Scripture

Dear Reader,
I’m going to once again try to bring to the forefront the truth of the Scriptures. I do hope that you will read these words and give them careful consideration. I intend to do my best to avoid getting derailed by off the point discussions, such as happened the last time.

Defining the Scriptures:
“The word γραφή (graphe) – Scripture – as used in the Scriptures 51 times is a reference to the anthology of Canonical books recognized by a consensus of Spirit filled believers as the very word of God in written form true in all its parts – it is perfect, pure, infallible, etc. and the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.”

Or as one kibitzer stated:

“The term γραφή (graphe) – Scripture – as used in the Scriptures 51 times in the NT refers to the entire body of canonical Jewish or Christian writings which are and have been properly regarded by believers as divinely inspired, holy and authoritative.”

Purpose:
1) Make one wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2Tm 3:15, J 20:31)

2) Are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tm 3,16-17)

The Scriptures not limited to the autographs:
2Tm 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Timothy had the Scriptures – given by inspiration of God – but did NOT have the autographs.

  • “ALL Scripture means that all the writings, then accepted by Jews as the Word of God and which now comprise our Old Testament, are counted as inspired of God.” Our God Breathed Book, John R. Rice, pg 91.
  • “While ‘Scripture’ here [2Tm 3:16] primarily refers to the Old Testament, by extension [derivative!] it also refers to the New Testament.” Pastor Estell of Faithway Baptist Church, Ypsilanti, Michigan.
  • “(2Tm 3:16,17) After exhorting Timothy to hold fast to the sacred scriptures he was taught, and those were the Old Testament scriptures, Paul now proceeds to describe them. ‘All’ is pas, which when used with the singular substantive without the article, means ‘every,’ not ‘all.’ ‘Scripture’ here is graphe, ‘a writing, thing written,’ used of the writings of the O.T. prophets (Matt. 26:56) and of the O.T. scriptures in general (Matt. 26:54). The expression pasa graphe (‘every scripture’) speaks, not of the O.T. as a whole, but of each separate passage considered as a unit. The first thing Paul says about the O.T. scriptures which Timothy was taught, is that every part of them is inspired of God… The context in which Paul is writing is limited to the O.T. scriptures. One could translate, ‘Every scripture is God-breathed.’ The context limits these writings to the O.T. writings. Thus, does Paul declare the divine inspiration of the O.T. The N.T. had not yet been completed, and Paul does not refer here to its divine inspiration. Wuest’s Word Studies, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament for the English Reader, Kenneth S. Wuest, 1982, pgs. 149-151.
  • “The New Testament testimony is to the Divine origin and qualities of ‘Scripture’; and ‘Scripture’ to the writers of the New Testament was fundamentally, of course, the Old Testament. In the primary passage, in which we are told that ‘every’ or ‘all Scripture’ is ‘God-breathed,’ the direct reference is to the ‘sacred writings’ which Timothy had had in knowledge since his infancy, and these were, of course, just the sacred books of the Jews (2 Tim. iii,16). What is explicit here is implicit in all the allusions to the inspired Scriptures in the New Testament. Accordingly, it is frequently said that our entire testimony of the inspiration of Scripture concerns the Old Testament alone. In many ways, however, this is overstated. Our present concern is not with the extent of ‘Scripture’ but with the nature of Scripture; and we cannot present here the considerations which justify extending to the New Testament the inspiration with the New Testament writers attribute to the Old Testament. The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, Benjamin B. Warfield, pg. 163.
  • “‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God’ (II Tim. 3:16); or if the reading of the Revised Version be preferred, ‘Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching,’ it only makes the affirmation the stronger, because it refers to every one of the sacred writings mentioned in the preceding verse [holy scriptures AV 2Tm 3:15], and comprising the Old Testament books which existed then precisely as we have them now.” Bible Questions, William L. Pettingill, pg. 8.
  • “The word which for our purpose is of supreme importance is the word theopneustos, translated in the English Bible, ‘inspired of God.’ It is a compound, consisting of the elements theo (God) and pneustos (breathed). Now, it is well to note that the word ends in the three letter –tos. In the Greek language, words which 1) end in –tos and 2) are compound with theo (God) are generally passive in meaning…The true meaning is passive, ‘that which is breathed out by God’ and it is this strange designation that the Apostle here applies to the Old Testament.” Thy Word is Truth, Professor J. Young of Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia, pg. 20-21.

Again, as can be seen by the vast array of commentators, Timothy’s Scriptures were NOT the autographs, but rather the then extant Old Testament. This is vital in understanding the term Scriptures – given by inspiration of God – as used in the Scriptures. Timothy’s standardized copies or translation were considered Scriptures – given by inspiration of God and thus perfect, pure, infallible, etc. and the final authority in all matters of faith and practice – even though they were NOT the autographs.

This puts a giant hole in the argument that “only the autographs were given by inspiration of God”. I believe the Scriptures in any generation or language “is given by inspiration of God.” No other kind of scriptures are able to make a man wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, nor does there exist any other kind of scripture that is necessary for Biblical doctrine. “Is given by inspiration of God” describes the CHARACTER of the Scriptures which is not to be confused with prophets and apostles speaking while being moved by the Spirit of God.

More than one of genuine scholar has insisted that the text is passive, hence, the form “is given by” would most certainly show the passive. “Given” can just as easily be taken as a participle used as an adjective with the verb be as the copular. I’m hard pressed to detail any real difference of meaning in either form.

One doesn’t have to hold or see the Scriptures that Timothy had to know their character – given by inspiration of God. Paul stated clearly that the Holy Scriptures that Timothy possessed from his youth have the quality/character of being “given by inspiration of God“.

