Hugh’s News & Views (Texts In Tension)


(Note: An additional point was added to this essay after it was posted to four church websites early on Monday, February 10. The complete article as received by subscribers to my “News & Views” and as will be posted to my Facebook page follows).

In reading the Scriptures it is important to know that different texts often emphasize different truths about the same subject. Rather than being contradictions, they are inspiration’s way of teaching important lessons that complement the whole of God’s instructions to mankind. I refer to these as texts in tension. While the texts may seem to set forth opposing ideas, none of the texts is exclusive of the other, but all of them set forth essential truth about the subject under discussion when studied in their context. A study of some of these texts in tension should prove beneficial. Continue reading

#context, #hughfulford, #truth

Hugh’s News & Views (Texts Used Out Of Context)


Context has to do with the setting and circumstances in which an event takes place or a statement is made. By ignoring context events can be misinterpreted and statements can be misunderstood. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in today’s world. A man may have made a statement (or be charged with having made a statement), and without knowing the context of his statement, he may be accused of saying and believing something that he neither said nor believes.

In studying the Bible it is important to observe the context of all that it says. Sometimes statements of scripture are lifted from their context and made to teach things that the inspired writer never intended to teach. The statement taken out of context may, indeed, set forth a truth that is taught elsewhere in scripture but not in the text cited. To use a passage out of context is unjustifiable, because as the old hermeneutical saw goes, “A text taken out of context is a pretext.”

Following are a few of many examples that could be given of using a text of scripture out of context. Continue reading

#context, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Context)


The sixty-six divinely inspired documents that constitute our Bible are the totality of God’s revelation to mankind. Every specific text must be studied in the light of its context, and no immediate text is to be understood in such a way as to conflict with the total text of divine scripture. Continue reading

#bible-study, #context, #hughfulford

Will any dogs make it to Heaven? A lesson on context!

Some say all dogs go to Heaven. Some say none. More than likely you’re one of the two.

It’s easy to understand why people ask the question, “Do dogs go to Heaven?” A lot of people love their dogs! But then again there is such a thing as cynophobia. And furthermore, there are some individuals who despise any purebred or combination of K9’s that you can imagine.

I suppose people tend to ask the question under consideration because they project human characteristics onto their dog. This is easy to understand since some dogs are sweet and compassionate to their owners – I mean, they wouldn’t even hurt a flea … but some dogs are vicious to the core, capable of taking the life of a human-being or another animal without any sign of remorse.

With all that being said, let’s come to a conclusion on this question of dogs and Heaven by looking at what the Bible says about the matter.

Considering the fact that the word “dog” gets used at least nine times in the New Testament, and every time the word is used it’s in a negative way (with the exception of a possible allusion to puppies being able to make it into God’s good graces (Matthew 15:22-28)), I believe Revelation 22:14-15 plainly settles the issue: Continue reading

#bible-questions, #context, #dogs, #rightly-dividing-the-word-of-god

April 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (How to Study the Bible – Part 1.)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Studying with the Right Attitude (Johnie Scaggs Jr)
  • The Importance of Effective Bible Study (Cody Westbrook)
  • Understanding Bible Authority (Kevin Rhodes)
  • The Silence of the Scriptures (Steven Lloyd)
  • The Importance of Context (Rick Brumback)
  • Types and Shadows (Don Walker)
  • Understanding the Covenants (Clay Bond)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#authority-in-religion, #authority-of-the-scriptures, #bible-ignorance, #bible-study, #biblical-covenants, #characteristics-of-the-bible, #christian-worker, #context, #heart-and-mind, #inspiration-of-the-bible, #rightly-dividing-the-word-of-god, #sufficiency-of-the-bible, #types-and-shadows

Why some people see contradictions in the scriptures (context)

Many people accuse the scriptures of contradicting themselves; some even seem to make a sport of it.

But why are so many so quick to make such an accusation? There are several reasons, but one big one is because they read something like this:

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

and then they read something like this:

Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”” (Luke 6:47-49)

and then their conclusion becomes that the scriptures contradict because the lesson given by Jesus in Matthew’s account doesn’t match the lesson verbatim given by Jesus in Luke’s account.

Unfortunately, many people who make this accusation never to stop think and realize that Matthew’s and Luke’s account are dealing with two different situations at two completely different times. And the point behind this isn’t hard to understand. I mean, have you ever told a story (a parable in the above setting) to different people at different times to get the same point across? It’s not the telling of the story verbatim that matters, it’s the point that you’re trying to make to them with it. Thus it is many times with the teachings of Jesus in the scriptures that many people see a contradiction when they should be looking at the context of when and where and why it was said.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” (Matthew 9:35)

#bible-contradictions, #context, #teachings-of-jesus

"Fear Ye Not" – Matthew 10:31

In the context of Matthew 10, Jesus is telling his twelve disciples what to expect when they go from city to city, preaching the gospel. He explains to them that the world will hate them because of the message they preach – including those of their own household (Matthew 10:16-22). He then tells them to preach the whole gospel without fear (Matthew 10:26-27), the only person to fear is the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).

In Matthew 10:31, He then goes to to say that the disciples are of far more value than that of mere sparrows, therefore, they are not to “fear” what man can do to them – God will take care of them, even in death (Matthew 10:29-31; cf. Romans 8:28-39; cf. Psalm 116:15; Revelation 14:12-13).

When Jesus rides in our boat, there is absolutely nothing to fear:

#care, #context, #death, #disciples, #explain, #fear, #gospel, #hate, #household, #jesus, #preach, #twelve, #world

A Good Example

Will God actually give man something in the way of a command that is not good, does not benefit man?

A good example of how to misapply Scripture is when one takes a verse like Ezekiel and interprets it all alone (without regard to context). By itself, it is a troubling verse, but understood in a proper context troubling concerns vanish.

The NKJV gives the proper sense (in my view), but as you compare the translations it may be that the NKJV aaded a word in order to do this. In any case, be sure to study with the context in mind.

Eze 20:25

(ASV) Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances wherein they should not live;

(Brenton) So I gave them commandments that were not good, and ordinances in which they should not live.

(CEV) I gave them laws that bring punishment instead of life,

(DRB) Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments, in which they shall not live.

(ESV) Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life,

(GNB) “Then I gave them laws that are not good and commands that do not bring life.

(JPS) Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live;

(KJV) Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;

(LITV) Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments by which they could not live.

(NET.) I also gave them decrees which were not good and regulations by which they could not live.

(YLT) And I also, I have given to them statutes not good, And judgments by which they do not live.

#bible-study, #context