I believe in Gestalt interpretation of the Bible: You must take it all into consideration. What we disparagingly call proof-texts have a place but that place is fragile when the verse stands alone. If it is supported by other verses, it has power. If you have two ideas that seem to be at odds then it is important to dig deeper to find the common ground, Gestalt.
One contrast that has been on my mind a lot is the Biblical expectation that we live righteously. At least I think it is a Biblical expectation. Many would say that it is impossible to live an upright life. They have a problem if they gestalt the whole Bible. Consider,
(1Pe 1:13-16 NAS77) Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."I keep coming across passages that fit in with this. Psalm 18 specifically says that David kept the law and was righteous.
(Psa 18:20 KJV) The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.Psalms and Proverbs are full of this kind of statement.
James, although he declares that works are necessary, seems to imply that we cannot keep the law.
(Jas 2:10 KJV) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.He does not come right out and say you can’t keep it, but the point is there. On the other hand he does imply that you can keep most of the law.
Both must be combined for the final understanding.
James is talking about original sin and being born in sin. Paul would say, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
David is pointing out that it is possible to live a righteous life. This point is supported by Zachariah and Elizabeth and other examples.
Don’t confuse the two or ignore one point. Walk straight. Live upright. God gives the power, you supply the will.
homo unius libri