Studies Into Mormonism (Two)

(More Bible studies available @ www.marktabata.com)

It is written:

2 Timothy 3:16-17-All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, 17  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

In this passage, Paul tells us about the value of Scripture. Notice the four-fold description of the profitability of the Word of God.

“The opponents are teaching commandments that come from demons (1 Tim 4:1) through people (Titus 1:14). Scripture, on the other hand, Paul says, comes straight from God, and therefore Timothy can trust it to equip and train him to do his work as an evangelist (cf. Kelly, 203)….“The four prepositional phrases may form two groups, the first dealing with doctrine (“ orthodoxy”) and the second with behavior (“ orthopraxy”). They are also chiastic in structure: (a) Scripture instructs positively in doctrine and (b) convicts heresy; likewise Scripture (b ´) corrects improper behavior and (a ´) educates positively in righteous behavior. Spicq (2: 788–89) explains the four phrases as (a) Scripture is the only true source for pastoral and doctrinal teaching, (b) Scripture is the best ammunition for rebuking the false teachers, (c) Scripture will not only stop the deviations of the false teachers but straighten out and improve the condition, and (d) Scripture is necessary for the training of truly virtuous Christians.” (William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, Volume 46 (Word Biblical Commentary), 569-570 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

The Scriptures claim to be able to provide us with what w need for: doctrine (good teaching); reproof (correcting bad teaching); correction (correcting bad living and habits); and instruction in righteousness (teaching good living and habits).

It also claims to be “inspired.” What does this mean?

The Greek phrase used here literally means “God-breathed.” Notice how this is described for us in Peter’s Epistle:

2 Peter 1:20-21-knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Speaking of the grammar of this text, we learn:

“The Bible is not the product of man but is rather God-inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Inspiration does not mean the biblical writer just felt enthusiastic, like the composer of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Nor does it mean the writings are necessarily inspiring to read, like an uplifting poem. The biblical Greek word for inspiration literally means “God-breathed.” Because Scripture is breathed out by God-because because it originates from Him-it is true and inerrant….“The Holy Spirit infallibly worked through each of these writers, through their individual styles, to inerrantly communicate His message to humankind. Second Peter 1:21 provides a key insight regarding the human-divine interchange in the process of inspiration. This verse informs us that “prophecy [or Scripture] never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The phrase carried along in this verse literally means “forcefully borne along.” Even though human beings were used in the process of writing down God’s Word, they were all literally “borne along” by the Holy Spirit. The human wills of the authors were not the originators of God’s message. God did not permit the will of sinful human beings to misdirect or erroneously record His message. Put another way, God moved and the prophet mouthed these revelational truths. Indeed, God revealed and man recorded His Word to humankind. Interestingly, the Greek word for “carried along” in 2 Peter 1:21 is the same as that found in Acts 27:15-17. In this passage the experienced sailors could not navigate the ship because the wind was so strong. The ship was being driven, directed, and carried along by the wind. This is similar to the Spirit’s driving, directing, and carrying the human authors of the Bible as He wished. The word is a strong one, indicating the Spirit’s complete superintendence of the human authors. Just as the sailors were active on the ship (though the wind, not the sailors, ultimately controlled the ship’s movement), so the human authors were active in writing as the Spirit directed. This assures us that biblical prophecy truly did derive from God, and not mere human beings.” (Ron Rhodes, The Popular Dictionary of Bible Prophecy: More than 350 Terms and Concepts Defined by Ron Rhodes, 1405-1421 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House Publishers)

Other Scriptures bear out these same truths:

2 Samuel 23:2-The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.

1 Corinthians 2:13-These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

(Cf.: Exodus 4:15; Isaiah 30:8; 51:16; Jeremiah 1:9; 30:2; Ezekiel 3:10; Habakkuk 2:2; Matthew 10:19-20; Mark 13:11-13; Revelation 1:11)

If the Bible is the Word of God, and if the Bible claims to be the fully inspired and all-sufficient Word of God, then the Bible is the fully inspired and all-sufficient Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God (evidences from numerous fields may be adduced to support this contention), and the Bible claims to be the fully inspired and all-sufficient Word of God. Therefore, the Bible is the fully inspired and all-sufficient Word of God.

Now, sometimes it is claimed that no one in the early church knew which Books belonged in the category of inspired Books. However, the facts show that the Apostles and early Christians understood the New Testament Books to be sacred and Divinely given.

“The apostles imposed their writings. Since the apostles were aware of their authoritative office it is reasonable to think that they intended to write books that would guide the church under that authority….Imposition can be seen in the commands that letters be circulated among the churches, even read publically in worship meetings (1 Thess. 5:27; Col. 4:16; Rev. 1:3)….“Imposition is more subtle in other letters, yet it can still be seen. It was already mentioned that Peter wrote to “the pilgrims of the Dispersion” scattered broadly throughout five different regions (1 Pet. 1:1). James also wrote “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” (Jam. 1:1). These are not the words of apostles writing to individual churches. It is reasonable to think that the apostles intended their letters to be widely distributed (i.e. imposed throughout regions)….“The best and earliest example of apostolic imposition comes from the Bible itself. In Acts 15 we read that letters were written containing the decision of the apostles and elders at the close of the first Jerusalem Council (v. 23). Their decision was just not verbally imposed upon the church (v. 27) but circulated through written letters (v. 20, 23). [47] This set a clear precedence from the beginning. A written letter from an apostle (or apostles) was just as authoritative as if the commands were given in person by an apostle. To receive a written letter from an apostle was equal to a visit (cf. 3 John 13–14). Furthermore, spreading info this way was very useful. Written letters helped when making a trip in person was not possible (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:2). It also helped reach a wider audience more quickly with an important message. Thus the apostles imposed their authority via written communication.” (Norman Geisler & Shawn Nelson, Evidence of an Early New Testament Canon, 269-295 (Kindle Edition); Matthews, NC; Bastion Books)

Consider that in 1 Timothy, Paul quotes from the New Testament and calls it Scripture!

1 Timothy 5:18-For the SCRIPTURE says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE AN OX WHILE IT TREADS OUT THE GRAIN,” and, “THE LABORER IS WORTHY OF HIS WAGES.”

Deuteronomy 25:4-“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.

Luke 10:7-And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.

Peter himself refers to the Writings of Paul as “Scripture.”

2 Peter 3:16-as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the REST OF THE SCRIPTURES.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: