Why context?

Everybody is accusing everybody else of taking his or her statements out of context. However, most of the time, when I examine the rest of the speech, no, that pretty much is what they were saying. That was the context in which they made the stupid statements.  So why is context important to the meaning of what is being said or written.

Definition of context: 1) the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning; 2) the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs.

So now, let us take a look at the words that are often taken out of context.

  • Body = dust formed into a physical arrangement of flesh and bones, nerves and sinews etc.
  • Spirit = breath.
  • Soul (Hebrew ‘Nephesh’) = creature or being.

Body is fairly consistent in meaning, both Soul and Spirit are dependent upon context for definition. If we are aware of this, many misunderstandings can be eliminated. Perhaps a simple illustration would be that of synonyms

Soul synonyms – being, creature, essence, heart, intellect, life.

Spirit synonyms – animation, apparition, ardor, attitude, audacity, being, boldness, bravery, character, complexion, courage, daring, dash, disposition, dynamism, energy, enterprise, enthusiasm, essence, feel, feeling, flavor, frame of mind, ghost, gist, go, grit, gumption, guts, heart, humor, intent, intention, life, life force, liveliness, look, meaning, mettle, mind, mood, nature, nerve, phantom, pluck, purport, quintessence, sense, shade, shadow, smell, soul, spirit, spirits, sprightliness, spunk, substance, temper, tenor, tone, valiancy, valor, verve, vigor, vital force, vitality, vivacity, zeal.

From this, we see the variety of equivalent meanings in English for the words Soul and Spirit.

It is important to understand what is meant by “context” when using it to interpret a passage of Scripture. The context of a passage includes all of the following things:

  1. The verses immediately before and after the passage.
  2. The paragraph and book in which the passage appears.
  3. Other books by this author, as well as the overall message of the entire Bible.
  4. The cultural environment of the time when the passage was written.
  5. The historical period (dispensation) of “Progressive Revelation” during which the passage was written.


English Standard Version:

23 but we preach Christ jcrucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ kthe power of God and lthe wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: mnot many of you were wise according to worldly standards,3 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But nGod chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; oGod chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even pthings that are not, to qbring to nothing things that are, 29 so rthat no human being4 might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him5 you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us swisdom from God, trighteousness and usanctification and vredemption, 31 so that, as it is written, w“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

New International Version:

23 but we preach Christ crucified:t a stumbling blocku to Jews and foolishnessv to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called,w both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of Godx and the wisdom of God.y 25 For the foolishnessz of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weaknessa of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.b Not many of you were wisec by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chosed the foolishe things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are notf—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.g 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus,h who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness,i holinessj and redemption.k 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”d l

The Good News Bible:

23As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ, a message that is offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles; 24but for those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, this message is Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For what seems to be God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26 Now remember what you were, my brothers and sisters, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing. 27God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. 28He chose what the world looks down on and despises, and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29This means that no one can boast in God’s presence. 30But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God’s holy people and are set free. 31So then, as the scripture says, “Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done.”

King James Version

23 But wwwe preach Christ crucified, xunto the Jews a ystumblingblock, and unto the Greeks mfoolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ othe power of God, and zthe wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For aye see your bcalling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, cnot many dmighty, not many enoble, are called: 27 But fGod hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and gthings which are not, hto bring to nought things that are: 29 iThat no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us zwisdom, and krighteousness, and lsanctification, and mredemption: 31 That, according as it is written, nHe that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Many individuals would say that the meanings are completely different from each of the different translations. Other than the King James, which uses language 500 or so years old, I can easily understand that they are talking about the same thing.

But what about normal speech. Let us take a statement made by someone and run it through BabelFish.com

WINGS!!!! With spices! Not much cayenne, toning it down for the tender ones. this is just a Too Much Information item, when mixing the spices and wings by hand, it takes a long time to wash off the peppers. This is probably why i gave up masturbating a couple years ago. When i told a very beautiful maiden that back in Austin, she was shocked, she said it’s such a release of stress and tension. ( The SEX GODDESS) I told her she never worked with chilies every day and had NO IDEA what happens.

I took out the fu*ng   and translated it to Spanish.

ALAS!!!!!! Con las especias. No hay mucha pimienta, lo atenuar los tiernos. Esto es sólo un elemento de información demasiado mucho, al mezclar las especias y las alas con la mano, toma un largo tiempo de lavar los pimientos. Esto es probablemente por qué renuncié a masturbarse hace un par de años. Cuando le dije a una muy hermosa doncella que en Austin, estaba sorprendido, dijo es tan una liberación del estrés y la tensión. (La diosa del sexo) Le dije que nunca trabajé con chiles cada día y NO sabía lo que pasa.

And back into English:

ALA! With spices. There is no much pepper, reduce it the tender. This is only one element of information too much, by mixing spices and wings with the hand, takes a long time to wash the peppers. This is I probably why quit masturbating a couple of years ago. When I said a very beautiful maiden that in Austin, he was surprised, he said is such a release of stress and tension. (The goddess of sex) I told him that I never worked with chilli each day and did not know what happens.

The Bible translations, you get the same message each time, the wording is somewhat different but the tone and intention is there. If I am speaking to someone with my version of the Bible and they are using a different version they will get the gist of what I am saying. However, there is some slight changes on this involving gender and the general flow of the concept.


So what happens if it goes through several languages which would be what the Bible did?

English to Greek:

ΦΤΕΡΆ! Με μπαχαρικά! Όχι πολύ καγιέν, αποδυνάμωση για προσφορά αυτά. Αυτό είναι ακριβώς ένα στοιχείο πάρα πολύ πληροφορίες, όταν η ανάμειξη τα μπαχαρικά και τα φτερά με το χέρι, παίρνει πολύ χρόνο για να ξεπλύνετε τις πιπεριές. Αυτό είναι πιθανώς γιατί παράτησα αυνανισμό ένα-δύο χρόνια πριν. Όταν είπα μια πολύ όμορφη κοπέλα ότι πίσω στο Austin, ήταν σοκαρισμένος, είπε ότι πρόκειται για μια τέτοια απελευθέρωση του στρες και την ένταση. (Η ΘΕΆ του σεξ) Της είπα ποτέ δεν εργάστηκε με τσίλι κάθε μέρα και είχα καμία ιδέα τι συμβαίνει.


Greek to Arabic


أجنحة! مع التوابل! ليس كثيرا حريف، إضعاف لنقدم لهم. هذا هو مجرد عنصر الكثير من المعلومات عند خلط التوابل والريش باليد، فإنه يأخذ الكثير من الوقت شطف الفلفل. وربما هذا لماذا تركت الاستمناء قبل بضع سنوات. وقال عندما قلت فتاة جميلة جداً إلى الوراء في Austin، أنه كان صدمة، فإن هذا الإفراج من الإجهاد والتوتر. (آلهة الجنس) قلت لها ابدأ عملت مع الفلفل الحار كل يوم وليس لديه أي فكرة عما يحدث.


Arabic back to English:

Wings! With the spices! Not much Cayenne, weakening them. This is just a lot of information when mixing spices and feathered by hand, it takes a lot of time rinse pepper. And maybe that’s why I left masturbate a few years ago. When I say very beautiful girl back in Austin, he was shocked, this release of stress and tension. (God race) I have never worked with Chili every day and had no idea what was going on.


So it is important to know the context in which the statement was made to fully understand everything, especially when you are dealing with the Word of God and are trying to live your life by its revelations, context is important.


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