What Did the Apostle Paul Mean by "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth"?

Updated on July 17, 2019


The phrase “rightly dividing the word of truth” in Timothy 2:15 is unique to the King James translation. It has caused some to believe that we are to take the Word of God and somehow divide or separate passages and or books and determine who or what audience they are intended for. As a result, this verse has become a springboard for a completely different way of reading and applying scripture.

My purpose with this article is to show that this interpretation is actually a classic example of the old adage "A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text". It is a dangerous thing to take a single text from scripture and make a doctrine from it, especially if that passage has been read out of context.

Background of 2 Timothy 2

In this chapter Paul is giving instruction to Timothy on how to continue in the work of the ministry in his absence. He tells Timothy to convey the things that he has learned from him and pass them down to those whom Timothy is ministering to. He tells him to endure, to be a good soldier of Christ, not become entangled with the affairs of this life, to only concern himself with pleasing God and that he will enjoy that which he labors for.

Paul then goes on to say that even though he might be imprisoned like a criminal, that the gospel itself cannot be confined. Paul sates that he is willing to endure all things for the sake of the elect of Christ, that they might obtain salvation.

Paul then sets a wonderful tone by exclaiming the promise that we all have; that if we die to this world and are willing to endure hardships, that we would have eternal life with Christ. Even though we are unfaithful, Christ is faithful and that He cannot deny us if we live in Him.

Paul knew that this was the very essence of faith and of the gospel message, that it is a message that all believers would need to hear and comprehend. The hardships that the church was enduring and was yet to endure would test the faith and resolve of those who believed in Christ.

In verse 14 Paul pleads with Timothy to charge them with these very important aspects of the Christian faith, then Paul gets into an area that he knew would be an issue among believers; the striving and arguing with one another that does not profit or benefit the body of Christ. Paul knew very that this would lead to ruin and dissolution the the hearers of the gospel.

Just think for a moment about the impression that those who are not Christians get of us when they witness us being divisive over trivial words and things. How much pleasure Satan must get when we argue among ourselves over doctrines and words when it is the simple gospel message that the world needs to hear and by which they are saved. If we can not speak to each other with kindness and love, then our faith and testimony will appear to be hypocritical to others. We are commanded to love one another, we are not licensed to berate or be hateful to anyone.

Paul then reminds Timothy of how Hymenaeus and Philetus had strayed from the truth and were teaching falsely that the resurrection had already taken place. Paul encourages Timothy to seek only things that are pure and holy, to be patient and gentle.

Paul’s counsel to Timothy should serve as sound advise to us today as well. As the old saying goes, “it is much easier to attract flies with honey, than vinegar”. Non-believers should be attracted to Christ through our behavior and love, rarely has a person been converted to the faith by the witness of one who does not abide in the spirit of love.

Textual Analysis

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Now we get to the crux of this topic. In verse 15 the KJV has Paul telling Timothy to study that he might be approved of by God, a workman (G2040 ergatés) which is a reference back to verses 5 and 6, this word ergatés is elsewhere used as “field workers”, “laborers”, etc., who should not be ashamed, and rightly dividing (G3718 orthotomeō) the word of truth. The Greek word orthotomeō only appears once in the New Testament. The Strong’s Concordance defines it like this:

  1. to cut straight, to cut straight ways A to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing right
  2. to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly

One can only guess why the KJV translators chose the phrase “rightly dividing” instead of “rightly teach” or “cutting straight”, I would suggest that in 1611 “rightly dividing” might have had a different meaning than how we use it today. Given the context of this verse and the surrounding text, I think that it is appropriate that we closely examine the true meaning of this phrase.

Although the word orthotomeō was not used, a similar message was given by John the Baptist when he quoted Isaiah by stating “Make straight the way of the Lord” in John 1:23. John used the word G3588 euthunó, which means:

  1. to make straight, level, plain
  2. to lead or guide straight, to keep straight or direct: A of the steersman or helmsman of a ship B of a charioteer

So, we have two people who are both giving instruction make a clear and straight path. The meanings are identical with the same intention in mind. They are in effect stating that no obstacle should be allowed to get in the way of what is truth.

I would like to attempt to point a few things concerning what is out of context:

  1. The idea of separating or parsing scripture is not in context.
  2. There is no mention of discerning what is prophetic vs what is a mystery, or discerning what is for the church vs what is for the Jews, etc.

  3. When Paul wrote this, the only scripture that could have been parsed would have been what we call the Old Testament, the gospels and epistles did not exist as collective body of work at that time.

  4. If the word orthotomeō truly meant to parse or separate, we should expect to find it, or a word of the same common root when the words divide, divided or dividing are used elsewhere in scripture.

On the fourth point I would like to expound a bit. Let’s look at where derivations of the word divide appear elsewhere in the King James and see what Greek word was used for its transliteration:


  • 1 Corinthians 12:11 - G1244 diaireó - def: I divide into parts, cut asunder, distribute. The context of this passage definitely deals with something being separated or parsed, the gifts of the Holy Spirit among the body of Christ.

  • Hebrew 4:12 - G3311 merismos - def: (a) a distributing, a distribution, (b) a parting, dividing, severance, separation. The topic of this passage also deals with separating, the two-edged sword that separates the spirit and soul, joints and marrow.


  • Luke 12:13 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. This passage involves the dividing of inheritance.

  • Luke 22:17 - G1266 diamerizó - def: I divide up into parts, break up; I distribute. The breaking of the bread at the last supper.


  • 1 Corinthians 1:13 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. This passage involves whether or not the body of Christ is divided.

  • Matthew 12:25, 26 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. Refers to divided kingdoms.

  • Matthew 25:32 - G873 aphorizó - def: I rail off, separate, place apart. This deals with the separation of the sheep.

  • Mark 3:24-26 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. Same as Matthew 12:25, 26

  • Mark 6:41 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. Dividing of the loaves and fishes.

  • Luke 11:17, 18 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. Same as Matthew 12:25, 26

  • Luke 12:13 - G3307 merizó - def: I divide into parts, divide, part, share, distribute; mid: I share, take part in a partitioning; I distract. In regards to dividing inheritance.

  • Luke 12:53 - G1266 diamerizó - def: I divide up into parts, break up; I distribute. In regards to a house (family) that is divided within itself.

  • Luke 15:12 - G1244 diaireó - def: I divide into parts, cut asunder, distribute. The story of the prodigal son’s inheritance.

  • Acts 13:19 - G2624 katakléronomeó - def: I give as an inheritance, distribute by lot. Paul recounted the the dividing up of the promise land in the synagogue.

  • Acts 14:4 - G4977 schizó - def: I rend, divide asunder, cleave. Speaking of the people of Iconium being divided between the apostles and the Jews.

  • Acts 23:7 - G4977 schizó - def: I rend, divide asunder, cleave. The dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

  • Revelation 16:19 - G1096 ginomai - def: I come into being, am born, become, come about, happen. Talking about Babylon splitting into three parts.


  • Luke 11:22 - G1239 diadidómi - def: I offer here and there, distribute, divide, hand over. This regards the spoils taken by the stronger man.


  • Luke 12:14 - G3312 meristés - def: a divider, partitioner, distributor. In regards to dividing inheritance.

My point is this: Paul and other New Testament writers had repeatedly used words that most definitely meant to parse or separate, most commonly schizó, diamerizó and merizó or derivations of, yet Paul chose not to use any of the words that had previously been used in the Greek to demonstrate his point. Instead, Paul chose a word that is only used once in all of the New Testament, thus we must closely examine what this word means and how we should apply it to this passage.

Paul’s Intent

Paul’s instruction to Timothy was that he be a man who would be able to witness by example and that he would be wise in properly administering the gospel by being able to prove that Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Paul wanted Timothy to be able to carry on in the work of the great commission in a responsible and effective way without getting entangled in things that would only inhibit his progress. Orthotomeō certainly seems to be a sort of engineering term used to convey a visual image to Timothy of a clear and unobstructed path, that is why he encouraged him to stay clear of useless debates over senseless things and avoiding false teachings.

