A "Twisted Scripture" is a biblical passage taken out of context and portrayed to mean something that neither its author intended nor it's original audience understood.
Let us think out loud about how Christians have twisted scripture by ignoring the culture of the Bible.
How is this done? At the onset, a little foundation should be set, if one is a bit fuzzy on how our original biblical literature came to exist. The fundamental method is given in one single passage by the apostle Peter, quoted below in two different versions.
ESV: II Peter Chapter 1  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
KJV: II Peter Chapter 1  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The simplicity of the most ancient of the inspired writings is this: The prophets spoke and wrote what the spirit of God laid on their hearts and minds to communicate. As prophets, they did so accurately but using the medium of their own words. They engaged words which they knew and were defined within their culture and education. Exactly the same is true of the New Testament writings. The apostles and others were inspired by the spirit of God within them to communicate certain things. They also used the words known to them and known the same way to their audiences. As Hebrews in culture, they used Hebrew concepts and cultural references. However, the real meaning of their words have often been lost by ignorance of their vocabulary and ignorance of the culture upon which their words and figures of speech depended upon so heavily. This is largely due to two things.
The first twisting is the influx of the gentiles and their western way of thinking into the original Hebrew congregations and cultural heritage common to Jesus and his apostles. This began to occur in the middle of the first century. The normal complement of the congregations of Asia, Macedonia and Greece became increasingly western/gentile as the decades proceeded. These western thinking gentiles didn't always share the same cultural values nor did they understand the references to the Hebrew culture upon which so much of the original writings depend. They began to substitute their own values and thought patterns for the original Hebrew concepts. This brought about a redefinition of what exactly is spiritual reality. This redefinition was based on the education and culture of the gentiles, not based on the Hebrew cultural values and definitions of spiritual reality. Consequently, the faith became a western gentile culturally based faith, not Hebrew.
The second twisting occurred as a result of the first. It was a redefining of the vocabularies of the Hebrew Judean apostles. This was done to support an artificial hierarchy structure of authority foreign to the original Hebrew Judean apostles and their converts to the faith. It was also done to support the more western philosophical way of thinking. So the correct understanding of Jesus and his apostles' message to their original audience, was twisted by both ignorance and an agenda of control. All this occurred in the first few centuries following Jesus' apostles. Those errors and agendas have been drilled and embedded into the consciousness of all Christians since by the western leaders of the faith. The end result of centuries of twisting is a western version of the faith completely foreign to Jesus and his apostles. And all they had to do was develop a system of theology and adjust some vocabulary definitions.
Even in this current series, it is not possible to bring the faithful fully up to speed, as lengthy as this series seems to be. The deviations and tangents which characterize the Christian faith today are so embedded and complex that one nearly has to start from scratch again to even begin to find the original faith of Jesus and his apostles. 99.9% of the modern Christian faith is so far away from the faith preached by Jesus and his apostles that to do so today would seem like another faith altogether! In fact, just returning denominations to their founder's teachings alone would brand one a heretic in those same churches.
I propose that the ancient Hebrew based faith of Jesus and his apostles is extinct and has been for nearly all of the centuries since the end of the first century, just a few decades after Pentecost, the birth of the New Covenant church.
So unraveling some of these errors of how the faith was founded is the topic of the next post as we examine how the gentiles changed the vocabulary of Jesus and his apostles, twisting their message and teachings into a foreign gentile faith.
Next Post: Twisting Scripture using non-biblical vocabulary