“There is a saying that there are three rules of real estate: location, location, location. The same is true for biblical interpretation: we need context, context, context! Have you ever had something you said taken out of context? It is incredibly frustrating to have an hour-long conversation boiled down to one phrase or have one line from an e-mail pulled out and misused. It is also misleading, which is why this tactic is used by politicians when they want to sling mud. People can be vilified by just one joke, one line in an e-mail, or one action; however, to truly know someone, we need to know their background, their heart, their motives, and their goals. The same is true with reading the Bible. We can’t just pull a few verses out and interpret them in thin air….If we are going to understand the Bible correctly, we must read things in context. We have to see God’s heart behind it, His character, His motives, and how things fit into His grand plan throughout history.” –Swim in the Deep End
Over the next couple of days, we need to establish some context by getting a whole-book overview of 1 Peter. Today, please read chapters 1-3* and make note of any over-arching themes you see. If you notice words or phrases being repeated several times, that can point to an important theme. What stands out or surprises you from these chapters?
*Please note: Chapter 3 does talk about wives submitting to their husbands. I realize this language could be averse or offensive to many people, some for good reason. This first reading is meant to provide an overview of the whole book, so I hope you will bear with it until we address it in depth in the fourth week of the study. Even if you are very put-off by the word “submission,” there is still a lot to learn from the rest of the book. I will encourage friendly discussion when we come to that section of the text! Thanks.