As I stepped onto the elevator, I overheard a woman comment, “I need to get some pepper spray.” I was immediately curious. Why did she need the pepper spray? Did something happen that caused her to need to carry pepper spray? Would it actually help in an emergency, or was it mainly to make her feel safe? Where would she keep pepper spray?
Just like walking into a random conversation on the elevator can cause you to take a conversation out of context, brief tweets and texts may also be taken out of context if you don’t have the full story or know the person speaking/writing and their background. Can you think of a time when you didn’t get all of the information you needed and it changed the message entirely?
The same thing happens as individuals read God’s Word out of its context. The Bible is God’s inherent Word. It is still very practical and applicable to our lives today, but believers are sometimes guilty of taking His Word out of context.
We want students to understand the context of Scripture as they learn to study the Bible for themselves. As leaders guide small group discussions, we want them to have access to contextual information so they can allow context to drive conversation. In Explore The Bible Students leader guide we will be providing contextual information for leaders as they prepare for their session. This information will cover four areas of context:
- Literary context
- Cultural context
- Geographical context
- Historical context
Our desire is to equip leaders with all of the information they need to lead students and that students will learn to study the text in its context so they can obey the text in their context.