Most discussions on applying the Bible relate to how to develop applications. But William Larkin has some helpful points related to need to limit applications in certain texts.
- Intended recipient. Sometimes the immediate context limits the teaching by the intended recipient, e.g., the command to the rich young ruler in Matt 19:21.
- Cultural conditions. Sometimes the cultural conditions necessary for fulfillment limit the teaching, e.g., the command in 1 Pet 2:17 to “Honor the king.”
- Cultural rationale. Sometimes there is a limited cultural rationale, e.g., the matter of hair length in 1 Cor 11:14–16.
- Subsequent revelation. Sometimes the broader context of Scripture limits application, as when subsequent revelation sets aside previous teaching, e.g., the rescinding of dietary restrictions in Acts 10:13–15.