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

I am a follower of Christ seeking truth in the mire of false doctrines that are pervasive today.


Meaning of "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth"

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 states 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 cannot 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 lyrics “We’ll have a 'gay' old time” had nothing to do with homosexuality, but in the 1960s, 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!

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

Poll on this topic.

For further studies on Dispensational teachings:

Is the Book of James for the Church?

Is There a Prophetic Gap or Antichrist in Daniel's 70 Weeks?

© 2018 Tony Muse


Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 01, 2020:

Hello J Adam Jones,

First of all, thank you for reading my article. I do have some questions for you.

1. Does God make distinction between Jew and Gentile?

2. In the times we live today, who is to be the “light of the world”?

3. At His ascension, did Jesus tell His disciples to go only to the Jews with the “good news”?

4. By what means were people saved who died before Paul’s ministry of Grace?

5. In Ephesians 3:6, Paul states that the Gentiles had become “fellow heirs”, who were they fellow heirs with?

6. Was the early church comprised of Jews only, Jews and Gentiles or on Gentiles?

7. Was the mystery of grace going to the Gentiles truly hidden, or was it more of an issues that the Jews, through their pride, had become blind to the idea that God could bestow favor to those outside of the Jewish race as well?

I guess that fail to see how we might be misled by Matthew 24:43, please explain. Are you saying that we might know the hour of His return?

Read Hosea 2:16-20 then read Acts 10. Peter knew who the unclean animals represented in his vision and had issues with accepting it because of his pride. Paul had to rebuke him for it Galatians 2.

I read what Emma said and replied to her as I am replying to you.

One final question: Which was more inspired, the King James Version or the original words found in the manuscripts written in Greek?


Tony Muse

J Adam Jones on August 31, 2020:

Emma is so spot on! way to go Emma, it is awesome to know there are solid Bible students out there who understand the entire plan of God to reclaim both the earth(thru the nation of Israel) and the heavenly places(body of Christ made up of both Jew and Greek) and not mix the two together.

How in the world can something that is hidden in God and kept secret since the foundation of the world also be the same message that had been spoken of by God's prophets since the world began? Basic logic can show us all that the gospel OF the circumcision couldn't be the same as the gospel OF the uncircumcision...check out the versions and you'd find that many of them use the word "to" instead of the word "of" and that's very interesting...

The basic principle of the mystery that was kept hidden until revealed by Christ to the apostle Paul prevents us from being misled by verses like Matt 21.43. It is the word nation singular not plural and cannot be about us, the Body of Christ, bc it was a secret not spoken of by anyone not even by Christ during His earthly ministry. come on people, before you type your reply it would be beneficial to actually read what Emma said and go study it out instead of only thinking about what you want to say in response. those that don't trust the KJV you need to go look at the Grace History Project on you tube before making up your mind about the history of all of these Bible versions...Blessings Tony

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on July 22, 2020:

Hello Jessel

I believe that you will find my response to the passages that you you quoted in my reply to Emma.


Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on July 22, 2020:

Hello Emma,

Please forgive my slow response, for some reason I was not notified that you had left a comment.

Christ was born under the law while we were not, in that aspect there is a marked difference. However, Christ did set an example for everyone as to how we are to love one another and love the Father, so in that way we do follow Jesus. Paul even rebuked those who claimed that they follow him, Peter or anyone else other than Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-13). Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus did come only to the those of Israel, that is true, but there was a very important reason for that. Jesus was the promised seed of Abraham that would deliver Israel from their sins and blindness. The vast majority of those of Israel rejected Him even though their own scriptures told of Him and foretold the exact time of His arrival. How much less would the rest of the world have accepted Him? At least some of the Jews were looking for Him, those were the sheep who knew His voice, yet Jesus alluded that there were other sheep of His that would b gathered in as well in John 10:16. We are those sheep. We are also the unclean animals mentioned in the Acts 11 which was foretold in Hosea 2:18 in which the new covenant was promised.

