The truthfulness of the saying “Any text taken from its context becomes a pretext” is clearly demonstrated in Scripture. Peter, for example, warns of twisting/wresting Scripture in 2 Peter 3:16. Satan used this wicked hermeneutic in Matthew 4 when he quoted Psalm 91 to Jesus from the pinnacle of the temple. Jesus categorically condemns it—and the pseudo-righteousness it spawns—in the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person…” (Matthew 5:38-39).
By taking the lex talionis (i.e. the law of just punishment for criminal behavior by civil authorities—“eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” [Exodus 21:24-25; Deuteronomy 19:15-21]) and applying it to personal grievances, the Pharisees taught that every person had a moral and spiritual obligation to retaliate for every actual and perceived occurrence of mistreatment.
In practical terms, this means that (like many of today’s imams) the Pharisees taught that such godly qualities as mercy, patience, long-suffering, meekness, graciousness, and forgiveness were actually ungodly/sinful!
This wresting and misapplication of God’s holy Scriptures promoted the increase of unholiness, not its decrease. How perverse!
Great care and diligence are essential to rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Twisting Scripture is self-destructive (2 Peter 3:16).