Doesn’t 2 Timothy 3:16 say that ALL scripture is profitable for teaching?
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The so-called “proof text” translation of 2 Timothy 3:16 for the “whole/entirety of graphe scripture (a) IS profitable for instruction . . .” turns out to be far from a “proof text” or accurate translation after you understand the Greek and read it in context! It actually refers to “every of a ‘portion of’ scripture” and that ‘portion’ is the “God-breathed-kind” that is prophetic concerning the Messiah and His gospel logos message of salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ, the kind “which are powerfully-enabled to make you wise (b) for salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus” – just as many verses about graphe scripture are (c). Do make this verse say ‘the whole/entirety of’ scripture, even the Law of commandments, would violate precedence and context! How ignorant or shameful it is to deliberately take verses out of context to push one’s own theology! How wrong it is for translators to deviate from their own rules to do the same! A related passage of 1 Timothy 4:13-16, which will also be dissected in a later BLOG, of what to be “devoted to reading . . . teaching” has nothing to do with graphe scripture even though many translations have wrongfully inserted this word – a deliberate, shamefully-biased commentary inserted into the text without any footnoting! This is how so many “winds of doctrine” (c) get started that wreak havoc to the Church! <Notes> a) see BT5 to know what graphe scripture is and is NOT, b) Jesus and Paul both show a disdain for human wisdom and certainly that of the so-called “wise and understanding ones” like the Pharisees, scribes, and Greek philosophers and Gnostic religions – see Least Among Us – BT3. However, the Spirit’s wisdom through the Prophets leads you to Christ – see Romans 1:1-5, c) see BT5 a3 and b3 definitions of graphe, c) Ephesians 4:14.
The Jews divided the graphe scripture into the 3 general ‘portions’ of: Torah/Nomos Law (a), Nevi’im Prophets, and Ketuvim Writings (b). However, Jesus and the NT writers sometime divide into the 3 ‘portions of’ “Law, Prophets, Psalms” (c), or just 2 ‘portions of’ the “Law and Prophets“ (d) or “Moses and Prophets“ (e). Also, the term graphe used for scripture in Hellenistic Judaism frequently means a particular “book of scripture,” carrying over the idea of ‘portion of’ the whole. <Notes> a) Pentateuch or 5 Books of Moses or old covenant, b) Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, c) Luke 24:44 d) Matthew 5:17, 7:12, 11:13, 22:40; Luke 16:16; John 1:45; Acts 13:15, 24:14, 28:23; Romans 3:21, e) Luke 16:29, 31, 24:27; Acts 26:22. These are the general “books or portions” of graphe scripture that we see.
However, we can see that “Moses” and “the Law” are often equated, often explicitly as “the Law of Moses” (a), or “the Law given through Moses” (b), or “the [singular] book of Moses” (c), or “Moses in the Law wrote” (d), or “in the Law, Moses commanded” (e), or “Moses writes . . . based on the Law” (f), or “every commandment of the Law has been declared by Moses” (g), or “Moses commanded” (h), or “Moses said” (i), or “Moses wrote” (j), or “Moses showed” (k), or “have Moses” (l), or “with Moses” (m). The Jews were certainly obsessed with Moses! Thus “reading Moses” as prohibited by Paul in the Church (n) is the same as “reading the book of Moses” (o) or reading the torah/nomos Law. We will examine this later, but why would Christians today embrace something Paul cast away? Shouldn’t Christians be obsessed about Jesus rather than Moses like the Jews are? <Notes> a) Luke 2:22, 24:44; John 7:23; Acts 13:39, 15:5, 28:23; 1 Corinthians 9:9; Hebrews 10:28; Luke 2:22, 24:44, b) John 1:17, 7:19, c) Mark 12:26, d) John 1:45, e) John 8:5, f) Romans 10:5, g) Hebrews 9:19, h) Matthew 8:4, 19:7-8; Mark 1:44, 10:3-4; Luke 5:14, i) Matthew 22:24; Mark 7:10, j) Mark 12:19; Luke 20:28, k) Luke 20:37, l) Luke 16:29, m) Luke 24:27, n) 2 Corinthians 3:16, o) Mark 12:26. I highly doubtful that Paul is saying that this ‘portion of’ scripture or including this in “the whole/entirety’ of scripture is “profitable for teaching . . .” in 2 Timothy 3:16, as we will see.
However, we must not limit “the Law” to any of this above, just as you find out that we can’t limit the “prophetic portion” to only the “book or portion of’ the OT called “The Prophets.” Jesus, the NT writers, and Jews to this day routinely quote from the Prophets and Psalms, which rightfully contain ‘portions of’ scripture that are prophetic, even much about the Messiah and completely-different-in-kind chadash/kainos New Covenant, but then they ALL refer to passages from these other ‘books or general ‘portions of’ the OT” as “Law.” Chadash, kainos means “fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.”
