Rightly dividing the Bible

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#1
2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.​

What does this verse mean to you?
 




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#3
2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.​

What does this verse mean to you?
To study the Word of God diligently, so you are able to provide sound , clear, correct doctrine which harmonizes with God's truth.

I would also like to add, that I do not think one can achieve that unless they are reading God's Word, not a perversion, and are saved/born again, indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
 




Todd

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#5
The greatest hindrance to “rightly dividing” the word of God is church dogma and doctrine.

Why would the word of God need to be “ divided”? You only divide something when it is attached or connected to something else.

In the Bible “rhema” and “logos” are always used to describe the spoken word of God. “Graphe” is used to refer to scripture or the written word. Graphe is never used to describe the spoken word of God just as rhema and logos are never used to describe the scriptures.

The Word of God needs to be rightly divided from scripture. The rhema needs to be divided or taken from the Grape.
 




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#6
It helps to know the Greek of the Word translated as divided so people dont think it means to literally divide the Word of God:

orthotomeó: to cut straight
Original Word: ὀρθοτομέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: orthotomeó
Phonetic Spelling: (or-thot-om-eh'-o)
Short Definition: I cut straight, handle correctly
Definition: I cut straight; met: I handle correctly, teach rightly.


I believe the meaning of the verse is that we need to properly handle the Word of God and teach it rightly. We do this not by cutting pieces away but making sure to use all of it when we go to create or teach Doctrine. Methods of doing that are correctly described above, using Scripture to interpret Scripture, putting everything in its proper context so that you can provide clear sound Doctrine that doesnt cause one part to disagree with another. All of which will resonate with the Truth which God has sent down for us to know Him via His Word...
 




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#7
I think it means to keep it simple and don't overcomplicate what scripture is saying.

2 Timothy 2:15-16

"Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth. But avoid irreverent and empty chatter, which will only lead to more ungodliness,"

In context, the following verse says we are to avoid irreverent and empty chatter. I would describe irreverent chatter as an overcomplicated message similar to what we read about in the book of Galatians. I think most false teachings become complicated in their delivery. Then, new books are required to explain their approach to understanding the scripture. Like the Book of Mormon for example.

Keep it simple and if you don't know something, say you don't know rather than answering with irreverent and empty chatter.
 




Rec

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#8
At the beginning of the chapter, the Apostle-Presbyter Paul says to Apostle Timothy : 'what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also'. Here he is referring to an oral tradition which is 'entrusted' to faithful men in order that, in teaching others, they may 'rightly divide the Word of Truth', which is to say, in the words of St. John Chrysostom: 'With the sword of the Spirit, cut off from [their] preaching ... whatever is superfluous and foreign to it.'

The Apostle says elsewhere: 'So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter.' (II.Thes.2.15) I have to, then, wonder where people get the interpretation that the 'Word of Truth' is anachronistically referring to the Scriptures, and if it is, how we can know that the written Word contains the fullness of the preaching that the Apostle is referring to in these verses? To me, any appeal to one's own interpretation or some synchronising of Scripture as supposedly 'rightly dividing the Word of Truth' seems to contradict the beginning of this chapter, since who are these witnesses to the preaching you were entrusted and who entrusted it to you? After all, the very authority of St. Paul is not derived solely in his preaching or his interpretation of the Law and the Prophets but in that he was ordained by the Apostles of Christ; 'entrusted' with the Tradition of Christ, and was thus given power to ordain St. Timothy and instruct him in what he had himself 'received'. In fact, it is from this same Tradition that Scripture is derived and saying the latter supersedes the former would be arguing in circles: it would be like saying 'God had no real need for man because ultimately the Holy Scriptures (or Word of God) would have come down to us much the same, even perhaps at the hands of atheists, and the virtue of the authors and scribes is not relevant since God controls the outcome he desires such as when he translates the Bible into other languages'.

The apparent contradiction here is that even if the Bible was written by the hand of heretics or whether it fell from the 'Throne of Allah', there is an inherent need for an authority to verify its truthfulness. Otherwise, accepting an 'inherent authority' of the Bible is no more logical than accepting the Book of Mormon as from God. This kind of Neognostic derivation of salvation from the reading of Scripture would probably not exist had not Holy Tradition been completely trodden underfoot.

'Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks in rebellion, and not after the tradition which they received from us.' (II.Thes.3.6)
 




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#9
I am reading the book of Job today and two verses stood out to me that reminded me of this thread.

Job 27:12
"All of you have seen this for yourselves, why do you keep up this empty talk? "

Job's friends were telling him about God and what God would do for the righteous and the wicked man. Job says this is empty talk that is not helping him at all.