The Word Of Truth Is Not Divided

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness - 2 Timothy 3:16

I find it hard to believe that if Paul had meant that scripture is to be divided, that he would have made this statement, especially within the same letter to Timothy.

If you were to search the internet for “rightly dividing the word of truth” or “2 Timothy 2:15”, you will find a plethora of websites and videos dedicated to explaining that we are to divide scripture and to know that some parts of scripture are for the Jews and others for the church. They will explain to you that since Paul’s dispensation was to the Gentiles that we are to follow only Paul’s writings and that other books such as the gospels, Hebrews, James, Peter, Jude, etc are for the Jews. Really??? The gospels don’t pertain to us gentile believers? We are not to follow Christ and His teachings? Are we not to go out into all the world and makes disciples of Christ?

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

We are not baptized in the name of Paul, but in the name of Jesus Christ. We bear the name “Christians”, not "Paulites" or "Paulinians". Paul is stating that the Corinthians should follow his example by being followers of Christ. We are to take up the cross of Jesus and follow Him.

The idea that scripture is divided has led some to believe and teach that certain books of the New Testament were not meant for the church for doctrine. I have written another article on this topic, specifically on the book of James called, Is the Book of James for the Church?


The Results Of This Teaching

Unfortunately, there is a very popular teaching that denies that we gentile believers are children of Abraham, and thus are not considered to be Israel in the eyes of God. But Paul had something to say that is contrary to this belief.

Romans 9:6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

In Paul’s mind, being called a child of Abraham had nothing to do with ethnicity, but everything to do with faith. Likewise, being called Israel was also not an issue of ethnicity, either. The children of promise that Paul spoke of was refering to those who are in Christ, and if we are in Christ, then we are Abraham’s descendants.

Paul tells us in Romans 11 that gentile believers have been grafted into the remnant of Israel that still remained in the root, which is Christ. Gentiles have been adopted into the commonwealth of the true Israel and share in the promises as heirs.

Peter expounded on this concept when writing to those who are in Christ:

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Paul concluded Romans 11 with this thought:

Romans 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Am I promoting what some call “replacement theology”? No, not at all! I am promoting that all Jew and Gentile believers are of the same tree whose root is Christ. A child that is adopted, does not replace the natural children of the parents. There is only one body of Christ and it consists of both Jewish and Gentile believers

Paul alludes to the idea that there are two “Israels” if you will, those who were physical descendants of Jacob, and those who are Israel by faith. For example, Ruth was a Moabite and Rahab a Canaanite, yet both we counted as Israel and were in the lineage of David and Christ.


I am not attempting to say that the King James is not accurate in regards to 2 Timothy 2:15, rather that the meaning of “dividing” has transformed in its meaning over time and that some people today have made a doctrine that is not fundamentally sound based on a word which meaning has changed over the last 400 years. Just like the closing theme song of The Flintstones used to say “We’ll have a "gay" old time” had nothing to do with homosexuality, but in the 1960’s, which was just a few decades ago, meant a lighthearted and carefree time.

Additionally, I will cling to every red letter in my Bible more tightly that every other black word in the Bible combined. No one will take that away from me, nor should they you!

Thank you for reading this article and I look forward to your comments.

Poll on this topic.

Do you believe that Paul instructed Timothy to divide or separate the word of truth?

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© 2018 Tony Muse


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    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      10 days ago from Texas, USA

      Mathetes G3101 Disciple

      I agree, we should all do our homework. It is for that reason that I wrote this article, to show that Paul's message to Timothy was not that scripture is to be parsed, but properly handled.


    • profile image

      Mathetes G3101 Disciple 

      10 days ago

      There was no English language 2000 yrs ago, and Greek nor Hebrew can be properly translated into English. There are thousands of words in the Englsih Bible that don't have the same meaning in the Greek and Hebrew.

      For example; John 3:16 For God so loved the world.

      The word world is G2889. Do your homework, righty divide the word.

    • profile image


      2 weeks ago

      Tony, your understanding of the bible makes my heart soar.

      People say that every word in the bible is god breathed. But which bible would that be? So any and every compiled bible is correct and blessed by God and is the whole truth? I'm not sure what "bible" most people purport to believe in. Honestly the bible isn't even a book; it's a library. If every single scriptural word is God stripping peoples free will and having them dictate His every utterance, then why do we in the west not believe Tobit, Judith, Jubilees, Greek Esther, Enoch, Letter of Jeremiah, Wisdom, Sirach, Burach, Susannah, Maccabees, Esdras, Psalm 151, Bel and the dragon, Manasseh, Prayer of Azariah, Song of Solomon, Peshitta, and several chapters of the books we do use? Because some flawed human king (Constantine) back in 300 or so AD who said God gave him a vision to murder in the name of Jesus says so? Because of another imperfect king (James) who extensively studied the occult back in 1611 says? Was he justified by God to obliterate William Tyndale's translation of the Bible in favor of his own? The only king whose words I believe unerringly are those of Jesus. I understand some of those books have glaring contradictions, but not all of them do.

      One must be well studied to preach to people what the Bible says or doesn't say, including knowing the language it was originally written in because there's almost as many versions of the bible as there are people reading it. Exegesis and hermeneutics aren't just fancy words, their understanding is a critical requirement for everyone, not just pastors and priests.

      The following are all the verses that speak of the truth of the WORD of God, not the interpretation of it into hundreds of different languages and according to a multitude of different emotional appeals all desiring to alter fact. Emotions are wonderful, but they alone do not change stone cold facts. Nowhere do I see it mentioned that every word of every scripture comes from the very mouth or mind of God. The only verses that do that are very obvious and explicitly so. Otherwise we wouldn't see such statements as "thus says the Lord your God" as often as we do. We must be as the Boreans and diligently search, rather than let an organization understand for us. People like Martin Luther rose up for a good reason.

      Psalm 12:6

      The words of the LORD are pure words,

      Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,

      Purified seven times.

      Proverbs 30:5

      Every word of God is pure;

      He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

      Matthew 4:4

      But He answered and said, "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."" (This does not refer to every bible verse ever written)

      John 17:17

      Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

      2 Timothy 3:16-17

      All Scripture is given by "INSPIRATION" of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (Again, remember, inspiration not dictation)

      John 6:63

      It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

      Deuteronomy 8:2-3

      And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

      Matthew 5:18

      For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

      John 8:44

      You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

      Ephesians 2:10

      For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

      Hebrews 5:13-14

      For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

      1 Peter 2:1-2

      Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby

    • profile image


      5 weeks ago

      "Rightly" is the more important word in the phrase, "rightly divide."

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      8 weeks ago from Texas, USA

      Hello AC,

      Correct, without the sacrifice of Christ, no one could have been saved, not even those who died before the cross. Those who lived before the cross were saved by grace in advance for all have sinned and need the blood of Christ to cover their sins.


    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      None of this Grace took effect until the sins of the Whole world was paid to our Righteous God, by the sacrifice made by Christ Jesus our


      1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 + Nothing

    • profile image

      Julie romeo 

      2 months ago

      Awesome teaching.i tell ppl. That about the word. Meaning thru the concordances. Whether hebrew or greek. Actually & also if we're filled with the holy spirit, he will direct & teach us to stay on the right pathway. I learned a lot from this teaching. Thk. U

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      2 months ago from Texas, USA

      J A

      I am reluctantly allowing your comment to be posted as I am afraid that we are beating a dead horse. You are using circular reasoning by saying that since the other New Testament writers didn't mention that the Jews were no longer under the law that it can't be true. Could it be that the writers of the other letters simply didn't address this topic? Wasn't Paul himself a Jew and if he declared that the law was temporary, wouldn't he be including himself?