That’s because ALL Jews for whom the graphe scriptures were written (a) are “in/by/with/under the Law” (b) who are therefore “under the dominion of sin” (c) until they are set free in Christ through His/our death to the Law (d) because of Christ’s “perfect law of liberty” (e), “the law of Christ” (f) of “unconditional-love for one another” (g). Clearly the ‘law of Christ’ “did away with” or “abolished/nullified” the Law or old covenant because it is now obsolete (h). Yet, many Christians believe the Law is still is “in effect,” keeping them “under the dominion of sin.” The Law and scripture are often viewed synonymously, for “the graphe scripture imprisoned pas ALL things under sin, so that the promise out-from trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who are routinely having trusting-relying-faith” (i). <Notes> a) Romans 3:1-2 explains the advantages of being a Jew: key was being entrusted with the logion Oracles of God. Although by context this often refers only to the prophetic ‘portion of’ scripture spoken in Church as in Hebrews 5:12 that is a model for Christian prophecy in 1 Peter 4:11, it can also mean the Law spoken to Moses by a Messenger, likely Christ, as in Acts 7:38, or ALL of scripture or Law & Prophets as here in Romans 3:2, b) Romans 2:12, 3:19; 1 Corinthians 9:20-21; Galatians 3:23, 4:4-5, 21, 5:18; Philippians 3:6; Hebrews 9:22; James 2:12, c) Romans 3:9, 6:14, 7:14; Galatians 3:22, d) Acts 13:39; Romans 7:4-6, 8:2, 10:4, e) James 1:25, 2:12, f) 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2, g) John 13:34, 15:12; 1 John 2:27; 2 John 1:5; James 2:13, h) Hebrews 8:7, 13; 10:9; Romans 10:4; Ephesians 2:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17, i) Galatians 3:22.
Another example is Paul citing the prophecy of Isaiah 28:11-12 from 1 Corinthians 14:21 but then Paul calls this “Law!” Jesus also equates “the Law and the Prophets” with simply “Law” (a). Jesus quotes Psalms but refers to it as “Law” (b). That’s why “reading” any OT scripture is so very dangerous – it’s very easy to “read Moses” or “read the Law” almost anywhere in the OT, something that Paul warns against (c). If that’s the case, why would Paul being advising Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16 to include the Law into what was “profitable for teaching . . .” ? <Notes> a) Matthew 5:17-19, compare: Luke 16:16-17; Matthew 22:40, b) John 10:34, see also: John 7:40-49, 12:34, 15:25, c) 2 Corinthians 3:6-18.
However, it’s quite clear that certain ‘portions of’ graphe scripture (a) were used to teach Jewish people, even little children, by the early Church to catechize-convert (b) them to Christ, and that these were obviously the prophetic ‘portions’ about Christ and the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, not heavily Moses/Law-oriented ‘portions!’ However, we have to remember that about 97.4% of the OT is permeated by the conditional-favor-Law – see Logos Word of God – BT5a! Only about 600 verses are New Covenant based. <Notes> a) see BT5 , b) katecheo: repetitive instruction of foundational truths: Luke 1:4; Galatians 6:6; 1 Corinthians 14:19; Acts 18:25.
Nevertheless, the prophetic ‘portions’ are what Timothy, as an evangelist, was converted by as stated in 2 Timothy 3:15, and naturally what he was to use for preaching the gospel and teaching “the sound doctrine” of The Trusting-Relying-Faith that accords with godliness (a). In fact, the NT writers often use the prophetic ‘portions’ of scripture to rebuke false teachers exactly because they taught the Law or simply read it in the churches (b). Also, as we’ve seen above, the NT writers often quoted from the OT, mostly from prophetic ‘portions’ to help restore Jewish-Christians who were being tempted to lapse back into Judaism (c), training/rearing them as if they were infants “needing milk again,” the stoicheion “elemental ‘abc’ principles” of the Jewish religion, but also common to all rules-based religions of the world. The entire NT warns against this, that righteousness only comes through the trusting-relying-faith in the finished work of Christ. Are you a Jew needing the prophetic ‘milk’ of the scriptures to come to Christ? <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 1:10, 6:3; Titus 1:9, 2:1, b) 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:16-18, 23-26; Titus 1:11, 13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:14-15; Acts 15:1, c) see the Book of Hebrews.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 “pas scripture, God-breathed-kind kai profitable for teaching” pas should NOT be translated “the whole/entirety of” as too many bibles do, which is admittedly the case when graphe scriptures are plural with the definite article (a) or singular with the definite article (b). But we don’t have the definite article here in 2 Timothy 3:16! Paul never uses graphe scripture without the definite article except here. Everywhere else he is referring to a specific ‘portion’ of scripture in some way. Why would he now suddenly switch here? <Notes> a) Matthew 22:29; John 5:39; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 15:4, b) John 19:28; Galatians 3:22.
