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Misquoting God The SEVEN most misquoted verses of Scripture John Leonetti 2017
Let’s answer 3 questions Is there an art and science to Biblical interpretation? What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? What are some good study/reading habits when we open God’s Word?
Question 1 Is there an art and science to Biblical interpretation? Luke 24: 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Question 1 Is there an art and science to Biblical interpretation?
Example 1 Jer 29: 11 Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Is this a promise for all believers in every era? Was that what Jeremiah intended? 29: 1 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon
Example 1 continued Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. Notice that this promise is directed to a specific group of people (I will visit you) in a peculiar set of circumstances (Babylonian captivity.
Example 2 Matt 18 Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? Matthew 18: 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. ” How many times have we heard verse 18 be used as a proof-text to bind the Devil? Is verse 19 about ANY two believers agreeing an instruction on prayer? Absolutely not! Let’s look at verse 21 to see how Peter understood the binding, loosing and agreeing. 21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Remember the passage in context opens up with verse 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Example 3 Prov 23: 7 KJV Proverbs 23: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? I have often heard people quote Proverbs 23: 7: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. ” Then the quote was usually followed by an encouragement or reprimand that what you are thinking of yourself is a self fulfilling prophecy, directly from the Bible. Oh no, what are we going to do? Well we are going to read it in its context. 6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Who is the “he”? The man with the evil eye. The ESV and most translations are different from the KJV. Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, 7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Example 3 continued Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? Proverbs 23: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
Example 4 Matt 7: 1 Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? Matthew 7: 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you Among unbelievers this is probably the most misquoted verse in the Bible. It is also high on the list of verses misquoted by Christians usually by those who willfully misunderstand ministries who alert the church of heretical teachings within her. Context is key! A few verses later Jesus instructs us 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? How are we supposed to judge if someone is a false prophet if all judgment is reserved for God alone? When Jesus warns, “do not judge, ” He doesn’t mean we should never assess moral behavior. Rather, he warns against self-righteous and hypocritical judgments. When you judge, take the log out of your own eye first. Jesus is not saying it is never right to judge, He is explaining how we are to judge rightly.
Example 5 Mixed Metaphors Do you remember the stories where Jesus calmed the storm or when Peter TEMPORARILY walked on water? Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? The average preacher will tell you “Jesus can still the storms in your life. ” “Keep your eyes on Jesus and unlike Peter you won’t sink. ” So what is the point? Luke 8: 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith? ” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him? ” Matt 14: 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God. ” These events are not necessarily relating Jesus’ capabilities in our lives but RATHER HIS IDENTITY!
Example 6 Romans 8: 28 Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? Romans 8: 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, [h] for those who are called according to his purpose. What I am saying is that this verse is not a proof-text to say “all situations are good. ” Paul has something different in mind. You will find it in the next verse! “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8: 29).
Example 7 Philippians 4: 13 Question 2 What are some dangers and examples in isolating verses? 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Never read JUST a Bible verse! Question 3 What are some good study/reading habits when we open God’s Word? Get rid of the WWJD mentality and bracelets. Look for what DID Jesus do. Find out WHAT Jesus did and not WHY He did it. Focus on MEANING not PURPOSE. Meaning is WHAT the author expressed. Purpose is WHY the author expressed it. Exodus 23: 19 You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
MEANING VS APPLICATION Know the difference between MEANING and APPLICATION Article VII from the Chicago Statement on Hermeneutics Question 3 What are some good study/reading habits when we open God’s Word? We affirm that the meaning expressed in each biblical text is single, definite and fixed. We deny that the recognition of this single meaning eliminates the variety of its application. For example John 3: 16 can only have one MEANING but it can be APPLIED several different ways. JN 3: 16 can be used in an Evangelistic setting (WITNESSING). It can be used in encouraging fellow believers. It can be a theological statement or a summary of Christianity. Seek ye first the original meaning and all these relevant applications will be added unto you.
Does the passage use a literary form that requires special attention? Special Literary Forms Simile Metaphor Proverb Parable Allegory Poetry Prophecy Apocalyptic literature Types
In Closing A message has one correct meaning: that of the author! Reading the Bible requires that we overcome the gaps of time, culture, language, and world view. Summary You read the Bible like you would a newspaper. If the literal sense makes good sense, go with it lest it result in nonsense. There is a systematic way to approach interpretation of the Bible, which will result in a better understanding. Yes it is true that Luther claimed that any Christian had the right to interpret the Bible. Unfortunately, most modern Christians stop there. Luther also affirmed the “perspicuity” or clarity of the Bible, claiming its meaning was clear for those who attended to the grammar of the text and the leading of the Spirit.