      Peter wrote that some of Paul's writing are hard to understand, couldn't he be implying that those who are in Christ a re freed from the law, which would indeed be a huge leap of faith for someone who grew up steeped in Judaism.

      The book of Hebrews,which was written to a Jewish audience, declares that the old covenant is obsolete, it has vanished away.

      You seem to be under the assumption that every topic was covered by every New Testament writer, ignoring that we are merely reading half of the conversation between these writers and their intended audience.

      Look, if you want to believe that God holds any race in higher regard than the He does others, that is your business, but you are wasting your time and mine if you think that you are going to convince me otherwise.

      Peace be unto you.


    • profile image

      J A Jones 

      2 months ago

      I agree with what Christela is saying, right on.

      Tony I would suggest looking back thru the great points she made and reanalyzing these details before coming up with final answer conclusions about these subjects.

      You are stuck on accusations involving the notion that some people think grace supposedly wasn’t ever a factor for Israel under the law, which I agree with you isn’t true. God had to give them mercy and grace time and time again both before and under the law. Gods goodness and grace is all through out the whole Bible no doubt, but to repeat myself, it is different to get grace and mercy while under the law vs. getting it freely without being under the law.

      You talk about the law being temporary over and over but every time you quote a scripture it comes from the apostle Paul...don’t you find that interesting? Please show us some scripture from Peter James or John where they talk about not being under the law anymore. The old covenant with Israel gets replaced with the new covenant out in the kingdom where Christ is their High Priest and ultimate sacrifice per His perfect work on the cross— which gets explained with detail in Hebrews, but the One New Man, the Body of Christ isn’t under any covenant at all and that is what this age of grace is all about

      You also say there is no difference btwn the Jew and the Greek a lot but again every time you quote the Bible it comes from something Paul is saying, let’s find scripture where there isn’t any differentiation btwn Jew and Greek and they are all on the same playing field from some other books than what Paul wrote....

      Once God promised to use Israel to reclaim the earth back to himself He never works with a gentile group apart from using Israel first to get it done. He’s only going to work with them as head of all nations to bring the rest of the world back to Himself.

      If Peter or James mentions anything in the book of Acts about gentiles being fellow heirs on the same level as a believing Israelite, it wouldn’t be something they heard about directly from God but would be the mystery revealed by Paul, his gospel which was hidden and no one knew, not even the angels

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      2 months ago from Texas, USA


      I just realized that I didn't address all of your points.

      Peter told the Jews who had just witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to repent and be baptized. Peter had just revealed to them that it was they that had crucified Christ; who was the the promised Messiah. They needed to repent of rejecting Christ and accept Him as their Messiah. He charged them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. They didn't receive the Holy Spirit simply by being baptized as you said.

      Paul also spoke of baptism in Romans 6:3, 1 Corinthians 1 and in 12:13 he said "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." Galatians 3:37 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

      Grace is the only way that any man, pre and post cross could and can be saved. Grace did not begin at the cross or Pentecost. Those like Abraham who believed God were saved by grace just like we are today, for ALL have sinned and need grace for salvation.

      Take care.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      2 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Christela,

      I will stand by what I wrote. Jesus was born of Israel to fulfill God's promise that through Abraham's seed, all families of the earth would be blessed. Jesus is the Messiah of all the world, for all have sinned and are in need of a Savior, not just the Jews. If your reasoning is correct, then John 3:16 is a lie since Jesus said that He came to save the world, not just the Jews.

      We are called Christians for a reason and it because we are to be followers of Christ, not Paul. Even Paul warned against saying that we are followers of him, Peter or Apollos.

      I would agree that the gospels are more of the ending of the Old Testament in regards to the law. Jesus came to fulfill the law on our behalf that through His righteousness we might be saved. This applies to all peoples, not just Israel. As Paul said in Romans 2, the works of the law are written upon the hearts of the Gentiles. Although the Gentiles never were under the law, they are still judged by the intent of the law. In other words, we can not bear the name Christian if we hate or brother, etc..


    • profile image

      Christela Lima 

      2 months ago

      Sir... i appreciate your article but you are being deceived. Clinging to the red letters ? Jesus came to save the nation of Israel (Mat 10:5-6; John 4:22). Yes scripture is profitable for doctrine but some things are not applicable for us. Jesus said sell all your things (Luke 8:22) Have u done that ? Sold ur house ?

      Jesus was born under the Law (Gal 4:4).. When Jesus was still alive he was still under the old testament (Heb 9:16-17) We are no longer under the law but under grace (Rom 6:14)... We as Christians should study heavily the books of Rom, Gal, Corinths, etc because it is aimed for non-jews gentiles (Rom 11:13)... So yes... You do have to STUDY which is funny how the other versions took out the word study and rightly divide or else you will mix up your doctrines... Dont believe me ?

      Here is a example : How do u receieve the holy spirit ? Peter says be baptized in water and you receieve it. (Acts 2:38) Paul says you receive it when you believe and trust in the gospel (Eph 1:13)... Since your not suppose to rightly divide... How do you decide which doctrine to apply ? Also Paul said that HIS gospel "Gospel of Grace" is what saves us TODAY (Rom 2:16).. There are other gospels such as the gospel of repentance preached by John the baptist... if were suppose to apply everything which gospel is for our salvation ? Repentance or Grace ? Most people dont know this... mathew, mark, luke and John ARE OLD TESTAMENT until Jesus dies.... You are stuck in the old testament if your only reading the red letters.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      2 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Corrine,

      The concept of "rightly diving" in 2 Timothy 2:15 meaning dividing ages or dispensations is unique to the Dispensational movement. All I would ask of you is to read the entirety of 2 Timothy without any preconceived Ideas and judge for yourself whether or not this seems to be Paul's message to Timothy.

      Romans through Philemon are merely the body of Paul's letters to individuals and groups of believers. I would not confuse the fact that since Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles that only his writings pertain to the church today. Paul sought to mimic Christ in his behavior and Paul even admonished those who said that they followed him or Peter or Apollos. We are all followers of Christ and are called by His name, not Paul's.

      All of the New Testament was written by believers for believers, whether they be Jew or Gentile. God shows no partiality and we, as believers in Christ, should not show any partiality as well.


    • profile image

      Corrine Wright 

      2 months ago

      Rightly dividing the word of truth seems to mean timing. We had the pass, the birth death and resurrection of Christ. The four gospels, the birth of the Church, The here and now which is the Depensation of Grace is where the Gentiles was reveals the mystery, Paarl given a course of duty to teach the Gospel of Jest Christ the Jews first and the Gentiles. Paul is the apostle to us he was giving the words of Salvation and the doctrine to the Church not a building but to the body of Believers who is the Church There is no denomination in God. You are either a believer or not. Then the age to come which is the end. Roman’s thru Philemon is for us and it has to be divide some does not apply to us today. I know the Bible is not all to us today but education for our learning. One Lord one Faith and one Baptism and for believers it is not water it is baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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      hafford cook 

      3 months ago

      Good job of explaining this passage. You must be a member of the Lord's church.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      3 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hello "AC", you do understand that the abbreviation for the King James is the KJV, which stand for the King James Version, don't you? The King James was transliterated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts just like "other versions" were that call of the devil.

      Is the KJV the only "only one inspired version"? That is not for you or me to decide.

      Peace to you.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Use what you like, cause those versions are of the devil, the father of lies. Only One inspired Word of God, King James Bible.

      The rest are versions.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      4 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Jeff,

      Thank you for your kind words. I recommend any word-for-word translation. The NKJV is good as well as the ESV. My only real reservation about the ESV is that that is follows the Alexandrian texts and leaves out a few verses. This will be a bit confusing when you are following in your Bible while someone else reads from another version. Another version to consider is the NASB. It reads a lot like the ESV but it includes the verses that are omitted in the ESV.

      Context is everything. I don't think that the KJV translators necessarily made a mistake, only that the meaning word "divide" had more facets to its definition 400 years ago. The English language has simplified a bit over time. Some people today are inclined to apply the primary definition found in the dictionary.