"After the LORD had finished speaking to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken the truth about Me, as My servant Job has." (Job 42:7).

God confirms this is irreverent speech and that his friends were not rightly dividing the word in their responses to Job. I thought this was an interesting example.
 




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#10
At the beginning of the chapter, the Apostle-Presbyter Paul says to Apostle Timothy : 'what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also'. Here he is referring to an oral tradition which is 'entrusted' to faithful men in order that, in teaching others, they may 'rightly divide the Word of Truth', which is to say, in the words of St. John Chrysostom: 'With the sword of the Spirit, cut off from [their] preaching ... whatever is superfluous and foreign to it.'

The Apostle says elsewhere: 'So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter.' (II.Thes.2.15) I have to, then, wonder where people get the interpretation that the 'Word of Truth' is anachronistically referring to the Scriptures, and if it is, how we can know that the written Word contains the fullness of the preaching that the Apostle is referring to in these verses? To me, any appeal to one's own interpretation or some synchronising of Scripture as supposedly 'rightly dividing the Word of Truth' seems to contradict the beginning of this chapter, since who are these witnesses to the preaching you were entrusted and who entrusted it to you? After all, the very authority of St. Paul is not derived solely in his preaching or his interpretation of the Law and the Prophets but in that he was ordained by the Apostles of Christ; 'entrusted' with the Tradition of Christ, and was thus given power to ordain St. Timothy and instruct him in what he had himself 'received'. In fact, it is from this same Tradition that Scripture is derived and saying the latter supersedes the former would be arguing in circles: it would be like saying 'God had no real need for man because ultimately the Holy Scriptures (or Word of God) would have come down to us much the same, even perhaps at the hands of atheists, and the virtue of the authors and scribes is not relevant since God controls the outcome he desires such as when he translates the Bible into other languages'.

The apparent contradiction here is that even if the Bible was written by the hand of heretics or whether it fell from the 'Throne of Allah', there is an inherent need for an authority to verify its truthfulness. Otherwise, accepting an 'inherent authority' of the Bible is no more logical than accepting the Book of Mormon as from God. This kind of Neognostic derivation of salvation from the reading of Scripture would probably not exist had not Holy Tradition been completely trodden underfoot.

'Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks in rebellion, and not after the tradition which they received from us.' (II.Thes.3.6)
You’re Catholic, aren’t you?
 




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#11
I think it means to keep it simple and don't overcomplicate what scripture is saying.

2 Timothy 2:15-16

"Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth. But avoid irreverent and empty chatter, which will only lead to more ungodliness,"

In context, the following verse says we are to avoid irreverent and empty chatter. I would describe irreverent chatter as an overcomplicated message similar to what we read about in the book of Galatians. I think most false teachings become complicated in their delivery. Then, new books are required to explain their approach to understanding the scripture. Like the Book of Mormon for example.

Keep it simple and if you don't know something, say you don't know rather than answering with irreverent and empty chatter.
I think you should consider reading the King James Holy Bible.

Whatever version you got 2 Tim 2:15-16 from, it is NOT God’s Word...it starts off wrong & ends wrong.

The first word in verse 15 is “Study” NOT ‘Make’. God’s Word makes it clear that rightly dividing the truth requires studying the Bible.

Your text says “Make every effort to present yourself approved to God...” (this is incredibly vague & leaves much to the reader’s interpretation from the start)

Make...how??
Every effort....does that mean any effort & by what means??
Present yourself.....this implies the reader just needs to make themself LOOK or appear approved.

Now, compare your text to the KJB:

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

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Do you see the difference?

They say completely different things, therefore, they cannot BOTH be God’s Word, & God is not the author of confusion.

Also, your text simply does not have the power, authority & inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the KJB does.

I encourage you to pray about it.

I hope that you consider what I’ve shown you, and I tell you this in love & concern, that you might see the Glory of God’s Word.
 




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#12
I think you should consider reading the King James Holy Bible.

Whatever version you got 2 Tim 2:15-16 from, it is NOT God’s Word...it starts off wrong & ends wrong.

The first word in verse 15 is “Study” NOT ‘Make’. God’s Word makes it clear that rightly dividing the truth requires studying the Bible.

Your text says “Make every effort to present yourself approved to God...” (this is incredibly vague & leaves much to the reader’s interpretation from the start)

Make...how??
Every effort....does that mean any effort & by what means??
Present yourself.....this implies the reader just needs to make themself LOOK or appear approved.

Now, compare your text to the KJB:

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

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Do you see the difference?

They say completely different things, therefore, they cannot BOTH be God’s Word, & God is not the author of confusion.

Also, your text simply does not have the power, authority & inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the KJB does.