The term “Gentiles” is nothing more a word to describe people other than those of Israel. Christ broke down the dividing wall that separated Jew and Gentile and we are now one man (Ephesians 2). The church, made up of believing Jews and Gentiles, is the mountain that spread throughout the whole earth in Daniel 2. The nation of Israel was a physical type of the anti-type, the church just like most all things that were physical in nature were shadows of things realized in Christ. While we are not nation wit a capital and a flag, we are a spiritual kingdom or nation that even the gates of hell will not prevail against.

When Jesus told the Pharisees “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.” - Matthew 21:43 He was absolutely talking about the church. The Jewish leaders had completely mishandled the true nature of God that the kingdom with its blessings and protection that come from being God’s true people were stripped from it and given to the church. The church did not replace Israel, the faithful, or remnant of Israel, became the church.

Let me answer your questions with a question: By what method were those who were counted as righteous who died before the cross saved? It wasn’t by their works for no man can stand before God based on their own righteousness. Those who live and died before cross were saved in the same way that we are today, by grace. The only difference is that their faith saved them because they believed upon the salvation that was to come, while we have faith in the salvation that has already come – but it is all by grace.

Dispensationalists like to think of the word “dispensation” found in Paul’s writings in the King James Version as a definitive time period that began with Paul, but that is a poor way of interpreting the dispensation. Paul was charged with ministering gospel to Gentiles, but he didn’t preach to the Gentiles only. He eventually became fed up with his fellow Jews and then declared that he would expend his efforts with people would be more open to his message. Scofield and Darby reinvented the meaning of dispensation to mean something that is totally out of context, as they did many other things.

Blessings and take care.

Tommie Sadler on July 09, 2020:

Hi Tony, on the pole test i voted fot that "Paul did not mean for Timothy to separate the word of God" but instead to devide himself to not loose focus or get dragged in a false doctrine..

Jessel on June 16, 2020:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:5-6‬ ‭KJV‬

“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭15:22-24‬ ‭KJV‬

“For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭7:25-28‬ ‭KJV‬

“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:67-70‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”

‭‭John‬ ‭4:22‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:36-39‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭3:19-26‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭10:28‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:19‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:7-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:11-14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:1-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

God bless you brother, I pray the Lord will give you understanding in all things. I pray that you will be given ample opportunities to preach and teach the Gospel of the Grace of God and that Jesus will stablish you by the Gospel and the preaching of Him according to the revelation of the mystery Amen.

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭16:25‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:1-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Emma on June 06, 2020:

I’m always curious to see how people understand rightly dividing so I stumbled upon your article. It was pretty decent explanation and I love seeing people defending Jesus. We worship Jesus and no other apostles and that’s trans dispensations. Orthotomeo is a terminology used by tent makers and people who work with wood, and it means as you mentioned “cut straight”. I can see how Paul used a word that he, and the people that knew him were familiar with. I read some of the comments and I saw your position on the phrase not being a good fit for dividing scripture, because New Testament wasn’t there yet. Many people forget who is the author of the Bible, and that scripture is by Devine inspiration! When we think how God had mastered the Old Testament, it’s not surprising to me to find pointers to how people in the future ( from Paul), should understand the Bible. Another thing, people who say we need to follow Jesus in his earthly ministry, have probably barely skimmed over his teachings and life, and if your love for Christ is genuine, please go study his life and see how impossible is to do what you so boldly assert to be the right way. Gentiles came into picture only with Paul, can we agree with that? 2 Peter 2:9 doesn’t speak of gentiles as you think, ( I’ll make a follow up post with verses, as I cannot remember it but I have them in my studies). Gentiles have NEVER been mentioned as a nation, but nationS. This verse speaks of the Jews that were scattered, the Jews that believed and suffered for their faith at the hand of Religious Jews, Jews that were leading the masses away from Jesus! Jews that had become so religious and righteous, that only lived for their flesh, that forgot to care for their own. God is taking the kingdom from the leaders that were supposed to receive him, because they knew the scriptures, and he will give it to the peculiar people, the harlots and the prostitutes that believed... not gentiles! You’ll be so amazed to see that this is correct! I have to tend to my kiddos quick, but I’ll come back with verses and bible passages that many overlook in seeing such simple truth! “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬ I’ll leave you with some questions that let me to right division... Who gives you/us the right to believe what you believe in and about what’s in the Bible? Why did we need a 13th apostle? Why did Paul have to go and confirm his gospel to the disciples if they had the same one? If the 12 apostles have their thrones in the kingdom, where is Paul’s? Why does Paul refers to the gospel as “my gospel”. Do you notice that The apostles preach “repent and believe”, but Paul “believe and repent”. Have you ever looked at what grafting a tree looks like? If you graft a cherry tree in a apple tree, the cerise’s won’t become apples, and they won’t have the same characteristics. We all have salvation in this dispensation of grace, but we don’t have the same end. How much of the Bible we have to convert into symbolism and allegory to make gentiles fit in the 4 gospels? I have many other questions but it suffices for now. I love Jesus Christ with all my heart and in my eyes and His eyes, we are brothers and sisters. The way we read the Bible helps us in our walk. Jesus sent his disciples to Jerusalem first, samaritans next and then the whole earth. But Jesus also told them that they wouldn’t even get to all towns of Israel and He will be back! Ponder on that ! “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:19‬ ‭KJV‬‬ Who did they preached the word? You get to Acts 11 and the gospel is still ONLY for the Jews. I think we should all humble ourselves and stay cautious that we might not know everything, instead of putting other thinkers down. Scripture answers scriptures and I’ve seen pastors who make a mess out of plain truth, just to fit gentiles in there! To be continued...

