Study to Understand Therefore and Wherefore
Sometimes we struggle to find the greatest benefit from reading the Bible and understanding what is being said. It may be because we are reading it too fast and not noticing the impact of individual words being used. An illustration can be found in slowing down and asking why the words “wherefore” and “therefore” are found and why they are there.
The word “therefore” is found 1,355 times in the NKJV of the Bible. The older King James Version often uses the word “wherefore” instead of the word “therefore.” Slow down as you read and after you read the word ask, “What is the word therefore ‘there-for’?” What is its meaning? God has made a statement and then has drawn a conclusion based on what He just said or is about to say. The same is true of the translation of the word “wherefore.” When you see it, ask yourself, “‘What-for’ is this word here? Why is God using this word, and what is He trying to say?”
This way of clearly studying the Bible can be seen in the way Jesus uses the word when discussing the great care God gives to the birds. He then adds, “Therefore do not fear, for you are of more value than sparrows” (Luke 12:7). Jesus used the word “therefore” 92 times in His teachings, and Paul uses the word nearly 150 times in his writings. As you read the Bible and come across these words, take time to look at the context where they are found. Read the verses before these words and the words after them and focus on why God chose to use them. This simple way of reading the Bible will deeply enhance your appreciation for truth.
The fact that these words are used emphasizes the truth that our relationship to God is not based on emotions. There is a Divine reason God chose to use them. For example, God did not just arbitrarily give the Sabbath command as some ritual action for the Jews to do. He told them, “Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt…therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day” (Deut. 5:15).
Paul used the word five times in reference to the use of tongues in 1 Corinthians 11. Slow down as you read and ask each time, “Why is this word ‘there-for’?” God gives commands for us to obey, but often shows why He wants us to keep them by using the word “therefore.” Paul’s writings show this again and again.
Finally, remember that Christianity, properly understood, is so logical. I understand we walk by faith and sometimes do not fully comprehend why God says what He does, but notice the use of these words. Slow down as you read and appreciate His truths and the basis on which it is given. Remember “there-for” and “what-for.”