“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: The bible was contextually written to be contextually read, studied and interpreted.
We saw in our previous studies that the people being referred to in 2Chronicles 7:14 was about any kind of people or would even apply to the believer today. With the proof-texting approach, you can think the writer in this text was referring to any group of people. In verse 18 of the same context, clarity is brought to the fore, it reads “Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, there shall not fail thee a man to be ruler of Israel”. The people referred to in context were Israelites not Nigerians or any other nation; not even the church in Ephesus, Colosse or the believer in Christ today. Hence, when a fellow is proof-texting, he is not looking at things in context. This leads to innovation of topics, extra-biblical subjects rather than attempting to understand what is written. Therefore, proof-texting bible text should be totally avoided since it is a hot bed to breed errors, confusion, misinterpretation and misapplication.
Rather than proof-texting, the best and safest way which is the second approach we will begin to excavate deeply is contextual reading. Contextual reading or studying is fundamentally the safest ways of interpreting scriptures. Here, in contextual reading, you don’t interpret a verse of scripture with total negligence of the surrounding verses. In essence, the first step to contextual reading or study is to read the letter itself. No matter what is said by the author in another letter, it may not mean the same thing even if the same words are used in that other letter. Remember, words or phrases in scriptures cannot be given a wrong application. The meaning of a bible text cannot be generalized to other texts. Hence, context is key and king in bible interpretation. There can be no blanket application to words of scriptures; hence, a misinterpretation and misapplication will be the end result. Hallelujah!!!
INSTRUCTION: Read scriptures contextually and avoid proof-texting.
PRAYER: I declare that the quality, attitude and attribute of diligence manifest through me in the place of bible study, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: The bible is a contextual material that carries a contextual message which cannot be understood if contextual reading is neglected.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: JOHN CHAPTER 5; EVENING: JOHN CHAPTER 6