Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Context is Crucial

I've been working on memorizing Scripture over the past two years. Thanks to Memverse (an online Bible memorization system), I've been able to memorize over 400 verses in that year and I have the entire book of James memorized.

As a result of memorizing Bible verses, I've begun to notice that a lot of the facebook pictures that have Bible verses don't quote the entire verse. This scares me because although it may not be be the poster's intention, this can cause confusion and misunderstandings of God and His Word.

Liz's Advice for Clearly Passing on Scripture:
1. Include the reference to your verse. That way others can find exactly what you were referencing.

2. Sometimes people quote a verse (or part of one) from the New Testament, that is quoting the Old Testament. If this is the case, reference the exact passage you're quoting, but also say that it's quoting from another passage.

3. Include the entire verse. In published Christian books, I've read "quotes" of Hebrews 13:5 "God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you"." This is in Hebrews 13:5, but A) it is quoting Deuteronomy 31:6, and B) it's leaving out the first half of the verse. The entire verse reads "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. For God has said, "never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." I understand that sometimes only a part of a verse speaks the message you want to say. If this is the case, include an "A" or "B" after the reference to indicate that you're only quoting part of the verse.

4. Remember that the chapters & verses were added centuries after the Bible was canonized. When you are looking at a verse, the surrounding verses, paragraph, chapter, and the rest of the book are crucial.

5. Context is crucial. If you only start posting half (or less) of a verse, you may be twisting Scripture into what you want it to say. There's a brilliant comic that illustrates how a verse taken out of context can be disastrous. 

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