    • profile image

      Jeff Spencer 

      4 months ago

      I would like to say thank you so very much for this wonderful article. I have been struggling on which Bible version to use, and when I read this verse in the newer versions, my first thought was to reject newer versions and just go back to the KJV.

      However, this article has actually helped me change my mind and now I am back on track by looking at the best modern versions. Thus far I am settled on the NKJV as well as the ESV, but for some reason I love the ASV and the NAS just as much.

      Either way, this article was an excellent read, and I thank God for helping you understand these things, that I too may understand them.

      Now, I have to change my Bible Study series from "Rightly Divided" to whatever fits, lol.

      God bless.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      4 months ago from Texas, USA

      J A,

      I am not going to turn this hub into a platform for continual debate with you. Thank you for reading my Hub and may God bless.

      Tony Muse

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      4 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi J A

      All was fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Paul made it very clear that the law was temporary.

      Israel failed not only in not realizing that Jesus was the promised Messiah, but by being a light to the world. Those who are in Christ are to be a light that goes into all the world spreading the Good News.

      I agree, the remnant did not fail. The remnant are the true Israel that remained; the unbroken branches. Paul’s illustration is that only those who are in Christ are the Israel of God. Those of Israel according to the flesh who did and do not believe are broken off branches are not part of the commonwealth of God. If you are in Christ, then you are counted as adopted into the true Israel and have taken on the name Israel. Israel never was about race, if that were the case then Rahab and Naomi would not have been in lineage of David and Christ

      Matthew 21:43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.

      It was Jesus who came and proclaimed that the kingdom of God was at hand. This message was preached first to the Jews because of God’s promise to the patriarchs, primarily Abraham. The kingdom of God is not to be seen with signs and wonders, it is within us.

      Even Paul warned that we should not call ourselves followers of Paul, we are all to be followers of Christ.

      You think that the mystery was kept secret to prevent Satan from knowing God’s plan? Wow! Christ’s death was prophesied long before Christ arrived in multiple places, do you honestly think that Satan didn’t know what was going to happen? His doom was told to him in the garden of Eden.

    • profile image

      J A Jones 

      4 months ago

      Matthew 5:17 til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tiddle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled

      If Israel failed, and the church, the body of Christ is to take over the great commission and be a light to the world, then how could all already be fulfilled and a new heaven and new earth already be in existence and reconciled back to God? Not a jot or tiddle will fall out of the law til all things be fulfilled...

      Paul says these things about the body of Christ:

      Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth

      Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

      Romans 7:4 ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead

      You claim that Isreal failed? Did peter fail? What about james and john? How about Stephen? He gave a marvelous speech going on the offensive to Israel’s leaders to speak the truth about their erroneous thinking regarding Christ as their Messiah

      This remnant didn’t fail at all...they are not all Israel which are of Isreal.

      Only those people within the nation of Israel who respond with the correct faith can be considered true Israel

      So true Israel never has all the way back to Abraham and will not fail in the future after the blessed hope and the body of Christ is caught up to meet with the Lord in the clouds

      We are to follow/respond and preach the gospel of Christ which was revealed only to Paul by Christ himself-he didn’t learn it from any man and it was different than the kingdom message preached by Peter, James John which was to Israel for them to repent because they killed their Messiah

      There is no Jew or Gentile within the body of Christ bc God isn’t working directly thru the nation of Israel to reconcile the whole world back to himself (this is Israel’s calling and purpose) but He is currently calling out members of the body to reconcile the heavenly places back to himself.

      A mystery that he kept hidden and a secret that no one knew existed until revealed to Paul by Christ, it had to be kept hidden and unknown or Satan would not have crucified the Lord of glory

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      4 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hello J A,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I will attempt to reply to both of your comments here in a concise manner, if possible.

      First off, I do not believe that 2 Timothy 2:15 “should” be a pivotal point, as you put it, in how we read and apply God’s word in our lives and understanding of scripture. I do not believe that Paul ever intended for the word “orthotomounta” to be a “decoding ring” for interpreting and applying scripture as a whole. Paul is encouraging and instructing Timothy on how to conduct himself when others attempt to entangle him is useless arguments which only serve to discourage others from accepting the truth, which is Christ the Messiah crucified and resurrected. With that in mind, this is one case where I believe that other word-for-word translations of the Bible more accurately translated orthotomounta to “rightly handling” the word of truth.

      It is important to remember that at the time of this epistle’s writing, the gospels, epistles and other books of the New Testament were not considered to be “scripture” as we view them today. Paul had become very adept at proving through the law, psalms and prophets that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and that only through Him might man be saved. This would have also been the task that Paul would have been charging Timothy with. There were those in Paul’s day, as there are today, who were staunch deniers of Christ as being the Son of God. As John put it in his epistles, these people had and have the spirit of antichrist.

      I agree with, man’s reconciliation to the Father through the Son as never plan B. This plan of restoration and salvation of mankind was made evident as early as Genesis 3. But, I will depart from agreement on your concept of division, especially when it comes to God’s plan for the church vs. God’s plan for Israel. Paul made I very clear that the Law was temporary and was only there to lead or point to Christ. Hebrews 8 tells us that the old covenant made with Israel in the wilderness is no longer in effect. The old covenant had to fade away in order that the new might fully come. No man will ever be saved by the law, but only through faith in God. Abraham, and all those who were saved before the cross were saved by grace trough faith just like we are today. Only they were saved on the hope of the coming Messiah’s sacrifice, we are saved because of His sacrifice. The Jews/Israel never were and never will be saved by the law.

      Israel was chosen by God to be the people trough whom the Messiah would come, it was to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham that through HIS seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed. That seed being Christ, Himself. Today, “God’s chosen people” are those were those who have accepted His Son. Jesus made it quite clear in John 8 that those who do not accept Him do not even know the Father. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 that both believing Gentiles and believing Jews have been made into one man, breaking down any barriers that formerly existed. God does not distinguish between Jews and Gentile, we have all been consigned to sin so that mercy might be shown to all. Jesus came to save the world, not just the Jewish nation.

      The word “church” comes from “ecclesia” or assembly which consists of those who have been called by God, both Jew and Gentile.

      I will again disagree with you. Paul was not prophesying to some future time when the entire nation of Israel would be reconciled to God.

      Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

      Jeremiah 31:31 refers to the new covenant, read Hosea 2.

      18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them

      With the beasts of the field,

      The birds of the sky

      And the creeping things of the ground.

      And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,

      And will make them lie down in safety.

      And no, I do not subscribe to the thought that

      This is the same symbolism that Peter saw in his rooftop vision when he was shown that the Gospel was to go the Gentiles as well. It was always God’s plan that Israel should be a light to world, but they failed. Now, the church is to carry the light to the world, that is what the great commission is all about.

      Nd no, I do not subscribe to the seven years of tribulation in what some call “the 70th week of Daniel’s 70 weeks”. Tat prophecy was only about the rebuilding of the temple and city, the timeframe of the coming of the Messiah and the coming destruction of that same temple and city. There is no antichrist mentioned in that prophecy, neither s there the concept of a “prophetic gap”, it is all linear and fulfilled.

      Take care.

