Saturday Sep 25, 2021

The Book of Acts; an Introduction. 3 of 3

Before beginning a detailed study of Acts, it should be noted that a vast majority of errors in proper doctrine within the church are found in ignoring the five main rules of sound biblical interpretation. They are –

Prescriptive. The verse or passage prescribes something.

Descriptive. The verse or passage merely describes what happens without establishing a precedent that is to be followed, obeyed, adhered to, and so on.

Context. This defines who is being spoken to, under what circumstances, under what covenant, under what dispensation, and so on.

Context. See above.

Context. See above.


In misapplying a verse as prescriptive or descriptive, a faulty view of what the Christian is to do will result. But a prescriptive verse under one covenant, such as Numbers 15:38, is not prescriptive under another. As an example –


“Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners.”

Obviously, we are not under the law of Moses and we do not need to have tassels on our garments. This thinking is true within testaments when the author or speaker is referring to one covenant or another. In other words, Jesus’ words – when speaking to Israel in the synoptic gospels – do not necessarily apply to conduct within the church. This is because the context is:

He is speaking to Israel, not the church.

He is speaking under the Law of Moses (the Old Covenant), prior to the establishment of the New Covenant in His blood and which sets aside, annuls, and makes obsolete the Old Covenant (see Hebrews 7:18, 8:13, and 10:9).

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