Bible 347 Return to Syllabus

Hierarchy of the Influence of Context on Word Study

A word is more likely to have the same meaning as one in another place the higher up the hierarchy one goes. A word is more likely to be the same as in a previous usage (back reference) that in a subsequent usage (forward reference).

Example: body (soma) in I Cor. 11:29
What is the body in the phrase "discerning/recognizing the body"?

PassageReferenceVerses AwayDiscourse/ChapterMeaning
11:27back2samephysical body of Christ
11:24back5samephysical body of Christ
12:12forward17differenthuman body (general sense) [illustration]
12:13forward18differentmetaphor for church
12:14-25forward19-30differenthuman body (general sense) [illustration]
12:27forward32differentmetaphor for church
10:17back45differentmetaphor for church

10:17; 12:13, 27 cannot be allowed to establish the meaning for 11:29 when 11:24, 27 are much closer and in the same context.


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