Monday, September 26, 2016

"Never read a Bible verse"

Greg Koukl writes "Never Read a Bible Verse," or, I would add, never quote a Bible verse (unless):
If there was only one bit of wisdom, one rule of thumb, one single skill I could impart to you, one useful tip that would help build your knowledge as a Christian ambassador and help you cultivate a sensible faith, what would it be?

Here's what I came up with: Never read a Bible verse. That's right, never read a Bible verse. Instead, always read a paragraph—at least. Here's why. ....

This works because of a basic rule of all communication: Meaning always flows from the top down, from the larger units to the smaller units. The key to the meaning of any verse comes from the paragraph, not just from the individual words. ....

A reflection on a Bible passage from a sermon or a devotional may be edifying, encouraging, and uplifting. But if it is not the message of the text, it lacks biblical authority even when the quote comes right out of the Word of God. .... [more]
Paul Manuel says on his site that "context controls meaning."