Last week I went shopping. As I browsed through a couple stores, I came upon something that was bothersome. In the first store I saw a bracelet that took Psalm 46:5 out of context. In the next store, I saw a mug with the exact same verse, and again it was out of context. The bracelet and mug read, “God is within her, she will not fall.” That quote is from the NIV Bible.
The presentation would lead someone not well versed in the Bible to believe that God is referring to a woman on these products. Many of the products have a silhouette of a woman incorporated into the presentation. It is definitely a product marketed towards women customers.
However, God was not referring to a woman in any way. God was referring to a City! If you reference the Bible you will find that the antecedent of “her” is actually the “city of God”, not a woman.
Bible Out of Context – Creates Misconceptions
You may be thinking why does this even matter? It matters because taking Bible verses out of context leads to misconceptions about truth. Although this example is not a serious problem, it adds to the general acceptability of distorting verses. More verses will surely be distorted in the future. What false doctrine catch phase will be next?
Bible Out of Context – Distorts Truth
Taking scripture out of context can distort truth. Although this is a very simple distortion here, it is clearly misleading. This particular distortion is somewhat narcissistic and self-focused. It also could lead it’s hearers to believe that they will never fall, regardless of what endeavors they pursue. The Bible is not stating this in any way in Psalm 46:5. The presenters of these products are falsely presenting a non-existent promise of God.
Bible Out of Context – Will Christians Be Taken Seriously?
Christians need to know the Bible in context. If Christians don’t know their own Bible or take it out of context, will people take Christians seriously? Probably not. It is important for Christians to read the Bible and know God’s Word. If Christians don’t know God’s Word then they will be deceived. In 2 Peter 2: 1, Peter warned of destructive doctrines and false teachers who were distorting the Scriptures with heretical interpretations. If Peter was warning early believers of this deception, shouldn’t we also be on the look out for false doctrines and teachings? We should note and reject the twisting of the Scriptures whether the occurrence appears great or small.
Although the example of Psalm 46:5 is minor, as Christians we need to know the Word of God. We need to know the Bible in context to prevent misconceptions about truth. God’s promises in the Bible are powerful, but distorted scriptures are powerless.
Knowing the Bible can help guard against false doctrines and teachings. Maybe you are a Christian who has not read the Bible from cover-to-cover. Or, maybe you have not been in the Word lately. I urge you to make time to read and understand the Bible. You will not regret it.