I encourage you to pray about it.

I hope that you consider what I’ve shown you, and I tell you this in love & concern, that you might see the Glory of God’s Word.
No I don't see the difference. Make and study both imply action taken on the part of the one who hears the word to respond to it in a way that is conformed by what he hears. What you are suggesting is that there is a Bible dictionary someone that describes study as reading between 7 and 8 in the morning before you have eaten breakfast because it will help you concentrate the best if you do it this way.

There is no companion dictionary to the Bible that defines words like study into a set of commandments that details the proper way to "study." Therefore, make and study mean the exact same thing. It means to actively engage in the pursuit of learning scripture.

So, no. I don't see the difference. The English language is a much larger language than Greek. There are at least 10 different ways to word many things when translating from an ancient language to modern English. It is good to know that different words can be used, but using a different word doesn't always mean that a different meaning is suggested.

So aside from the fact that you disagree with the version of the Bible I quoted from, did you read the actual conclusion that I formed? What issue do you have with my conclusion?

I hope you understand that by pointing this out, you are suggesting that the version that I am using is directing me towards the wrong interpretation.

My point was that the verse in context with the verse that follows this is saying that we should not overcomplicate the scripture...

I think you are overcomplicating the scripture. I hope you will consider what I am saying to you and know that I tell you this with love and concern.
 




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#13
From the Berean Literal translation:

2 Timothy 2:15
Hasten to present yourself approved to God, a workman not ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

spoudazó: to make haste, hence to give diligence

orthotomeó: to cut straight
to make straight and smooth; Vulg.rectetracto, to handle aright: τόν λόγον τῆςἀληθείας, i. e. to teach the truth correctly and directly...

Ellicott's commentary
Rightly dividing the word of truth.
--Better rendered rightly laying out the word of truth. The Greek word translated in the English version "rightly dividing," literally signifies "cutting a straight line."
... The word of truth is, as it were, a road which is to be laid out straightly and truly."

I am reading the book of Job today and two verses stood out to me that reminded me of this thread.

Job 27:12
"All of you have seen this for yourselves, why do you keep up this empty talk? "

Job's friends were telling him about God and what God would do for the righteous and the wicked man. Job says this is empty talk that is not helping him at all.

"After the LORD had finished speaking to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken the truth about Me, as My servant Job has." (Job 42:7).

God confirms this is irreverent speech and that his friends were not rightly dividing the word in their responses to Job. I thought this was an interesting example.
I first read Job a looong time ago-- I remember being surprised when Job told his friends that they were wrong, and shot down the guilt trip. I wasn't expecting that. :)
 




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#14
From the Berean Literal translation:

2 Timothy 2:15
Hasten to present yourself approved to God, a workman not ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

spoudazó: to make haste, hence to give diligence

orthotomeó: to cut straight
to make straight and smooth; Vulg.rectetracto, to handle aright: τόν λόγον τῆςἀληθείας, i. e. to teach the truth correctly and directly...

Ellicott's commentary
Rightly dividing the word of truth.
--Better rendered rightly laying out the word of truth. The Greek word translated in the English version "rightly dividing," literally signifies "cutting a straight line."
... The word of truth is, as it were, a road which is to be laid out straightly and truly."



I first read Job a looong time ago-- I remember being surprised when Job told his friends that they were wrong, and shot down the guilt trip. I wasn't expecting that. :)
It is one of my favorite books for that exact reason. Empowerment within the experience of suffering. I love it.
 




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#15
From the Berean Literal translation:

2 Timothy 2:15
Hasten to present yourself approved to God, a workman not ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

spoudazó: to make haste, hence to give diligence

orthotomeó: to cut straight
to make straight and smooth; Vulg.rectetracto, to handle aright: τόν λόγον τῆςἀληθείας, i. e. to teach the truth correctly and directly...

Ellicott's commentary
Rightly dividing the word of truth.
--Better rendered rightly laying out the word of truth. The Greek word translated in the English version "rightly dividing," literally signifies "cutting a straight line."
... The word of truth is, as it were, a road which is to be laid out straightly and truly."



I first read Job a looong time ago-- I remember being surprised when Job told his friends that they were wrong, and shot down the guilt trip. I wasn't expecting that. :)
Why do you need commentaries?
Footnotes, definitions of men, etc?

It is unnecessary & only misinforms.
 




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#16
It helps to know the Greek of the Word translated as divided so people dont think it means to literally divide the Word of God:

orthotomeó: to cut straight
Original Word: ὀρθοτομέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: orthotomeó
Phonetic Spelling: (or-thot-om-eh'-o)
Short Definition: I cut straight, handle correctly
Definition: I cut straight; met: I handle correctly, teach rightly.


