“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: Taking a statement in a bible text with total negligence of the surrounding statements is a route to wrong interpretation of bible texts.

We previously said that it is sheer laziness to assume the meaning of a scripture. This is caused because of lack of study and sometimes, by hearsays. This is where we have the difference between proof-texting and reading the scriptures in context. The proof-texting approach of bible reading or study is to look for a verse that has the words relating to the subject you want to teach. These verses basically serve as a proof of your message rather than a proper contextual explanation of the verses. This approach of bible study is wrong and thus leads to confusion and errors. An example of this in 1Timothy 2, it reads, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:1-4). The term “intercession be made for all men” if read out of context can be interpreted to mean “to pray for all nation, for presidents, kings, etc”; contextual reading however shows that it actually means “to preach”. That is why the author firstly explained prayer in verse 1, and then explained further in verse 3 and 4 about preaching the gospel. In the epistles, intercession is either taught as Jesus’ work or preaching (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 are examples of this).

The author’s approach of scriptural reading is context; which is reading the scriptures contextually. This is basically one of the safest ways of interpreting scriptures. Here, you interpret a verse with the surrounding verses. The first step here is to read the letter itself. No matter what the author says in another letter, it may not mean the same thing even if the same words are used in that other letter. You must be careful to interpret things contextually, that is, look at the verses before and after it. You must interpret a statement among surrounding statements; this is proper bible interpretation, and I tell you that this is the safest. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Study scriptures in context.

PRAYER: I declare that my capacity to comprehend revelation knowledge is sharpened and greatly enlarged, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: Misinterpretation can be avoided if verses of scriptures are interpreted within surrounding verses.


Published by lightfromtheworddevotional

Light from the word is a scripture based daily devotional by Prophet (Dr.) John Linus, Senior Pastor Word of Faith Covenant Assembly Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

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