Hermeneutics is the art of interpretation. For our purposes, hermeneutics refers to the art of the interpretation of Holy Scripture. Luther, building on Augustine, made a number of important rediscoveries in Scripture that proved vital for the interpretation thereof, e.g., the clarity and efficacy of the bible, God's word.
Often Luther is seen as a forerunner of a kind of interpretation of the bible which sees Scripture as a collection of human writings with their shortcomings and even errors. However, as will be shown and discussed here, an unbiased reading of Luther will find that this is not the case. Luther believed Scripture's witness concerning itself and interpreted it accordingly, submitting his reason to God's word.
So is Luther's hermeneutical approach to the Word of God "Lutheran"? In other words: Do Lutherans today use the same approach to the Word of God as did Luther? According to Armin Buchholz, current Director of the Graduate School for Luther Studies at China Lutheran Seminary in Taiwan, they do not. In Buchholz's groundbreaking, bold doctoral theses, God's Scripture in Doctrinal Controversy: Luther's Understanding and Interpretation of Scripture in His Three Great Doctrinal Controversies of the Years 1521-1528,  Buchholz argues that even among more conservative Luther scholars today, Luther's own hermeneutical method has been abandoned. In Lutheran circles, Luther is often studied as a figure of church history or, at best, as a creative, innovative theologian focused on the "gospel," but not as an exegete of God's unchanging biblical word who is authoritative also in his basic methodical-hermeneutical approach.
Even more compelling, it has been recently announced that at one of the larger Lutheran seminaries in the United States, as part of a curriculum revision, no longer will the completion of a specific course on hermeneutics be a requirement for the completion of the Master of Divinity degree. 
 Historical Development
- Inspiration and Canon
- Middle Ages
- Lutheran Orthodoxy
- 19th and 20th Centuries
- ↑ Schrift Gottes im Lehrstreit: Luthers Schriftverständnis und Schriftauslegung in seinen drei großen Lehrstreitigkeiten der Jahre 1521-1528, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1993
- ↑ "There are no independent courses in isagogics or hermeneutics in the revised curriculum as these are covered within the exegetical courses." John T. Pless, "A Curriculum from and for the Chuch," Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2006), p. 87.
 Further Reading
- R. Bohlmann, Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Lutheran Confessions (St. Louis: CPH, 1983).
- R. Brown, Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1985).
- M. Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent (vol. 1, on Scripture and Tradition).
- Commission on Faith and Order (WCC), A Treasure in Earthen Vessels: An Instrument for an Ecumenical Reflection on Hermeneutics (WCC 1998).
- J. Lauster, Prinzip und Methode: Die Transformation des protestantischen Schriftprinzips durch die historische Kritik von Schleiermacher bis zur Gegenwart (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004).
- K. Marquart, Anatomy of an Explosion: Missouri in Lutheran Perspective (Fort Wayne, 1977).
- F. Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, vol. 1:193ff.
- Pius XII, Divino afflante Spiritu (Vatican 1943).
- Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Vatican 1993, German).
- Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Jewish People and their Sacred Scripture in the Christian Bible (Vatican 2002)
- R. Preus, “The Hermeneutics of the Formula of Concord,” in A. J. Koelpin (ed.), No Other Gospel: Essays in Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the Formula of Concord, 1580-1980 (Milwaukee: NPH, 1980), 309ff.
- J. Reumann (ed.), Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979).
- H. v. Reventlow, Epochen der Bibelauslegung, 4 vols. (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1990-2001).
- R. Slenczka, “Luther’s Care of Souls for Our Times,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 67 (2003): 33ff.
- C. F. W. Walther, The Evangelical Lutheran Church, the True Visible Church of God upon Earth.
- A. Wenz, “Justification and Holy Scripture: Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura,” Logia XIV,2 (Eastertide 2005): 5ff.