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2 Timothy 3:16 - Literal Greek


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#1 Jason

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 02:21 PM

Hello,
 
I recently heard a comment regarding 2 Timothy 3:16 and wanted to run it by everyone here to see what your thoughts are.
 
2 Timothy 3:16 read as follows: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
 
However, the original Greek reads as follows: "All scripture inspired by God..."
 
The difference between the two readings is glaring - the first suggests all scripture is inspired by God, whereas the literal Greek merely implies that only the scripture inspired by God is profitable for doctrine, etc. (suggesting there are uninspired scriptures).
 
What are your thoughts?
 
Thanks!



#2 Mark Taunton

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:16 PM

Hi Jason,

 

The problem with the second way of reading the statement is that it ends up saying nothing at all!  It's not just the first "is" (in the KJV reading) that is absent in the original Greek, the second "is" is absent also. So if you are consistent and leave both out in English you get:

 

"All scripture inspired of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works."

 

But it is clear that the first part (up to "righteousness") must be asserting something, in order to make sense of the second part - else what is the word "that" doing? The solution then is to put (at least the first) "is" where the KJV has put it. (You can't have just the second "is" without the first, because then the "and" doesn't fit sensibly.)

 

Note also that omitting an "is" is not unique to this NT passage - there are other instances.  And in fact it's a way of speaking which reflects the Old Testament.  In OT Hebrew, there is no word for "is" (though there are words for "was" and "will be"). To say "All scripture is inspired of God" in Hebrew, you would say it in the same way Paul did in Greek, without a verb, i.e. just "All scripture inspired of God."

 

So the first way of reading this passage both makes sense, and is consistent with other Biblical language. I believe it's right to read it that way.



#3 nsr

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 07:07 PM

However, the original Greek reads as follows: "All scripture inspired by God..."

 

 

Jason, is that what the Greek actually means or just what the Greek transliterates to on a word by word basis? The translators generally don't go around arbitrarily adding words to change the meaning of the original Greek.


"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#4 Jason

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 08:30 PM

 

However, the original Greek reads as follows: "All scripture inspired by God..."

 

 

Jason, is that what the Greek actually means or just what the Greek transliterates to on a word by word basis? The translators generally don't go around arbitrarily adding words to change the meaning of the original Greek.

 

I'm not actually sure, to be honest. I'm merely parroting what the other individual said, which probably isn't the best way to approach things...


Edited by Jason, 05 February 2014 - 08:31 PM.


#5 Jason

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 08:36 PM

Hi Jason,

 

The problem with the second way of reading the statement is that it ends up saying nothing at all!  It's not just the first "is" (in the KJV reading) that is absent in the original Greek, the second "is" is absent also. So if you are consistent and leave both out in English you get:

 

"All scripture inspired of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works."

 

But it is clear that the first part (up to "righteousness") must be asserting something, in order to make sense of the second part - else what is the word "that" doing? The solution then is to put (at least the first) "is" where the KJV has put it. (You can't have just the second "is" without the first, because then the "and" doesn't fit sensibly.)

 

Note also that omitting an "is" is not unique to this NT passage - there are other instances.  And in fact it's a way of speaking which reflects the Old Testament.  In OT Hebrew, there is no word for "is" (though there are words for "was" and "will be"). To say "All scripture is inspired of God" in Hebrew, you would say it in the same way Paul did in Greek, without a verb, i.e. just "All scripture inspired of God."

 

So the first way of reading this passage both makes sense, and is consistent with other Biblical language. I believe it's right to read it that way.

 

Makes sense although I'm wondering about verbs and subjects. Does Greek require a verb when it has a subject? If so, I don't quite see how referencing Hebrew would help my cause since, while it sounds logical enough, Paul wrote in Greek.



#6 Jason

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 08:39 PM

Here's the full (and in their mind, correct) version of the verse the individual has suggested:

 

"All scripture inspired by God is also profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness"



#7 nsr

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 08:51 PM

 

 

However, the original Greek reads as follows: "All scripture inspired by God..."

 

 

Jason, is that what the Greek actually means or just what the Greek transliterates to on a word by word basis? The translators generally don't go around arbitrarily adding words to change the meaning of the original Greek.

 

I'm not actually sure, to be honest. I'm merely parroting what the other individual said, which probably isn't the best way to approach things...

 

Fair enough. Your best course of action would probably be to ask someone who can read NT Greek. I can't help you there, unfortunately :)

 

You could ask your contact why they think the translators (who can read NT Greek) have added in extra words which shouldn't be there.


"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#8 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:19 AM

Jason, several comments which may be of assistance in this discussion:

Fom The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
 

2 TIMOTHY 3:16
 
πᾶσα (Root: πας, LN: 59.23; adjective, nominative, singular, feminine)
 
all
 
    Contained in: Sentence
    Syntactic Force: Attributive adjective
 
    Words Modified by πᾶσα
 
    •      adjectival relation: The word πᾶσα modifies γραφὴ (noun) in 2Ti 3:16, word 2 (γραφὴ is within the current clausal unit, after πᾶσα).
 
