A word paints a thousand words

I found a new blog yesterday. Technology is a wonderful thing. Luke is another Taswegian. He mentioned one of my posts on Twitter (creating a trackback) and I found his blog, Post-Apocalyptic Theology.

It looks good. Taswegians make good blogs. There are some interesting posts there to mull over.

I like this one in which he asks:

“I wonder what are the smallest/standard units of communication in our culture and what are smallest/standard units the bible intends us to begin with, use and apply?”

In response to this post, which argues that we should never read a verse in isolation…

“I use this simple rule to help me answer the majority of Bible questions I’m asked, even when I’m totally unfamiliar with the verse. It’s an amazingly effective technique you can use, too.

I read the paragraph, not just the verse. I take stock of the relevant material above and below. Since the context frames the verse and gives it specific meaning, I let it tell me what’s going on.

This works because of a basic rule of all communication: Meaning always flows from the top down, from the larger units to the smaller units, not the other way around. The key to the meaning of any verse comes from the paragraph, not just from the individual words.

I posted this response to his question…

I reckon individual words are the base both culturally and theologically. But only because there are certain “heavy” words that are capable of carrying huge amounts of meaning. One word can summarise a thousand words… like calling God “father”.

Plus I’m on his blogroll – so that’s cool. Am I on yours without knowing it? Tell me people. Affirm me…

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