this kind of study impacts.
The Scriptures themselves indicate that the ultimate standard for determining which truths are universal is Jesus Christ, Who, as the Incarnate Son of God, embodies that which is of timeless and supreme value. All things must therefore be measured by Him. Thus, since the New Testament contains His life and its implications, it becomes the grounds for appraising the statements of the Old Testament."
"It should be realized that there are two distinct types of application: theoretical application and practical application. The first is a necessary foundation for the second; the second should be the logical outgrowth of the first."
..."Biblical truths should be applied both personally and to others; they should be employed in connection with the political and economic aspects of life as well as the spiritual; they should be utilized locally, nationally, and universally; they should be applied to believers and to non-believers."
"The applicatory step is that for which all else exists. It represents the final purpose of Bible study. However, if application is to be valid, it must be preceded by a process of evaluation ... The major task of the specific phase of evaluation is to distinguish between those truths which are local and limited and those which are timeless and general. The basis for making such a distinction is the supreme and universal revelation which is embodied by Jesus Christ and which is recorded in the New Testament. After the universal truth has been determined, one must then analyze a specific modern situation which may have occurred to one in order to ascertain whether it comes within the scope of the universal truth, or one must search for a contemporary problem to which the truth is relevant. When one has discovered a modern situation to which the timeless truth of the passage is pertinent, then it is one's duty to apply that truth, not only in concept but in deed. And one should apply it in whatever realm of life it is appropriate and regardless of the consequences. For in the last analysis one of the primary secrets of Scriptural application is the kind of abandon which causes one who has discovered a truth to follow it to its logical outcome, even if the road be hard and the intangible rewards few."
"Although some correlation inevitably occurs during interpretation and application, this phase forms the concluding step of the inductive study of the Scriptures. For it represents the generalizations which are the outgrowths of the examination of particular passages.
To be more specific, the goal of Scriptural study is the development of a VITAL BIBLICAL THEOLOGY