When you read the Bible, understanding and interpreting the real significance is among the most vital things we should do. In the text, Hays and Duvall state that “we would presume regarding say that the most crucial principle of biblical interpretation is that context determines significance.” If we make the mistake of overlooking the context, it often causes misconception and confusion of what the bibles are actually attempting to say.
It is very important to understand the historical-cultural context as well as the literary context in order to effectively understand what is being said.
I think it is always important to really understand what you are reading in the Bible; because sometimes when we are reading the Bible, in hopes of finding an answer to a question, it could be easy to twist the text to make it fit your situation.
I think a lot of times this happens in very unfortunate ways, like when people are trying to use the word against one another. I have personally seen people use Bible verses against a person or a group of people to bring them down, or to make themselves seem superior to another group of people. I do not believe the Bible should be used to harm one another, or to persecute people.
One of my favorite quotes from Hays & Duvall is “misreading the Bible ultimately hurts people by enslaving them, rather than setting them free with truth.”
Topical preaching can be vaild when the various passages are understood in context and the overall message doesn’t violate those individual contexts (Duvall & Hays, 2008). However, often topical preaching distorts the meaning of Scripture because it disregards the literary context. Topical preaching often disregards and violates context because it jumps from one passage to another, when this happens unrelated thoughts are strung together. It is like picking thoughts at random in order to shape your own conclusion, this is a violation of the context.
Duvall, J., & Hays, J. (2008). Journey into God’s Word. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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