Interpreting Biblical Text Essay

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Scriptures



Philippians 4:13 ("I can do all things through him who strengthens me")



This Scripture is regularly understood as a divine promise that whatever problems a Christian may encounter in life such as math test, swimming competition and boxing match, he/she will be victorious. The verse has become very popular among Christians and even non-Christians who use it as a divine promise for conquering every challenge or issue in life. For many people, this verse is always recited when they need powers/authority from God to conquer a challenge in life or overcome an enemy. However, the literary context of this verse shows that it's the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misused Scripture. From the literary context, Paul is showing his contentment in every situation when in need or when he has plenty. This verse is part of a larger idea of contentment despite of the current situation and needs. Therefore, this Scripture is primarily about having the strength to be content even when our life's situation is characterized by minimal physical or material resources.



2. Genesis 38:9



Within Christian tradition, this verse has been taken to prohibit masturbation. Based on the custom during this period, if a man died without children, his brother had the obligation of having intercourse with the widow in order to bear a child who is named after the deceased. This custom was practiced to help prevent the man's lineage and name from being extinguished as stated in Mosaic Law in Deuteronomy 25:5-6.
Onan was greedy and selfish because he wanted inheritance for himself and the family, which made him to spill semen on the ground when having intercourse with his brother's wife. On this basis, Onan was wicked before God's sight because of his selfish and greedy ambitions. Therefore, this Scripture has nothing to do with masturbation, but focuses on Onan's greed and selfishness.



3. Exodus 21:22-23



This verse has been used as a proof-text to prohibit abortion. Based on the text itself, the verses suggest that if a miscarriage happens and a child is lost, the adversary should simply be fined. Additionally, the context of the passage shows that if an injury occurs in this process then the penalty is determined depending on the extent of the injury. In this case, the passage is almost conclusive in forbidding against abortion. The text suggests that if a pregnant woman is forced into premature labor and accidental delivery through the actions of an antagonist, the antagonist will be fined. However, if any injury/harm occurs, the antagonist is penalized depending on the extent of the injury including death for death. By including death for death, the text implies that the fetus is considered as fully human whose life should be preserved.



4. Mark 3:1-6



This passage is a story that concludes with the Pharisees plotting to kill Jesus. The literary….....

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