γραφὴ (Root: γραφω, LN: 33.53; noun, nominative, singular, feminine)
 
scripture
 
    Contained in: Sentence
    Syntactic Force: Subject
 
    Words That Modify γραφὴ
 
    •      adjectival relation: The word γραφὴ is modified by πᾶσα (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 1 (πᾶσα is within the current clausal unit, before γραφὴ).
    •      adjectival relation: The word γραφὴ is modified by θεόπνευστος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 3 (θεόπνευστος is within the current clausal unit, after γραφὴ).
    •      adjectival relation: The word γραφὴ is modified by ὠφέλιμος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 5 (ὠφέλιμος is within the current clausal unit, after γραφὴ).
 
θεόπνευστος (Root: θεος + πνευμα, LN: 33.261; adjective, nominative, singular, feminine)
 
inspired by God
 
    Contained in: Sentence
    Syntactic Force: Predicate adjective
 
    Words Modified by θεόπνευστος
 
    •      adjectival relation: The word θεόπνευστος modifies γραφὴ (noun) in 2Ti 3:16, word 2 (γραφὴ is within the current clausal unit, before θεόπνευστος).
 
    Words That Modify θεόπνευστος
 
    •      conjunctive relation: The word θεόπνευστος is modified by καὶ (conjunction) in 2Ti 3:16, word 4 (καὶ is within the current clausal unit, after θεόπνευστος).
 
καὶ (Root: και, LN: 89.92; conjunction, logical, connective)
 
and
 
    Contained in: Sentence
    Syntactic Force: Copulative conjunction
 
    Words Modified by καὶ
 
    •      conjunctive relation: The word καὶ modifies θεόπνευστος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 3 (θεόπνευστος is within the current clausal unit, before καὶ).
    •      conjunctive relation: The word καὶ modifies ὠφέλιμος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 5 (ὠφέλιμος is within the current clausal unit, after καὶ).
 
ὠφέλιμος (Root: ωφελεω, LN: 65.40; adjective, nominative, singular, feminine)
 
useful, beneficial, profitable
 
    Contained in: Sentence
    Syntactic Force: Predicate adjective
 
    Words Modified by ὠφέλιμος
 
    •      adjectival relation: The word ὠφέλιμος modifies γραφὴ (noun) in 2Ti 3:16, word 2 (γραφὴ is within the current clausal unit, before ὠφέλιμος).
 
    Words That Modify ὠφέλιμος
 
    •      conjunctive relation: The word ὠφέλιμος is modified by καὶ (conjunction) in 2Ti 3:16, word 4 (καὶ is within the current clausal unit, before ὠφέλιμος).
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word ὠφέλιμος is modified by πρὸς (preposition) in 2Ti 3:16, word 6 (πρὸς is outside of the current clausal unit).
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word ὠφέλιμος is modified by πρὸς (preposition) in 2Ti 3:16, word 8 (πρὸς is outside of the current clausal unit).
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word ὠφέλιμος is modified by πρὸς (preposition) in 2Ti 3:16, word 10 (πρὸς is outside of the current clausal unit).
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word ὠφέλιμος is modified by πρὸς (preposition) in 2Ti 3:16, word 12 (πρὸς is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
πρὸς (Root: προς, LN: 89.60; preposition)
 
for
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Preposition of purpose
 
    Words Modified by πρὸς
 
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word πρὸς modifies ὠφέλιμος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 5 (ὠφέλιμος is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
διδασκαλίαν (Root: διδασκω, LN: 33.224; noun, accusative, singular, feminine)
 
instruction, teaching
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Prepositional object
 
πρὸς (Root: προς, LN: 89.60; preposition)
 
for
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Preposition of purpose
 
    Words Modified by πρὸς
 
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word πρὸς modifies ὠφέλιμος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 5 (ὠφέλιμος is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
ἐλεγμόν (Root: ελεγχω, LN: 33.417; noun, accusative, singular, masculine)
 
reproof
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Prepositional object
 
πρὸς (Root: προς, LN: 89.60; preposition)
 
for
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Preposition of purpose
 
    Words Modified by πρὸς
 
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word πρὸς modifies ὠφέλιμος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 5 (ὠφέλιμος is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
ἐπανόρθωσιν (Root: ορθος, LN: 72.16; noun, accusative, singular, feminine)
 
correction, improvement
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Prepositional object
 
πρὸς (Root: προς, LN: 89.60; preposition)
 
for
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Preposition of purpose
 
    Words Modified by πρὸς
 
    •      preposition-to-adjective relation: The word πρὸς modifies ὠφέλιμος (adjective) in 2Ti 3:16, word 5 (ὠφέλιμος is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
παιδείαν (Root: παις, LN: 33.226; noun, accusative, singular, feminine)
 
training, instruction, discipline
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Prepositional object
 
    Words That Modify παιδείαν
 
    •      preposition-to-noun relation: The word παιδείαν is modified by ἐν (preposition) in 2Ti 3:16, word 15 (ἐν is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
τὴν (Root: ο, LN: 92.24; article, accusative, singular, feminine)
 
the
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Attributive adjective
 
ἐν (Root: εν, LN: 89.5; preposition)
 
in
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Preposition of reference
 
    Words Modified by ἐν
 
    •      preposition-to-noun relation: The word ἐν modifies παιδείαν (noun) in 2Ti 3:16, word 13 (παιδείαν is outside of the current clausal unit).
 
