part of the what is truth? series

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) 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 – but 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 classicpresupposition. In this example, the doctrinal position is “faith only” 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. While the term “Scripture weighting” is not in Scripture, what does Scripture say about the practice — good or bad?

the answer above is built on and footnoted with the following scripture-blocks

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