Saturday, November 5, 2011

Context is everything

When I was in college studying for my undergrad, my first year roommate was showing me the game Morrowind. This is a game set in a fantasy setting (elves, orcs, etc.), and takes place on a large continent with various populations, many cities and villages, and even terrain you can  explore freely. My friend started to tell me about how powerful his character was, how strong the armor was, and how he was at a higher level than most of the non-playable characters in the game. He then said, and I quote:

"I could kill the whole world if I wanted to."

Now stop for a moment...what if I took that quote isolated from everything else and just started throwing it around? People would probably think my friend was either a crazed maniac or insanely cocky. Neither is the case. Within the proper context of what he was talking about, he was actually saying "I could kill the whole world [in Morrowind] if I wanted to." He's not talking about going on a murder spree, he's talking about how powerful his in-game character is.

This is why context, context, context is so vitally important in our study of scripture.