Reading It Right

In #All, Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Interpretation, Orthodoxy, Reasoning, Theology, Truth by Justin Hornbaker

Did you know that Jesus was a pirate?*  

Let me explain. Jesus’ activities were the activities of a pirate, Jesus talked like a pirate, and the requirements for his followers were those of a pirate. The evidence below speaks for itself.

1. Jesus’ pirate activities.

Jesus spent a lot of time with sinners and tax collectors. At the same time he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matt. 11:19). Pirates love drinking booze, overeating and hanging out with crooks!

His first interaction with his followers was finding them in a boat (Matt. 4:18-22). He spent significant amounts of time at sea on a boat himself (Matt. 8). He also was constantly running into trouble with the law (Matt. 12:2). What do you think of when you hear of a fugitive at sea? A pirate, obviously. 

2. Jesus talked like a pirate (“Arrrrr!”).

For example He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field…” (Matt. 13:44). He told of a man who took his master’s money and “dug a hole in the ground” to hide it (Matt. 25:18). He also said, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Pirates love buried treasure!

Jesus taught “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6) Who drowns people in the depths of the sea? Pirates of course. In Matthew seven Jesus even talks about planks!

3. Jesus’ pirate requirements.

He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) Pirates carry money and swords! “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away…” (Matt. 5:29). Pirates also have eye patches because somehow they tend to lose an eye!

Clearly, Jesus was a pirate. Don’t you agree?

The way I used scripture above is a deceptive method called eisegesis. Eisegesis often involves proof-texting and is when you read your assumptions, ideas or agendas into the words of the bible.

This can be done many different ways. An individual can use this method to make the Bible say just about anything you can imagine. For instance, without quoting whole verses, I could claim that the bible commands suicide: 

“Judas hanged himself.” Jesus said, “Go, and do likewise.” (Matt. 27:5, Luke 10:37)

This is an extremely wrong way to read God’s Word, but people do it all the time!

If you seek to avoid manipulating the text, and want to discover the meaning which the author intended, you have to read the bible in context. This is basic communication 101. Everyone who went to school should have been taught this when learning to read and write. But strangely enough some people still think it’s okay to simply forget about (or intentionally ignore) the rules of communication. When this happens, you get all sorts of wacky interpretations and cultish teachings.

Always remember to read verses in context so that you won’t be guilty of twisting God’s Word (2 Peter 3:16)!

 

*Pirate example originally by Ryan Stokes of SBTS