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on June 04, 2020:

Hi John Wilson New Zealand,

Please explain why.


John Wilson New Zealand on May 28, 2020:

Sorry you have not grasped the truth of Paul’s teaching

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on April 12, 2020:


We are all saved by one man, Christ. It matters not if you are Jew or Gentile. One Christ, one gospel, one plan of salvation.

The body of Christ is comprised of people of all backgrounds. The church was originally comprised of Jews. Then, it was revealed to them that all are to be considered to be one body. God does not make distinction based upon race. We Gentiles are members of the same commonwealth of believing Jews.



Grace on April 12, 2020:

The problem with those clinging to the red letters in the bible is that they believe those are the only ones Jesus spoke. Jesus Christ is the word and everything that Paul wrote was revealed to him by the Lord Jesus Christ. By clinging to the red letters the entire content of revelation from the resurrected Christ revealed through the Apostle of the Gentiles (Paul) is still a hidden mystery to most of the Christians around the world. A lot of confusions come about from seemingly contradictory statements in the bible made by the 12 apostles vs those made by Paul. Every word of the bible is true and either has come true or will come true one day. All the confusions can be cleared if one understands the instructions given to the Jews is different from the instructions given to us the gentiles (body of Christ).

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on April 11, 2020:


We can agree that the entire Bible is truth, fair enough. But, I will take exception to the idea that there is one truth for Israel and different truth for Gentiles. Paul made it very clear in Ephesians 2 that Christ has made both believing Israel and believing Gentiles “one man” through Christ. The Gentiles coming into the kingdom was not some sort of asterisk in the plan of salvation, it was foretold in the Old Testament that this would happen.

The word “dispensation” should not be confined to the concept of an age or space in time. We would be better served to understand the word dispensation to mean administration. Paul was charged to be a steward of the gospel, he “dispensed” the gospel freely, without charge. He was an evangelist whose task it was to preach the gospel to all nations. Was he alone in this charge? No! Read was what written about Christ’s lasts words to the disciples at His ascension:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

The context of Galatians 1:8 (if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!) isn’t that the Jews had received a different gospel, the context is that there were those teaching a Judaized version of Christian which distorted the gospel by insisting that they were still under the law of works. Paul goes on to say later in that same chapter that he had met with Peter and James to confirm that the messages that he had received from Christ in the spirit were consistent with what they had been taught by Christ.

Peter and Paul taught the same gospel message. If you recall, Paul had to reprimand Peter because of his lack of sincerity towards the Gentiles withdrew from them for fear of being looked down on by other Jews. Peter had demonstrated that he was not yet equipped with enough boldness in Christ to ignore his ingrained social boundaries. It took a later “rooftop vision” for Peter to realize that God makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile, the gospel was for everyone. The SAME gospel that you claim is different for Jews and Gentiles.