δικαιοσύνῃ (Root: δικη, LN: 88.13; noun, dative, singular, feminine)
 
righteousness
 
    Contained in: Prepositional Phrase
    Syntactic Force: Prepositional object
 
Lukaszewski, A. L., Dubis, M., & Blakley, J. T. (2011). The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, SBL Edition: Expansions and Annotations (2 Ti 3:16). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 
 

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#9 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:20 AM

Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology
 
accusative — The case that normally marks the direct object of a verb or the object of some prepositions.
 
adjective — A word that modifies or describes a noun, noun substitute (e.g., pronoun, participle as a substantive), or another adjective.
 
article — see definite article
 
conjunction — A word that functions to connect individual words and constructions in various ways.
 
connective — A conjunction that connects an additional idea or grammatical element (word, phrase, clause) to a previous idea or grammatical element. For example, the connective conjunction may serve to logically continue a narrative (“…and Jesus said”) or to associate two items that, in the context, are together the mutual focus of the clause (“Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos”)
 
dative — The case that is regularly used for indirect objects and the objects of some prepositions. The dative refers to the person or thing to which something is given or for whom something is done.
 
definite article — The definite article (in English, the word “the”) identifies or particularizes a noun or noun substitute (e.g., a participle as a substantive). For example, in English the phrase “the man” has the definite article and is specific, as opposed to the indefinite article in the phrase “a man.” Unlike English, Greek has only the definite article. The absence of the article denotes indefiniteness. The Greek article has gender, number, and case.
 
feminine — One of the three grammatical genders in Greek and Latin (the others being masculine and neuter).
 
logical — A conjunction that relates the flow of thought from one phrase, clause or passage to another phrase, clause, or passage by expressing logical relationships between those items.
 
masculine — One of the three grammatical genders in Greek and Latin (the others being feminine and neuter).
 
nominative — The case that normally refers to the subject of a verb or a noun following a form of the verb “to be” or “to become” (ie, a predicate nominative) that renames the subject.
 
noun — A word that represents a person, place, thing, or quality that can function as the subject or object of a verb. A noun is a word that stands for the name of something.
 
preposition — A word that helps express the relationship between two or more words in a phrase or sentence. A preposition typically has an object (the noun that follows the preposition) and a referent (the word or phrase the preposition and its object modify) heads or governs a phrase (hence, “prepositional phrase”). For example, in the sentence “The man smashed the car into the pole,” the preposition “into” has an object (the pole), creating the prepositional phrase “into the pole.”
 
singular — Refers to one person or thing. In grammar, the feature of a word that informs whether one (singular) or more (plural) persons or things are referred to or performing an action.\\
 
Heiser, M. S. (2005). In Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology
 

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#10 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:21 AM

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Glossary
 
attributive adjective: An adjective which clarifies or modifies an attribute of its modifié. In LSGNT, a distinction is drawn between attributive and predicate adjectives based largely on word order. (References: BDF §241-246, 269(3), 269(5), 270; Wallace p. 306-314; Smyth §912-914, 1019.)
 
copulative conjunction: A conjunction used to bind two words together in a close relationship of logic.  (References: BDF §442-443; Wallace p. 657, 671; Smyth §2163A.)
 
prepositional object: The substantive which is related to the main meaning of the sentence by means of a preposition. (References: BDF §203-240; Wallace p. 247; Smyth §1658.)
 
preposition of purpose: A preposition which expresses the purpose for which the related verbal action occurs. (References: BDF §203-240; Wallace n/a; Smyth n/a.)
 
Prepositional Phrase: A phrase which is initiated by a preposition and which is therefore governed by the same in its function and force. (References: BDF §203-240; Wallace p. 355-389; Smyth §1636-1702.)
 
prepositional object: The substantive which is related to the main meaning of the sentence by means of a preposition. (References: BDF §203-240; Wallace p. 247; Smyth §1658.)
 
Sentence: Text found between two major marks of punctuation within the Nestle-Aland text. Major punctuation marks are the full-stop/period and the question mark. Where the sentence is divided into multiple independent clauses which are joined by conjunctions or by asyndeton, the individual parts are referred to as sentential segments. (References: BDF §458; Wallace n/a; Smyth §902.)
 
subject: The sentential element which, in the context of a given clause, performs or causes the main verbal action. (References: BDF n/a; Wallace p. 401-404; Smyth §902.)
 
Lukaszewski, A. L. (2007). In The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Glossary. Lexham Press.

