After spending a chapter each on the Grammatical and Historical Interpretation of Scripture, Louis Berkhof, in his Principles of Biblical Interpretation, begins his chapter on what he calls the “Theological Interpretation.” Berkhof claims that the strict grammatico-historical method of interpreting Scripture fails to take into account the unique God-breathed character of the Bible. He writes,
Many writers on Hermeneutics are of the opinion that the grammatical and historical interpretation meet all the requirements for the proper interpretation of the Bible. They have no eye for the special theological character of this discipline. There are others, however, who are conscious of the necessity of recognizing a third element in the interpretation of Scripture.
Scripture contains a great deal that does not find its explanation in history, nor in the secondary authors, but only in God as the Auctor primarius.Purely historical and psychological considerations will not account for the following facts: (1) that the Bible is the Word of God; (2) that it constitutes an organic whole, of which each individual book is an integral part; (3) that the Old and New Testament [sic] are related to each other as type and antitype, prophecy and fulfillment, germ and perfect development; and (4) that not only the explicit statements of the Bible, but also what may be deduced from it by good and necessary consequence, constitutes the Word of God. In view of all this, it is not only perfectly warranted, but absolutely necessary, to complement the usual grammatical and historical interpretation with a third.
The name “Theological Interpretation” deserves the preference, as expressive, at once, of the fact that its necessity follows from the divine authorship of the Bible, and of the equally important consideration that, in the last analysis, God is the proper Interpreter of His Word (pp.133-134).
Readers familiar with the Scripturalism of Gordon H. Clark may find that the portions I have emphasized in bold font have a familiar ring to them. Berkhof is writing about Hermeneutics, not Apologetics, but his attitude is clearly presuppositional in nature. It must be assumed that the Bible (alone) is the Word of God – the Christian Axiom. This is of paramount importance for the proper interpretation of Scripture. If one does not, at the beginning, axiomatically approach the Bible as God’s Word, no amount of historical or coincidental external evidence will prove it to be so.