Paul was better suited to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. For one thing, he was already hated by the Jewish religious leaders for he was a traitor in their eyes. Also, Paul was a Roman citizen and he enjoyed privileges that the other Jewish apostles did not possess. This made him uniquely qualified to travel freely throughout the Roman Empire preaching the gospel.

Jesus instructed his disciples to take to gospel to the whole world, not just to the Jews and Paul was not present at the time this charge was given.

The age of grace didn’t start with the Gentile church, all men who have ever been saved has been saved by grace. Abraham was saved because of his faith and grace was extended to him, for he, like everyone else, had sinned and fell short. If grace was only given to the church, then everyone who died before the cross has died in their sins, condemned without hope. I would suggest that the what Paul meant was that grace was hidden because of the blindness of Israel. They were stuck in their traditions of works that the idea of grace had become a foreign concept. There are multiple passages in the Old Testament that speak of God’s grace.



Earl on April 11, 2020:

The whole Bible is TRUTH...but then there is Israels truth and then there is our truth..Paul received the revelation of the Dispensation of GRACE which was hidden in God before time began..This message is beautifully structured just for the GENTILES..Paul calls it his gospel,..I speak to you Gentiles as much as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office..

Again he says ,if any other preaches any other gospel, let him be cursed..

Paul also says that, Jesus was a minister to the Jews and Paul a minister the Gentiles..

In Galatians Peter agreed to go preach to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles..

Thank you

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on April 04, 2020:

Hi Gloria,

Jesus came to the house of Israel to preach repentance and that they turn back to God, to leave the doctrines of man and to take hold of the true intent of the law, to love God with all your heart and love your fellow man as you love yourself.

It is by those same principals that we, as Christians, are also to live. We should turn fro sin, love God and and our fellow man. We, like the Jews, have been reconciled to the Father through Christ. For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son. That wasn't a statement for Jews only.

The old covenant was a shadow that pointed to Christ, all those who had the faith Abraham before the cross were saved by that faith just as we are today. Paul made it clear in Romans 9 that those who are in the Son are descendants of Abraham, both Jew and Gentile.

Again, as I wrote in the this article, Paul wasn't telling Timothy to divide or separate anything. Neither Paul nor Timothy had the New Testament to divide from what they knew to be scripture. Paul's instruction to Timothy was to know scripture (Hebrew Bible) so that he could effectively use it to teach that Jesus was the promised Messiah and that salvation come through Him alone.



gloria on April 03, 2020:

Although I appreciate your opinion on dividing the scripture, you must know Jesus did not teach or preach salvation for us, never once did He mention salvation for us Gentiles. Jesus reveled His plan for salvation to Paul & Paul only. This is where you need to learn to divide the scriptures. Jesus' teaching/preaching was that He IS the Messiah, the Son of God coming to be the King of Israel fulfilling the old testament prophecy. How could He teach the plan for our salvation when our salvation rest in the finished work of the cross through his bloodshed & resurrection while He was still with the disciples? The entire Bible fits so beautifully together the old with the new testament but it has to be rightly divided in order to understand God's plan for our salvation. Any one reading this & truly believes this I would recommend listening to Les Feldick, I have never heard anyone explain this so perfectly then him.

Thank you, God Bless

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on March 31, 2020:

Hi Ekumi,

Yes, I agree that would be a good way to explain it. Thank you for reading this article and sharing your thoughts.


Ekumi Mokube on March 31, 2020:

I believe the statement "rightly dividing the word of truth" silmply mean correctly sharing the word of God.

A teacher/pastor studies to teach to different classes of students. So it would be of importance to give milk to those who can't eat meat and meat to those have passed the age of receiving milk.

Faith Love on March 21, 2020:

Hi good morning...

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on March 17, 2020:

Hi Richard Freeman,

It appears to have had it's roots as far back as Cyrus Scofield. What I do know is that this ideology is necessary to support the more extreme versions of Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism insists that the Bible must looked at as having various (usually seven) distinct phases in how God deals with man. They will use 2 Timothy 2:15 as a proof text to support the thought that only certain parts of scripture

(usually Paul's writings) pertain to the church, while everything is written for the Jews only.

