Did you know that you make the bible say anything you want? One of the main problems that we see from the pulpit and from Christians in general is that we used eisegesis instead of exegesis. What do I mean? What many people do is start with THEIR thoughts and their views and then read that INTO scripture instead of starting with scripture and read OUT of it, not having any pre conceived thoughts or ideas and letting the scripture speak for itself, taking into account the historical context. A typical example of eisegesis is with Pastor Clarence McClendon in this clip at the 1:15 mark

Here he starts with a view of the prosperity gospel and then reads INTO 3 John 2 where it states that:

” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

But you only need to go back one verse to see who he was talking to

The Elder,

To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:

John was not trying to make a doctrine about prosperity here. All he was doing was greeting Gaius. It would be the equivalent of us today writing a letter saying “I hope everything is going well with you”. That is all

However, if I told them that the White Camelia Knights of the Klu Klux Klan use the same process to justify doing what they do, I’m sure they would not agree. For example on their website which can be viewed here, they have started with their racist views and then use scriptures such as the below to justify their views

Exodus 33:16 “So shall we be separated: I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the Earth”

Leviticus 20:24 ” I am the Lord they God which have separated you from other people”

Now some may say that this is extreme but it really no different than what is preached Sunday after Sunday in many churches. It is so easy for us in the western world to imprint our western thoughts INTO scripture which is where many false doctrines begin.

Francis Chan explains the difference between eisegesis and exegesis below

I saw this video below which is mainly for those who are preaching sermons but the general princple here should be used by every Christian when interpreting the scriptures and I would encourage every Christian (not only preachers) to use these very useful tips and guidelines when studying the bible. It could put a lot of fasle teachers out of business.

So next time you hear your preacher talking of Blessings, Breakthroughs and Divine Favor and your destiny which seems to be the norm now, ask yourself, are they reading that stuff INTO the scripture or OUT of the scriptures?

  1. Jacqui says:

    Absolutely spot on

  2. michaelm says:

    I read such an example of 3John in ‘Rhapsody of Realities’ a local church magazine .It’s a very positive magazine and aims to lift and enable the christian lifestyle. But I wonder if their is a weakness it may be by not mentioning the primary meaning , advice to Gaius . But can an appllication be made to the individual believer today ? Can they pray for that promise made to Gaius be real in their experience ?.
    Miles Coverdale gave advice that readers of scripture should note the context of the words . And to whom they were spoken , when , why , what for . So I agree with the caution given in the article and that a blanket doctrine for all cannot be made from the scriptures sited but an application might be ?.
    Hopefully I haven’t confused the matter or got it all wrong 🙂 .

  3. Henry says:

    There are at least two other blatant disregard of scripture evident in the “Preachers of LA” video. There is one man being prayed for with a hat on his head and their is a “bishop” with baseball cap on praying for/with another man to be saved. This goes against 1 Cor 11:4.

    Deitrick Haddon can be seen in the video justifying his extra-marital affairs and putting it down to him being “a man”. Now I seek not to judge him personally but 1 Tim 3 disqualifies him from continuing in ministry as a pastor. The scripture says:

    1Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

    Sadly however today anything goes. We interpret scripture how we see fit and apply it accordingly.

  4. Increase Okechukwu Divine-Wisdom says:

    Interesting theology. However, I do agree with putting false teachers out of business. The challenge is to find an acceptable method of identifying them.

  5. Increase Okechukwu Divine-Wisdom says:

    Interesting theology. However, I do agree with putting false teachers out of business. The challenge is to find an acceptable method of identifying them.


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