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#11 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:35 AM

Further (and in conjunction with other references, Peter in particular):

 

THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE
 
God’s word, the truth, and the apostolic faith are closely linked in 2 Peter with “the Scriptures.” This is especially true of 2 Peter 1:19–21, the primary passage about Scripture in these epistles. Here in a space of ten verses there are references to the truth Christians possess, apostolic reminders for the church (vv. 12–15); apostolic witness to Christ, God’s voice from heaven (vv. 16–18); the prophetic word, prophecies of Scripture, and prophets speaking from God by the Holy Spirit (vv. 19–21). These are intertwined in the argument of the verses, because Peter was supporting the validity of apostolic teaching about the second coming of Christ (v. 16) by citing his eyewitness account of the Transfiguration90 and the confirmation of Old Testament Scripture (vv. 17–21). The false teachers had rejected Christian teaching about the Second Coming as simply human invention (“concocted fables,” v. 16), and Peter needed to reassert its divine source.91 After citing the personal experience of the apostles as eyewitnesses of Christ’s majesty at the Transfiguration (v. 16) and as hearers of the heavenly voice attesting His messianic status (vv. 17–18), Peter added the testimony of Scripture in verses 19–21.
 
The sense of verse 19a and the connection it expresses between the Transfiguration account and the Old Testament is much debated. The common interpretation has come to be “we have the prophetic word made more certain” (cf. RSV, NIV, NASB). The intent of this is that the Transfiguration experience confirmed and reinforced the validity of the prophetic message about the Second Coming.92 While this interpretation has much to commend it, the high view of Scripture given in verses 20–21 indicates that Peter was not looking for confirmation of Scripture or comparing its certainty to that of the Transfiguration. Instead he made a strong statement about the authority of Scripture: “we possess the prophetic word as something altogether reliable.”93 The reference to “the prophetic word” in this verse certainly includes Old Testament prophecy about Christ’s glorious coming in the future. But in the first century the whole Old Testament was regarded as the product of the Holy Spirit and thus as “prophecy.” This was especially true in Christianity, since Jesus Christ was understood to be predicted throughout the Old Testament (Luke 24:27; John 5:46). So “the prophetic word” included all of Hebrew Scripture.94
 
Because the Scripture’s validity was so sure, the readers must pay attention to it in their struggles against the false teachers (2 Peter 1:19b). In a further description, which fit their situation perfectly, Peter portrayed the Scriptures as “a light shining in a dark place” (cf. Ps. 119:105). In a world spiritually ignorant and resistant to the truth, the Scriptures must be heeded. They are the Christian’s guide until their light is eclipsed by God’s full revelation at the coming of Christ (2 Peter 1:19c).95
 
Peter anchored his statement about Scripture’s reliability (v. 19) by giving one of the classic Christian statements about the inspiration of Scripture (vv. 20–21).96 In context these verses were meant to emphasize that Scripture is not a mere human product but comes from God. Thus the false teachers who rejected apostolic teaching about Christ’s coming will face God’s judgment rather than apostolic censure alone.
 
The emphasis on God as the source of Scripture is clear in verse 21 (“not from men … but from God”). But it should be seen also in the statement of verse 20, “no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.” The last part of this statement has been translated and interpreted in various ways. The RSV and NASB have “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (KJV’s “private interpretation” is similar), and the NEB says, “no one can interpret any prophecy of Scripture by himself.” In this way the phrase is taken to mean that no one should interpret Scripture independently of the wider church and its authority or guidance. This is often the view of those who are inclined to see in 2 Peter “early Catholicism” or the regulated magisterium of the later Catholic Church.97 A variation of this is the idea that proper interpretation of prophecy must be widely accepted or part of apostolic tradition, not idiosyncratic or based only on someone’s private judgment.98 This fits the context of 2 Peter quite well, since the false teachers were apparently guilty of distorting Scripture to use it to their advantage (3:16).
 
But several important considerations show that 2 Peter 1:20 is not concerned with the later explanation of prophecy but with its origination. The verb of verse 20b (ginetai) fits this sense much better: it usually means “comes to be, comes about,” rather than “is.” The word translated “one’s own” or “private” (idios) occurs frequently in ancient Greek usage in passages discussing the origination of a message. In these passages the consistent use of “one’s own” is to contrast a mere human message (i.e., someone speaks “on his own”) with one coming from God.99 So the meaning is not “private” versus “widely accepted,” but “a human’s” message versus “God’s.” Finally, the key word “interpretation” (epilyseōs) is the strongest evidence for the idea of a later explanation of what the prophet has written. Yet when this word is studied in specific contexts describing prophecy (as in 2 Peter 1:20), a different sense emerges. In contexts describing prophetic activity, this term is often used of the second step in God’s revelation to the prophet. The first step is a vision, dream, or sign God gives to the prophet. This is vital, but its significance must be understood before God’s message is grasped. The second step then is for God to reveal the interpretation of the vision or sign.100 The prophet must have God’s explanation of the sign before he can truly proclaim God’s message. In this way the entire prophecy originates from God, both the prophetic vision and its interpretation to the prophet himself. By extension, the God-given interpretation can be used as a short-hand expression for the entire prophecy or for a prophecy which has no distinct sign or vision. Thus to state that “no prophecy of Scripture arises from one’s own interpretation,” is to insist that the prophetic Scripture originated not from a merely human source but from God.101
 
