Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scripture Reading & Interpretation



Proper reading and interpretation of Scripture is absolutely vital to your walk as a Christian. Keeping things in proper context using exegesis (and *not* eisegesis) is absolutely essential to understanding God's Word correctly. To me, to read it in any other way is absolutely *wrong*.

Some of you may not be familiar with the words exegesis and eisegesis. I will explain them to you. Exegesis is reading through Scripture in context while using "careful, objective analysis". It's studying the text and coming to conclusions *based* on the text. Eisegesis is dangerous ~ letting Scripture be subject to whatever interpretation someone wants to give it. The text gets interpreted according to what the reader *thinks* it should say rather than what it actually says.

 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
~2 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis, mine)

Teachers who do expository preaching will go book by book through the Bible...verse by verse. Everything gets put into proper context and is interpreted properly by the Scriptures around it. Teachers who use eisegesis when preaching are usually those who are topical preachers. They base their teachings on a topic and then pick and choose verses to fit what they are presenting. Is this "rightly handling the word of truth" as the Bible tells us to do?

I like how GotQuestions.org explains it:

The process of Exegesis involves:
Observation
Interpretation
Correlation
Application

The process of Eisegesis involves:
Imagination
Exploration
Application

I can't even begin to count the number of times people have misused Scripture. Can you even imagine something more dangerous? Some people may read this post and just figure "This isn't all that important to me right now"...but to be honest, I can't imagine anything **more** important! To misuse God's Word is absolutely blasphemous in my opinion....what could be worse? Not only does it bring many people to believe they are promised things by God that they aren't...or that they should be wealthy or in perfect health...but when these things *don't* come to pass, it causes people to stumble in their faith as well as hurt their witness of the gospel.

 If you go HERE you can read an example of the reading of scripture with Eisegesis and Exegesis...and how different the outcomes are. It's so very important for you to understand the weight of this! THIS article from Ligonier explains why it is so important.

One of the most often misused Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.). Is that a promise for us? Have you read the Scripture that surrounds that promise? If not, I encourage you to! We twist that Scripture to fit us....but it was a promise for Israel at a certain place and a certain time. For many of you...that may be a surprise as this may be a verse you have leaned on. Watch THIS 5 minute video by Voddie Baucham that explains it for you. I promise...you will be glad you did. It's a beautiful thing to understand Scripture properly. It brings such joy to my heart. There is also THIS 5 minute video by Jefferson Bethke who explains it well (and the follow up video he did to it: Part 2)!

My beloved sisters in Christ...I want to encourage you to seek the truth in Scripture. Read the Word, pray for discernment, and always, always, always read the Scriptures in proper context. It makes you want to study more, dig deeper and grow your faith and relationship with Christ. As Christians, we should constantly be desiring to grow in wisdom and the truth of His Word. This is how we cast our eyes upon Him...and with a constant focus on Him, His truth is lived out in us.

It is true that we are all at different seasons of our faith. It is my desire to help my friends begin to move from milk to meat. I still have soooo much to learn and so much growing to do...but what I have learned over the years, I desire to share. If you have questions, please ask. I will do my best to answer them (and if I don't know, I will talk to my husband or my pastor to find the answer for you!).

I hope this post has helped you understand how vital the proper interpretation of Scripture is. I pray I have explained these topics well...and if I haven't...I hope I have at least introduced them to you. Then you can look up, study and work to understand them on your own.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for letting me share what's on my heart!
In Christ,
Katy

"We confess that the Bible is God’s Word, but unless we read and interpret it properly, our confess ion is a mere formality. Sound biblical exegesis is essential if we hope to know and act upon biblical truth."
~Daniel Doriani
                                                                                                                                                                    

a-wise-woman-builds-her-home

6 comments:

  1. Loved my visit here today. Such wisdom is hard to find in women who read the scriptures and take it for what it says instead of "making it say what you want it to".
    Thank you for clearning up the difference between the two.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Joyful...and for your kind and encouraging comment!

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  2. I learned long ago that Jeremiah 29:11 was for Israel NOT us .... yet how many times I've heard from ~ well known ~ pastors, just the opposite. Your post today has encouraged and brought joy to my heart. Thank you Katy.

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  3. Hmm, thought I commented yesterday but maybe it didn't go through. I just said that I had a busy day but would come back to read through and watch the videos. Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement. We can from a church that taught topically and the Scriptures were so badly twisted to fit the agenda of the Pastor and his vision. For the last 3 years we have been attending a fellowship of believers that teach verse by verse, book by book and we have grown so much in our understanding and walk with the Lord as we learn His word in context. Thanks again for sharing!

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  4. Good Morning Katy, I wanted to get up early this morning so I could comment on this post! As I am sure you know how we lost our grandson in the mountains. So my life has been, let's just say different ;o)

    This topic is the most important for our church's!!
    WE need the Spirits leading, but we must have the true word, precept upon precept. This is the only way we can grow! We all want to have our ears tickled and to be encouraged. Most church's just preach a message and after you walk out the door you do not even remember what was said, because it is only the word that does not return void. Yes being encouraged is important.
    But a Pastor that preaches from the Bible and teaches it as it gives sound grounded substance. I loved this post Katy! Thank You
    Blessings to you and your whole family! Roxy

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  5. I cannot imagine living without the word of God neither nor my hubby and family.

    Hubby and I are Grandparents to six now teens. We have been blessed to be married 53 years.

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy