Read the text. Mind the context.

The book of 2 Peter Chapter 1 verses 5 to 7 is often taught as there being a “ladder” of “attainment”, perhaps similar to the “Five Levels of Leadership” taught by John Maxwell. The verses are here:

2 Pe 1:5-7

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

The “ladder” which many talk about often starts with “diligence”. Now, even without reference to the Greek text and interpretation thereof, a simple reading of the English text tells us that “diligence” is to be exercised at all “levels” of the “ladder” of “attainment”. It begins with “faith”. Be diligent to add virtue to faith. Be diligent to add knowledge to virtue. Be diligent to add temperance to knowledge. And so it goes. Diligence implies faithful apprehension of the Word, assiduous meditation to comprehend and everyday practical application in thought, word and deed. The goal is to develop more and more charity when the “ladder” of “attainment” becomes iteratively dynamic and we become more and more like the people God created us to be. Every “step” is applied, or “climbed”, with DILIGENCE. A diamond is one whole, not just the sum of its facets.

That’s how we ought to be reading whatever text we come across, not just Scripture. Read the text. Mind the context.

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