“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5
LIGHT FOR NOW: In bible interpretation, the approach of proof-texting will land in misinterpretation of bible text.
Having examined 2Timothy 3:15-16 carefully, let’s point out the three streams of preaching which exist:
- When a preacher has what he wants to say and looks for scriptures to back it up; this stream always lead to error, because the scriptures were not written to back up things, the scriptures rather explain it. It must be noted that if it is not in the scripture, then it is not there. Scriptures back up scriptures, scriptures does not back up our experiences.
- When a preacher begins to explain the scriptures and his experiences, mindset and nuances come into the picture. This, also like the first stream leads to error.
- When a preacher allows the scriptures to explain itself. This is the safest of the three streams; it is apostolic, it is biblical.
It is sheer laziness to assume the meaning of a scripture. Subjecting bible interpretation to assumption leads to wrong interpretation. This assumption is caused majorly because of lack of study and sometimes by hearsay. This is the difference between studying the scriptures in context and proof-texting. What do we mean by proof-texting and studying the scriptures in context? The approach of studying scriptures in a proof-texting manner is an attempt to look for bible verses that has the words relating to the subject you want to teach. The verses basically serve as a proof of your message rather than a contextual explanation of the verses. This is wrong and will certainly lead to error and confusion. A proof-text is when you want to teach, you have a mindset for what you want to say; and then search for verses in the books of the bible to back it up. Never proof-text, it’s a sure way to misinterpreting bible text. Hallelujah!
INSTRUCTION: Avoid the approach of proof-texting in bible teaching.
PRAYER: I stay with the sacredness and sanctity of the gospel of Christ; upholding to the truth of proper bible interpretation, in Jesus Name, Amen.
QUOTE: You are not far from improper bible interpretation when scriptures are being proof-texted.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 1TIMOTHY CHAPTER 2; EVENING: ROMANS CHAPTER 6