Grammatical Interpretation Law and Legal Definition

Grammatical interpretation means interpretation that is based exclusively on the words themselves. It uses words in phrases and sentences to construct meaningful combinations. It is also called as historical-grammatical method. The historical-grammatical method is the primary method of interpretation for scholars in the major branches of Christianity such as Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox.

The following ‘Eight Rules’ are the heart or center of all grammatical interpretation:

1. Define the terms or words being considered and then adhere to the defined meanings;

2. Do not add meaning to established words and terms. What was the common usage in the culture and time period when the passage was written;

3. Avoid using words or phrases out of context. Context must define terms and how words are used;

4. Do not separate interpretation and historical investigation;

5. Be certain that words as interpreted agree with the overall premise;

6. Use the known and commonly accepted meanings of words, not obscure meanings for which there are no precedent;

7. Even though many documents may be used there must be a general unity among them;

8. Base conclusions on what is already known and established or can be reasonably implied from all known facts.