“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: Bible texts shouldn’t be proof-texted if it must be properly read, interpreted and applied.
We looked at the dictionary definition of the word “holy”. The definition does not give a general definition to this word but rather gives possible definitions of the word based on their contextual usages. As a result, a definition of the word is followed by an example of its use. The above rule governing the dictionary definition of words is similar or applies to bible study of words. In essence, when studying words used in the bible, the contextual use of the word determines its meaning. This is so because words can be applied in figures of speech, in idiomatic expressions or literally. Also, a word could have several literal meanings based on its contextual usage. Therefore, a bible student should never give a general meaning to words in the bible. We will expound this rule of bible reading and interpretation more as the study advances, and we will apply this rule simultaneously with other rules which will be discussed as we study further. Lets backtrack to 2Chronicles 7: 14 and see how the negligence of the above rule can cause this text of scripture to be proof-texted; it reads “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”.
The first question to ask having read this text is who are his people? Proof-texting is to think it can refer to any group of people. In context, you will discover the people referred to was the nation of Israel (verse 18 clarifies that); so it was the nation of Israel being referred to here in context as “my people”, and not Nigeria or any other nation. The text does not even apply to the believer in Christ, because the believer is the forgiven; forgiveness is not what the believer receives from God each time he prays or ask for it, forgiveness is what the believer has received once and for all time by faith in Christ. Hence, Paul will say “…In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). Therefore, proof-texting is a dangerous approach to bible reading and studying. Hallelujah!
INSTRUCTION: Don’t be a candidate of proof-texting bible text.
PRAYER: I declare that my understanding capacity enlarges and I comprehend things faster as I read through, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: Proof-texting a bible text is a hot bed for errors since it neglects proper contextual reading.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: LUKE CHAPTER 24; EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 5