Rightly Dividing (2 Timothy 2:15)

What does ὀρθοτομέω (orthotoméō) “rightly dividing” or “correctly handling” (2 Tim. 2:15) mean?


McFall notes, “When the writings of the New Testament were first written down the writers followed the normal conventions which meant that Paul’s epistles (and the Greek Old Testament) were written down in capital letters (uncial script) with no spaces between the words, which throws light on Paul’s expression ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’ (2 Tim 2:15). The Greek verb means ‘to make a straight cut, to dissect’. The difficulty of knowing just where to divide continuous text can be illustrated in the English sentence: HESAWABUNDANCEONTHETABLE. This can be divided up to read: HE SAW ABUNDANCE ON THE TABLE, or, HE SAW A BUN DANCE ON THE TABLE. Only the context will decide which of these two divisions is correct. There were plenty in Paul’s day who did not rightly divide the text into its proper words, and created mischief for him. A continuous Greek uncial text of the NT was published by The Concordant Pub. Concern (1926, 1930, 1955, 1977) called Concordant Version. The Sacred Scriptures, with an interlinear English translation” (McFall, https://www.headcoveringmovement.com/Dr-Leslie-McFall-Good-Order-In-The-Church.pdf, p. 508, n. 1002).

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