Since the Reformation, “grammatical-historical” biblical interpretation has been the main hermeneutical method among Protestants. A development of the medieval idea of “literal” meaning, the grammatical-historical approach attempts to understand Scripture in the light of the grammar of the original languages and the historical and cultural setting in which the text was written. Something like the grammatical-historical method has been foundational to all biblical interpretation throughout the history of the church. Biblical interpretation would be a free play of signifiers without grounding in the vocabulary, grammar, and historical setting of the Bible. But the grammatical-historical method, essential as it is as a foundation, cannot provide the overarching “grammar” for the interpretation of Scripture. If it becomes the sole method of interpretation, the study of the Old Testament will be reduced to a study of “what they did then” rather than a study of the glories of the Christ who was yet to come. Liberal interpretation of the Old Testament can, in fact, be understood as the product of an exclusive reliance on the grammatical-historical method, and evangelical biblical study often has the same narrow focus. Interpretation of the Old Testament must be grounded in grammar and history, but if it does not move to typology, it is not Christian interpretation.
Peter Leithart, A House for My Name, p. 27