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Can 2 or 3 verses prove a doctrine

Can 2 or 3 verses prove a doctrine:
This article addresses the following question: Are we permitted to take two or three verses on the same subject and develop a doctrine from them?


There are only a few verses on this subject. Let's examine them and let the Bible reveal what these verses address.

Let's check all the verses about being a witness.
Matthew 18.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that (see reference 1) in the mouth of 2 or witnesses every word (Strong's 4487 = an utterance, a matter, or topic) may be established. 3

(reference 1) Numbers 35:30 (& Deuteronomy 17:6) Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.

What does the chapter say or what is the topic here?
1. Verse 15 is talking about if thy brother trespasses against you. This is the topic in question.
2. Verse 15 says to "go to our brother and tell him his fault between thee and him alone". In other words, try to work it out between the two of you first.
3. Verse 16 says that you must have 2 or 3 witnesses to establish that he indeed has trespassed against you. Once again you are not to gossip with other brothers about him. What if you do not have any other witnesses? This is a topic for another session.

Other verses on this subject

2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word (Strong's 4487 again) be established.

1 Timothy 5.19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before 2 or 3 witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses's law died without mercy under 2 or 3 witnesses.

These are all the relevant verses in the bible on this topic. In each case it is talking about flesh and blood witnesses to something that was said or done.

Can this same concept be used to establish a doctrine?


We do not have permission to take a few verses and develop a pet doctrine.


As I said before, we must round up all the Biblical data on the particular subject and analyze them as a whole. Be like the Bereans and study. (2 Timothy 2:15.)

By taking each verse in context to the chapter or historical setting you can develop the real meaning.

In addition, none of the verses can contradict each other. We also need to study any qualifications in the passages such as if you do this I will do that. This keeps us from taking verses out of context and trying to make them say what they do not say.

We don't want to isolate a passage, text, sentence, or word from its literary context.