Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: What should we preach in this year, 2000?

Answer: This question is very important. Doubtless many would have various opinions. Prophetic and topical subjects seem to establish a prominent place in todays preaching.

When the apostle Paul entered Corinth, the center of Greek light and learning and the home of Jewish religion, as well as a place abounding in sin and unequaled iniquity, he made a remarkable statement as to his aim and determination; "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Cor. 1:24). He indicated that whatever may be the condition of the world, whoever may be the persons included in our audiences wherever the preacher is found, there is one central theme, above all others, which must always be held to the fore: "Christ now glorified in heaven, who once was crucified on earth." The servant must always present "Christ crucified." How many times supposed gospel addresses have been given, yet lacking the clear note concerning the merit of the work of Christ in His death for sinners and His power in resurrection to God’s right hand to save from hell and bring to heaven. The old, old story of the crucified redeemer is the story to reach hearts, stir souls, awaken minds and save sinners. Let every true preacher consider these facts and resolve to follow Paul’s words in these dark days of abounding sin. "I determined not to know anything in my preaching save Jesus Christ and Him crucified."


Question: Is the principle of interpreting the scriptures in context a primary rule of Bible study?

Answer: It is our belief that this is indeed the primary rule of Biblical interpretation and cannot be emphasized too strongly. If all Bible students would let each passage speak for itself within its contextual setting, the majority of all errors of application would be eliminated.

The reading of one’s own meaning into any passage is a common mistake. Two words explain two ideas of interpretation; "Eisegesis" and "exegesis." The first, with the use of the Greek preposition "eis" means "into." The second using the preposition "ex" means "out of." Reading our own meaning into a passage is entirely different to considering the context of the reading and then drawing out its meaning. Thus guided by the Holy Spirit and by carefully watching the context, the final primary truth taught is understood. The present evaluation and application to practical purposes is the final goal of all Bible study.


Question: Could the words of John 3:16 describing the Lord as the "only begotten Son" be explained?

Answer: The words "only begotten" are one word in the original "monogenes" used only by John and is found five times in his writings (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 4:9). It is also translated "only begotten" in Heb. 11:17 describing the relationship of Israel to Abraham. In the Septuagint, the word is used to translate the Hebrew word "beloved" (Gen. 22:2, 12, 16; Psa. 22:20; 35:17). The term "the only begotten" can only be rightly understood when used of the Son of God in the sense of unoriginated relationship. The begetting is not an event, however remote, but a fact irrespective of time (W. E. Vine).

The expression also declares the Father’s delight in the Son. The thought of this infinite love and pleasure which the Father ever found in our Lord Jesus Christ, His eternal Son, is included in the beautiful word "monogenes." It is also worthy of note that the stress in John 3:16 is placed upon "only begotten." The reading would be "He gave His Son, His only begotten." Mr. Newberry shows the definite article is used before both "Son" and "only begotten." This brings into focus both of the relationships. We would add as we consider the greatness of the person of the Son, His own words, "no man knoweth the Son but the Father" (Matt. 11:27).