Question: “Can this famously quoted verse in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 29:11) be applied directly to my life today or was it only meant for Israel?”
Answer: To correctly interpret this verse (or any part of the Bible for that matter), we need to address the following questions:
First, what did the text mean to the original audience? We need to discover the meaning “God intended” when the Scripture was originally written. We do not create the meaning of the text, so we need to find the meaning that is already there.
Second, what are the differences between the biblical audience and us? We are separated by differences in culture, customs, language, situation, time, and covenant. We must recognize these differences. To overlook them would cause us to grossly misinterpret the text.
Third, what is the theological principle in the text? While the specifics of the passage only apply to the…
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