Verse 21 then reiterates the same point because it was so important to Peter’s argument against the false teachers, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The reference to “prophecy” (v. 21) and to a “prophecy of Scripture” (v. 20) is again a way of describing the entire Old Testament, as argued above in connection with “the prophetic word” in verse 19. The reason Jews and Christians spoke of the Old Testament as “prophetic” in a broader sense was their belief in the inspiration of the entire Scripture (v. 21b). Peter had written earlier about the Spirit’s ministry in the Old Testament prophets as they predicted the sufferings and glory of Christ (1 Peter 1:10–12). But in 2 Peter 1:21 he described the Spirit’s inspiration of the Scriptures more specifically.
 
The basic proposition of verse 21 is “men spoke from God.” The Old Testament authors did not produce their “prophetic” writings by means of human will or insight alone. Instead, the source for what they communicated was God. The means by which this was accomplished is expressed by the participle “being moved” or “carried along” (pheromenoi) by the Holy Spirit. The figurative meaning of the verb in 2 Peter 1:21 is illustrated by literal uses in Acts 27:15, 17 of a ship being driven along by wind and storm.102 As they communicated their message, these men were impelled or influenced by the Holy Spirit in such a way that what they said was “from God” rather than “by human will.” As a result, the Old Testament is “altogether reliable” (2 Peter 1:19), Peter’s main point throughout this passage.
 
This verse then teaches in a succinct but powerful way the doctrine of “concursive inspiration.”103 This is the teaching that the Scriptures are the product of a divine and human authorship, and both play their appropriate roles. It was human beings who communicated as they wrote Scripture, and they reflect their own style of writing, religious background, and historical and cultural situation. But the Spirit guided their writing so that what they produced was not their own exposition—not by their will or insight alone—but was from God. The verse is clear that men spoke, but did so under the influence of the Holy Spirit. This influence is not conceived of in a Greek fashion, in which the author is merely the ecstatic organ of God’s dictation, completely overpowered by the Spirit’s impulse.104 This was Philo’s view and became the rabbinic idea of inspiration, but as Schrenk argues from New Testament evidence, “There is a greater sense of the persons of the authors in early Christianity than in Judaism, and therefore a greater regard for the natural and historical mediation of the divine utterance. Yet this does not in any way weaken the basic conviction that it is God who speaks in Scripture.”105 The New Testament consistently views the Old Testament as a divine-human product (e.g., Matt. 1:22; 2:15; 22:43; Mark 12:26, 36; Acts 1:16; 3:18; 4:25; 28:25).
 
So Peter’s teaching about inspiration was the conviction that the Spirit guided the writers of Scripture in such a way that what they wrote was truly God’s Word. What the Scriptures say, God says. This was the common view of Scripture held by Jesus and by the early church.106 Sometimes the force of verses like 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21 are evaded by alleging that this view of inspiration was not representative and was taught only in the “marginal” books of the New Testament.107 It is true that the clearest explicit formulations of the doctrine of inspiration are given in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21, but the same conviction is presupposed in other verses. As Schrenk says on this very point, “all emphasis upon the fact that God speaks in Scripture … or that the kyrios speaks by the prophets … testifies at root to exactly the same point as is at issue in the doctrine of inspiration.”108
 
Because the Scripture is God’s Word, Peter and Jude could cite it directly or allude to it in their instruction and count on its authority. Peter cited Scripture explicitly in 1 Peter nine times and alluded to it another twenty times, a remarkably large number for an epistle of its length.109 Second Peter and Jude also draw on Old Testament accounts in the sections arguing the certainty of judgment (2 Peter 2:4–10, 15–16; Jude 5–7, 11–13) and elsewhere (2 Peter 3:4–13; Jude 9, 22–23). Jude alluded to an account in one apocryphal book (Assumption of Moses in v. 9) and quoted from another one by name (1 Enoch 1:9 in vv. 14–15). The fact that he quoted from a noncanonical book is not problematic in itself. Several times Paul quoted from Greek secular writers, because their specific words were appropriate to his point, without in any way validating the inspiration or authority of their entire work (Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:12). But Jude seemed to accept the historicity of the account that “Enoch the seventh from Adam” was the one who spoke in the book of 1 Enoch and that it was an inspired prophecy. Jewish traditions about Enoch were rich and varied in the first century, and many involved his insight into heavenly matters and God’s plan for the world’s future, since Genesis 5:24 records, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Jude accepted the legitimacy of this tradition, without ascribing canonicity or divine authority to 1 Enoch as a whole.110
 
In one other significant passage about Scripture, Peter referred to Paul’s letters in support of his eschatological argument (2 Peter 3:15–16). What is unusual in these verses is that Peter placed Paul’s letters in the category of “Scripture,” on a par with the Old Testament as authoritative writings.111 Peter noted that the false teachers had misused Paul’s letters just as they had the Old Testament (and perhaps other writings now contained in the New Testament): “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (v. 16b). In the same passage Peter alluded to the divine source of Paul’s teaching by referring to “the wisdom given to him” (v. 15b). This is almost certainly the so-called “divine passive,” meaning wisdom given by God.112 Also, Peter’s citing of Paul in his argument indicates the authoritative status Paul’s letters held for Peter and his readers, and apparently also for the false teachers.
 
