Friday, January 30, 2009

The Top 8 Most Misinterpreted Scriptures

I stumbled across an article on Yahoo in which the writer took the reader through 8 commonly misinterpreted songs. She explained that many of us mistakenly bring our own personal experiences into the lyrics of a song and consequently twist the author's intended meaning.

This reminded me of how we sometimes interpret the Scriptures. We approach the Bible with a subjective and “what does it mean to me” mindset that makes the Scriptures susceptible to misinterpretation. Rather then examining the data and coming to a conclusion and applying the verse appropriately, we bring our own experiences and conclusions into the text.

Understanding what the text is saying and what the author intended it to say is key in interpreting Scripture. Part of this is knowing a verse's context in its literary form. As we read, we should as ourselves, "Why is this particular passage located in a particular book? What is the context of this passage in light of the entire book?"

We must also consider the historical form of a passage, which includes geography, economy, climate, agriculture, architecture, family life, morals, and social structure of the writers, characters, and readers.

Also take into consideration the Bible's uniqueness; 66 books were written over a 1,500-year-span containing poetry, songs, historical narratives and everything in between…written by more than 40 authors ranging from judges, kings, herdsmen, and fishermen…we’re not dealing with any ordinary book but the word of truth from God Himself. My point is if we desire to read and understand the Bible for ourselves, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we must approach the Scriptures carefully and rightly handle this word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Furthermore, the misinterpretation of Scripture can lead to all varieties of false teaching and heresy. Just turn on your television and watch any televangelist preaching and you’ll see what I mean.

With that said, I’ll be posting, in more detail, the top 8 most misinterpreted Scriptures in Christianity today (no pun intended) in the days to come. Usually when one verse of the Bible becomes popular, it typically gets taken out of context and stripped of its original meaning. You'll see it postedon calendars, mugs, and everything in between that you can find at your local Christian trinket shop. Hopefully my subsequent posts will bring some light to these verses.

And here is my list.

8. John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

7. Romans 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

6. Revelation 3:16
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of
my mouth.

5. Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the LORD,and he will give you the desires of your heart

4. Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

3. Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

2. Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

1. Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

What about you? Do you have any to add?

*UPDATE: I know I haven't followed through on this post but I will dedicate more posts to each individual verse.

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