A text without its context

This article was published in Joy! Magazine

We have all heard the quote, ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ Some of us facetiously add the reference, Hezekiah 4:13, because anyone who thinks the quote is from the Bible will probably also not know that there is no book of Hezekiah in the Old Testament. But my theme for this article is not the spurious use of the Bible to authenticate a folk saying, but the misquoting of what is actually in the scriptures.

Many misquotes result from poor translations or a lack of understanding of the biblical languages. One example is the often quoted Psalm 121:1-2. The problem started with the King James Version translation, ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth’. This could give the impression that our help comes from the hills, or the god of the hills. However, this is not the intent of these verses. In Old Testament times the pagan priests erected shrines and altars on top of hill, and other high places, and the devotees worshipped their false gods there. The Living Bible captures the real intended idea when it translates the text as; ‘ Shall I look to the mountain gods for help? No! My help is from Jehovah who made the mountains! And the heavens too!’


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Christopher Peppler



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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.