Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
What did Paul mean when he said to rightly divide the word of truth? It is important to note that he did not say to divide the Word of God, he said to divide the Word of Truth. The Word of God cannot be divided because the entire Bible is given by the inspiration of God.
The Apostle Paul was telling us that before we accept a teaching, we need to carefully study the scripture in order to make sure that it agrees with God's Word. He is warning us against accepting any teaching just because it sounds good or comes from an authoritative source. We must be like the Bereans who searched the scriptures daily to see if what they were being taught was true. We should not accept something just because the teacher says so and neither should we reject something merely because of our own preconceived notions.
We must strive to understand what is written in scripture and ask questions when necessary, so that we can properly interpret and apply its truths. When reading Scripture, one must consider context; look for what else is going on in the passage, look at the other verses around it and how they are connected to the overall message. Doing this will help us determine what God is actually saying and not just getting our own idea of a scripture. We must make sure that we search out every truth in its context and never isolate one piece of Scripture from another.
The word “approved” comes from the Greek word dokimos (dok'-ee-mos) which means to accept that which has been approved. The opposite of dokimos was adokimos which meant worthless, rejected, or unsuitable.
The word “dividing” is only used once in the Bible. It comes from the Greek word orthotome? (or-thot-om-eh'-o) which translates to hold a straight course, proceed on a straight path, and to teach the truth directly and correctly.
Paul was urging Timothy to study the Scriptures carefully so that he could be able to distinguish between what is true and what is not. He wanted Timothy to stay on a straight course and be wise in judging who had the truth and who did not. Paul mentioned two men by name, Hymenaeus and Philetus, who were leading people astray with false teachings about the resurrection. They were teaching their own opinions instead of God's truth and causing many to lose their faith.
It is our responsibility as Christians to read and interpret scripture accurately so that we can properly apply its teachings in our lives and share the good news with others. As we do this, we will have a better appreciation for the Word of God and be equipped to stand firm against any false teaching that may come our way.
In essence, when we righteously divide the word of truth, we are able to fully comprehend its message while remaining true to what scripture actually says. It is a way for us to ensure that we are not reading the Bible through our own lens, but rather that we are taking the time to understand what it is saying and how it applies to our lives. Through this process, we can grow in our faith and be better prepared to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.