How to Rightly Divide the Scriptures

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

The Greek word is orthotomeo – only used this one time. The word has several shades of meaning.

  1. To cut straight, to cut straight ways
  2. To proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing right
  3. To make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly

The Bible has two main passages that emphasize the WAY to “divide.”

Isaiah 28:9-10 -- Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

  1. Find the major pieces first
  2. Find the supporting elements next
  3. Find the pieces throughout the text

Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 --And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

  1. Pay attention to the words (meanings, context)
  2. Penetrate (research) the teaching (text first; then books)
  3. Organize the information for teaching purposes
2 Timothy
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