Scripture weighting is not a term you will find in Scripture. However, it’s a practice you may recognize when coming to conclusions about Scripture. Fundamentally, it’s the practice of ignoring Scripture. That might sound egregious — but it’s fairly rampant in the world of Bible study and theology.

A primary objective of this site is to encourage any/only/all Scripture to be considered when answering any question. It is our goal to look at all Scripture equally because that’s what God has instructed us to do. Scripture weighting is the opposite of this, and it commonly presents itself in three forms: Authorship, Testament, and Presupposition.

Authorship

Weighting based on who said/wrote it.

Example

What Jesus said is most important.” or “Paul’s letters don’t mean as much.”

Testament

Weighting based on covenant.

Example

“The God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament.” In other words, God changed in some way.

Presupposition

Weighting based on a position.

Example

Taking a doctrinal position (e.g. salvation, baptism, end times, preterism) before considering all of Scripture.

How Scripture answers "What is Scripture weighting?"

There is no precedent in Scripture for “Scripture Weighting.” Quite the contrary. All Scripture is divine and perfect1,7; they are His words5. God is the sole author1,5. Further, it is only when taken in its entirety that we get a complete picture2,7. It is consistently put forward as equal weight since “all” is always the standard for understanding — Old4,6 and New1,3. Never has God said, “Read it all, but you really only need to focus here.”

May we never scripture weight – whether by authorship, testament, or presupposition. Instead, seek to gather all that Scripture has to say on the matter and only then make careful conclusions.

Can you guess which type of Scripture weighting applies to the following from gotquestions.org:

Question: “Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?”
Answer: As with any single verse or passage, we discern what it teaches by first filtering it through what we know the Bible teaches on the subject at hand. In the case of baptism and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9). So, any interpretation which comes to the conclusion that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation, is a faulty interpretation.

Did you read that carefully? “We discern what it teaches by first filtering it through what we know the Bible teaches on the subject.” Says who? It’s circular reasoning. How can we know what the Bible teaches on a subject by doing any “filtering” of passages? They advocate relegating certain passages as “less than” others (e.g. scripture weighting). And, who or what determines the passage to be used as the filter?

This is classic presupposition. In this example, the doctrinal position is “faith only” and is based on a single, lifted passage –

Ephesians 2:8-9
. The last sentence may as well read, “So, any other passage which teaches that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation, should be discarded.”

Hopefully, we can deal with Scripture honestly. Looking at what it says. Putting it in the proper context. Gathering any/only/all passages that might apply without Scripture weighting or disqualifying any part of God’s word.

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
All Scripture is spoken by God and necessary for teaching, for rebuke, for correction and training in righteousness so that a man of God would be spiritually equipped and ready for any good work.

Paul is writing to the younger Timothy and giving general advice about his work in preaching the Gospel. Paul has repeated contrasted those that are teaching false doctrine and their motives for doing so against how Timothy should conduct himself.

Scripture-block application to this question

An authoritative statement regarding the “equal footing” of Scripture and its single source.

If he called them gods to whom the word of God came — and Scripture cannot be broken — do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God?
If the one [the psalmist, in this case, Asaph] to whom the word of God was given called them gods, and since Scripture cannot be loosed or incorrect, how do you charge me, the one who the Father set apart to enter this world, with blasphemy for saying that I’m the Son of God?
The Jews are prepared to stone Jesus (vs 31) for blasphemy (vs 33). Jesus had just indirectly claimed to be the Son of God (vs 25). He has just quoted from Ps 82:6, “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High; all of you;” (vs 34) where human judges, as representatives of God on earth, are called gods and uses it to turn the discussion toward their disbelief.
Scripture-block application to this question

Similar to, and even building on the 1 Timothy passage1, since Scripture is all equally important and comes from one source (God), Jesus adds the idea of “entirety” and “completeness.”

For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, I follow Paul, or I follow Apollos, or I follow Cephas, or I follow Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

I [Paul] have heard from Chloe’s people that quarrels are happening based on individuals claiming allegiance to Paul, Apollos, Peter or Christ. But Christ is not/should not be divided in this way. Christ was crucified. They are baptized into Christ.

Paul is writing to the church in Corinth dealing with several serious issues throughout the letter, but here dealing with divisions among them.

Scripture-block application to this question

Paul is condemning any precedent to be taken based on who the messenger was – they all preached the Gospel of Christ to no lesser or greater degree. This would include Christ Himself (and those well-intentioned ‘red-letter editions’). By including Christ in the list of “I follow” he is addressing those that might say, “Christ’s words were superior” (and thereby discounting Paul or Apollos or Cephas’ teaching).

when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law,
When everyone comes before God [to worship] at the place He will choose, you shall read this law for everyone to hear.  Assemble all people – men, women, children, and the foreigner – that they may hear and learn to obey God, being careful to do all the words of this law.

Moses is re-telling the law of God to the people before entering the Promised Land. Here, he is giving this instruction of public reading to occur every seven years when they are together for the Feast of Booths.

Scripture-block application to this question

The reading of the law (all of it) was to be the source (single) for not just the kings but for all the people.

For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

God gave words to Jesus who in turn gave them to his disciples. They received them, resulting in them knowing “truth” and believing “that you sent me.”

Jesus’ prayer in his final hours on earth, sometimes referred to as the “High Priestly Prayer.” He further states, “I have given them your word” (vs 14) and transitions from praying specifically for the apostles to praying for all believers, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word”. (vs 20)

Scripture-block application to this question

The words that were spoken by Jesus and the disciples were all from God — one source. They weren’t their own.

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read it? And he answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And he said to him, You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.

A lawyer stood to test Jesus and asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus in turn responded by asking him what was written and how he interpreted it. The lawyer answered by quoting two verses from the Law. The first was from Deuteronomy and said that one should love God with all his heart. The second was from Leviticus and said that one should love his neighbor as himself. Jesus said he answered correctly and that if he practiced them he would live.

Jesus is in the midst of His public ministry, teaching the people while gaining notoriety. The lawyer quoted two passages in the Law (from
Deuteronomy 6:5
and
Leviticus 19:18
).
Scripture-block application to this question

In addressing his question, Jesus asks what is written in the Law — all of it. He expects the lawyer to assess/condense/conclude what is written in all of the Law which the lawyer correctly does — summing it up with two passages, equally applied (quite a brilliant assessment by the lawyer!!).

The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
All of your word is truth, and all of your commands endure forever.

A great Psalm (119) dedicated to the merit and beauty of God’s word.

Scripture-block application to this question

Only “the sum” is truth, not just a part of it.

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