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big red KONTEXT
with a Kapital K"

~ Bill Dillon, Bible teacher, New Tribes Mission
Then Judas went out and hanged himself. Go thou and do likewise. And what thou doest, do quickly.

I subscribe to the Olivet method of Scripture interpretation: read olivet, believe olivet. Failure to consider context is a leading cause of scripture misinterpretation. It's a fatal error, yet easily avoided. Reading the whole passage in which a "verse" of Scripture is found takes no special training, and very little time or effort. Most false doctrine relies on a smattering of phrases and fragments culled from various passages (sometimes only one!).

We wouldn't think of treating any other book as a collection of unrelated aphorisms. The Bible, above all books, commands our respect. Don't even start to think about what a "verse" means until you've read the whole passage it's part of. Or I'm comin' over there with a rope. :-)

Remember the ancient "Rule of Faith," or "Analogy of Faith" as it's also called: the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. The full context for any "verse" is the entire Bible.

The reason the word verse is in quotes is that most of Scripture was not written in chapter-and-verse form. It's easy to forget that the chapter and verse divisions in today's translations are not part of the text. They were added centuries later, and are mostly arbitrary, except in certain poetic books such as the Psalms. When we see the text in small divisions, we tend to lazily think that each bit is a natural unit. This undermines our efforts to see each statement in its proper context.



Every Word By Faith

How an Old Testament genealogy changed my worldview.


Misunderstandings About Sovereign Grace

Was Calvin's God a cosmic bully?


A Fresh Word from the Lord

Navin strikes again.


Beauty, Wisdom, Truth

Does subjectivity in theology endanger the truth?


God Is Not Willing That Any Should Perish

So why hasn't He come back yet?


The Spiritual Power
of Music

Does music invite and repel spirits, good and evil, to and from our spirits? An examination of all Scripture passages that attribute spiritual power to music.


Come Unto Me, All...

All of whom? An examination of Matthew chapter 11, questioning the view that unregenerate man has the ability to come to Jesus. Don't make me get the rope.


Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus

Connecting the dots in John chapter 3.


The Direction of God's Wrath

Toward what or whom does God direct His wrath? The answer of Scripture reveals some big surprises.


Magical Criticism

A rebuttal of Hank Hanegraaff's article Magical Apologetics, in which he dismissed the Bible Code phenomenon as a charismatic fad.


Christian Truth and Middle-earth Myth

Is The Lord of the Rings a dangerous book? Does it promote witchcraft? Was Tolkien a Christian?


Mythology and the Apostle Paul's Warnings About Myths

Must Christians avoid mythic stories?


The Seven Days of History

Could the seven days of creation serve as a template for world history?

Bible Study

~Online Study Helps~

Below: Sunday School teacher's notes. Anything in them that is not explicitly credited to someone else may be treated as if it were public domain. For three years, I shared teaching responsibilities with Allen Barnes, Mark Brown, and Brent MacDondald at Two Rivers Baptist Church (Southern Baptist), Nashville, TN. I have since begun attending Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Murfreesboro.

~The Doctrine of Scripture~


Copyright © 2002-2006
David J. Finnamore
Orlando, FL