This view also requires a literal view of the King James Version.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on March 17, 2020:

Thank you, Richard. Be safe and have a great day!


Richard on March 17, 2020:

Well put thanks for your insight and helpful article

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on March 10, 2020:

Hi Shawn,

Yes, context is very important and is often omitted for the purpose of proving a point that is contrary to the original intent of the passage quoted. We see this method used a lot in the realm of politics as well.


shawn on March 10, 2020:

I believe that "rightly dividing" is another way of putting the word into context. And a lot of todays translations are not accurate. There are a lot of Christians today preaching the gospel out of context and feel they have it right. The truth is no one has it completely right and if you claim to you are fooling yourself and possibly others.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on January 23, 2020:

Hello Johan,

Thank you for reading this article and your comment. I agree with you. There is nothing wrong with using the KJV, but the reader must be aware that the nuances of some words have changed over the centuries. It also becomes problematic when you make a complete doctrine from an isolated text without thoroughly researching the original language for better and complete context.



Johan Smulders from East London, South Africa on January 23, 2020:

It is sad that many still hold on to the belief that the King James translation is the only correct translation. Today's more modern translations have access to better texts and use words that people today can understand and so are obviously better. Thanks for the scholarly article!

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on January 18, 2020:


It is not overlooked unless you are one of those who teach that we are justified by the law and not by faith. What is going on in the book of Galatians? There were those going in among the church stating that the believers must adhere to the law and Paul is telling them that they have been freed from the law. The church was being infiltrated by those who taught a Judaised Christianity, which is still going on today.

In no way does my article suggest that we are still under the law. My article is about what the context of Paul's message to Timothy is in 2 Timothy 2:15 and how some people have taken that singular passage out of context to support poor exegesis.

Take care.

Samuel Prescott on January 17, 2020:

Here below is teaching overlooked by the church body today

So tell me where will the Christian find the gospel today now we are no longer under law but grace?

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on January 17, 2020:

Hi Samuel,

Yes, Jesus came to call the house of Israel to repentance, but He came that all might be saved. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He charged His disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations". The word disciple means follower. We are to be followers of Christ, not Paul, not Peter, not anyone other than Christ. Paul even admonished those who say "I follow Paul" or "I follow Apollos" or "I follow Cephus" (Peter). WE are to follow the commandments that Jesus taught; to love God and and or neighbors, which is the fulfilling of the law. This is the message of all of the epistles.

I never claimed that anyone was "saved under the red letters", but He is God made flesh and His words are those of the Father. To disregard the teachings of Christ as not applying to our lives is to disregard both Son and Father.

Jesus was born under the law that we might be free from the law. No one who is in Christ is under the law for we server in a better way. It is through Christ's blood that we are saved, which is Paul's gospel. Both Jesus and Paul taught that we should turn from sin and that we should love and forgive.

Have a good day.

Mr Samuel Prescott on January 16, 2020:

Hope you realise Jesus came for the Jews not you

So if you are saved under the red letters you are lost for you are under law

Paul’s Gospel is for the church body today not your clinging to Jesus red letters

William bynorth on January 16, 2020:

I asked this question and right from the start apparently words had a different meaning in 1611. Rightly divide the word of truth. Where have all the christains gone that have a God's honest clue these days?

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on December 17, 2019:

Hi Debbie,

You read ALL of the comments? Hats off to you. :-)

I agree with you, scripture is not to be divided, the choice of wording by the King James translators have facilitated a belief system that wasn't intended by Paul's original words.



Debbie on December 17, 2019:

I read your thoughts and all the comments thereafter and there is one question I would like to pose: Why would there ever be a statement in the Bible, that would ask that the readership divide it's ultimate teachings?

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on November 16, 2019:


Thank you for reading my article. Yes, many Dispensationalists ignore the fact that we are to follow Christ and not Paul. Paul even warned of this in 1 Corinthians 1.

It reminds me bit of how Catholics pray to God through Mary even though Jesus gave us the example of praying directly to the Father. Jesus is our mediator, not Mary or any of the saints.

