Every scripture is inspired by God [God-breathed] and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness- 2 Timothy 3:16 NET
Did you know that scholars study the Bible from a variety of perspectives, some of which treat it as only ancient literature with no more value to modern times than Chaucer’s Beowulf, of which it is said (at schoolworkhelper.net), “Although evil is not truly existent, necessarily, classical literature manages to portray evil in supernatural and symbolic manifestations.“
The sad truth is that culture has often influenced how the church “sells its message” and what that message will be. Seven letters to seven different churches in John’s day exposes this blatant tampering with the Christian testimony which has rendered it, in some respects, powerless. In the “western world,” for one, we rely heavily on science for answers making spiritual warfare in prayer all but a relic of a by-gone practice.
I apologize for bringing this up, not out of anger or bitterness but, out of a deep concern for a spiritually dying world with whom God wants to share His love but also warn of impending judgment. How appropriate that the Revelation which Jesus brought, that we know as the Apocalypse and a time of unspeakable horror, should begin with a serious message to the Church! But to the degree we have viewed the inspiration of scripture as only the popular view of a time now gone, we have made God’s Word less than God’s Word and now are able in a scholarly fashion to parse its language as merely an historical footnote on a forgotten culture.
Speaking of footnotes, however: there are footnotes to our verse in the BibleGateway version on these 3 words “every, inspired, and rebuke”: “Every scripture. There is very little difference in sense between every scripture (emphasizing the individual portions) and all scripture (emphasizing the composite whole). The former option is preferred, because it fits … Paul’s normal sense for the word scripture…. So every scripture means ‘every individual portion of scripture.’ Inspired by God. Some have … translated it as ‘every inspired scripture is also useful.’ But… the arrangement of words makes clear that both should be taken as … ‘every scripture is inspired…and [all are] useful.’ Rebuke, the word implies exposing … sin … to bring correction.”
We maintain that every word has God’s approval, if not His fingerprint, upon it and He wrote it to us to expose the deadly sins we excuse, at the peril of our souls, as just a part of “human nature.” But the Church gets weary of fighting social change and might choose, accordingly, to tone down its message to sound more reasonable and humane. Maybe more will listen, then?
No! The message of Scripture confronts cultures on a moral level, calls out hypocrisy, and will not compromise the holiness of God before the world.
Now I can see why God’s Word is popular as an heirloom but is taken far less seriously than its context, language, and emphasis demand. I can understand why some scholars go through 8 or more years of Bible training to teach at some respectable seminary that there is no god (or at least, we cannot be sure) and that the Bible is important in an historical sense only.
Many have, sadly, succumbed to social pressure to comply in small measure—or great—to tweak the interpretation of God’s Word to make it less outspoken against sin, less demanding of a cross to carry for Christ, arguing that we cannot be sure of its meaning. Bonhoeffer called this the message of a “cheap” grace.
Like many who read or study the Word regularly, I, too, continue to be drawn to its pages and refuse to let go its promises—even if I only know He promised something the scope and importance of which I cannot yet comprehend. And what has He not promised if the whole Bible was spoken [the word is: God-breathed} by the God Who does not lie and was written for our benefit, our admonition, and our instruction! The miracle that we have it, alone, speaks to its inspiration!
Paul affirmed that “When a covenant has been ratified,… no one can set it aside or add anything to it” [Galatians 3:15]. The Book, itself, is one undeniable and unalterable “The” Covenant with God, which makes it from cover to cover one glorious promise. As to its teaching, God’s Word is worthy our conviction; as to its reproof, our contrition of heart, repentance, and confession; as to its correction, our obedience; as to its training, our commitment; and as to its inspiration, our undying faith!