    • profile image

      J A Jones 

      4 months ago

      Israel will get to have a close relationship as adopted sons and daughters with God and be able to function the way He initially planned/ intends for them to and they get that thru Christ alone as their promised messiah

      Paul makes it clear that it is not him we are worshipping, that’s why we have the story about he and Barnabas renting their clothes and stopping gentiles from treating them as gods; he mentions to follow him as he follows Christ and that is specific to the mystery not to Jesus’ earthly ministry where we came for the lost sheep of the house of Isreal, not for twice dead gentiles-dead in their sins as well as in the uncircumcision of their flesh

      He’s an ensample for us in the body, is our apostle for a different purpose than prophesy/Isreal and is the means God chose to reveal the mystery of Christ- no one else got this revelation from Jesus Christ except Paul

      The word church simply means a called out assembly so we cannot read that word anywhere in the Bible and automatically make it about the Church, the body of Christ everywhere we see the word “church”

      “Times past”, “but now”, “in these last days” and “in the ages to come” are all designations of time frames both in the past, the one we line to date, and also referring to the future times to come

      For they are not all Isreal, which are of Isreal...that has to do with the remnant within Isreal being the true Isreal and not just being a blood decendant of Abraham; this verse isn’t pointing toward us gentiles becoming spiritual Jews or taking over Israel’s promises or calling or purpose to reclaim the earth back to God, but rather ch 9,10,11 of Romans is letting us know what happened to Gods work with Isreal and how he isn’t working that plan to completion in this age in which we live, but will one day craft believing members back into his tree of goodness and working, right now every single person that is alive is already in the tree whether they believe or not, God is extending his goodness to all people apart from channeling his working thru his chosen nation. He will one day work with only Isreal to complete their plan and purpose, etc and gentile nations will go back under darkness like they were before the dispensation of grace and their only chance would be to go thru Isreal( no other option)

      His plan involves a time period where he looks out to see who is interested in working not under fear motivation because of great physical / authority and strength but one of grace and goodness on a level playing field where all people are treated the same- not tied to a performance expectation / standard and not only working and dealing with a certain group of people but working with any/all people who choose Him over other options out there

      We find out an aspect of Gods character which ends up being his most powerful trait vs all other strengths He possesses (omnipresence, omniscience I.e. the 7 names of God)

      The mystery of Christ reveals grace as not only a free gift but as s power as well. We as members of the Body get the honor of being edified by Gods Holy Spirit thru his word that builds up Godliness inside of us and allows a way for fruit to be produced that He can accept (righteousness unto holiness) that we can place out there for men on earth as well as angels in heaven to see

      none of this has been possible with Ireal, (not yet) not until the Kingdom comes into play and prophecy is fulfilled do they actually get to experience adoption, the glory, the covenants being fulfilled, the giving of the new law in their hearts Jeremiah 31:31 and their ability to serve God in a way that He is able to accept and like and want around him; Israel has never been able to do this to date and will not until the last days crank back up and get into the beginning of sorrows and the 7 yr tribulation of which they will have to endure and stay faithful to obtain Gods supernatural aid to successfully get thru it all and become the priests to bring in all the kingdom aspects and the whole world back to God

    • profile image

      J A Jones 

      4 months ago

      Appreciate your article and enjoyed reading thru it all. Definitely a lot to consider with this topic and is a pivot point regarding which path a believer continues down their entire Christian journey regarding how they read and apply the word of God.

      I’d like to make a few points and sure hope you read to the end as I have come to realize that there is no short way of discussing or explaining ones own beliefs and reasons for believing as such

      The purpose of “division” and “making straight cuts”within the word is not to divide up the body of Christ or cause strife and arguing and division among believers, discouraging non believers, etc. or that the word is divided against itself i.e one side vs the other but that we are to make a straight cut differentiating different purposes for different aspects of Gods all inclusive, original plan to reclaim all things back to him. We are not in a plan B or afterthought due to some event that caught God by surprise or forced him to change plans and the way God set this thing up involves a battle against the adversary to prove some things out to him and all creation about the wisdom and character of God in comparison of any other competing wisdom. That is where the strife and struggle resides...against Satan and his plan and policies to maintain control of what he took

      Tactic used by the adversary are to diffuse detailed doctrinal research/study and to keep minds focused on “general” doctrine and phrases like “it’s just about Jesus” are dangerous, not for salvation but can become issues when regarding functioning as God intends for us to AFTER salvation and laboring with God per his plan and purpose for the rest of our lives here on earth as well as out in eternity...

      Watering down of the detail will allow misunderstandings to take place within doctrinal truths

      The Devil is in the details...

      Devil can get the best of you bc he doesn’t ignore the details, he is very much in the know and we cannot ignore detailed doctrine. We must make sure we have investigated/exhausted all options before making decisions about these types of subjects...I never want anyone to take another mans word for it, but to do their own in depth research and study to find the truth, only way to know for sure is by what the word of God says without influence of men and their wisdom (which has a source and ultimately comes from somewhere)

      Failure to drill down and not flush out intense doctrine details ends up leaving openings for the adversary to hide the truth with subtly and counterfeit wisdom contrary to our heavenly fathers wisdom

      He will make things look right, feel ok, even sound smart and correct and this can pave a path for popular thinking to emerge and more momentum to portray the lies as the truth, this is what he does best as he is the anointed cherub that covereth and is full of wisdom and beauty

      The point of right division involves ensuring differentiation of Gods purpose for the body of Christ from His intent for Israel.

      What was spoken of by God’s holy prophets since the world began cannot be the same thing as what was hidden in God and kept a secret in the foundations of the world

      Its very true that grace and faith has always been the only way that anyone has ever been saved, justified to eternal life

      Both Israel and the body of Christ must have Gods grace, they both must have Christ as their all sufficient substitute redeemer in order for either to successfully carry out the reclamation of all things back to the God, the Most High

      But one of these groups is under the law and the other is not

      Physical things you can see and feel and prove and put your hands on...these are elements of being under the law and a component of Israel’s promises and blessings if they hold true to God’s plan and path that was setup for them (i.e must stay faithful to God thru tribulational times during the end of days, an aspect of performance is required by them as a royal priesthood to lead the gentile nations back to God)

      This differs from all spiritual blessings in heavenly places of which belong to the one new man, the body of Christ and is already a done deal revealed in a mystery hidden in Gods heart that no one knew about...not even the angles, and cannot be found within prophecy

      There is definitely grace involved and necessary for Israel to successfully be the chosen people, a royal priesthood, peculiar people and the head of all nations destined to lead the whole world ( Gentiles) back to God and reclaim the earth that was lost to Satan in the garden

      There is no way they can do this themselves without God Bring the one to do it for them, they need his grace and goodness just as much as any other group of people do in order to be successful. That is the new law He will write on their hearts and they will be his people and He will be their God (Palestinian covenant) Christ, on the cross, successfully defeated death and hell and He now holds the keys to these instead of Satan, but still has the other four mandates of the Davidic Covenant to fulfill as their Messiah.

      Yes, the cross and His faithful performance is the key and the hub which makes Gods plan work and possible for Him to win against Satan, but the truth is that there is still more left to do before evil is defeated, the story isn’t over yet, there is still some action left and the coolest part is that by the mercies of God and his goodness, we get a chance to be a player as a member of the body, in this great story when we never had a glimmer of any attribute or ray of hope to show for ourselves or to qualify us to ever be involved at all, what an awesome gift we have been given by God thru Christ’s perfect and successful work on the cross!

      We are members of the body of Christ and Jesus is the head of the body. Our vocation is not on this earth like Israel, but in the heavenly places out in Gods creation up there. We are taught to concentrate on things unseen and within the inner man/woman and to build these things up instead of living by sight and requiring a sign as the Jews were taught to do. We are given all kinds of blessings upfront and freely by Gods grace without works of any kind at any time, we are free from the law, not under it and God gave us a new identity in Jesus Christ the moment we trust him as our Saviour. He killed our old identity in Adam and gave us a new identity in Christ, He sanctified us and made us holy and usable by him as well as adopting us to labor with him and have a close and personal relationship, one that Israel has yet to know or experience to date( but they will one day)

      They only knew God as far off and distant, all knowing and almighty God who they tremble at and are not worthy to be in close proximity to, etc and this is due to their status of being under God’s law

      There is no Jew or Greek in the body of Christ bc this is free gift of grace given out to all( an equal playing field) and was a mystery hidden in God not revealed until shown to Paul by Jesus Christ himself, there are no Old Testament references to this mystery, not even any hints or clues or coded language -(otherwise it cannot be a mystery or secret that no one knew)

      Israel signed a contract and though they are His people they possess a component in their justification which is before men and involves works which must be successfully performed and carried out or consequences will be enforced due to the nature of (you guessed it) being under the law and responsibility of being the head of all nations

      Abraham justified by faith alone when he believed God regarding making him a great nation/have a son; then much later gets his justification before men when attempting to offer Isaac as sacrifice

      Our salvation package is not one of fear, but close intimate one on one conversation with our Heavenly Father and His Spirit to lead us thru His word and build us up (an edification from the inside out), which conforms us to the image of His Son, not because we are held to a standard or law, but thru true desire to please our father and motivated by grace and Godly charity and a privilege to labor with him in what his plan and purpose encompasses

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      5 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Judith,

      Thank you for your kinds words. I believe that we must all be prayerful about the pursuit of truth and that others not be led astray. Be strong in the Lord, my sister!


