Bible Interpretation – Context, Context, Context?

One thing I plan to do in my Bible study this year of 2020 is to better understand how Jesus and others in the New Testament quoted and applied Scripture from the Old Testament. See, there are many who believe in Once Saved, Always Saved who ignore many Scriptures because, for example, “Jesus was speaking just to the Jews of His day,” and “Hebrews was written for Hebrews so none of it applies to Gentile me.” I think this practice is both dangerous and wrong, and looking in more depth at Old Testament Scripture in the New Testament will prove me right, at least for my peace-of-mind’s sake.

Consider Peter’s speech in Acts where he talks about the need to replace Judas. In one verse Peter quotes from two Psalms, Psalms 69:25 and 109:8.

20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

‘Let his dwelling place be desolate,
And let no one live in it’;

and,

‘Let another take his office.’

21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
Acts 1:20-22 NKJV

Here are his quotes in context.

19 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor;
My adversaries are all before You.
20 Reproach has broken my heart,
And I am full of heaviness;
I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none;
And for comforters, but I found none.
21 They also gave me gall for my food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

22 Let their table become a snare before them,
And their well-being a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see;
And make their loins shake continually.
24 Pour out Your indignation upon them,
And let Your wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their dwelling place be desolate;
Let no one live in their tents.
26 For they persecute the ones You have struck,
And talk of the grief of those You have wounded.
27 Add iniquity to their iniquity,
And let them not come into Your righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
And not be written with the righteous.

29 But I am poor and sorrowful;
Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull,
Which has horns and hooves.
32 The humble shall see this and be glad;
And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.
33 For the Lord hears the poor,
And does not despise His prisoners.
Psalm 69:19-33 NKJV

Do not keep silent,
O God of my praise!
For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful
Have opened against me;
They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
They have also surrounded me with words of hatred,
And fought against me without a cause.
In return for my love they are my accusers,
But I give myself to prayer.
Thus they have rewarded me evil for good,
And hatred for my love.

Set a wicked man over him,
And let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is judged, let him be found guilty,
And let his prayer become sin.
Let his days be few,
And let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless,
And his wife a widow.
10 Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg;
Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places.
11 Let the creditor seize all that he has,
And let strangers plunder his labor.
12 Let there be none to extend mercy to him,
Nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children.
13 Let his posterity be cut off,
And in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15 Let them be continually before the Lord,
That He may cut off the memory of them from the earth;
16 Because he did not remember to show mercy,
But persecuted the poor and needy man,
That he might even slay the broken in heart.
17 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him;
As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.
18 As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment,
So let it enter his body like water,
And like oil into his bones.
19 Let it be to him like the garment which covers him,
And for a belt with which he girds himself continually.
20 Let this be the Lord’s reward to my accusers,
And to those who speak evil against my person.
Psalm 109:1-20 NKJV

On a casual read of both passages, I don’t see much “context” to link to the disciple Judas who would betray Jesus. As a working hypothesis, it appears the Holy Spirit told Peter these two bits of logos are rhema concerning Judas.

As another example, here is one of my (many 🙂 ) favorite passages in Psalms.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psalms 34:8-16 NKJV

Peter quotes part of this, but he completely omits that this is how one fears the Lord!

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For

“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:8-12 NKJV

I have wondered much about this omission, with no real understanding yet.

In 2020, I’m looking forward to studying these things. 🙂 And now I’m going to “recycle” a post from last May because it fits.


 

This is a well-known and often-quoted KJV verse.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

Look at the Greek, the Strong’sWebster’s 1828, and Dictionary. Without deeply researching, I’m willing to grant that the King James translators had no desire to confuse modern English readers. I’m willing to suppose they used the word dividing in the sense we today would understand a divided highway. We are not cutting up the highway, but more driving our cars in the appropriate lanes. Click on these links to see that most modern translations use words like “correctly handles” and “rightly handling.” These phrases make it hard to have a doctrine that one is to slice-and-dice Scripture to decide which parts of the Bible do not apply to his or her life. BibleHub BibleGateway

But a lot of people are doing just that. I have people respond to me that this very serious warning Scripture does not apply to them because it is “Old Covenant.”

“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.”
Ezekiel 18:24 NKJV

I find such thinking dangerous, especially in view of these passages.

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Malachi 3:6 KJV

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 BSB

One person strongly implied I wasn’t saved, because Jesus spoke these words to and for Jews, before He had died and risen from the dead.

“But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
John 10:38 NIV

(For why this is one of my salvation Scriptures see How I Got Saved!)

I am no longer Facebook friends or a YouTube subscriber of people who teach that major sections of the Bible don’t apply for us today. But you make your own choice. “Study to show …”


 

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 NKJV

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

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