JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (7)

“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: Never forget this, the scriptures will not bow to your experiences, views or opinions; your experiences, views or opinions will bow to the scriptures.

From our studies so far, it can be deduced that bible study or bible teachings demand hard work, diligence and carefulness, because scriptures or bible texts must be presented in its exactness. At no point must we read our meaning into what has been written already. Nobody or no one is at liberty to give a personal interpretation or meaning to a bible text. That’s why in bible interpretation, a golden rule is:

  • A bible text can never mean today what it never meant when it was first written;
  • Your wrong interpretation of a text can never change the intended interpretation of the author of such texts;

Hence, you can only find out the interpretation of a text. It has to be what the author intended when he wrote it, not after and not even before. Any meaning, interpretation or explanation gotten afterwards can never be the intention of the author. Therefore, bible interpretation should be devoid of your opinions, feelings, and experiences. Take note:

  • At no point should you subject the scriptures or a bible text to your opinions; rather, subject your opinions to the scriptures.
  • At no point should you subject the scriptures to your views and perspective, you should rather subject your views and perspectives to the scriptures.
  • At no point should you subject the scriptures or a bible text to your feelings and emotions; rather, subject your feelings and emotions to the scriptures.

Your feelings, emotions or experiences don’t give validity to the scriptures; neither does it authenticate its trueness. The scripture is true, authentic and valid without your experiences; your experiences don’t make the word of God the word of God, the word of God is the word of God irrespective of experiences. So, experiences shouldn’t be the radii or yardstick you use to interpret scriptures, if not you are not far from misinterpreting bible text. Your experiences sometimes can be false, but the scriptures will not change from being true to being false because of your experiences. The bible will not mean today what it didn’t mean when it was first written. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Follow through the study carefully.

PRAYER: I declare that ability is given me to be diligent in the place of bible study and interpretation, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: Experiences don’t define the truth of God’s word; the truth of God’s word is static regardless of experiences.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 2; EVENING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (6)

“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: Never explain the scriptures to back up your intent, allow the authors’ intent find expression in your interpretation.

From the explanations done so far from Paul’s words in 2Timothy 2:15, we have come to see that a vital attitude a teacher or student of the scriptures must possess is the quality of diligence; hence, Paul’s use of the word “study” (“spoudazo” in Greek meaning diligence). Paul further used a critical term “rightly dividing” which was translated from the Greek word “orthotomeo”. And we said if the word of truth can be rightly divided, it thus follows that it can be wrongly divided. From our investigation of the word “orthotomeo”, it’s thus clear that Paul used this word as a direct opposite of innovation. Your creativity is important in any of your field of study, but when it comes to the bible, you can’t be creative with bible text. Bible interpretation is an excavation and not an innovation. At no point are we given the liberty to innovate into bible text, we are to excavate from bible text. Just like a miner mines, the minister of the gospel is a miner and the scripture is the mineral he is to mine from.

Just like the miner doesn’t do anything to create the minerals, the minerals are already there or available, all he does is to mine from what is already available; he is not doing anything to create the mineral, he is to extract from the already created mineral. Similarly, the minister of the gospel is not doing anything to create the interpretation of a bible text, the interpretation is already there, he is only to find out its interpretation by abiding to rules of bible interpretation and then extract from the same. In bible interpretation, you don’t talk to the scriptures; you let the scriptures talk to you. If you always look for scriptures or bible texts to back up an idea, view, opinion or experiences, you are not far from misinterpreting bible texts. That is why bible teaching is not looking for scriptures to back up your opinions, ideas, and experiences; rather, it is to teach exactly what has been taught and well explained in the scriptures. Never go into the scriptures to defend anything but the scriptures. Never have a preconceived notion or mindset, and then go into the scriptures to back them up, it will disallow you from seeing the truth and rightly dividing the same. Hallelujah! 

INSTRUCTION: Never talk to the scriptures, always let the scriptures talk to you.

PRAYER: Father I declare today, that my accuracy in rightly interpreting bible texts is sharpened, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: You will miss out of the authors’ intent if you go into the scriptures to back up your intent.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (5)

“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 can be creative in other disciplines or professions, but with the bible, your creativity is not needed.

We have seen that in Paul’s use of the term “rightly dividing” in 2Timothy 2:15 which was translated from the Greek word “orthotomeo”, two comparisons come to mind. The first is that the earlier writers used this word for those into mining. In mining, you are not doing anything to create a mineral; rather what you are simply doing is extracting what is already available. Secondly, it has to do with cutting a line straight; being very careful and precise in your use of measurement. Since Paul was a tent maker, it could thus be said that his professional discipline influenced his choice of words. So, the interpreters or translators of this word allude to something: Paul used the word “orthotomeo” as the direct opposite of innovation.

In essence, when preaching, one cannot innovate what is not included in the texts; your role is to bring out what is already there. You can’t afford to be creative with bible texts. Bible interpretation does not need your creativity, you are to extract. Your creativity is important in other fields but not with the bible; you are not to innovate into bible text. An innovation is when thoughts are already in your mind, and then you look for scriptures to back it up. That certainly is the mother of error. “Orthotomeo” is therefore an excavation not an innovation; you are to cut through it; you are not to add to it or subtract from it. You are not to read your minds to it, you are to let the intent of the author to be communicated to your mind and find expression in your interpretation. This means that your interpretation of the scriptures must align with the authors’ intent and interpretation. This further explains the fact that the preacher or minister of the gospel has a duty to be diligent, to toil, to labour, to work hand in hand in order to see exactly what the scriptures say and teach the very same. If you miss out of the authors’ intent and interpretation of a bible text, you will be preaching your own intent and interpretation which is an innovation to bible text and thus, an abuse to bible interpretation. Hallelujah!    