    • profile image


      5 months ago

      Excellent. We are in very perilous times, spiritually. Over the past 5 decades entire Christians congregations have been infiltrated by self annointed leaders whose only agenda is to separate from the flock, those most unsuspecting and vulnerable; teaching them their specialized twisted scriptural doctrines. I continually pray the Holy Spirit reveal truths to these souls and I offer up what service the Holy Spirit may put before me. Oh my heart is heavy with sorrow and I rejoice when the Holy Spirit places one of these poor souls in my own journey. No matter how brief the encounter, I know the Holy Spirit works through me for the glory of Almighty God in Heaven. God has guven you great work to do; may God continue Blessing you. My thanks to you.

    • profile image

      GRACE ambassador 

      5 months ago

      Grace And Peace, Tony. Thank you. Very "succinct." My succinct question, then, concerning, "no one was saved by the law," would be this "problematic" Scripture From God's "Dispensation Of The LAW":

      "And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him!"

      (Luke 7:29-30!)? Is it Unambiguous, or "need" an "interpretation"?

      And, of course, taken "The Way It Is Written" (red letters), this would Not be "Contradictory" to the plain, Unambiguous "Statements Commanded By CHRIST!" (red letters), And "carried out" by Peter at Pentecost ("birthday" of Today's "Church"???):

      "He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved!" (Mark 16:15a!) +

      "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in The Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive The Gift Of The Holy Ghost!" (Acts 2:38!) { received "The Gift" before or AFTER "water" baptism? - just askin'... }

      Do we "believe" These "As They Are Written," or seek the "mercy" of "trained" theologians to "interpret" them for us to fit their "particular" theology? { to "Prevent" blatant "Contradictions" in God's HOLY Word??? }

      { that was my "method" for Many years, in religious "Confusion!" }

      Again, The ONLY "solution" I have ever found for "learning/understanding" Without "changing" God's "Wording" Of HIS HOLY Word, is "Right Division!"

      { keeping God's "Distinctions" Between Law And GRACE, Without "mixing"

      them up in The "Confusion plaguing" the spiritually weak And Severely Divided Church of Today! Got quite a "list" building, IF you wish to "know"}

      What think ye?

      bro Chris

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      5 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hello Chris.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this article and comments. I will keep my reply somewhat succinct.

      Yes, all scripture is profitable. To us that encompasses both the old and new testaments. In Paul's time, the only scripture would have been the old testament. Paul was a master at showing that Jesus was the promised Messiah that the law, psalms and prophets foretold of. Jesus came to fulfill all that was written of Him. With that in mind, I depart with the wording of the King James in this instance as the word "dividing" conjures up the act of cutting apart to us who speak 21st century English. I do believe that "rightly handling" is a better translation of of the Greek word orthomounta today. Paul was instructing Timothy to be a good student of scripture so that he prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah by using texts from the law, psalms and prophets.

      Yes, we have gone from law to grace, but only in our understanding of God's plan of salvation. No one was ever saved by the law, but by believing in God, faith. Those living before the cross were saved by grace just like you and me, only they received grace on credit, so to speak.


    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      6 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Derick,

      I would agree that context and audience are extremely important. While much of the Bible wasn't written about us, we can still take application from it. Jesus sternly rebuked the Pharisees for being hypocrites, does that make us hypocrites? Not really, but at the same time we should always be careful lest we fall into the same behavior as they did.

      I also believe that some parts of scripture are written from man's perspective; leaning on his own understanding. Books like Job and Ecclesiastes are good examples of this.

      I think that it is good for us to read all of scripture. These books were written by people who were inspired by God. WE can learn how God deals with both the righteous and the evil. We can learn of God's long-suffering towards us, and most importantly, we can learn about God's enduring love for His creation.


    • profile image


      7 months ago

      I heard a Pastor talk about this very topic. To me it made sense. I was always taught the whole bible from Genesis to Revelations was %100 true and to be applied to my life. This pastor used the rightly dividing scripture to also say you can wrongly divide. He said sone stuff in the bible is talking to sinners, some to Israel, and some to believers. Another interesting point he said was all scripture is truly stated but not a statement of truth. For example when Job says the Lord give and the Lord taketh away, thats what Job thought and thats what was recorded in scripture, but the Lord doesnt give and take away does He? Arent all gifts from the Lord irrevocable (romans 11:29) what are your thoughts on whether everything in the bible is for God's children? Or does it all depend on the context?t

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      7 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Woodrow, except for the fact that the original Greek did not use the word "dividing", but orthomounta. 2 Timothy 2:15 is the only place that records this word. If Paul truly meant to mean "dividing" as is understood in the English language, then he likely would have used one of the Greek words repeatedly used in the New Testament to convey this thought.

      Am I doing the Devil's work? No, I do not think so, and even I were, it would be for the Lord to decide, not man.


      Tony Muse

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      Context is all about the "Con" and none about the "Text."

      If a verse clearly states something then it means what it says, and I won't use the bogus argument of context to change its unambiguous meaning. You are lying about the Bible when you say a verse doesn't mean what it says or only apparently contradicts itself. This is the Devil's Work.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      8 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for reading my article and your comment. Very interesting way of looking at it. In truth, there is a commonality that runs through all of scripture, and that is Jesus Christ. Now, was that the message that Paul was conveying to Timothy? I believe that Paul had trained Timothy in the art of showing that all of scripture, which would have the been the Old Testament at that time, pointed to Christ as being the promised Messiah. Paul was an expert in this and he tried to teach this in the synagogues as well as did Christ. To be honest, I'm not sure that mathematics factor into this particular passage. Pardon the pun.

      Peace and blessings!

    • profile image

      Daniel Squires 

      8 months ago

      Hey Tony -

      Do you remember factoring in math class? - where you divide numbers with other numbers until all that is left are the numbers that can only be divided by the number one or itself - prime numbers? I've always looked at 'rightly dividing the word' as a similar exercise: that when we study God's word we are to in a sense 'divide' or 'factor' a passage of scripture with other scripture to reveal the common essential truth or truths. From this perspective, it is the opposite of separating scripture from other scripture - it is looking at scripture to see where it is in common with other truth contained in scripture.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      8 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Connie,

      Thank you for taking the time and commenting. I am glad that were able to find this article useful in your studies.

      Yes, I understand your position concerning all of scripture being inspired. My comment was intended to be in the context of rebuttal against those who claim that the gospels were not written to or for the church. I do believe that all of the Biblical writers were inspired by God and I do not discount the value of the rest of the Bible, even so, I do give greater emphasis to the words of Christ as I believe that the Old Testament pointed to Christ and the New Testament speak of Christ. He is the very fulcrum of all of scripture.


