Oct 27

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In this first article written under the above heading we will study 2 Timothy 3:16 and in this first article, it will serve only as an introduction to the subject. In the second article we will call attention to the words in verse sixteen. Then, in a third article we will study verse 17 if things go as planned. The reason for these two articles is that more and more people living today are concluding that the Bible is just the work of men. These three articles are not an effort to prove the Bible is the word of God but to show what the apostle Paul said it is! An effort will be made to enlarge the readers thinking of the subject of inspiration and what it is able to do to a willing soul/spirit!
In writing about the inspiration of the Bible, there may not be a clearer declaration of it, than in the words of Jeramiah the prophet, as God had him write: “Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth” (Jer. 1:9). It was the mouth of Jeramiah but the words in his mouth were those of God! Before the mouth of Jeremiah could speak the words of God, God had to breath the words into his mouth! When Jeremiah wrote the words God breathed into his mouth we have inspiration!
This is near the idea of Paul’s words in the New Testament, when he wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, …” The words, “given by inspiration of God” are one word in the Greek text and it is “theopneustos.” Many will see the Greek word for God in the first four letters, “theo,” and when this word stands by itself, it would be translated into the English word “God.” In fact, we do not have to look anywhere else than verse seventeen of our text, to see this truth. As it reads: “that the man of God …” and the word “God” is the Greek “theos.” This means the rest of the Greek word used by Paul is very important to our understanding of the subject. The second part of our word is “pneustos” and it means: “spirit” or breath.” Therefore, what we have in Paul’s word “theopneustos” is “God’s spirit.” or, “God’s breath,” and as we put this into the phrase used by Paul, it would read, “All scripture is God’s breath.” It matters not who had the pen in hand, the words spoken or written were “God’s breath;” as God said to the prophet: “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.”
Moving to the word “scripture,” which is the Greek “graphe?” and means, “writing” or “the thing written.” Therefore, we have this: “The thing written is God’s breath.” It is much like the words of Jeremiah, “I have put my words in thy mouth.” Or in the case before us, “all writing is given by God’s breath!” This means that the scriptures are authored by God, and that God moved through the personality and abilities of the biblical writers in such a way that what they wrote was without error and was correct in everything that it addressed! This is true, if the subject is historical, if it is a view of the heavens, if it reveals science before there was science, or if it was prophecy which would be fulfilled hundreds of years later; the words were God’s breath in the mouth or in the pen as it graced the page.
The apostle uses the word “for” which we have a tendency to take lightly. For instance, have you ever noticed how many verses in the chapter you are reading start with the word “for?” Just look at Romans chapter six, it is noted that six of the twenty-three verses start with the word “for.” Then, in that great and challenging eighth chapter of Romans, the word “for” starts fourteen of the thirty-nine verses. Each time the word “for” is used in these verses, it is the Greek word “gar,” which is a word that introduces the “reason” the above is true! This information is most helpful in understanding the truth which the apostle writes. Now, it is true that man and not God divided these chapters into verses. In fact, man divided the books into chapters!
However, the apostle did not use the same Greek word in the Roman verses, that he used in 2 Timothy three and verse sixteen. Here Paul used the Greek “pros” in the verse before us in Timothy and it is “a preposition of direction.” Therefore, here is a good place to call attention to the fact that in each of the four phrases, each one has the word “for” at the beginning. The reason for this repetition is to draw the reader to each phrase; to show that each is very important in what he is writing.
With this introduction, we are ready to study the phrases which Paul uses in the text, 2 Timothy chapter three, verse sixteen. It will be written with the hope that our efforts will be beneficial to each reader!

Frank R. Williams

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