INSTRUCTION: Never apply your own creativity to the bible.

PRAYER: I stay with the word of truth and rightly divide the same in my interpretation of it, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: In bible interpretation, out of the authors’ intent is preaching your own intent.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4

 JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (4)

“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 study is labour, it must not be given a lazy approach; hence, it demands a quality of diligence.

We have seen that bible study and bible teachings are labour and thus, demands diligence. Paul in essence was telling Timothy in 2Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. The word “rightly dividing” was translated from the Greek word “orthotomeo”, which was gotten from two words:

  • Temno – means to cut
  • Orthos – means straight

Hence, the term “rightly dividing” as used by Paul will imply to cut straight, to cut properly. Also, when the word is used, it is used basically to show carefulness; that is, the teacher of the word has to be careful in how he handles bible texts. The word “orthotomeo” was gotten from a word in an Old Testament text rendered as “direct thy paths” in Proverbs 3:5-6; it reads “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. The word “direct” in verse 6 of the above text is the Hebrew word “yashar”. It means smooth, straight, proper. It is mostly used for proper direction; it means to make straight or to straighten and that is where we get the word “rightly dividing” (orthotomeo) from. This term “direct your paths” is to direct your path to something. This, in other words means cutting things into two to make the path straight. That’s why a further investigation into this word “orthotomeo” will show that whenever this word is used, two comparisons are intended:

  1. Earlier writers (Pre-new Testament) used this word for those into mining. In mining, you are not doing anything to create the mineral; rather, what you are doing is extracting what is already available.
  2. Secondly, it has to do with cutting a line straight; being very careful and precise in your use of measurement.

Notice that Paul was a tent maker (Acts 18:3). In today’s language, Paul would have been described to as a builder; his professional discipline thus can be seen to have influence in choice of words. So, those translators who interpreted the word therefore allude to something. Paul used the word “orthotomeo” as the direct opposite of innovation. What does this tell us? Let’s see it in next study.  Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Don’t be lazy in bible study.

PRAYER: I declare my appraisal of the written word revealed in my continuous commitment in the study of it, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Bible interpretation is not an innovation into bible text but an excavation from bible text.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 2; EVENING: PROVERBS CHAPTER 3

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (3)

“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 quality of diligence is a needed quality in the place of bible study.

So far, we’ve begun pointing to the necessity of bible interpretation. The bible is one material that once it is wrongly interpreted, a vital truth will be lost. Let’s begin to clarify this as we start paying keen attention to Paul’s word to a mentee of his by the name Timothy. Paul in his second letter to Timothy (who was his son in the faith) has this to say “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Timothy 2:15). Let’s begin to pay attention to key words: The word study is the word “spoudazo” in Greek; it implies to be diligent, to be eager, and to make effort. This word speaks of putting in handwork; hence, it goes beyond just reading the bible. Paul used this same word “spoudazo” in 2Timothy 4:9, 21 and it was translated here as diligence. Similarly, in Titus 3:12 where he also used the word, it was rendered as diligence. In essence, Paul was telling Timothy to make an intense effort in the place of study; Timothy was to exert himself. So, the word “diligence” clearly explains or interprets the word study. In other words, the instruction to Timothy (a minister of the gospel) was for him to be diligent with the scriptures.

Thus, in the next statement, Paul says “…a workman…” and that term “a workman” was translated from a Greek word which implies a toiler, a labourer (it’s the Greek word “ergates”). This again, further makes us see the importance of hard work on the part of the minister of the gospel in studying and consequently teaching from the scriptures. The study of the scriptures therefore demands the quality of diligence. As a student of the word, as a teacher of the word, the place of diligence in bible study cannot be overemphasized. You cannot give the bible a lazy approach in the place of studying. Recall, Paul’s words here lets us know that the study of the scripture is hard work; therefore, one cannot be lackadaisical with the bible. Don’t forget wrong bible interpretation will be the hotbed for wrong bible application. Place premium on proper bible interpretation. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Right bible interpretation should be of utmost importance to you.

PRAYER: I declare that the zeal to study your word boils in me and the desire for right bible interpretation is ignited in me, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Missing it in proper bible reading will make you miss it in proper bible interpretation.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 2TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4; EVENING: TITUS CHAPTER 3

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (28)

“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 believer shouldn’t subject scriptural interpretation to hearsays and nuances.

We have come to see that the bible in our hands is God’s word clothed in man’s word. God’s thoughts and words has been expressed and communicated in man’s language in a body called the bible. Thus, the language of men is the language of God’s word; the bible therefore, is a literature with spiritual information. Let’s look at 2Timothy 3:15-16 and see something else worth noting, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. The word “doctrine” in verse 16 is equally a key word in that verse. That word is derived from the Greek word “didaskalia” which implies teaching, learning and it is in the doctrine of Christ that we find reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. The word “reproof” (verse 16) is the word “elegchos” in its Greek equivalence. “Elegchos” implies eveidence; it is used for evidence in the law court. It was also used by the writer of Hebrews in his epistle: Hebrew 1:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Thus, it is important to emphasize that the scriptures were given for evidence. Every doctrine, teaching, belief, and opinion must have its basis from the truth revealed in the scriptures. Believers are not expected in any way to live based on assumptions, feelings or hearsay. Therefore, it is the believer’s responsibility to find out and understand what has been written, as a text of the scripture can never mean what it never meant. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Scriptural interpretation and analysis shouldn’t be subject to idiosyncrasies.

PRAYER: I declare that I am committed to proper bible interpretation now and always, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: A vital truth is lost and a lie is innovated when the bible is wrongly interpreted.

DAILY BIBLEREADING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2

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