“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: You are not far from proof-texting bible text when you attempt to lift bible words out of context.
We’ve established that there exist two approaches in which one can use one of them as touching bible reading, studying and subsequently teaching proof-texting and contextual reading. We said that the proof-texting approach of bible reading and teaching is wrong and thus certainly leads to confusion, misinterpretations, errors and misapplication of bible text. This is so because when we approach the bible via the proof-texting manner to either read what he teach from, what he/she does is that he/she has a mindset already; that is, you already have in mind what we want to say, and then you search for verses in the books of the bible to back it up. That’s called proof-texting and is certainly a breeding ground for errors. You will soon begin to appreciate this painstaking bible study analysis because certain things will begin to unveil; and you will see the danger of proof-texting bible text. And further appreciate the fact that a contextual approach is the best approach, and this contextual study of bible text is preferred to proof-texting bible text.
Let’s see a quick example of what proof-texting bible text can cause using 2Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. Applying a proof-texting approach to this text is the reason many has given a wrong application to the term, “If my people” used here. Proof-texting has made this scripture become a prayer meeting scripture; with the mindset that it will make believers feel contrite and sorry for their sins or wicked ways, and hence, turn from them in order to be forgiven by God and for God to heal their land. From this text, you can even hear erroneous interpretations like “You can’t come to God in prayer expecting him to heal your/our land or forgive our sins if you or we come to him in arrogance… the writer says shall humble themselves…” and they will now back it up with “God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. It’s a good instruction but with the poorest form of bible study because the bible texts has been misinterpreted and misapplied. Hallelujah!
INSTRUCTION: Stay with the word.
PRAYER: I declare that I grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: When words in scriptures are lifted out of context; that is a pretext for a proof-text.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2CHRONICLES CHAPTER 7; EVENING: DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 24