A few days ago, I wrote about 3 John 2 and how some people unknowingly interpret Scripture by distorting its meaning without considering it context. They are unaware of the various contexts involved in properly understanding Scripture.
Distorting, Splicing Scripture
Here’s another way people distort the intended meaning of Scripture—by splicing Scripture. That is, people gather verses here and there in various parts of the Bible and presto!—a doctrine has been formulated.
Bible, a Jigsaw Puzzle?
It is the belief of some that the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle and by putting the pieces together in their right places using the “here a little, there a little” principle (Isaiah 28:10), the truth will come out. But Isaiah 28:10 actually has nothing to do with biblical interpretation. It is misunderstood and is interpreted outside of its own context. According to some commentaries, it is actually the gibberish talk or meaningless speech of a drunkard. It is not talking about the science of biblical interpretation. It is not an explanation of how to interpret the Bible.
With this method of gathering together and splicing together of unrelated verses (with different contexts) to form a supposed “truth” in the Bible, no wonder we have different kinds of beliefs all around us conflicting and/or agreeing with one another.
Misuse of Scripture: Cherry Picking
With this method of Bible interpretation, anybody can prove that their personal opinion is biblical—the “truth.” With this kind of method, we can prove that black is white or white is black. That is one of the most common method people use in Bible interpretation. Oftentimes, they already have formed their own personal opinions and ideas (assumptions) and then they open the Bible not to understand what the Bible is truly saying but instead, they look for verses in the Bible to give support to their already-formed and preconceived personal ideas. No wonder we have a lot of strange and out-of-this-world doctrines everywhere. This is also called cherry picking.
Of course, as long as the verses grouped together to form a doctrine are truly related and the various contexts have been considered, I have no problem with grouping verses together. My concern is: when people group together unrelated verses to form their own personal opinions and branding it as “biblical” and “coming from God,” that to me is the problem. It’s putting into the Bible their own ideas instead of allowing the Bible to speak to us its intended meaning as revealed to us by Jesus Christ.
When the written Word of God is interpreted correctly according to Living Word’s (Jesus Christ) intent, then and only then is it really the Word of God.
Do it quickly!
To illustrate this point, here’s an outrageous and funny example. By grouping together a set of three unrelated verses in the Bible, a non-biblical interpretation comes out. Here it is:
- Matthew 27:5 – So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
- Luke 10:37 – The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
- John 13:27 – As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him…
So there you are, three unrelated verses in the Bible grouped together and presto! We now have a new doctrine! What are you waiting for? It’s in the Bible right? It’s “biblical” right? Jesus himself said it! Go and do likewise! Hang yourself! And do it quickly!