    • profile image


      8 months ago

      I found your article very interesting and had many slap my forehead “duh” moments while reading it. I have a son who pastors a church and has changed his doctrine based on this very verse and the statement “rightly dividing.” I’ve been doing research myself and your article was extremely helpful. However your statement that you treasure every red letter over every black letter of the Bible causes me halt. You quote 2Timothy 3:16 how ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God yet you treasure the red letters more. Yes I understand those were words spoken by Jesus but the entire Bible is God breathed. The entire Bible IS the very Word of God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Every book of the Bible was written by a human author who was inspired by God, even the books that contain the red letters. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all quote Jesus but their quotes are not word for word the same. They quote Him as they are inspired to do so. You may want to rethink that stand on the red verses black letters.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      8 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Bob,

      Am I "correcting the Bible"? No, that was not my intention. My intention was to correct how some have misinterpreted its meaning in this particular passage by showing that the concept of parsing scripture was in no way in context of what Paul is telling his companion, Timothy. There is a big difference.

      Peace and Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      Bob donaldson 

      8 months ago

      Bible correctors claim they always know better than the Holy Spirit.

      They have no fear of God

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      8 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Jeff,

      Thank you for reading my article and your comments. I have to admit that I have never considered connecting the idea of "dividing" the word of truth with legalism. It has been my experience that people who support this rendering of 2 Timothy 2:15 to be those who lean towards the idea of a dual-covenant system; that God deals differently with the Jews and the Gentiles/church.

      I would appreciate a more little details on your hypothesis, if you have the time.

      Blessings and Merry Christmas!


    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Good work Tony.

      I think we're all familiar with the advice that a doctrine should not be built on a single verse. So when a doctrine is built on a single translation of a single verse then we're on even shakier ground. Add to this how you've shown that the original word does not even refer to dividing and now there is no foundation for the doctrine whatsoever.

      As with all bad doctrine there is always a reason it is attractive. Finding what this attraction is often explains that attraction. Long story but I think in this case the attraction is that people don't like the fact that "faith without works is dead".

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      9 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Sheila,

      Thank you for reading my article. Do I believe that Romans 9 is a chapter about predestination to salvation? No, I do not. Do I believe that Paul saying that some are predestined to carry out certain acts of service for His purpose? Yes.

    • profile image

      Sheila strickler 

      9 months ago

      Is Romans 9 a predestination chapter?

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      9 months ago from Texas, USA

      I received an email from a person that I will only identify as "SJ". The reply email that this individual used was fake as it immediately bounce back. it read as follow:

      "Another bible corrector

      There is no fear of God in people who do not take Gods word at face value

      He has His pure and preserved words kept for all generarations words that are above His name even

      Yet moron man thinks he knows more through his learning for he has been to a theological cemetery

      This will not help those for will not Jesus say

      Go away I never knew you"

      My response to SJ:

      Hello SJ,

      I will assume that you are both a King James only person as well as a Dispensationalist who ardently defends the concept that the gospels and books like James and Hebrews were written to and for the Jews while the Gentile church should simply follow Paul. I will tell you this: I treasure every red letter in my Bible more than every all other black-letter words in the Bible combined and neither you or anyone else can take that away from me. Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 3 not to be followers of men, but that we should all be followers of Christ. So, by that statement alone, those who state that the gospels are are only to and for the Jews are in error. Paul also wrote in 1 Timothy 3:16 that ALL scripture is of inspired by God and is profitable.

      I praise God that I only have to concern myself with being able to stand before God and not before men.

      Blessings and have a good day.

      Tony Muse


      It was not my intention to "correct the Bible", only to set straight how some, in my opinion, have taken the words of Paul out of context in order to promote a particular teaching that is contrary to the intended message and the context of scripture as a whole.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      9 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Teresa,

      Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I have have always found it to be more beneficial to let scripture explain itself rather than relying on other men to to explain it for me. The Bible is always our best teacher. It is my opinion that creating doctrine from one particular text, or in this case, a single word, it never a wise thing to do. The context of Paul's message had nothing to do with the concept of divided scripture and as far as I can tell, and there are no other passages that support this practice. In fact, it was Paul that wrote that "all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17.


    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      9 months ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you, Jerry. I am glad that you found this article beneficial in your studies. I am curious as to whether or not your pastor had similar conclusions. :-)

      Peace and Blessings!

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      I think you should listen to EC Moore or Richard Jordan, they could teach you a few things. Totally disagree with your article.

    • profile image

      Jerry P. 

      9 months ago

      Tony, I enjoyed your article. I agree with your assessment and conclusions. My pastor was discussing this very verse (2 Tim. 2:15) at this mornings service. Thank you very much, brother, for your time and effort dedicated to God's precious message. Many continued blessings. Jerry P.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      10 months ago from Texas, USA


      No worries, I'm sure that I would have assumed the same thing. you did. I believe that your post was on there for a time, I really don't know when it was taken down.

      My primary disagreement is that the "age of grace" leads the believer that those before the cross were saved by works. It is very clear to me that all mankind was saved by grace through faith. If we are to say that those before the cross were saved by works, then they are all condemned in their sins.

      I disagree that coming of the kingdom of God is a future event.

      The concept of a kingdom that lasts 1,000 years

      I disagree that God has a different purpose for Israel and the church.

      I disagree that the church was an afterthought.

      I disagree that the church will be raptured to heaven for seven years while Jews and unbelieving Gentiles face an antichrist government and that some will be drawn to Christ after He returns... Again.

      I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of Inclusion Theology. Those in Dispensational circles teach that if you don't see a distinction between Israel and the church that you must believe in Replacement Theology; that the church has somehow "replaced" Israel as God's chosen people. But I am convinced that it was God's plan all along that the Gentiles be brought in to share in the commonwealth. Paul teaches in Romans that Gentiles believers are part of the same tree along with Jewish believers. The root of that tree is Christ. We, as Gentile believers, have been adopted into the family of God. One who is adopted does not replace the natural children.

      Paul as expounding on the this passage:

      Romans 9:6-9

      6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

      Paul makes it clear to me that only those who are in Christ are to be called Abraham's descendants and called Israel by God.

      I hope that helps.


    • profile image


      10 months ago


      Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry about the HTML confusion. I'm not savvy to message board restrictions. Thanks for the clarification and sorry for the misunderstanding.

      I'm interested in what you believe are the conclusions Dispensationalism leads to. But we can discuss that another time.

      I'm curious: in a nutshell, what is Inclusion Theology? First I've heard of it.


    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      10 months ago from Texas, USA


      Actually, I didn't delete it. I had approved the message, but I "think" that posting links to outside articles is taboo on HubPages. Perhaps the admins on HubPages deleted it. If you read the conditions of comments, you will read:

      "No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites."

      Apparently your link violated that agreement. That is out of my control, sorry...

      I don't care to get into an argument, either. But, I will say that I do not agree with the conclusions that Dispensationalism leads to. I believe that the Bible can be rightly understood simply by understanding audience, time and context. If one is diligent to read the epistles like Romans and Hebrews, they should be able to understand the types and anti-types that are represented in the Old Testament and how they pointed to and were realized in Christ.

      My goal with this article was to show that separation of scripture was not in context with what Paul was conveying to Timothy. Building a complex doctrine on one single phrase in scripture that has no supporting context or scripture is never wise, in my opinion.

      Just in case you are wondering, I do not agree with Supersessionism aka "Replacement Theology", but I don't agree with Dual-Covenant Theology, either. My stance is that Inclusion Theology is what scripture teaches.

      Peace be unto you.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      Hi Tony,

      I see that my email has been removed and along with it the reference to Charles Welch's article on right division. If you're not open to discussing this topic then I won't bother you about it. Just let me know: privately if you wish. But removing the email shows a sign of weakness in your position.

      I'm not looking for an argument. I just thought it odd that you didn't address in your article your disagreement with the strongest supporter for the "rightly dividing" position that you disagree with. That would be Charles Welch.

      You stated that you especially like the following from that article: "In other words, whether found in Genesis, Romans, Ephesians or the Revelation, "Dispensational Truth" is all the truth there is."

      Did you also like his distinguishing comment: "Right division distinguishes dispensations. It does not confound Kingdom with Church, Gentile with Jew, Mystery with Gospel, Earth with Heaven."?

