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The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Are you sure you know what your favorite Bible verses mean?

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."--Philippians 4:13
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"--Jeremiah 29:11
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good."--Romans 8:28

These and a surprising number of well-known Scripture passages are commonly misused or misunderstood. Even well-intentioned Christians take important verses out of context, and pastor Eric J. Bargerhuff has seen the effects: confusion, poor decisions, and a distorted view of God's Word.

In this concise yet thorough book, Bargerhuff helps all of us understand what these verses meant when they were written so we can apply them accurately today. Providing fascinating historical and scriptural insights, he shows how to read God's promises and instructions in context and appreciate even more the Bible's eternal message.

About the Author

Eric J. Bargerhuff, PhD, has served in pastoral ministry in churches in Ohio, Illinois, and Florida. He received his doctorate in biblical and systematic theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois and currently serves as the
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209369
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I became a follower of Jesus in College. I joined a great campus group that helped set the foundation for my life of devotion to Jesus. One of the best things about this group was their commitment to scripture (Bible) memorization. Each week each of us had new Bible verses that we were memorizing. It set a great foundation for me.

But later those verses I had memorized got me into "trouble". I don't remember which verse first got me rebuked but I do remember the one that stung the most. I was in a college group on a different campus and we were at a prayer meeting. I was talking about how great prayer meetings are and I quoted Matthew 18:20:
"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (NASB - the popular translation in that group for memorizing Scripture)
One woman in the group said to me right away "That verse isn't even about prayer." She was a mature Christian and I was very young in the faith. I felt put down and stupid. After the prayer meeting I went to the leader to find out what I did wrong. I had quoted that verse out of context to make it mean something that it didn't mean in the Bible. By taking one verse out of a discussion of paragraphs I had twisted scripture. And yet I was frustrated - this verse was from a Bible memorization package. (This book covers this passage in Chapter 4)

I had other experiences like this one. I learned then that some people read the Bible not for what it says, but for nice quotes to cut out and apply as they wish.

This book does a fine job at looking at some key verses and helping us understand how we mis-use the Bible and how we can understand the passage better. I like his approach - it's easy reading and very clear.
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Format: Paperback
Who would have imagined that Christians would read some of their favorite verses of the Bible and misunderstand them?

"God won't give us more than we can handle." Is that what the verse says? What about praying, "in Jesus' name"? Do we have to end all prayers in those three words in order for the prayer to work? Does God only meet with us if there are two or three gathered?

Eric Bargerhuff provides a short summary of eighteen verses that have been misused and helps us accurately apply them for today.

A few verses that can be found in this book are:
"Judging others" - Matthew 7:1
"Plans to prosper you, not to harm you" - Jeremiah 29:11-13
"Where two or more are gathered" - Matthew 18:20
"Ask for anything in my name" - John 14:13-14
"No more than you can handle" - 1 Corinthians 10:13
"Train up a child" - Proverbs 22:6
"I can do all things" - Philippians 4:13
"Prayer offered in faith" - James 5:15

Eric will explain the context of the verses, how they are typically taken out of context, and how we can accurately apply them in our situations today.

You will be surprised at how often we view Scripture through the lens of "American Christian" instead of why it was written in the first place. It's the basic principle of who, what, when, where, and why.

This would make an excellent discussion book. It's only missing the study guide questions at the end that every other Biblical studies genre now carries.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Bethany House Publishing.
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I used this book as a devotion, reading each chapter either in the morning or before bed. Of course, I never realized I had misinterpreted some very common Bible verses until I read this book. But I had begun to wonder why verses that I had claimed as promises were not turning out that way. Example: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Now that my kids are grown and one has turned his back on God, I've been wondering what happened. The author explains that a lot of proverbs have been claimed as promises when they are actually generalities. Usually, if you train your child right they will stay on that path as adults (or come back to it) But he states this is not meant to be a promise.

The book is a fast read, easy to understand and comforting. I highly recommend it to any new or seasoned Christians.
I purchased an additional copy for my son in law for father's day.

I look forward to reading more books by this author.
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Bargerhuff does a wonderful job at decrying modern-day scripture twisting with intelligible illustrations. In a day when I feel like I should massage my Bible in the evenings from all the passages that are twisted out of context to manipulate folks with a man-centered theology, I find rest in the rational explanations provided in this book. As someone who preaches in an area saturated with such false teachings as "name it, claim it...blab it grab it", "word faith", and "prosperity gospel", this book is a great reference that is easily accessible and understandable. Among the best scripture abusers such as TD Jakes, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen and others, "The Most Misused Verses in the Bible" is a drink of fresh water to wash such false doctrines out of the American Christian's mouth.
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