Scope And Design Of Bible Books
The plundering of the word of God!
In order to counter false teaching and certain denials, I write this as a guide to each of you who are disciple’s of Christ Jesus. So what is the importance of investigating the Scope, and Design of any particular book or passage in the Bible? First we must understand and believe the following verses.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
1 Peter 1:21. “For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, ant we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
When investigating any doctrine of Scripture, we must always consider the design the author of any book had in view. Views that essentially would make the study of Scripture easier to understand. Be it Moses, Luke, or Paul, each writer had some design which he intended would make the unfolding of certain passages easier to understand.
These authors would not express themselves in terms that would be foreign to that design. It would therefore be reasonable to admit that they would make use of such words, and phrases suited to that very purpose.
To make ourselves acquainted, therefore, with the scope of an author, is to understand the chief part of his book. The Design and Scope is the soul, or spirit of that book; and that being made sure, every argument, and word will appear in it rightful place; and would perfectly, and easily be capable of being understood: but if the scope is not duly considered, everything would become obscure, however clear and obvious its meaning may/should be.
How irrational, arbitrary, and unfair is the style of wrongful interpretation which in many cases is applied to the Scriptures? False teachers will insulate a passage; fix their sights on a particular sentence; then detach it from the paragraph to which it belongs, than proceed to explain it in a sense dictated only by the combination of the syllables, or the words they now considered alone.
If the word of God be dissected and tortured in such a way; what language would it speak, and to whom would it speak? Would it not speak to every cult, to every irregular religion, and non-religious group? What sentiments will it not tolerate, what imagination would it not gratify?
Would such a manner of interpretation be tolerated by today’s authors, playwrights, or directors? Would such distorted methods of interpretation be permitted in commenting on any of the productions of a classical play?
Yet to the above mentioned, this would be as a small annoyance, even though it is unjustifiable. But in the case of an intentional distortion on any passage of Scripture, who can calculate the amount of damage sustained if the purity of design and Scope are defiled? If the fountainhead is broken, that which flows from it will be diverted, or stopped?
Let’s examine further what the Design and Scope of any particular book means. The author of Ecclesiastes announces clearly, at the beginning of his book, the subject he intends to discuss.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2, “the words of the Preacher, the son of David, king of Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”
It is to show that all human affairs are vain, uncertain, frail and imperfect. Now because this is the case, he continues to inquire,
Ecclesiastes 1:3, “What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh (toils) under the sun?” Answer, none.
Toward the close of Ecclesiastes, 12:8, Solomon repeats the same subject, the truth of which he had proved by his own experiences. “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity.”
The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel; writes, “To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give subtilely (insight) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion; to understand a proverb, and the interpretation of it; the words of the wise, and also their dark saying.”
John, towards the close of his Gospel, announces his object to be,
John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus in the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
In this, all the discourses of our Lord Jesus, which are recorded almost exclusively by John, are to be read and considered with reference to this particular Scope and Design. And when these circumstance are kept in view, the discourses will be better understood; presented with much more force; and giving us far more pleasure because our understanding of what we are reading has been revealed in the Scope of the book.
Phillip LaSpino www.seekfirstwisdom.com