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9. Pentecostal Hermeneutics: Retrospect and Prospect

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Chapter Summary

The Pentecostal movement emerged out of the intense Weslyan-holiness and Reformed evangelical revivals of the late nineteenth century. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the essence of Pentecostalism in order better to appreciate the contemporary debate concerning Pentecostals and hermeneutics. In presenting the worldview of Pentecostalism, the chapter conveys that the essence of the movement is the belief in and encounter with the supernatural in the Christian life. The literal or face value interpreting of Scripture without any concern for the historical distance allowed Pentecostal preachers to emphasize the immediate meaning of Scripture. The chapter focuses upon the contemporary Euro-American Pentecostal discussion of hermeneutics. Pentecostalism and the Holiness movements did not come out of old-school Presbyterianism but are products of Wesleyan thought. The role of the Holy Spirit is continually referred to by Pentecostals as an important element in hermeneutics.

Keywords: Euro-American Pentecostal scholarship; evangelism; hermeneutics; Holy Spirit; Pentecostalism; Scripture; Wesleyan-holiness



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