1) The Apostle Paul instructed
Timothy how to handle God’s word in 2
Timothy 2:15 - “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, as a
workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the
word of truth” (NASB).
Conclusions: 1) Study of the Scriptures takes diligent work (2:15a). 2) Study of the Scriptures takes accurate handling (2:15b). 3) “Handling accurately” is the Koine Greek word orthotomeo, which literally means: “to cut straight.” Study of the Scriptures requires “cutting them straight.” 4) Compare 2 Peter 3:16b. Here, Peter comments on the “untaught” and the “unstable” and how they “distort” the Scriptures. “Distort” is the Koine Greek word: strebloo, which means, “twist, torture.” 5) Study of the Scriptures requires “straight cutting” not “twisting.”
2) A careful context seeking
reading of the Scriptures is a manner in which
to “cut them straight.” The following quotes concerning context are from
Biblical Words & their Meaning, An Introduction to Lexical Semantics, by
"The principle of contextual interpretation is, at least in theory, one
of the few universally accepted hermeneutical guidelines, even though the
consistent application of the principle is a notoriously difficult
enterprise" (page 138).
". . . the context does not merely help us understand meaning--it virtually
makes meaning" (page 139).
"But now, what exactly do we mean by context? This term must be
interpreted in the broadest sense possible, from the smallest syntactical
detail to 'the knowledge shared by speaker and hearer of all that has gone
before'” (page 140).
3) The following is
my contextual outline of the Book of Romans, for an
example of a contextual outline. Principle: Knowing the contextual setting of
any particular verse, “from the smallest syntactical detail to the knowledge
shared by speaker and hearer of all that has gone before,” is the first step in
Romans: Contextual Outline
I. Personal greeting and Doctrinal Introduction, 1:1-17.
1) Personal greeting,
2) Paul’s desire and prayer to see the Romans, 1:8-15.
3) The Gospel, righteousness and faith; 1:16-17.
II. Righteousness needed, 1:18-3:20.
4) The unrighteous
and God consciousness, 1:18-32.
5) Righteousness and judgement of hypocrisy, 2:1-16.
6) Righteousness and Jewish religious hypocrisy, 2:17-3:8.
7) Righteousness and all men, 3:9-20.
III. Righteousness provided (position), 3:21-5:21.
Righteousness, salvation and faith; 3:21-31.
9) Righteousness, salvation, faith, grace and the example of Abraham;
10) Righteousness, salvation, faith, grace and all men; 5:1-21.
IV. Righteousness potential, 6:1-8:39.
Righteousness, grace and death to sin; 6:1-23.
12) The Law, sin and death; 7:1-25.
13) Righteousness, life and the Holy Spirit, 8:1-30.
14) Righteousness and victory, 8:31-39.
V. Righteousness failure: Israel, 9:1-11:36.
Israel and faith; 9:1-10:21.
16) Israel and rejection, 11:1-36.
VI. Righteousness practiced, 12:1-15:13.
Acceptable Christian Way Of Life Righteousness, 12:1-2.
18) Righteousness and one another, 12:3-15:13.
VII. Personal Closing, 15:14-16:27.
19) Paul’s plan to see the Romans, 15:14-33.
20) Paul’s personal greetings, 16:1-16.
21) Discern dissensions, 16:17-20.
22) Other greetings, 16:21-24.
23) Final praise of God, 16:25-27.