Orthotomeo:

Definition

1 to cut straight, to cut straight ways

a to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing right

2 to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly

Phonetic Spelling

or-thot-om-eh’-o

Parts of Speech

Verb

The above word is translated “rightly dividing the word of truth” in the KJV. This word is only used once in the New Testament (Orthotomeo) and it may be a contributor to some of the greatest confusion in the church today. To cut a straight path to truth and to divide truth are quite different concepts.

To rightly divide has come to mean for the Dispensationalist a dividing of several things. First there is the division of ages: The Old Covenant age vs the New Covenant age; the Nation Israel vs the Church; the scriptures themselves — those applying to Jew vs. Gentile. There are entire passages that Jesus spoke that according to them we must not take to have meaning for the church. So to them this word (Orthotomeo) means to divide the word of God between Jew and Gentile.

Unfortunately the Covenant theologians have seen fit to do much the same. Only their division takes place within the covenants themselves to make a division of truth — rightly dividing the word of truth. They too divide God’s truth as the Old Covenant people vs the New Covenant people, but they basically replace Israel with the Church. This is tagged Replacement Theology.

So obviously there is a great difference in the way that the word has been divided in these two cases. One leads to a division between Israel and the church or the Gentile, while the other replaces the nation and her covenants with what is understood as the New Covenant people — the church.

This brings up another miss-understanding of a word. The “new” Covenant, what exactly was to be “new” about this covenant? It’s promise dealt completely with the Old Covenant. The promise was to write the Law (represented in the Old Covenant) on the new heart that God would create in us as believers.

So let’s look at the definition of the word used to divide.

Definition

1 to cut straight, to cut straight ways

a to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing right

2 to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly

In fact it has nothing to do with dividing the Word of God, but instead is Paul’s admonition to Timothy to correctly teach the truth. What are the truths of scripture?

-the Old is fulfilled in the New.

-the Gentile is blessed by the Jew

-Salvation is of the Jew

-the true Jew is he who has had his heart circumcised.

-Jesus is the Messiah of Israel

-on Jesus alone the New Covenant Church or assembly is built, and it includes the people to whom it was given — Israel.

-scriptures teaching through Paul the revealer of God’s mystery concerning the Gentile is always one new man, no division.

-the Olive Tree which preexisted us confirms Paul’s one new man or one body teaching. We are added to them- adopted; Grafted in.

-the covenants of promise made to the Saints are now ours to partake of.

Where in any of this without the twisting of the literal word can any future division of this body from Israel be found. Israel is the one in whom we have our inheritance through Messiah Yeshua. Our promises are in Israel’s Messiah. Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God. This statement is pregnant with these truths. We cannot divide Jesus out of this truth, and make Him into another Jesus who has no relationship to Israel for our Gentile purposes.

There is one Gospel; one Holy nation and Royal priesthood to which we are called and made to be a part; one body; one bride; one Ekklesia, one elect people, one new man. We are one with the saints. Wherein is the division?

Rightly teaching truth does not include dividing the peoples of God in any way.

May God bless you as you study.