In 1964, Methodist theologian Albert C. Outler outlined the Wesleyan Quadrilateral in his introduction to John Wesley's anthology of works.

This establishes a hermeneutic framework in which truth, revelation and so forth are interpreted through the lenses of Scripture and Tradition, reason and Experience.

Similarly, Jewish Scholarship has a similar framework, PaRDeS, an acronym formed from the following hermeneutic approaches:

  • Peshat (פְּשָׁט‎) — "surface" ("straight") or the literal (direct) meaning.[1]
  • Remez (רֶמֶז‎) — "hints" or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
  • Derash (דְּרַשׁ‎) — from Hebrew darash: "inquire" ("seek") — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
  • Sod (סוֹד‎) (pronounced with a long O as in 'soda') — "secret" ("mystery") or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.

Have there been any Weslyan theologians and scholars that have sought to compare and equate the two frameworks and methodologies.

  • Related Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 15:58
  • 2
    PaRDeS doesn't seem like the Wesleyan Quadrilateral at all. It seems much more like the Medieval fourfold allegorical interpretation. But Methodism did lead to Pentecostalism, so maybe there is something there...
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 23:47
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    @curiousdannii After a little more reading on it than just the introduction, I could see Peshat corresponding to Scripture, Remez correspond to reason, Derash correspond to Tradition and Sod revelation/experience (more or less). They don't seem to be exact fits, but could broadly correspond. Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


As a United Methodist pastor for nearly forty years, a contemplative mystic, I have found PaRDeS to be illuminating in all facets of spirituality. In short, PaRDeS points to four ways of seeing the world (i.e., worldviews).
The quadrilateral pertains to only one worldview.

  1. Peshat: the worldview of followers, or the multitude;

  2. Remez; the worldview of discipleship;

  3. Derasha: the worldview of the prophets and apostles of the Spirit-led early Church

  4. Sod: the mystics and those whose worldview is the kingdom of heaven.

    Each of the Gospels emphasizes a particular perspective:
    Mark: Peshat; Matthew: Remez; Luke: Derasha; John: Sod.

{I am currently writing commentaries on the Scriptures (the whole N.T. plus) based on PaRDeS}. The whole of Scriptures can be illuminated and understood by PaRDeS.

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