      Did you also like his distinguishing comment: "If we misinterpret Israel as of the Church; if we confound the Bride with the Body; if we preach the gospel of the circumcision to the Gentile to-day; if we do any of these things, we rob the Word of its Truth."

      When we fail to distinguish these separate topics we make scripture confusing.

      Mr. Welch went on to say:

      "The books of the Bible were all originally addressed to some particular hearer or company, and before we take all that is written in the Scriptures as truth for ourselves, we should observe several things which in reality will be but the application of ‘Right Division’. If we hold the faith that is common to evangelical protestants we shall strenuously maintain the great doctrine of Justification by faith apart from works of the law, and by so doing we of necessity ‘divide’ the Word of truth, for the law of Moses is equally as inspired Scripture as is the epistle to the Romans. And so the principle of right division enables us to say:

      ‘While the Word of God is written FOR all persons, and FOR all time, yet it is true that not every part of it is addressed TO all persons or ABOUT all persons IN all time’ (How to Enjoy the Bible, Dr. E. W. Bullinger)."

      What has just been quoted, this is "rightly dividing" the word of truth. Keep in mind that while all scripture is written for us, it is not all written to us. "Read the address on the envelope" is a good tool to have in your toolbox.

      Tony, God has blessed you with a sound mind as shown in how aptly you represented your position in this article. But don't forget Apollos who needed to understand "the way of God more perfectly".

      In brotherly love,


    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      10 months ago from Texas, USA


      I especially like the the following from that article: "In other words, whether found in Genesis, Romans, Ephesians or the Revelation, "Dispensational Truth" is all the truth there is’."

      Thank you for sharing.

      God bless!

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      11 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hi Paula,

      Thank you for reading my hub. It is ashamed that you are not a HubPages member as I am not sure that you will read my reply to unless you checks back.

      You have gone off topic a bit, for this hub was primarily concerning the actual intent of Paul telling Timothy to rightly handle the word of truth. But, I will briefly answer your questions.

      In regards to Romans 11 and verse 26 in particular, as I have a feeling that it this verse in particular that you alluding to, I would invite you to read the rest of verse 26 and on to verse 27. If you simply stop with "and so all Israel will be saved" then you might be led to believe that in some point in time, that every Israelite alive will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, repent and be saved, but Paul never states that idea. In fact, back in verse 14 Paul says that it was his hope that "some" of them might be saved.

      The thought that Paul is setting up in verse 26 is the fulfillment of Isaiah 59:20, 21, Isaiah 27:9 and Jeremiah 31:33-34, which is also reiterated in Hebrews 8:10, 12. The Deliverer has already come from Zion, through His sacrifice He has already removed ungodliness from Jacob, the new covenant made with His blood was and is the new covenant which was offered to the Jew first, then the Greek. All Israel, those who maintained their faith in the Promise, were saved, and all those turn to Christ since have also been saved. Is God done with "finished" with the Jews? No! But neither is God finished with unbelieving Gentiles, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or even hardcore atheists. The concept of all of national Israel being saved, whether with or against their will, is completely foreign in scripture.

      As I had mentioned in my hub, in Romans 9 Paul defined the true Israel and the true descendants of Abraham as being those who maintain their faith in the Promise, which is Christ. The remainder of Romans 9-11 is built upon that foundation.

      Ask yourself this simple question: When were the books of Ezekiel, written? Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel and was written before the exiled Jew had returned from their Babylonian exile. God fulfilled His promise to bring them back into the land as prophesied to Jeremiah.

      I am not anti-Semitic and I have not said a single word that demeans the Jewish people. I believe that Replacement Theology is wrong and so is Dual-Covenant Theology. What I believe in and would promote is Inclusion Theology, and that is exactly what Paul was teaching in Romans 11.

      I have done my share of studying the date of the writing of Revelation and I can honestly say that all conclusions are primarily speculative. The book does not give any time references in which to pin it to so I think that we would all be best to leave it at that.

      Who are "God's chosen people"? I think that Peter answers that question in 1 Peter 2:9

      But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

      Peter had just finished talking about the stone which the builders had rejected as a contrast to those who have their faith in Christ. God's chosen people are those from every race who have placed their faith on Christ. God is not a racist and never was. He chose the Abraham to be the one from whom His Son would come from and God's preservation of the nation of Israel was predicated on His promise to Abraham.

      Even with the direct line of Christ there were two non-Israelites; Ruth - Moabite and Rahab - Canaanite. These were two foreign women who feared God and were counted as Israel because of it.

      And, what of Genesis 12:1-3?

      1 Now the Lord said to Abram,

      “Go forth from your country,

      And from your relatives

      And from your father’s house,

      To the land which I will show you;

      2 And I will make you a great nation,

      And I will bless you,

      And make your name great;

      And so you shall be a blessing;

      3 And I will bless those who bless you,

      And the one who curses you I will curse.

      And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

      This blessing was for Abraham. All of the families of the earth being blessed was because of his Seed, Christ. This passage has often been misquoted to apply to the nation of Israel, that is not the context of this passage.

      To reiterate who the children of Abraham are:

      Matthew 3:9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

      Matthew 8:11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven

      Luke 13:28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

      John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

      34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”

      39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”


    • profile image


      11 months ago

      Be curious how you exposit Romans 11. Also 2 Tim 2:15 is to rightly handle to Word of truth. I know we have an instruction to be as the Bereans and check what we hear and compare scripture with scripture. The covenant God gave to Abraham Gen15:18-21 was in part a physical covenant that specifically included land. In scripture there typically are two seemingly opposing doctrines like free will and election and both are true and validates by two or three “witnesses” when cross checking the scripture. We indeed are graphed in to the olive tree through faith but God is not finished with the nation of Israel and as Zechariah 12:10 says “they(the house of David) will look on me the one they have pierced and mourn Ezekiel 36:25-27 God says after He brings Israel back in the land He will sprinkle clean water on them. Replacement theology is dangerous. It set up the churches in Germany to look the other way when the Nazis came to power. Anti semitism is a stench in the nostrils of God. I’ve done a thorough study of the dating of Revelation and it was definitely written around 95AD. Reformed theology that pushes the replacement of Israel by the church is a house of cards built on sand if Revelation wasn’t written before 70AD. And responsible scholarship does not support it. Read Mark Hitchcock. He did his doctorate on this and he is a very nice man. I do not mean to be contentious but we are to earnestly content for the faith. Thinking God is done with his chosen people because we gentiles have had the grace to be grafted into his promises is error. I want to live in blessing. “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you” Gen 12:3

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      17 months ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you Tamarajo. You are very correct, doing any kind of in-depth study before we had such great internet resources would have been quite cumbersome and expensive. Thank you for reading my hub!

    • Tamarajo profile image


      17 months ago

      What a privilege to have access to so many online sources that we might search the Scriptures in their original languages to see if these things are so. This is a lovely study that exhibits the beauty of that privilege that we might see His truth rightly.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      17 months ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you, Margaret. I firmly believe that textual and contextual analysis es very important when reading scripture. I hope that you have a blessed weekend in celebration of the resurrection in which we have our hope!

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 

      17 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Tony from Texas, I read your article and was amazed how clearly you explained your points. Hopefully, others will find it as educational as I did! Continue writing great hubs like this one.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      17 months ago from Texas, USA

      Hxprof - Thanks for reading my hub. Yes, interpretations can get pretty far-fetched when you are grasping at straws to affirm your exegesis.

    • profile image


      17 months ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Agree with you about the "word of truth". It's amazing to me what kinds of deception can be concocted by an incomplete view of scripture.

    • Tony Muse profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Muse 

      17 months ago from Texas, USA

      Thanks Charlie, I have been told multiple times that I am not "rightly dividing the word of truth", in every case it was in regards to the fact I stood by my belief that all scripture is beneficial for us today.

    • celafoe profile image


      17 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      good article, I was not aware that so many were again following these tales of apostate man


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