Does 2 Timothy 3:16 apply to the whole Bible?

(Sven Janssens) #1

Continuing the discussion from Ask Andy Moore (August 27-31, 2018):

First time ever that I hear a teacher (Tom Bradford) say: "This verse does not apply to the whole Bible as we know it, neither is it meant prophetically. It refers to the scriptures as Paul and the people of that time knew it; The Tanakh. (we know as Old Testament)

He points at the importance of the Old Testament and how it still applies for our time.

I can live with that answer.
With that he did not write the Bible off as being not the Word of God. He was just placing the verse in context of that time and what it meant at that time and even for us.

What you think about this?

(SeanO) #2

@Sventje Good question. This article points out that the authors of the New Testament considered the other NT writings to be Scripture as well. Do you have any additional questions? The Spirit of Christ grant you wisdom as you study.

"Beautifully, we see that this is also how the early church regarded the Gospels and the Epistles. In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul uses the same word for Scripture ( graphe ) that he uses here in 3:16 to refer to quotations from both the Old Testament and New Testament: “For Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain’ (Deut. 25:4) and ‘The laborer deserves his wages’ (Luke 10:7).”

Similarly, the Apostle Peter includes Paul’s writings in the category of Scripture ( graphe ): “There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:16). It is clear that Peter regarded Paul’s writing to be Scripture!"

(Sven Janssens) #3

@SeanO Thank you so much for you addition and I will do take time to research and study this.

The last couple of weeks there is so much information coming in at my place that I have no idea where to start first. Although I do not like to read, I am absorbing tons of information through text.
I am also afraid that if I look away from a certain subject, that I might loose track on another. :smile:

But this subject has been something I wanted a clear view on and an honest answer, so I will research your reply. :slight_smile:

Again, thank you very much

(Jimmy Sellers) #4

I constantly remind my brethren there was no Bible in the 1st. Not like we think of it today by that I mean the modern western church. Your question is a good segue for me to ask this question. In light of all the translation questions the Gordan Fee book has been recommended several times. In the book he defines exegesis as understanding the Bible as “the there and then” and hermeneutics as “the here and now”. He does explain that this is a narrow definition of hermeneutics but his purpose it will the bases for the rest of the book. (I have not finished it).
I like this explanation but for me it begs the question, What gets the most weight? In your example in the 1st century church it’s the Torah that is quoted by Jesus and all the new testament writers. The NT is never quoted in the NT with maybe the one time that Peter alluded to the difficult writing of Paul and then you have to deal with Paul apparently quoting Epimenides at Areopagus in Acts 17:28 So if I am alive in the 1st century and I hear Tim 3:16 and I am Jewish I would certain agree that Torah is God breathed scripture. Fast forward to today and I believe that the whole Bible is God breathed.
For me most of Paul’s writing are best understood in “the there and then” context. To bring them forward in todays culture does them a disservice and I believe that there have been subject to selective exegesis as described in Fee’s book.

So if my understanding of scripture is like a balance scale with “there and then” on one side and the “here and now” on the other how do we weight this in todays modern church? If scripture is/was Torah how can we conveniently sweep it aside and interject our modern understanding? Is it possible that we have colored of marginalized Jewish understanding out of the NT? I am not suggesting replacement theology here of any other “you had your chance and you blew it theology”. I would be interested in the communities thoughts.

I try to keep in mind that everything written in Bible is inspired but not everything that was inspired is in the Bible.

(Sven Janssens) #5

@Jimmy_Sellers I can see what you are saying. I even understand. When going back in time, there and then I can imagine that Paul was referring to the Old Testament as being the scriptures.
They already were at that time recognized as being the written Word of God. Even Jesus used some of the verses to resist the devil when he was in the wilderness. He spoke it as the scriptures being the authority; “It is written”

Israelites and likes would have been growing up with the teachings of what we know to be the Old Testament as being the scriptures.
So it is far more easy to accept and understand when Paul writes 3:16, that he would refer to the old scriptures.

Although he might have referred to other parts of letters in the new testament, I still think it would be hard to believe that others would have blindly accepted them as being “the scriptures” especially Jews.

That is what I think and it doesn’t take away for me the value of the Bible as we know it, since the New Testament compliments the Old Testament as in revealing the prophecies of the Messiah, which would make those two parts in the Bible join together. And in that sense I could agree that the Bible is the Word of God and to me all of it would be the scriptures, but not based on 2 Timothy 3:16.

Yet, I do want to consider all comments and research. I am open for suggestion and do not just want to agree on anything I read or even my own points of view on the subject.

I might be questioning the verse, since it has never been explained properly to me except for the comment: “it’s prophetic”, I do also question myself. I have learned that even interpretations I did defend very strongly were found wrong and I had to completely review my point of view on those matters.
Thank God for that, because we might be blind sometimes, I know God will open our eyes if we are honestly searching for the truth, even if we are looking in the wrong places.

Again thank you,
(by the way … I might be repeating this a lot, “the thank you part”, but it is really from the heart and I do appreciate all the wisdom and knowledge and views that are shared)

(SeanO) #6

@Sventje I think one angle you may consider is that even though Paul’s New Testament audience may have thought primarily of the Old Testament, the general principle that whatever is ‘God breathed’ is profitable can be applied to all of the New Testament. In that sense, even though the audience may have had one particular thing in mind, the underlying principle applies to the NT.

In addition, the fact that Peter consider Paul’s letters to be Scripture is very significant. This fact means that it is possible that Paul’s audience in Timothy may have recognized that some of Paul’s letters were more than simply letters - that they were ‘breathed by God’.

“There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:16)

Clearly in this passage Peter refers to Paul’s letters as Scripture.

(Sven Janssens) #7

What book would that be?

(Jimmy Sellers) #8

I am sorry that I didn’t include in the previous post.

(Sven Janssens) #9

Thank you very much.
Actually, this study is getting kinda exciting :blush:

Bless you very much