Viewing Paul’s letters as Scripture and as divinely authoritative is simply the logical extension of Peter’s (and the early church’s) thinking traced above. If the apostles played a significant role in communicating God’s truth to the church, and if the Spirit’s guidance set the Old Testament writings apart as God’s prophetic Word, then Paul’s letters would have been valued from the very start as authoritative. Paul himself had an awareness of the unique authority of his words (1 Cor. 2:13; 7:25, 40; 14:37; Gal. 1:11–12, 16; Eph. 3:2–12; 1 Thess. 4:1–2, 8) and desired his letters to be used for the church’s instruction (Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27). It was only natural for the early congregations to value Paul’s letters as authoritative from the very start and to begin to distribute and collect copies of his letters for the whole church to possess. These verses from 2 Peter attest to the existence of a collection of Pauline letters very soon after they were written (“in all his letters,” 3:16a) and of the high regard in which they were held. The process that led to the acceptance of an authoritative canon of New Testament Scripture was begun very early.113
 
Zuck, R. B. (1994). A Biblical Theology of the New Testament (electronic ed., pp. 461–466). Chicago: Moody Press.

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#12 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:53 AM

90 The Transfiguration has bearing on Christ’s second coming in power because it prefigured His coming glory. See W. L. Liefeld, “Transfiguration,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, ed. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1992), 834–41.

 
91 Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 205, 213–15, 221–22; Jerome H. Neyrey, “The Apologetic Use of the Transfiguration in 2 Peter 1:15–21,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 42 (1980): 506–9.
 
92 For evaluation of various options, see Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 223–27; Green, Second Epistle General of Peter, 86–87; and Neyrey, “Apologetic Use of the Transfiguration,” 514–16.
 
93 This is the translation of Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 138. See also Neyrey, “The Apologetic Use of the Transfiguration,” 515–16. This takes the comparative in an elative sense (“very reliable”), a grammatical use found often in Hellenistic Greek, as shown in Blass-Debrunner-Funk, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament, §§ 60–61, 244.

 

94 Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 724; Erik Sjöberg and Eduard Schweizer, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “pneuma,” 6:381–86, 398, 407–9, 454, and Gerhard Friedrich, “prophētēs,” 6:856–57; Kelly, Epistles of Peter and Jude, 321; and Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 224. See also Acts 2:30; 3:18–26; 13:16–41; and Hebrews 1:1.

 

95 Green, Second Epistle General of Peter, 87–89.

 

96 These verses emphasize that Scripture is God’s Word by describing the mode of inspiration: “men spoke from God” under the guidance of the Spirit. Second Timothy 3:16–17 is complementary but refers to the result of inspiration: Scripture is “God-breathed” and useful for Christian living.

 

97 Käsemann, “Apologia for Primitive Christian Eschatology,” 189–91; Kelly, Epistles of Peter and Jude, 324 (not as strong as Käsemann); Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament, 358 (also tentative); and Henning Paulsen, Der zweite Petrusbrief und das Judasbrief, Kritischexegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992), 123–24.

 

98 Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 369; F. Büchsel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “luō,” 4:337, and Gerhard Friedrich, “prophētēs,” 6:833; and Blum, “2 Peter,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 275. The idea that no prophecy can be understood on its own in isolation from other prophecies is a very unlikely interpretation in this context.

 

99 For example, Jeremiah 23:16 and Ezekiel 13:3. See other references listed in Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 229–30.

 

100 See Genesis 40:8; 41:8, 12; Amos 7–8; Jeremiah 1; Zechariah 1–6; Daniel 7–8.

 

101 This view is presented in a fine treatment by Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 228–35. It is also found in Stevens, Theology of the New Testament, 320–21; Green, Second Epistle General of Peter, 89–92; and D. Edmond Hiebert, “The Prophetic Foundation for the Christian Life: An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:19–21,” Bibliotheca Sacra 141 (1984): 164–65.

 

102 Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 855.

 

103 See D. A. Carson, “Recent Developments in the Doctrine of Scripture,”in Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon, ed. D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), 5–48. His definition of concursive inspiration is: “God in His sovereignty so superintended the freely composed human writings we call the Scriptures that the result was nothing less than God’s words and, therefore, entirely truthful” (p. 45; cf. p. 29).

 

104 This is the view of Colin Brown (The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, s.v. “pneuma,” 3:705). On Greek inspiration, see Hermann Kleinknecht, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “pneuma,” 6:343–52.

