What Happens When the Church Reads the Bible Out of Context (Part IV)

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What happens when the church reads the Bible out of context? Some of our most cherished beliefs, songs, and platitudes are based on proof-texting, which means that the original historical and literary context of the Bible is ignored.

What happens when we re-examine commonly referred to Bible passages in light of their context? Dr. Craig Keener helps explain the original meaning. In Part IV of this video series he tackles two passages that are commonly used to assert prosperity teaching. View Part I here. View Part II here. View Part III here.

  1. Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In this passage, Jesus is not providing a formula for receiving the material things that we desire. Rather, it is teaching us to not seek after our desires, but to seek him and trust that he will provide our basic necessities.
  2. Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” This passage is not teaching us how to receive material blessings by faith. Rather, it is giving us a future hope which we can trust even in spite of our current adversity, which the audience of Letter to the Hebrews was likely enduring.

Get The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig Keener

Get The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament by John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews; Mark W. Chavalas

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Craig Keener is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has authored over 17 books, four of which have won book awards in Christianity Today. His IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament has sold more than half a million copies. He and his wife, Dr. Medine Keener, reside in Wilmore, KY.

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