Here’s some vintage Lee J blogging:
I get really annoyed with people taking the scriptures out of context. Take John 5:39 for instance.
“Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
So pretty much every person I know quotes this scripture in order to prove the importance of reading the scriptures. The logical reasoning they use is that the scriptures contain eternal life.
With a more accurate reading of the text, we realise that Jesus is rebuking people for believing that the scriptures contain eternal life. They don’t. No matter how hard you try, you will never gain eternal life from reading the scriptures.
The verses surrounding v. 39 tell us that everything Christ does testify of Him as the source of eternal life. And v. 39 supports this reading. Jesus says “[the scriptures] are they which testify of me.” They testify of Him as the source of eternal life. He follows with v. 40: “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Coming to Him is the only way to achieve eternal life. Period.
So read the scriptures right. Don’t take them out of context. Know what Jesus (or whoever is writing them) is really saying, and don’t quote it to make the wrong point. Just make sure you cite John 5:39 to prove the point that the scriptures testify of Jesus and He brings eternal life.