By James Fire
We have been taught that when examining Scripture, in order to seek out its truth and correct interpretation, we must always look at any given verse in the context of the passage. Sometime later we learned that not only is the context of the passage important, but the entire chapter, and not just the chapter, but the book. And of course, we must interpret any verse not merely in the context of the book in which it appears, but in the entirety of God’s counsel as recorded for us in the Holy Bible.
In other words, a balanced and proper view of any verse of Scripture is ultimately provided when one examines it in the light of all the other Scriptures. When we do this, apparent contradictions disappear; verses that we thought were contrary suddenly align themselves in harmony; Scripture that would have baffled us, informs us instead when we heed the entirety of God’s Word. It should be noted that wrong interpretations, false teachings, heresies and cults are established when there is overemphasis on certain verses, to the exclusion of others.
This is why as Disciples of Christ, our reading of Scripture should never be sporadic, but systematic; that is, reading through the Word, from Genesis to Revelation, and once done, start over. This same practice is recommended for the study of Scripture; one of the important hallmarks of a healthy church fellowship is one that is committed to expositional studies.