“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: Your way of interpreting bible words should be the biblical way of interpreting bible words.

We said that you are not far from proof-texting bible text when you attempt to lift bible words out of context. Like bible scholars have said that “Out of context is a pretext for a proof-text”. Similarly to this submission, we deduced in the course of this study previously that in bible interpretation, this should be noted: When words in scriptures are lifted out of context, that is a pretext for a proof-text. What this is telling us is a simple rule of bible reading, study and interpretation, which is: In bible reading, study, interpretation and application, you cannot give a wrong application to a word in scripture.

In essence, you cannot generalize the meaning or interpretation a word carries. The interpretation of a word, a phrase and also a text must be subject to its context. The context in which a word is used defines the meaning and interpretation of that word. Meaning, a careful study into the bible will let you see that you can have same words used in different bible texts or portions but with different meanings due to different context. This rule which will be explained deeper as the study advances is very similar to how the dictionary operates as touching the meaning, interpretation and application of words. In clearer terms what we mean is, the dictionary does not give a general definition to words but rather gives possible definitions of words based on their contextual usages. As a result, a definition of a word is followed by an example of its use. Let’s use the word “holy” as an example. This word as defined by the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary is as follows:

  • Consecrated: Dedicated or set apart for religious process. For instance, holy water.
  • Saintly: Devoted to service of God, a god or a goddess. For instance, a holy man.
  • Sacred: Relating to, belonging to, or coming from a divine power. For instance, holy relics.
  • Awe-inspiring: Having a character that evokes reverence. For instance, Arlington National Cemetery is a holy place for many people in United States.
  • Used in expressions of surprise: Used in various expressions to show surprise. For instance, holy mackerel.

You can see from the above that this synchronizes with what we’ve said already, and that is, the definition given is not general but rather possible definitions subjected to their contextual usages. Hallelujah! 

INSTRUCTION: You need to be focused as you study through.

PRAYER: I declare that I have capacity to comprehend and understand God’s word, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Bible words should be interpreted in a biblical way and not your way.


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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