Living the Christian Life – Chapter 10: Avoid “Proof-Texting”

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries3 Minutes

As you begin your study of Scripture, you will learn the terms like “exegesis” and “eisegesis”—which are two opposing concepts in Biblical interpretation. Exegesis is the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the author, text, and audience to find the original meaning of the text. This is the preferred form of Bible study where you “have no mind in the matter,” but instead are discovering the truth from within the text itself.

Eisegesis, on the other hand, is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to pursue your own preconceived ideas, agenda, or bias as you seek to prove your theory of the text. It is commonly referred to as “reading into the text” or “proof texting.” This is a dangerous practice in Bible study where passages are taken out of context or twisted to fit a pre-conceived theological idea. Many people have stumbled into error or even abandoned their faith in Jesus by using this faulty method of study.

Memorizing Scripture to Grow in Faith

A final encouragement when it comes to reading and studying Scripture is to develop the practice of memorizing key passages. In the Old Testament, King David made several statements about meditating on and memorizing the Bible.

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might
not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11 ESV).

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation
all the day” (Psalm 119:97 ESV).

It’s important to understand that though the Bible can be inspirational, comforting, and instructive, it is also our “sword of the spirit” to equip us to fight spiritual battles. As we have shared, the writer of Hebrews declares:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit (Hebrews 4:12 ESV).

It’s important to read, study, meditate on, and memorize Scripture in order to understand God’s love for you and plan for your life. The Bible is both a wonderful comfort and a mighty weapon. It is the wise disciple who follows Jesus’ encouragement to “abide in my word … and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32 NKJV).

God’s desire for you is to have an abundant life. Learn what this means and how to walk in this abundance as a part of our final lesson in chapter 11.