"Taken in context"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    What do people really mean when they use the phrase, taken in context? I have tried to first look at whom the passage is written to Church or Israel. Also is it a literal meaning or metaphor. Although the scripture often refers to the lost it was all written to the believers.
    Also I believe the Bible is not the whole word of God but only that which he determined we needed. "Nor could the scroll contain the whole...?"I certainly have an abundant amount of ignorance when it comes to the Scripture and would like to hear some of you brothers who are more enlightened as it relates to this subject.
     
  2. Dale-c

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    Taken in context means that you read the whole passage that is relevant so you know the context in which something was said.

    Especially when a chapter or verse starts with "therefore" you know the following statements will be related to what has been said before.

    If you know know the context, you could either misunderstand, or not understand at all.

    Of course like anything else, it can also be used to make a verse say something other than what it obviously says.

    I too have an abundant amount of ignorance. I still have a ton to learn.
     
  3. Oldtimer

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    I, too, have a long ways to go. And a shorter time left than many who frequent this board.

    IMO, context means knowing the whole story to the extent possible. If not reasonably assured that both sides, sequence of events, etc. isn't known, then I don't have the "context".

    Betty yanked her daughter's arm so roughly that she left bruises.

    She's abusing her child. Right?

    Wrong. The rest of the story.

    Betty yanked her daughter's arm so roughly that she left bruises. She pulled her child out of the path on an on-coming truck, just in time.

    One of the things that I like about searching for scriptures at BibleGateway is the options available when possibilities are found. Each verse has the option to read in context. Usually that's the verse preceeding and following. Or to read the whole chapter where the verse is found. Plus, once the context is selected, options to read the preceeding & following chapters and books is given.

    This has helped more than once, when I thought I understood a verse. That is until I read it in context. For example, all my life I'd heard "Judge not, that ye be not judged." However, in context, that isn't what the verse means.

    Matthew 7: KJB
    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
     
  4. mont974x4

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    Context is very important. There are two types of context to be concerned with:

    1. Literary context. Every verse is in a chapter. Every chapter is in a book. Every book is in a Testament. Both Testaments are in the Bible. The Bible is in the context of who God is. A great place to start with any verse in question is the 20/20 rule. Read the 20 verses before and after any verse in question....and work your way out. You want to be careful to consider every passage that relates to a given topic.

    2. Historical context. Who wrote the book? Who are the key people in a passage? Where are they? What is the cultural context of the event? What is the spiritual context (pre or post-Cross)? You get the idea.

    The important thing is to gather as much relevant information as possible.


    As to the idea of the Bible being incomplete? In 1 Peter we read that God has given us everything needed for life and godliness. In 2 Tim 3 we read that all Scripture is not only inspired by God it is also completely sufficient for training and equipping us. It is true that the authors of the Bible were not inspired to write all that Jesus said and did. That does not mean the Bible is not complete.
     
  5. Matt22:37-39

    Matt22:37-39
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    TAKEN IN CONTEXT...would have to do with the proper use of Hermeneutics, which includes understanding WHO the author is, the history and culture of the time, who it was being written to, and such things.

    In context would be looking at verses or even a chapter before and after to understand the true meaning. Also, I think it is important that when one quotes a verse, that he can also be able to BACK up their interpretation of that verse other places with at least ONE old testament verse or principle. If one cannot successfully do that...then they must be taken that verse OUT of context.

    That is how I see it.
     
    #5 Matt22:37-39, Oct 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2012
  6. ktn4eg

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    Three helpful and relatively non-technical works that this non-semenary-trained, non-preacher/pastor/elder/whatever has found to be helpful in his attempt(s) to better understand such concepts as "context" are:

    1) Plummer, Robert L., 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible. (c) 2010, Kregel Publications. ISBN 978-0-8254-3498-3.

    2) Strauss, Mark L., How to Read the Bible in Changing Times: Understanding and Applying God's Word Today. (c) 2011, Baker Books. ISBN 978-1-61793-029-4.

    3) Freeman, James M., Manners & Customs of the Bible. (c) 1996, Whitaker House. ISBN 0-8368-290-7. (This is actually about the 16th edition and/or reprinting of this "classic.")

    A couple other, somewhat (at least to me) more technical works include:

    1) Archer, Gleason L., Jr., The New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. (c) 1982, Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-24146-4;
    2) Kaiser, Walter C., et. al., Hard Sayings of the Bible. (c) 1996, IVP. ISBN 0-8308-1423-X.

    Finally, there is, what I've found to be a (somewhat) useful Bible survey:

    Richards, Lawrence O., The Bible Reader's Companion: Your Guide to Every Chapter of the Bible. (c) 1991, Victor. ISBN 0-89693-039-4.

    Naturally, as with most books, especially those written by either one author or by a very small group of authors, their bias(-es) is/are bound to show up when it comes to certain areas where there may be a considerable difference of opinion(s) regarding the interpretation(s) of "specific(s)." EX: Prophecy.

    It is always wise to keep such a consideration in mind when trying to form one's own idea(s) about a given context/contexts.

    Here again, I make no claim to be a "Bible expert" on any particular Bible subject.

    But, OTOH, as the time-worn proverb goes, "A text taken out of its context is merely a pretext!!"
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    BTW, I forgot to mention that I just came across another book on the subject of Bible interpretation:

    Guthrie, George H., Read the Bible for LIFE: Your Guide to Understanding & Living God's Word. (c) 2011, Broadman & Holman. ISBN 978-08054-2.

    There is also a workbook for the above: By its author entitled Read the Bible for LIFE: Listen, Understand, Respond that is (c) 2010 by LifeWay Press. ISBN 978-1-4158-6931-4. (Not sure how/why its workbook is copyrighted earlier than the textbook that it is intended to accompany. I that is just one of them thar thingies that y'all's just ain't not supposed to no!!! :BangHead: )
     
  8. Dale-c

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    This is the historical context, yes. This is important. and helpful, though i would say (as has been already stated) that the literary context is more important.

    Knowing the whole passage, which may be part of a chapter, more than just one chapter etc is important.

    Then of course, knowing what the people would have originally understood, as best as we can is good.
    Knowing the culture of the day etc.
     
  9. ktn4eg

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    Another book that could come in helpful, especially when trying to understand some of the "why's / how's / wherefore's" of the "rest of the world," i.e., the "Gentile" [not strictly what we'd call the "Holy Lands," etc.] and/or the "400 year "silent period," might be:

    Leston, Stephen, The Bible in World History: How History and Scripture Intersect (Putting Scripture into a Global Context). (c) 2011 [by author]; Barbour Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60260-645-6.

    N. B. --- Most all (at least the one's [c] the 21st century) of these reference books are currently available via christianbook.com and/or LifeWay bookstores and/or Amazon, and (considering that they are primarily Bible reference texts) at relatively low prices.
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    Think refers to the immediate surrounding verses, and also to take into account things such as the setting/audience/topic/genre and type of writing etc!

    Also important to remmeber cannot take and isolate a single passage/verse to support ones theology only, nor have it mean something that contridicts rest of the scriptures!
     

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