A Message to the Church in Smyrna (A Fragrant Church)

The city of Smyrna was located approximately thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It was a prosperous city with a population of over one hundred thousand in John’s day (c. A.D. 95). That location had been inhabited for over three thousand years and no one knows for sure who founded Smyrna or exactly when it was established.

BIBLE INTERPRETATION: Context, Context, Context!

Have you ever been quoted out of context?  Sometimes people quote something you said, but by ignoring the context of what you said they can claim that you said something different—sometimes exactly the opposite of what you actually meant!  We often make this same mistake with the Bible.

The Bible in Its Context

In Josiah’s day, the book of the law was found in the temple, and Josiah’s humble response to its demands changed his generation.  Jesus later confronted religious teachers of His day who, for all their attention to the law, had often buried it beneath their religious traditions. 

Single Meaning or Multiple Meanings of a Biblical Text?

We have grammatical-historical-interpretation and grammatical-critical-historical interpretation. The former preserved objectivity in interpretation, the latter subjectivity. The former preserved the integrity and trustworthiness of the Bible writers and the text; the latter made both the Bible writer and the text untrustworthy. In other words, New Hermeneutics, with its pseudo-scholarship has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God.

You Took that Bible Verse Out of Context

In discussions concerning interpretations of the Bible, we often hear the phrase, “you took that out of context.” In fact, we often hear that in discussions outside the Bible, as when the media quotes a politician and the politician feels he or she has been unfairly treated. In its popular usage, the phrase seems simply to mean, “You got that wrong.”

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