The word of God uses the term Scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16. We therefore know with certainty that the following things to be true:

1. The term Scripture in this context is not a reference to the action or art of writing, handwriting, penmanship.

2. The term Scripture in this context is not a reference to everything or anything ever written.

3. The term Scripture in this context is not a reference to an inscription or superscription; a motto, legend, or posy.

4. The term Scripture in this context is not a reference to an unknown written record or composition.

5. The term Scripture in this context is not a reference to religious books, apocryphal books, the Koran, the Book of Mormon or Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

6. The term Scripture in this context is a reference to the written words of God true in all its parts, perfect, pure, infallible, inerrant, etc.

7. The term Scripture in this context is a reference to Canonical books, specifically the 39 Old Testament Books.

8. The term Scripture in this context does not specifically say which language the words of God are written in.

9. The term Scripture in this context does not specifically mention the autographs or the New Testament.

10. The term Scripture in this context does not specifically mention whether the Scriptures are a copy or a translation. Although, the full context of 2 Timothy 3:14-17, leads us to believe that it was either a copy or a translation that young Timothy possessed or had access to from his youth. Timothy did not have the autograph, yet, the Holy Scriptures that he had knowledge of from his youth had the quality/character of being “given by inspiration of God”.

Paul did not mention these facts specifically anywhere in the Scriptures, yet we, a consensus of born again Spirit filled Christians, know these facts to be intrinsically and axiomatically true.

I submit to you that the term γραφή (graphe) as used in this context refers to the entire body of canonical Jewish or Christian writings, the written word of God, available at that time which are and have been properly regarded by believers as infallible, holy and authoritative. Paul informs us in this context that which has always been inherently true, that the written words of God are given by inspiration of God.

The term Scripture is not the word of God because it is accepted by the people of God, but rather, it is accepted by the people of God because it is the word of God. It is axiomatic that born again Spirit filled believers will accept and believe the word of God.

I. How was the word of God revealed?
Not in “the same manner” as some argue.

A. In sundry times and in divers manners God spake unto his people.

1.   Directly – God spoke directly to people

Gen. 2:16 The LORD God commanded the man
Gen. 3:8 They heard the voice of the LORD God
Gen. 4:6 The LORD said unto Cain
Gen. 7:1 The LORD said unto Noah
Gen. 12:1 The LORD said unto Abram
Gen. 25:23 The LORD said unto Rebekah
Gen. 31:3 The LORD said unto Jacob
Joshua 5:2 The LORD said unto Joshua
2 Kings 10:30 The LORD said unto Jehu

2. Appearances – God appeared unto men

Gen. 12:7, 17:1, 18:1 The LORD appeared unto Abraham
Gen 16:7-9 The LORD appeared unto Hagar
Gen. 26:2,24 The LORD appeared unto Isaac
Ex. 3:2 The angel of the LORD appeared unto Moses
Numbers 16:19,20:6 The LORD appeared unto the entire congregation
Judges 6:12 The angel of the LORD appeared unto Gideon
Judges 13:3,8,8,22 The angel of the LORD appeared unto Manoah
1 Samuel 3:4,15,21 The LORD revealed himself to Samuel
Mark 16:14 Jesus appeared unto the eleven
Acts 26:16 Jesus appeared  unto Paul
1  Cor. 15:5-9 Jesus was seen by the apostles

3. Visions – God gave his word through visions

Gen. 15:1 The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision
Gen. 46:2 God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night
Numbers 24:4,16 Balaam heard the words of God in a vision
2 Samuel 7:4,17 The word of God came unto Nathan in a vision
2 Chr. 32:32, Is. 1:1 The visions of Isaiah
Daniel 8:1 Daniel received the word of the Lord in a vision
Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah
Mt. 17:9 Peter, James and John saw a vision
Acts 10:3 Cornelius saw a vision
Acts 16:9 A vision appeared unto Paul
Acts 18:9 The Lord spake by a vision unto Paul

4. Dreams – God gave his word in dreams

Gen. 20:3 God came to Abimelech in a dream and said.
Gen. 28:12, 31:11 The angel of God spake unto Jacob in a dream
Gen 37:5 Joseph dreamed a dream
Gen. 41:1,25 God showed Pharaoh his word in a dream
1 Kings 3:5 God gave Gibeon his word in a dream
Mt. 1:20 God gave Joseph his word in a dream
Acts 2:17 Your old men shall dream dreams

5. Revelations – God gave his word by revelations

Amos 3:7 The Lord God revealeth his secret unto the prophets
Mt. 11:27 Whomsoever the Son will reveal him
Mt. 16:17 Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee
Luke 2:26 It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost
**Romans 16:25,26 According to the revelation of the mystery
1 Cor. 2:20 God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit
2 Cor. 12:1,7 Revelations of the Lord
Galations 1:12 Received it by the revelation of Jesus Christ
**Epesians 3:3,5 By revelation he made known unto Paul the mystery
1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed not unto themselves, but unto us
Revelations 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ

**Notice – but now is made manifest by the SCRIPTURES, Apostles/Prophets by the Spirit of God.

6. Preaching

Titus 1:2,3 In due times manifested his word through preaching
Hebrews 1:1,2 God spoke through the prophets and his Son
John 3:34 He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God
Mt. 9:35 Jesus went about the cities teaching and preaching
Acts 8:35 Philip preached from the scriptures
Acts 13:5 They preached the word of God
Acts 15:35 They taught and preached the word of God
Acts 17:13 The word of God was preached of Paul
2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word!

In sundry times and in divers manners God spake unto his people. Regardless of the manner in which God revealed His word – directly, appearances, visions, dreams, revelations, or preaching, etc. – the character/quality of the word of God remained the same. It was and is given by inspiration of God – authoritative, perfect, pure, infallible, the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

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