Post-Texting For One's Version of the Truth

by Country Girl 1 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    Culled from:

    (a discussion topic regarding the Homestead Heritage cult in Waco, Texas)

    Just what is proof-texting and how can we recognize it in others words?
    Following are a few explanations and definitions taken from various sites.
    Can you identify it in the posts of others?
    Do you recognize it in any of your own thinking, studies or posts?

    Proof-texting is the preferred method of argumentation nowadays among armchair theologians. It has the peculiar property of seeming to indicate profound knowledge of the Bible and therefore the will of God Almighty, while in reality actually betraying a lack of knowledge of theology, the Bible and God Himself. [from Proof-texting is silly ]

    proof texting (using scripture out of context [from Children’s Ministry Magazine ]

    proof texting, and other rhetorical devises often employed by those who come to their study of the scriptures in other ways and who have different objectives in mind. [From The Foundation for ANCIENT Research and Morman Studies]

    This workshop will examine [Creflo Dollar’s] views of God and man and scripturally respond to his proof-texting for identifying Christians as “little gods.” [from 2004 St Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment Plenary and Workshop Session Tapes]

    Overlooking Context: This error, also referred to as “proof texting,” is the practice where a verse or a phrase is isolated from the surrounding text in order prove a point. Many examples of this occur in each case of which the words of the isolated text are completely re-interpreted once they are removed from their surroundings. This is especially prevalent among certain cults that claim to be Christian but are not; such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists. Many non-Christian religions are also very good at proof texting as well, such as the New Age Movement and the religion of Islam. While Jesus Himself was often the subject of proof texting, as can be noticed predominately in the gospel accounts of His life, in each case the text in question is not taken out of its original context but is used to show Jesus’ credentials by means of passages to which most contemporaries would have already been familiar. The error of proof texting occurs when the original text is interpreted to say that which is in opposition to, or ignorant of, the context in which the text is found. [from TO BETTER KNOW OUR GOD; A Study on the Practice and Methodology of Effective Bible Study; PART ONE OF "HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE"]

    "This kind of inane proof texting is the province of the Church of Law types, the right-wing Darbyites," believers in Left Behind–style apocalyptic prophecy. "It's depressing to see it practiced by liberal Christians, too."[from Seattle Weekly, Is Bush the Antichrist? By Tim Appelo]

    proof-texting[…] conclusions based upon how [one] strings together various texts to make [an] argument. [from John A Armstrong: Recommending a Systemic Theology Book]

    The importance of interpreting scripture with scripture cannot be overemphasized. False doctrine is usually the result of someone putting their own imagination to an isolated verse, instead of taking the time to compare related passages and "letting the chips fall where they may". Such proof texting is known as "isogesis", something altogether different than Biblical exegesis.[from Fulfillment Minitries, Letting the Chips Fall Where They May, by Dan Delagrave]

    Is every word in Scripture literally true? The problem with this question is its incorrect (and typically unstated) assumption that ‘literal truth’ is always literalistic -- a matter of referring to history or to the ‘facts’ of nature. It is just such a faulty assumption -- that the Bible always states facts -- that leads certain well-meaning defenders of inerrancy desperately to harmonize what appear to be factual or chronological discrepancies in the Gospels. In the final analysis what was new about the Princetonians’ view of Scripture was not their understanding of the Bible’s truthfulness but rather their particular view of language and interpretation, in which the meaning of the biblical text was the fact--historical or doctrinal--to which it referred. Their proof-texting was more a product of their view of language and interpretation than of their doctrine of Scripture. [from The Inerrancy of Scripture by Kevin Vanhoozer, Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at New College, University of Edinburgh]

    don't cherry pick the verse. That's called proof-texting and it's bad form in biblical exegesis. [from Missionaries visiting me]

    “proof texting.” […] begin with an opinion and then try to find a scripture to substantiate it. Proof texting and Biblical literalism are the cornerstones of the fundamentalist movement which began in the U.S. in 1910. [from Interpreting the Word of God, Feb, 2004]

    A Fundamentalist holds to a Biblical literalism, evidenced by a proof-texting hermeneutic and frequent references to a desire to "return to the NT church." [from Gay Evangelicals? By Dr Gene B Chase]

    In order to avoid proof-texting - taking a verse out of context - we need to realize that good Bible study requires more than looking up a string of isolated verses. We would never think of reading a Tom Clancy novel the way we do Scripture - one sentence from chapter one, another from chapter five, and a third from chapter twelve. It would result in nonsense, and we would miss the plot entirely! The Bible was written as literary units, such as books, letters, and poems, that were meant to be read from beginning to end. [from Zondervan, Free Articles on Bible Study]

    No one needs to be told that the Scriptures can be subjected to the most hideous distortion by those who take snippets here and there and turn it into an entire religion, as did the Branch Davidians. The method is called "proof-texting." By it the Bible can be made to support almost anything from murder to flying saucers. [from About the 1928 Book of Common Prayer]

    "proof-texting"? […] the approach of only looking for things that confirm what you already believe [from Dictatorship and Democracy]

    we should be aware of errors and watch for proof-texting (using scriptures without regard for their context).[from Knowing Scripture, Letting it be our foundation, Women’s Ministry, by Tammy Tkach]

    The unfortunate technique of “proof texting” is used somewhat indiscriminately in the less sophisticated cults of personality. What is doctrine or dogma is all too often decided subjectively and on the basis of emotion, tradition or politics. This is of course what leads skeptics to say, “You can prove anything by the Bible.” [from The Sabbath Sentinel, May-June 2004]

    This “cut-and-paste” approach has spawned all sorts of spiritual hazards. One of them being the popular practice of lashing verses together to build floatable doctrines. Another is that of “proof-texting” to win theological arguments. (A vast majority of Western Christianity behaves as if the mere citation of some random and de-contexualized verse ends all discussion on virtually all subjects.)

    The Medievals called this “cut-and-paste” method “a string-of-pearls.” You take one text, find some remote metaphorical connection with another text, and voilá, an ironclad doctrine is born! But this is a pathetic approach to understanding the Bible. While it is great for reading one’s own biases into the text, it is horrible for understanding the intent of the biblical authors. [from Needed: A New Approach t the New Testament, Present Testimony Ministry]

    Proof-texting is silly

    Children’s Ministry Magazine

    The Foundation for ANCIENT Research and Morman Studies

    Conference on Biblical Discernment Plenary and Workshop

    TO BETTER KNOW OUR GOD; A Study on the Practice and Methodology of Effective Bible Study; PART ONE OF "HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE"
    TO BETTER KNOW OUR GOD; A Study on the Practice and Methodology of Effective Bible Study; PART ONE OF "HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE"

    Seattle Weekly, Is Bush the Antichrist?

    Recommending a Systemic Theology Book

    Letting the Chips Fall Where They May

    The Inerrancy of Scripture

    Missionaries visiting me

    Interpreting the Word of God, Feb, 2004

    Gay Evangelicals?

    Free Articles on Bible Study

    About the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

    Dictatorship and Democracy

    Knowing Scripture, Letting it be our foundation

    The Sabbath Sentinel, May-June 2004

    Needed: A New Approach t the New Testament,

  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    one of the best quotes I ever heard - so much that I remembered it!:

    'A text taken out of context is the pretext for a prooftext'

    I reckon everyone does it to some extent when they're debating a particular point. I don't recall seeing any ridiculously out of context quotes on here though - nothing along the lines of using the verse 'Judas went out and hanged himself' as a biblical proof that suicide is ok!

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