Candy-Jane on November 15, 2019:

Wonderful article. I knew the Bible did not need to be 'divided' but could not explain why (except my Bible translation says 'rightly handled' which makes much more sense of what Paul is trying to say). Dispensationalists are a strange group since they worship Jesus Christ but do not listen to his words or follow his teachings. What we have to remember about the KJV is that it was inspired by a King who had a shaky grasp on the English throne and he had to produce something to appease/distract the populace. Well, the KJV was an excellent and successful marketing ploy and to promulgate the mantra of 'King James only' was the icing on the marketing cake! Do your KJV readers only know that during the 'forced' Protestantism of England, no other Bible was allowed? and especially not the English Catholic Bible, which was translated into English a full 30 years before the KJV. They even created the myth that the Catholic Church only had Bibles in Latin. It amazes and saddens me how propaganda takes such a hold that even after several centuries people still chant 'KJV only'. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed learning why the KJV erroneously has 'rightly divide'. A puzzle solved!

Murray G Coulter from Courtenay B.C Canada on October 17, 2019:

Tony: I think it has a direct bearing on how people understand the whole rightly dividing scenario.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on October 16, 2019:

Hi Murray,

I agree with what you just said, but I'm not sure what that has to do with this article.


Murray G Coulter from Courtenay B.C Canada on October 16, 2019:

Hi Tony: In fulfilling the law Jesus removed it's requirements. Ephesians 2:15 "by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and decrees. He did this to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace." The law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; but after that which is come (Christ) we have no further need for a schoolmaster. When Jesus died he removed the curse of the law, he became a curse for us. The power of sin was in the law when the law was nailed to His cross so was the power of sin was abolished. This way believers can receive His righteousness by faith through grace. The righteousness that was of the law could not be attained and was only self righteousness. We are now free from the law of sin and death and we have received the transforming power of the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. amen

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on October 15, 2019:

Hi Murray,

I agree with your assessment that Jesus was born under the law that He might fulfill it and we are indeed no longer under the law. But, the context of what Paul wrote in Colossians 2 wasn't that it was the law that was nailed to the cross, but our sins as He born them upon Himself. Jesus didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill.

Back to 2 Timothy 2:15. What Dispensationalists refer to as "rightly dividing", the rest of us simply call understanding context, time and audience. My article was intended to show that Paul wasn't instructing Timothy to divide anything. Neither Paul nor Timothy had any of the New Testament at their disposal in which they could have divided or separated, the only scripture would have have had would been the Old Testament. The other Bible translations more correctly translated this passage to say "rightly handling", as their purpose was to show that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah as foretold in the law, psalms and prophets.



Murray G Coulter from Courtenay B.C Canada on October 15, 2019:

We have hundreds of denominations all claiming to teach the truth from the same bible. Part of the problem is that we have been told that the new testament begins with Matthew. When in fact Jesus was born of a woman under the law, he lived according to the law and obeyed the law. Thereby fulfilling the law and taking it out of the way by becoming a curse and nailing it to His cross. By rightly dividing we can discern between old and new testament and save much confusion when it comes to teaching doctrine.

Yzarcman on October 09, 2019:

I actually have read that book. It took me a bit to open it as the title was antithetical to how I was raised. I think I will sit down with my family member who introduced division of scripture to me and discuss this article. Thanks again, it was well written and I'm sure it took a significant amount of time.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on October 08, 2019:


Thank you for taking time to read this article.

I would agree with everything you stated and I have had those same feelings. But amazingly enough, I can have assurance of my salvation without having divide scripture. All that we really need to do, in my opinion, is to keep the proper context, audience and time in mind.

Another reader emailed me and told me that there was a booklet out there called "Jesus wasn't speaking to you". While this is technically correct, we are called Christians and should walk in love just as He did. Paul actually admonished his readers for saying that they were "followers of Paul", I believe that admonishment applies to us today as well.

Yes, by all means, study for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

Blessings to you!

Tony Muse

Yzarcman on October 08, 2019:

Just wanted to thank you for the article. The massive amount of time spent writing it, and your willingness to spend even more time responding to comments. I'm actually at the beginning stages of investigating this for myself, and will come to my own conclusions at some point. I think you certainly made your case, we really shouldn't let a single verse be the basis for an entire doctrine shift.