I believe the meaning of the verse is that we need to properly handle the Word of God and teach it rightly. We do this not by cutting pieces away but making sure to use all of it when we go to create or teach Doctrine. Methods of doing that are correctly described above, using Scripture to interpret Scripture, putting everything in its proper context so that you can provide clear sound Doctrine that doesnt cause one part to disagree with another. All of which will resonate with the Truth which God has sent down for us to know Him via His Word...
The definition of dividing God's word as cutting straight and handling correctly is a perfect one. I agree with Claire Rousseau that to properly sort out the Bible you need God's pure word and you need to have the spirit of God in you.

You only have to look at the mess cults make of the Bible to see how dangerous it can be in the wrong hands.
 




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#17
No I don't see the difference. Make and study both imply action taken on the part of the one who hears the word to respond to it in a way that is conformed by what he hears. What you are suggesting is that there is a Bible dictionary someone that describes study as reading between 7 and 8 in the morning before you have eaten breakfast because it will help you concentrate the best if you do it this way.

There is no companion dictionary to the Bible that defines words like study into a set of commandments that details the proper way to "study." Therefore, make and study mean the exact same thing. It means to actively engage in the pursuit of learning scripture.

So, no. I don't see the difference. The English language is a much larger language than Greek. There are at least 10 different ways to word many things when translating from an ancient language to modern English. It is good to know that different words can be used, but using a different word doesn't always mean that a different meaning is suggested.

So aside from the fact that you disagree with the version of the Bible I quoted from, did you read the actual conclusion that I formed? What issue do you have with my conclusion?

I hope you understand that by pointing this out, you are suggesting that the version that I am using is directing me towards the wrong interpretation.

My point was that the verse in context with the verse that follows this is saying that we should not overcomplicate the scripture...

I think you are overcomplicating the scripture. I hope you will consider what I am saying to you and know that I tell you this with love and concern.
“Make” & “Study” mean the same thing?
You’re kidding, right?

Is there a particular reason why you DON’T read the King James Holy Bible?

Do you honestly believe all the modern versions are ALL the actual Word of God, even though they vary tremendously?

God does not change, neither does His Word.

“For I am the LORD, I change not..”...Malachi 3:6

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”....Matthew 24:35

I do not think that I overcomplicate any of the Scriptures; I do believe it is, however, extremely important to know that the Bible you are reading is genuinely inspired by God, don’t you?

After all, satan has been attacking the very Words of God since Adam & Eve were created, and by twisting God’s Words he got them to commit the first sin....do you think he suddenly stopped doing it?

No, he’s actually attacking them even more today, as we are in the endtimes.

Does it not seem odd to you that virtually ALL of the different versions have all been released in the last 100 years, and the vast majority were published within the last 40 years, with “new” versions coming out annually? The new versions are not even translations of the original texts, but are instead based on unbiblical writings like the Codex Alexandria, Codex Vaticanus & the alleged “Dead Sea Scrolls”.


It seems as if you were offended by my post, which was certainly not my intention.

One would think that the authenticity of the very book you base your life, beliefs, morals & afterlife on would be of ultimate importance.
 




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#18
Why do you need commentaries?
Footnotes, definitions of men, etc?

It is unnecessary & only misinforms.
Commentary on the original text (Greek) and its proper meaning, as it was intended and written (God-breathed, mind you), by the author? As though the translation you are reading is not a secondary copy by men? 2 Timothy above instructs us to do so.

The better question is why don't you?
 




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#19
“Make” & “Study” mean the same thing?
You’re kidding, right?

Is there a particular reason why you DON’T read the King James Holy Bible?

Do you honestly believe all the modern versions are ALL the actual Word of God, even though they vary tremendously?

God does not change, neither does His Word.

“For I am the LORD, I change not..”...Malachi 3:6

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”....Matthew 24:35

I do not think that I overcomplicate any of the Scriptures; I do believe it is, however, extremely important to know that the Bible you are reading is genuinely inspired by God, don’t you?

After all, satan has been attacking the very Words of God since Adam & Eve were created, and by twisting God’s Words he got them to commit the first sin....do you think he suddenly stopped doing it?

No, he’s actually attacking them even more today, as we are in the endtimes.

Does it not seem odd to you that virtually ALL of the different versions have all been released in the last 100 years, and the vast majority were published within the last 40 years, with “new” versions coming out annually? The new versions are not even translations of the original texts, but are instead based on unbiblical writings like the Codex Alexandria, Codex Vaticanus & the alleged “Dead Sea Scrolls”.


It seems as if you were offended by my post, which was certainly not my intention.

