The Christocentric Principle – A Jesus-Centred Hermeneutic

This article was published in Conspectus, the peer-reviewed journal of the South African Theological Seminary.

There are many different understandings of the word ‘Christocentric’ both among past and current scholars. In this article the author aligns with those who regard the life, teaching and person of the Lord Jesus Christ as the locus of doctrinal formulation and proclamation but applies this approach specifically to the hermeneutic enterprise. The key contention is that scripture should be interpreted primarily from the perspective of Jesus’ character, values, principles, and priorities as revealed either directly or indirectly by the biblical revelation of what he said and did. This is called the Christocentric Principle. The article proceeds from interacting with other scholars who hold a similar view, to identifying the biblical support for the argument, to a brief example of how the principle can be applied. Before concluding, the author deals briefly with some objections to the central idea espoused.

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Christopher Peppler

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.