Lessons in Bible Reading

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Now, his sloppy usage of the term “hyper Calvinist” notwithstanding, he wrenches verses 13-14 (“As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!”) out of their biblical context, and throws mud at the person who tries very hard to faithfully interpret the passage.

Read the passage in it’s context and decide for yourself:

And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!

-Rom. 9:11-14

This is a pretty gross misinterpretation. Paul’s very point, as expressed in the line, “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad,” is to show that God had directed Esau and Jacob’s lives while they were “not yet born.” Caner tries to argue that God made this distinction because of what Esau did, but what does the text explicitly say? “NOT because of works, but of him who calls.” God chose that path for Esau, not “just because he was Esau” and certainly not “because of what Esau did,” but so God’s purposes in election might stand. I think the passage is clear.

Although we may find it easy to criticize Dr. Caner (at least, I do), let’s not do so and instead just learn a lesson: Don’t approach a text with any preconceptions other than Jesus is God and you’re reading holy, inerrant Scripture (which are both proven within the text, by the way). Always be on guard against eisegesis, especially when it’s a subject about which you are passionate. Misquoting the Bible is serious, and it is sin.

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