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The One Great Requirement of the Bible:-"Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth"!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alan Gross, Feb 16, 2024.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
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    How to Enjoy the Bible
    by E. W. Bullinger, 1916, Part I.

    III. The One Great Requirement of the Word:-"Rightly Dividing" It.

    "The one great requirement of the Word is grounded on the fact
    that it is "the Word of truth."

    "And this fact is so stated as to imply that,
    unless the Word is thus rightly divided we shall not get "truth";

    and that we shall get its truth
    only in proportion to the measure in which we divide it rightly.

    The Requirement is thus stated in 2 Timothy 2:15:

    "Give diligence to present thyself approved to God,
    a workman having no cause to be ashamed
    rightly dividing the word of truth."

    The word in question here is orqotomounta (orthotomounta).*

    * From orqoV (orthos), right, and temnw (temno), to cut.

    "As this word occurs in no Greek writer, or even elsewhere in the New Testament, we can get little or no help from outside, and are confined to Biblical usage.

    "It is used twice in the Septuagint
    for the Hebrew r#$ayaf (yashar), to be right, or straight.

    "In Proverbs 3:6, 11:5, the Hebrew is Piel (or causative),

    to make right
    (as in 2 Chron 32:30; Prov 15:21; Isa 40:3, 45:2,13).

    "But it is the Greek word that we have to do with here,
    in 2 Timothy 2:15;

    and we cannot get away from the fact
    that temnw (temno) means to cut;

    or, from the fact that we cannot cut without dividing.

    "To divide
    belongs to the very nature of the act of cutting.

    "Even as applied to directing one's way, it implies that we divide off one way from others— because we desire to follow the right way and avoid the wrong.

    "The only Biblical guide we have to the usage of the word is
    in Proverbs 3:6:

    "In all thy ways acknowledge Him
    And He shall direct thy paths."

    "Our ways can only be made straight or plain by God's causing us to proceed on our way aright—i.e., by avoiding all the ways that are wrong, and going in the one way that is right;
    in other words, the right way is divided off from all the wrong ways.

    "What else can the word mean in 2 Timothy 2:15?

    "We need to stick with the Biblical usage,
    which associates the word with guidance in the right way.

    "The scope of the verse plainly teaches that:

    1. Our one great study is to seek GOD'S approval, and not man's.
    2. We are to show all diligence in pursuing this study.
    3. As workmen, our aim is to have no cause to be ashamed of our work.
    4. In order to gain God's approval and avert our own shame we must rightly divide the word of truth.
    5. To do this we must direct our studies in the right way.
    6. This great requirement is associated with the Word in its special character as being the Word of truth; i.e., "the TRUE Word."
    "All this tells us that we shall not get the truth
    if we do not rightly divide it;

    "and that we shall get the truth only in proportion
    to our "rightly dividing" it.

    "Other titles of the Word have their own special requirements.

    "As "the engrafted Word" it must be received with meekness
    (James 1:21).

    "As "the Faithful Word" we must hold it fast (Titus 1:9).

    "As "the Word of life" we must hold it forth (Phil 2:16).

    But, because this is "the Word of truth," its paths must be well noted, the sign-posts must be observed, the directions and guides which are in the Word itself must be followed.

    We are to "give diligence" to this great Requirement of the Word
    just because it is "
    the Word of truth."

    It is true that there are many who altogether ignore this precept;
    and have no thought as to obeying this command
    in their study of the Word.

    There are many who make light of our insistence
    on obedience to this precept.

    On what ground, we ask, are we to treat such an important command as though it had never been given?

    Why is not this command as binding on Bible students
    as any other command in the Word of God?

    What motive can such have to blunt the point
    and dull the edge of this "Sword of the Spirit" in this matter?

    NOR | How to Enjoy the Bible - Part 1 - III | The One Great Requirement of the Word: "Rightly Dividing" It.
  2. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2002
    Likes Received:
    A book written by Bill Parker, pastor of Eager Avenue Grace Church in Albany, Georgia.

    Rightly Dividing the Word: Rules for Interpreting the Bible

    Free to read online at https://n.b5z.net/i/u/10086795/f/Rightly_Dividing_the_Word_PDF.pdf

    "When it comes to books written by men, it must be emphasized that there is absolutely no replacement for (or rival to) the Bible. A book may be truthful and well written, but no book can equal the perfection, authority, wisdom, and eternal value of God’s holy, verbally-inspired, and inerrant Word. THE BIBLE IS GOD’S BOOK OF SALVATION. Why, then, should I (or anyone) write and publish more books? Aren’t there too many books now? Did not Solomon write, “of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12)? We have only to visit local book stores (especially religious book stores) to find how much time and money is wasted on useless and worthless books written by men. I am convinced that Solomon was referring to man’s natural efforts to communicate and study truth within himself and without the revelation of God’s Word to reveal and guide him in the truth. Solomon certainly was not saying that reading and studying the Bible itself is useless or worthless. The theme of this booklet is stated in the Bible – 2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But the Bible itself is clear that we need to be guided by Godly men whom God has gifted and sent to preach the Gospel and the whole Word of God (cf. Acts of the Apostles 8:30-35; Romans 10:13-17; 1 Corinthians 1:17-24). For any of us then to say that this cannot be done in the written word is foolish. To me asking, “Why write more books?” is the same as asking, “Why preach more sermons?” I view written words of Gospel truth as, in essence, preaching the Word of God. It is true that there are way too many books that are pedaling and promoting lies (false gospels and false religions). Any message (whether preached orally or written in a book) that tells the truth as it is revealed in the Bible is worthwhile and can be used of God in the salvation of His chosen people and the edification of believers. All books written by men must be judged by the light of the Bible."

    - excerpt from the Foreword
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 4, 2011
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    What does it mean to rightly divide the Word of Truth? The idea is to achieve the meaning of God's message and apply it to our lives. Many of us must rely on the efforts of translators to provide God's word such that we can understand it. If the translator accurately presented the message, we have a shot at rightly dividing the word of truth. However, it the translator or translation team is off the mark, we will be led astray, believing a mistaken message. Thus comparing translations should expose errant renderings, at least to a degree. Thus study becomes a requirement.

    The words of the wise (our scriptures from God) are indeed like goads prodding us toward paths of righteousness. But the study of uninspired opinions concerning God's word to the exclusion of actual study of God's word can lead to exhaustion rather than action.

    We know we must avoid "ear ticklers" who tell us what we want to hear, and those who want to give us fish rather than teach us to fish, based on greed or egotism.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 30, 2001
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    We know by studying the Bible that the Apostle Paul by trade was tent maker, this is very important in the illustration as a tent maker he had to cut the tent material in a straight line... Same as students of the Bible cut the truth in a straight line... Salvation is all of God and as scripture states... Who than can be saved?... With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible... I didn't put myself in Christ, God did... But I don't serve my God to be saved but I serve my God because I am... I'm a Pilgrim at rest on my way to the celestial city, whose builder and maker is God and the Bible... Or Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth... Jesus Christ took my place to save me and I give him all the credit... I don't deserve any... It's all by mercy and grace, rightly dividing the word of truth when you cut in a straight line, I can say!

    2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

    8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

    Brother Glen:)