A few years ago I actually had a family member introduce me to this rightly dividing concept. I have to say that, after that conversation, was the first time I was able to get over the mental block that I was saved. I don't have any specific examples as it has been a few years but I recall at the time there were these verses that made me doubt my salvation. There was no supernatural transformation as I've heard in church. I still fall short. There are many others that I'm sure I could mention, but I'm not as versed as I need to be. In either case the idea that I wasn't the target audience for some of those was freeing. It allowed me to get past the mental block that His sacrifice and my faith in what he had done for me WAS enough. I didn't need any outward evidence.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 29, 2019:


It is called understanding the proper context, audience and timing of what is written. The Bible isn't so complicated that we need to divide into seven dispensations.

By the way, even Abraham was saved by grace...



KAM on September 29, 2019:

2nd Timothy 2:15.....What does it mean to "rightly divide" the word

of truth? To rightly divide, does mean to divide into parts....they

are called DISPENSATIONS. There are 7.

1. Innocence 2. Conscience 3.Human Government 4.Promise 5. Law 6. Grace 7. Millennium Kingdom of God

To study the Dispensations- (periods of time during which man is tested in respect to obedience to some specific revelation of God's will) is to understand that God used and allowed certain things in each period of time to accomplish and fulfill a specific will.

In the dispensation of innocence, there was no sin in the world. God gave Adam and Eve a responsibility, to take care of the Garden and to not eat of the Tree of Good and Evil. God visited Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were naked and not ashamed (nakedness was sinless).....When sin entered, man, by his own means (MAN WILL ALWAYS FAIL), covered himself with fig leaves and hid.......God, himself slew an animal and covered them with the skin.

The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23, For the wages (consequence) of sin is death. There is absolutely no redemption of sin without the shedding of blood. Their sin had to be covered by the sacrifice (shedding of blood) of the animal. When sin entered the world, this ended the dispensation of innocence. The relationship between God and man changed. He could not look upon sin so Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden. God must judge sin. Before sin, nakedness carried no shame. After sin, nakedness had to be covered thus ushering in the beginning of Dispensation #2....Conscience.

The study of the dispensations is literally the "Ah ha", "now I understand it!" moment in which the seemingly contradictory things of the Bible are put into the proper place, seen in the light that God intended (and certain things no longer used or needed) to enter into another period of time where God reveals Himself over and over again. We now live in the dispensation of Grace.....For the children of God, our sins are washed away, there is no more need for "covering of sin"(dispensation of law) . Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. There will never be a need for another shedding of blood.


When God looks at us, (Christians) He sees His Son....We have been washed whiter than snow. Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; they shall be as wool.

Jean on September 19, 2019:

ah ok.

Thank you may you also have a blessed day.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 19, 2019:

Hi Jeannette,

I only asked that because there was a person named J A Jones that was commenting asking basically the same things that you have been asking. Since your name starts with a J I thought that you might be one-in-the-same. Thank you for clearing that up.

Have a blessed day.

Jean on September 19, 2019:

Tony Muse

This is Jean stands also for Jeanette Jensen

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 19, 2019:

Jean, or is this J A Jones?

When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, he had no way of knowing that what he was writing would some day be considered to be "scripture" by future Christians. Paul simply writing a letter to his understudy Timothy, giving him encouragement and instruction on how he should conduct himself as an evangelist.

When Paul used the term "scripture" he would have been speaking of the law, psalms and prophets which testify about the coming Messiah. Paul's testimony was that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah spoken of in scripture and that he came at the appointed time, died for our sins and rose again and that our hope and salvation is in Him.

But yes, we can include all scripture, Old and New Testaments as being profitable, which actually refutes the idea of dividing scripture and claiming that some of the New Testament is not good for instruction for the church today. This is a blessing and advantage that wasn't available to believers in the first century.


Jean on September 19, 2019:

Tony Muse

I actually did.

All scripture is the word of truth and that is what have to be rightly divided and you will understand what Paul meant and taught, when you see and understand how and what is rightly divided. So again please see David O'Steens teaching in Rightly Dividing the word of truth.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 19, 2019:


This discussion will not go any further until you answer my question.

Take care.