 

105 Gottlob Schrenk, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “graphē,” 1:757–58. He cites the following verses from Matthew in which specific attention is paid to the human authors: 2:5, 17, 23; 3:3; 4:14; 8:4, 17; 12:17; 13:14, 35; 22:24; 24:15; 27:9.

 

106 John W. Wenham, Christ and the Bible, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 11–37, 84–108. This was also the view of Judaism in the first century. “According to the later Jewish view, Scripture has sacred, authoritative, and normative significance. It is of permanent and unassailable validity.… The implication of the doctrine of inspiration is that the revealed truth of God characterises [sic] every word” (Schrenk, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “graphē,” 1:755).

 

107 James Barr, Beyond Fundamentalism (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984), 4–5.

 

108 Schrenk, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “graphē,” 1:757. He cites these verses in support: Matthew 1:22; 2:15; 15:4; 19:5; 22:31, 43; Mark 12:26, 36; Acts 1:16; 3:18; 4:25; 28:25; 1 Corinthians 14:21; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 12:19; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 3:7; 9:8; 10:15.

 

109 See the list of references in Davids, First Epistle of Peter, 24–25.

 

110 For other suggestions about this issue, see George Lawrence Lawlor, Translation and Exposition of the Epistle of Jude (Nutley, N.J.: Presb. & Ref., 1972), 101–2 (Jude cited an Enoch tradition without knowing the book of 1 Enoch); Ellis, “Prophecy and Hermeneutic in Jude,” 224–25 (Jude’s citation is an extension of the principle that valid interpretations or expansions of Scripture are equal to Scripture in authority, though not canonical); and Walter M. Dunnett, “The Hermeneutics of Jude and 2 Peter: The Use of Ancient Jewish Traditions,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 31 (1988): 289 (Jude accepted 1 Enoch 1:9 as “inspired, apparently historical, and true”).

 

111 A similar thing is done in 1 Timothy 5:18, which quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7 after the introductory formula “the Scripture says.”

 

112 Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 329.

 

113 Green, Second Epistle General of Peter, 28–30, 148; and David G. Dunbar, “The Biblical Canon,” in Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon, 318–23.


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#13 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:07 AM

WHAT IS MEANT BY “INSPIRATION”?
 
Revelation concerns the material or content by which God is disclosed, and inspiration concerns the record of that content, the Bible. Strictly speaking, inspiration means to fill or breathe into. In 2 Timothy 3:16 the word translated “inspiration” is more accurately “spiration,” that is, “Godbreathed.” In other words, the verse simply says that Scripture is God-produced and it does not actually indicate any of the means that God may have used in producing it.
 
DEFINITION
 
My own definition of biblical inspiration is that it is God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs. Several features of the definition are worth emphasizing: (1) God superintended but did not dictate the material. (2) He used human authors and their own individual styles. (3) Nevertheless, the product was, in its original manuscripts, without error.
 
VIEWS OF INSPIRATION
 
Not all agree with the above definition and its implications.
 
1. Some hold that the writers of the Bible were men of great genius, but that their writings were inspired no more than those of other geniuses throughout history. This has been called the view of natural inspiration, for there is no supernatural dimension to it.
 
2. A step up is the view which may be labeled the mystical or illumination view of inspiration, which sees the writers of the Bible as Spirit-filled and guided believers just as any believer may be even today. Logically, one might conclude that any Spirit-filled Christian could write Scripture today. Similar to this is the idea that the biblical writers were inspired to a greater degree than others.
 
3. The usual caricature of verbal inspiration is that it means dictation; that is, the writers were completely passive and God simply dictated to them what was to be recorded. Of course it is true that some parts of the Bible were dictated (like the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law), but the definition proposed above incorporates the idea that God allowed the writers varying degrees of self-expression as they wrote.
 
4. Partial inspiration views certain parts of the Bible as supernaturally inspired, namely, portions which would otherwise have been unknowable (accounts of creation, prophecy, etc.).
 
5. A very popular concept of inspiration is that only the concepts but not the very words were inspired. This seems to allow for a measure of authority without the necessity of the words being completely accurate.
 
6. The neoorthodox or Barthian view of inspiration is that the Bible is a witness to the Word of God, though a Barthian would not be adverse to saying also that the Bible is the Word of God. But this is true only in a secondary sense (Christ being primarily the Word), and his Bible is full of errors because it is merely the product of fallible writers. The Barthian accepts the teachings of liberalism concerning the Bible and then tries to give it a measure of authority on the ground that in a fallible way it does point to Christ.
 
7. Among many conservatives today a view is held that might be labeled the inspired purpose view of the Bible. This simply means that while the Bible contains factual errors and insoluble discrepancies in its content, it does have “doctrinal integrity” and thus accomplishes perfectly God’s purpose for it. Those who hold this idea can and do use the words infallible and inerrant, but it is important to notice that they carefully limit the Bible’s infallibility to the main purpose or principal emphasis of the Bible and do not extend it to include the accuracy of all its historical facts and parallel accounts. One recent writer put it this way: “I confess the infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures in accomplishing God’s purpose for them—to give man the revelation of God in His redemptive love through Jesus Christ.”1 In other words, the principal revelation of God—salvation—has been transmitted infallibly by means of the records which, nevertheless, are quite fallible. In contrast to Barthians, those who hold this concept of inspiration would hold a more conservative view toward matters like authorship and dates of the books of the Bible and would in general consider the Bible as a whole more trustworthy. But it is still fallible and errant; and if that be so in historical matters, who can be sure it is not also fallible in doctrinal matters? Besides, how can one separate doctrine and history? Try to in relation to the great events of Christ’s life. Those doctrines depend on the accuracy of the historical facts.
 
