Have you ever wondered why books of the Bible begin with such a long introduction? Romans, for example, begins by going into great detail about Paul, who he was, the background of the gospel, and other minutiae that don’t seem to be relevant to the point of the book: that is, to explain that salvation is offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Well, the writers of the books within the Bible knew the importance of Context. The meaning of any writing, not just the Bible, can be grossly misunderstood if one doesn’t know who wrote it, to whom they were writing, the reason it was written, the writing’s purpose, and other frames of context important to understanding the connotation of its words.
Consider the question: Why won’t you drive faster than the speed limit. If the question appears on a driving test, the answer might be something like, “because it is unsafe to go above the speed limit.” If the exact same question is asked of a teen driver by one of his or her friends while on the way home from a hockey game, the answer might be, “because there could be a cop around the corner.” I’m not advocating speeding; my point is the context of the question defines the type of answer being sought. It’s the exact same wording, the only thing that changes is the context.
When you read the Bible, do you browse through its pages, or do you consider the context and ask God to show you it’s true meaning?
What are your thoughts?