2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

All scripture is God-breathed

As inerrant as the word of God is, an incorrect or incomplete interpretation of it could be fatal. The word of God is full of checks and balances. Faith without love becomes fanaticism, while love without holiness becomes lasciviousness. Let's look at some biblical examples where saints in the past either incorrectly or incompletely interpreted the word of God.

Let's start with Abraham and God's call to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2). Abraham, who was originally Abram, came from a pagan culture where child sacrifice was common. Although God was testing Abraham's faith, He was also purifying it. God intended for Abraham to obey, while Abraham intended to go through with the sacrifice, per his pagan upbringing.

When Satan tempted the Lord to jump off the temple (Luke 4:9-10), he was only partly correct. But Satan intended for Christ to tempt God the Father and the Lord firmly rebuked Satan (Luke 4:12). Many literally handle snakes and drink poison today, misinterpreting Mark 16:18 and ending up in ER. If God puts us in harm's way as He did with Paul on Malta (Acts 28:3), He'll deliver us.

Finally, even the great Apostles can give wrong advice occasionally. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul advises Timothy to drink some wine because of his stomach ailments. That was terrible advice. Timothy was obviously suffering from gastroenteritis. Since they didn't have antibiotics back then, Paul should have advised Timothy to boil the water, cool and filter it before drinking it. Research tells us that alcohol worsens gastritis and accelerates the growth of gut bacteria, worsening gastroenteritis.

As you can see, saints, the entire word of God is inerrant. But how we interpret it can be erroneous.

Have a good week.

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