Ryrie, C. C. (1972). A survey of Bible doctrine. Chicago: Moody Press.
 
Ray Summers, “How God Said It,” Baptist Standard, Feb. 4, 1970, p. 12.

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#14 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:08 AM

THE BIBLICAL TESTIMONY
 
Just to illustrate how times have changed, not many years ago all one had to say to affirm his belief in the full inspiration of the Bible was that he believed it was “the Word of God.” Then it became necessary to add “the inspired Word of God.” Later he had to include “the verbally, inspired Word of God.” Then to mean the same thing he had to say “the plenary (fully), verbally, inspired Word of God.” Then came the necessity to say “the plenary, verbally, infallible, inspired Word of God.” Today one has to say “the plenary, verbally, infallible, inspired, and inerrant-in-the original-manuscripts Word of God.” And even then, he may not communicate clearly!
 
What does the Bible claim for itself?
 
1. It claims that all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Ti 3:16). This means that God, who is true (Ro 3:4), breathed out truth.
 
2. But did man corrupt that truth in the process of recording it? No, for the Bible also testifies that the men who wrote were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pe 1:21, TEV). The Spirit, thus, became a Coauthor with each human writer of the Bible. Notice a number of places in the New Testament where portions of the Old Testament which were written by various men are assigned to the Holy Spirit as the Author. The only way to account for this phenomenon is to recognize a dual authorship (see Mk 12:36, where the Spirit is said to be the Author of what David wrote in Ps 110; Ac 1:16 and 4:24–25, where Ps 41 and Ps 2 are ascribed to the Holy Spirit; and Heb 3:7; 10:15–16).
 
3. But sometimes the record quite obviously reflects the styles and expressions of the human authors. This is to be expected in a book of dual authorship, and does not mean at all that in employing their own styles the authors recorded error (see Ro 9:1–3 for one such example).
 
4. Indeed, the Bible seems to claim inerrancy for itself. How else is it possible to explain the Lord’s claim for the abiding character of the letters which spell the words of Scripture: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mt 5:18)? The jot is the Hebrew letter yod, the smallest one in that alphabet. The tittle is the minor stroke that distinguishes certain Hebrew letters from others (like a dalet from a res). In a normal font of type it would not be more than 1/16 of an inch. In other words, the Lord was saying that every letter or every word is important, and the Old Testament would be fulfilled exactly as spelled out letter by letter and word by word.
 
The Lord also insisted on the importance of a present tense in Matthew 22:32. In order to reinforce the truth of resurrection, He reminded the Sadducees that God is the God of the living because He identified Himself to Moses by saying “I am” the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob though they had died hundreds of years before. If resurrection were not a fact He should have said, “I was” their God. The Lord also based a crucial argument concerning His own deity on the word Lord (Mt 22:41–46) as quoted from Psalm 110:1. If He did not consider the words of Scripture to be inerrant, the argument would have been meaningless. On another occasion He vindicated Himself from the charge of blasphemy by focusing on a single word in Psalm 82:6 (Jn 10:34). Then He enforced His argument by reminding His accusers that the Scripture cannot be broken. Paul, too, insisted on the importance of a singular in contrast to a plural in his argument in Galatians 3:16. Such an argument would be invalid unless the difference between singulars and plurals can be trusted. All of these examples force us to admit that the Bible claims inerrancy for itself.
 
5. No one who holds to inerrancy denies that the Bible uses ordinary figures of speech (like “corners of the earth,” Rev 7:1), but they are accurately used.
 
6. Nor do we deny that authors sometimes researched their facts before writing (Lk 1:1–4). But the product, we believe, was kept from error by this superintending work of the Spirit.
 
7. Neither do we deny that there are problems in the text that we presently have. But problems are quite different from errors. Indeed, in the face of the claims that the Bible apparently makes for itself about inspiration and inerrancy, it would seem more reasonable when confronted with problems to place one’s faith in the Scriptures which have been proved to be true again and again than in any fallible human opinion. Man’s knowledge of these problems is limited and has in some instances been proved to be wrong. Time will undoubtedly continue to bring to light facts which will help solve the yet unsolved problems in the Bible.
 
Ryrie, C. C. (1972). A survey of Bible doctrine. Chicago: Moody Press.

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#15 Kay

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:10 AM

Trust the above also adds to the discussion/clarification :)


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#16 Jason

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:16 PM

Wow. Lots of info there - thanks very much, Kay. Going through it now!


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