Context is King
sometimes a verse needs context … sometimes the verse is the context.
Ever have that conversation where the person is using a verse with no real understanding of the person speaking or the audience it was being communicated to?
Quick questions to ask when looking at a verse
- Who wrote this?
- Who was he speaking to?
- How did the other church fathers hold this verse?
- What does it mean to us today?
What prompted me to post this was another conversation with a “preacher” where it was someone who didn’t own a Strong’s of a Vines, and when I asked him which commentary series (you can tell a lot about a person by knowing who they read), and he said, “I don’t bother to read those, I just read scripture.”
While I applaud a person and believe that he is capable of leadership, I do think that what God has revealed to his church over the years has some bearing on the way we read scripture today. It starts with a translation of scripture and moves quickly from context of the original language to the definitions we hold today.
It reminds me of the old KJVO preacher who told me once, “the only tools I need is my Bible and my Webster’s dictionary.” He thought he was KJV1611 but he carried a KJV1967 (really dates matter after all) and he had zero understanding of the Apocrypha. Now I would laugh if he turned on his computer and opens eSword or Logos.
You don’t have to be a “pastor” to learn how to study, but if you are going to use a verse to beat someone up, first take the time to do more than Google or just look up the words you don’t know how to pronounce.
If it is in you, it will come out of you. Study the word, memorize it, live it…