Jean on September 19, 2019:

Tony Muse

Let me answer with a question to you.

What was Pauls message? What was difference in his Gospel?

Paul says:

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to "my" gospel.” – Romans 2:16

The most important part of Scripture is not the division between the Old and New Testaments or any scripture in the bible because

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AKJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works..

The most significant difference we can recognize in understanding our Bible is the difference between prophecy and mystery.

You will understand a wonderful message by seeing what David teach.

I have high hope for your enlightenment and know you will be so glad you did it. I love you my brother and pray for you.

David have no errors in Bible quoting I have re checked all. Follow along in the Bible and you to will be amazed at Gods plan and work.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 18, 2019:


That was good answer, now be gracious enough to answer another question for me: If Paul's message to Timothy was that he is to divide or parse scripture, then what scripture was Timothy supposed to divide? Keep in mind that the New Testament did not yet exist yet and that neither Timothy or Paul had it in their possession.

Jean on September 18, 2019:

Tony Muse

What brought me here is what the bible and Paul teach us to do in Philippians 2:2, that we should help one another to understand the Bible correctly and "fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." as Paul wrote

And of course in

Titus 1:9

holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

If you allow your self to understand what David teach you will understand the truth in how to rightly dividing and why it is the truth. Pastors are not the same and I too have seen many whom teach Rightly dividing but not as David understand and sees it. I am here because I care and wish we find truth in the Bible and help each other to understand. I love you my brother in Christ and hope you will take the time and see his teaching and May Abba bring you light and wisdom to see.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 18, 2019:


I am familiar with the concepts that O'steen teaches, at the same time I reject those ideas as being the intent of what Paul was saying to Timothy. The moment that we remove audience on context from our understanding of scripture, we allow all sorts of unsound teaching to become part of our belief system.

Let me ask you this: If you have found the truth in what teachers like O'steen teach, then what brought you here?


Jean on September 18, 2019:

Tony Muse

I see you are unwilling to lean, there are many ways to approach truth in the bible. There are several ways to find out what truth is in rightly diving not by one word or statement only. David O'steen from Hope Bible Church proves that in his serie on rightly dividing on youtube from the Bible. But it is necessary to see it in patience to understand. you have not done that and speak invain and lack of understand.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 17, 2019:


No doubt your comment will be deleted by the admins here on Owlcation for URL's are not allowed in comments. But, I will say that I have stated my position adequately. To strictly abide by the KJV translation and apply it with today's English simply ignores the true meaning of the word and and its context.

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on September 05, 2019:

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.


Mathetes G3101 Disciple on September 04, 2019:

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.

Thedecadentone on August 29, 2019:

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

Reed on August 07, 2019:

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

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on July 20, 2019:

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.


AC on July 20, 2019:

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

Julie romeo on July 15, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on July 04, 2019:


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.


J A Jones on July 03, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on June 29, 2019:


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 (author) from Texas, USA on June 29, 2019:

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..


Christela Lima on June 29, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on June 18, 2019:

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.


Corrine Wright on June 17, 2019:

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.

hafford cook on June 16, 2019:

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

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on June 10, 2019:

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.

AC on June 08, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on May 11, 2019:

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.


Jeff Spencer on May 11, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on May 03, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on May 03, 2019:

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.

J A Jones on May 03, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on April 26, 2019:

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.

J A Jones on April 26, 2019:

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

J A Jones on April 25, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on April 12, 2019:

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!


Judith on April 11, 2019:

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.

GRACE ambassador on March 28, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on March 28, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on February 18, 2019:

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.


Derick on February 17, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on January 21, 2019:

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

WOODROW NICHOLS on January 20, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on January 12, 2019:

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!

Daniel Squires on January 11, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on January 03, 2019:

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.


Connie on January 03, 2019:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on December 30, 2018:

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.

Bob donaldson on December 30, 2018:

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

They have no fear of God

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on December 21, 2018:

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!


Jeff on December 21, 2018:

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 (author) from Texas, USA on December 19, 2018:

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.

Sheila strickler on December 18, 2018:

Is Romans 9 a predestination chapter?

Tony Muse (author) from Texas, USA on December 12, 2018:

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.