Jun 25, 2010

Limiting Applications

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.
William J. Larkin, Greek Is Great Gain: A Method for Exegesis and Exposition (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2008), 240.

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