One would think that the authenticity of the very book you base your life, beliefs, morals & afterlife on would be of ultimate importance.
I'm not offended. I just don't know if I really take you seriously or not. You have one of the most unusual combinations I have seen, almost like a liberal version of a Southern Baptist. I just don't know that I have seen you demonstrate anything that would make me feel inclined to listen to you nit pick me on something like this. I mean you are entitled to your opinion, but I am entitled to reject your opinion completely, which I do basically.

I know I have explained my understanding of what this verse means just fine. The version is irrelevant when I know that my conclusion does not create conflict even if you are a king james onlyist or any other particular combination of whatever. Nothing is added to my understanding by changing make to study except that I would join the KJV only club; or, rather I would join your particular club because you don't belong to any KJV only club that I know.

This is entirely why denominations continue to form and the church continues dividing. So I will repeat myself one more time and after that, I really don't see that there is anything else I can say. Your particular brand of Christianity is like a controlling Baptist with liberal inclinations.

I would suggest that you spend more time discussing what you actually gain from studying scripture, which I have seen little of. Like for example, do you have anything to cross-reference this verse with in your course of study? Isn't that what you are suggesting that we are supposed to do, cross reference this verse with something. Of course, this is only a suggestion.

I had an example of this from the book of Job. So maybe make is a better word to use than study. It seems to produce results rather than vain babbling.

Anyways, I will repeat, the English language is much larger than the Greek language. There are many other words we could translate the original Greek word into besides make or study. Both words mean taking action in a particular way. If we make a quilt. We have to assemble something in a particular way. Most people don't like sleeping with a blanket in the shape of a triangle. There is a particular way to "make" a quilt.

In the same way, the standard definition of study is to learn something in a particular way so that if you were going to take a test, you are not going to answer that the sky is green when the book you studied says it is blue. That would be the wrong answer.

I don't know if many people have a very broad vocabulary with the English language sometimes that they get so thrown over things like this. Substituting make for study is not even the real argument that you are trying to make about the versions. You seem to be under the impression that using make instead of study means that they are being translated from different original texts and that is not what it means, but I'm sure you didn't actually investigate any of this. So you're suggesting that there is something to be concerned with is based more on superstition regarding some vague familiarity with the present debate over which text to use in translating modern versions.

If you have something that you would like to introduce that would suggest that the version that I am using for this particular verse used a different original text than the King James, I would expect a more thought out response than suggesting that make and study change the meaning of what the verse is saying because it doesn't unless you are trying to complicate things.

It is conversations like this that I was talking about when I was including the verse the follows the verse in the book of Timothy. This sort of thing was exactly what I was suggesting it was saying to not do. We have now successfully wasted a whole lot of time on nothing. You have judged my understanding based on the version of the Bible that I use rather than the description of my understanding of the difference in the words used that I have given twice now.

You continue to cling to this notion that it is wrong to use this version instead of demonstrating that anything more may be gained from your approach by giving some kind of response to the interpretation that I am getting, which I requested of you. If your version is right, then how does the right version give a better answer than the one I have given? How do you respond to the verse in context with the following verse as a whole when make is changed to study.

You didn't recognize this because you probably thought it would make a better argument to continue rattling on about how the King James Version is not corrupted even though the King James Version has been revised and the language was never updated. The King James Version was never supposed to be something plain to the reader. The King James Version changed the English language in many ways and when people learned this language and it continued changing, the King James Version just sat back and seemed to hope people would forget about it. The Authorized King James Version was a political move of King James who was almost killed when he inherited England from Queen Elizabeth.

One of the challenges of being a follower of Christ who says His kingdom is not of this world. We are left to endure kings and other authorities who do not follow Christ even if they allow for the translation of the Bible.

So unless you have a dispute with the conclusion I am getting, keep your comments about what version I use to yourself. As far as I'm concerned, you have completely proven my point.
 




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#20
Commentary on the original text (Greek) and its proper meaning, as it was intended and written (God-breathed, mind you), by the author? As though the translation you are reading is not a secondary copy by men? 2 Timothy above instructs us to do so.

The better question is why don't you?
The King James Holy Bible is NOT a “copy”. It is a direct translation from the Hebrew & Greek Textus Receptus into English.
It IS inspired as the translators were moved by the Holy Spirit.
WHY on earth would I need commentaries from men who I don’t even know if they were saved or not?

I prayed and received clear affirmation that the King James Holy Bible IS God’s perfect Word.

I am born again, have the Holy Spirit inside me and since the Bible is spiritually discerned, the Holy Spirit leads me into truth.

Who better to teach me God’s Word than the Holy Spirit?