A friend of mine wrote the following: There is a difference between understanding scripture in historical context and forcing historical context upon scripture. For example, John's narrative about Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3 is understood better when viewed through the lens of then-contemporary Judaism. It allows the reader to recognize the difficulty Nicodemus, a pharisee, was having understanding the words of Jesus. However, if we force historical context upon the narrative we can conclude that John 3:16 only applies to the dispersion of Jews through the Mediterranean region; and believe it or not there are some who actually teach that Jesus' statement in John 3:16 was basically Jewish in nature and not meant for the Gentile world. We must always start with the text. As soon as we add "historical context" to interpretation it becomes "historical theology", and we have introduced human logic. We are not seeking to understand the text alone. Historical context adds flavor and texture to the text, but it does not interpret the text.