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20 Ways Doctrine gets Manipulated

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Biblical verses and doctrines, while intended to provide spiritual guidance and moral direction, can unfortunately be twisted, and manipulated in various ways. This distortion often arises from a selective approach to scripture, commonly referred to as cherry-picking. Individuals may choose specific verses that align with their personal beliefs or biases, disregarding those that contradict or challenge their views.

Dishonest practices such as these can result in a skewed interpretation of the Bible, undermining its holistic message. As Christians, it is our duty to ensure that the Word of God is interpreted correctly and used appropriately. It is essential to understand that biblical verses and doctrines can be manipulated in various ways, here are some examples:


1. Cherry-Picking Verses: This involves selecting verses that support a particular viewpoint, while ignoring others that may contradict it, and or, invite deeper investigation into the meaning.


2. Misquoting Verses: Slightly altering the wording of verses can change its meaning entirely. This can be done with intentional deception or unintentionally from lack of understanding.


3. Taking Verses Out of Context: Verses can be manipulated by detaching it from surrounding text. The context in which a verse is found often provides important information about its meaning.


4. Over-spiritualizing Texts: This involves assigning spiritual or parabolic meanings to texts that were not intended to be spiritual or parables.


5. Under-spiritualizing Texts: Conversely, this involves ignoring the spiritual significance of texts that were intended to be spiritual or parables.


6. Misapplying Cultural Context: The Bible was written in a specific cultural context. Misunderstanding or ignoring this context can lead to misinterpretation.


7. Ignoring Historical Context: Similarly, ignoring the historical context in which the Bible was written can lead to erroneous interpretations.


8. Overemphasis on Certain Doctrines: This involves focusing excessively on certain doctrines or sins to the exclusion of others, leading to a distorted understanding of the Christian faith.


9. Underemphasis on Certain Doctrines: Conversely, neglecting certain doctrines or sins can also lead to an imbalanced understanding of Christianity.


10. Using the Bible to Justify Personal Beliefs: Some people manipulate the Bible to support their personal beliefs or biases, rather than allowing it to shape their beliefs.


11. Twisting Scripture to Fit Theology: This involves interpreting scripture in a way that supports a particular theological perspective, rather than seeking to understand what the text says.


12. Ignoring the Original Languages: The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Ignoring or misapplying the original languages can lead to misunderstandings.


13. Ignoring the Genre of a Text: The Bible contains many different genres of literature, such as poetry, narrative, and prophecy. Misunderstanding the genre can lead to misinterpretation.


14. Ignoring the Author's Intent: The authors of the Bible had specific intentions when they wrote their texts. Ignoring these intentions can lead to erroneous interpretations.


15. Misinterpreting Figurative Language: The Bible contains a lot of figurative language, such as metaphors and similes. Misinterpreting these can lead to misunderstandings.


16. Over-reliance on Modern Translations: Different Bible translations have different strengths and weaknesses. Over-relying on a modern translation can lead to a skewed understanding of the text.


17. Doubt over the King James Bible: The KJV is the purified and preserved word of God which has passed the truth for generations, deviations from its verses should be carefully studied.


18. Ignoring the Unity of the Bible: The Bible is a unified whole, and its various parts should be interpreted considering that unity.


19. Ignoring the Progression of Revelation: The revelation of God's truth in the Bible progressed over time. Ignoring this progression can lead to misunderstandings.


20. Ignoring the Role of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in helping us understand the Bible. Ignoring His role can lead to erroneous interpretations.




Heavenly Father, we come before You today, humbly seeking Your wisdom and guidance as we delve into Your Holy Word. We acknowledge that our human understanding is limited, and we need Your divine insight to correctly interpret the scriptures. We pray that You would open our hearts and minds to Your truth, helping us to discern Your will and apply it in our lives.

We ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we read and study Your Word. May He illuminate the scriptures for us, bringing clarity where there is confusion, and understanding where there is uncertainty. We pray that He would warn us when we are at risk of being deceived, helping us to recognise when we are straying from Your truth.

Lord, we recognise the danger of twisting Your Word to suit our own desires or biases. We pray that You would keep us from this temptation, helping us to approach the scriptures with a sincere desire to know You more and to align our lives with Your will. May we never use Your Word to manipulate others or justify our own beliefs, but rather, let it shape our beliefs and actions.

We pray for a deep respect for the cultural, historical, and literary context of the Bible. May we never disregard these aspects, but consider them carefully as we seek to understand Your Word. We pray that we would not overemphasise or underemphasise certain doctrines, but rather, have a balanced understanding of the Christian faith.

Finally, Lord, we pray that as we grow in our understanding of Your Word, we would also grow in our love for You and for others. May our study of the scriptures not only increase our knowledge, but also transform our hearts and lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.