Axioms of Hermeneutics

Principles of Interpretation – Clinton Lockhart
Axioms of Hermeneutics

  1. The true object of speech is the impartation of thought.
  2. The true object of interpretation is to apprehend the exact thought of the author.
  3. Language is a reliable medium of communication.
  4. Usage determines the meaning of words.
  5. Two writers do not independently express thought alike.
  6. Every writer is influenced by his environment.
  7. An authors’ purpose determines the character of his production
  8. Any writing is liable to modification in copying, translating, and the gradual change of a living tongue.
  9. By one expression one thought is conveyed, and only one.
  10. The function of a word depends on its association with other words.
  11. A correct definition of a word substituted for the word itself will not modify the meaning of the text.
  12. One of two contradictory statements must be false, unless corresponding terms have different meanings or applications.
  13. Truth must accord with truth; and statements of truth apparently discrepant can be harmonized if the facts are known.
  14. An assertion of truth necessarily excludes that to which it is essentially opposed and no more.