If all you did was quote the Bible, you’ve probably already lost the argument

It doesn’t matter what the topic is, if you’re in a disagreement with another Bible believer over a particular doctrine or theological point and literally all you do is quote Scripture in order to try to prove your viewpoint, in the vast majority of cases you’re not only admitting that you can’t actually support your viewpoint from Scripture at all, but also that you almost certainly haven’t taken the time to properly study the topic thoroughly enough to be able to legitimately have reached a conclusion about it yourself yet.

Now, this might not be the case 100% of the time, but if the person you’re disagreeing with believes the Bible and has any knowledge about it at all, odds are high that they’re not only already familiar with the passage(s) you’re quoting, but that they already believe and agree with said passage(s). And if they already believe and agree with said passage(s), it means that they’ve already considered said passage(s) — likely in much more depth than you have if all you’ve done is quote said passage(s) — and simply have a different interpretation of said passage(s) than you do.

So to simply quote something from the Bible which you think proves your viewpoint without also explaining ahead of time why their interpretation(s) of said passage(s) can’t possibly be correct means you’re admitting that you aren’t already familiar with their interpretation(s) of said passage(s) and haven’t already prepared a rebuttal to their interpretation(s), which also means you’re demonstrating that you’ve come to the disagreement entirely unprepared.

However, that’s not all. If you don’t know their interpretation(s) of whatever “proof text(s)” you might be using to support your viewpoint, it means there’s no way you’ve researched the subject deeply enough yourself yet. And if you haven’t actually considered the passage(s) you’re using to defend your viewpoint from all possible angles (and the fact that the person you’re disagreeing with has a different interpretation of the passage(s) you’re quoting, as they almost certainly do, means there likely is at least one more angle you haven’t considered yet), why should anyone listen to you regarding a topic you haven’t actually studied carefully enough yet?

Of course, there are cases where you might be wanting to catch the person you’re disagreeing with in a trap in order to demonstrate that they haven’t thought their interpretation(s) of said passage(s) through well enough themselves yet, but in that case you should have at least asked a question or made a remark which you know will lead to the conclusion you’re trying to help them reach. However, in order to do that, you still have to already know why the person you’re disagreeing with believes what they do and what their interpretation is of not only the passage(s) you’re using to defend your viewpoint, but what their interpretation is of the passage(s) they use to defend their viewpoint as well.

What I’m basically getting at is, if you’re going to get into a theological disagreement with a Bible believer, it’s imperative that you do your homework in order to make sure you’re familiar with all the scriptural reasons they believe what they do ahead of time. Because if you don’t, you’ve pretty much already lost the argument.

And for those of you who have already misinterpreted what I’m saying here as insisting one shouldn’t quote the Bible at all, that’s not even close to what I was getting at (although, if that’s how you did interpret the above paragraphs, it doesn’t bode well for your interpretational abilities in general, including when it comes to Scripture). All I was saying is that you shouldn’t quote the Bible without also explaining why the passage(s) you quoted can’t be interpreted in the manner the person you’re disagreeing with interprets said passage(s).