If you believe “pas scripture” means “the whole or entirety of scripture,” then you also have to violate everything Paul says about the ‘portion’ that permeates 97.4% of scripture that is the 5 books of Moses or Penteteuch called the “old covenant” or torah/nomos Law of conditional-favor, where our “blessing or favor by God” is “conditional” on our obedience to ALL 613 commandments – violating 1 commandment violates the whole Law and still condemns us. For example, in 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 Paul criticizes people for listening to the Jewish teachers of the Law who continue to press Christians to “read Moses” or “the old covenant.” Paul says “to this very day,” it causes the hearer’s hearts/minds to be hardened and blocked from seeing God’s glory that is alone in the face of Jesus Christ. Do you want this to happen to you? The only way to metamorphic transformation is to turn your face or heart/mind away from Moses to Christ. As we optanomai fix/gaze-with our wide-open eyes on Jesus, then this ‘cocoon-to-butterfly’ change can happen but ONLY by the means of the Spirit, who is the Lord! Paul’s argument is that this will never come from reading the torah/nomos Law of conditional-favor. In fact, the exact opposite will happen, for “the enabling-power of sin is the Law” (a) because the “Law came in [time] to increase the trespass” (b). It’s called “Law of sin and/coupled death” (c) for that very reason! So why would Paul include the Law in 2 Timothy 3:16 for what was “profitable for teaching?” <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 15:56, b) Romans 5:20, c) Romans 8:2.
Another reason for NOT including the Law is found in Galatians 4:1-10. Paul says that before Christ came, the Jews “under the Law” were like little children under “guardians and managers,” which were hired servants to insure children got to school and back safely. However, this was only intended until they were of-age, mature sons, ready to receive their inheritance. As little children, they were treated no differently than other house-servants, still enslaved to the stoicheion “elementary ‘abc’ principles” of the world, including Gentile religions and Judaism! However, in Colossians 2:8 Paul warns that they are “taking you captive by philosophy (love of human wisdom) and empty deception, [that comes] down-from/according-to human traditions, down-from/according-to the stoicheion elementary ‘abc’ principles of the world, enslaving you once again.” Christians coming out of slavery to Jewish and other world religions and Greek philosophy returning back to them become “enslaved once again.”
Paul is certainly including the Law, because he refers to circumcision Colossians 2:11, the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands being set aside when it was nailed to the cross in Colossians 2:14. However, Christians were not to be ruffled by Jewish judgments against them regarding the Law’s dietary regulations, festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths, all of which are scriptural shadows of Christ in Colossians 2:16-17. “If with Christ you died [in water-baptism] to the stoicheion elementary ‘abc’ principles of the world, why…do you submit to regulations again” in Colossians 2:20?
However, once Christ came, they were to be freed from this slavery, made mature adopted sons to receive their rightful inheritance. That’s when they could receive the [singular] first-fruit of their inheritance – the Holy Spirit (a) into their hearts so they could have a heavenly “Daddy” who unconditionally-loves them, and thus NOW experientially, relationally ginosko know God. How could they go back to commandments about things like days, months, seasons, and years, although these are all specified in the Law as well as the “Traditions of the Elders”? How could they go back to “weak and worthless stoicheion elementary ‘abc’ principles of this world?” I wonder how many Christians Paul would have to say this of? <Notes> a) Romans 8:23.
The next BLOG BT8 will go into greater depth of why the Law of Moses is NOT to be considered a ‘portion’ of what is “profitable for teaching . . .” But for now it’s clear that this would be contrary to so much that Paul speaks negatively against the Law of righteousness through works of the Law (a) and the “wisdom and understanding” that the Law promised to those keeping its commandments out of fear of God (b). Paul would never teach others to teach any of this! They certainly having nothing to do with “powerfully-enabling anybody to be wise unto salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus!” Paul is telling Timothy to “continue following my instruction . . . my aim in life, my trusting-relying-faith” (c) – not to follow the “evil people and impostors, who will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (d). “But as for you, continue in what you have already learned [from his childhood training]” (e). Paul tells the brothers to “continue standing on what they received, by which you are being saved, holding fast to what was preached to you – the gospel (f), not the OT Law or historical Writings, Proverbs, etc. <Notes> a) Romans 10:5; Psalms 119:142; Isaiah 42:21, 51:7, b) Psalms 110:10, 119:98; Deuteronomy 4:6; Job 28:28; Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, c) 2 Timothy 3:10, d) v. 3:13, e) v. 3:15, f) 1 Corinthians 15:1-2.
In the NT, pas often has “the distributed or portioned sense” meaning “a quantity from every ‘portion’ of” or more often “every of a portion-of,” especially since a “whole/entirety of” translation would be an exaggeration or impossible to verify, though still used for literary effect, just as the Pharisees said: “If we let Him continue like this, pas ALL will believe in Him” (a) and “the world has gone after Jesus” (b). Obviously Luke wasn’t saying that the pas ‘whole/entirety of’ the world “was forcing/pressing-through-confined-space itself in the kingdom of God” (c) during Christ’s ministry, but that ‘every of a portion-of’ of mankind, the ‘portion’ being those hearing the call of God to come to Jesus (d), was forcing themselves through these huge crowds that were flocking around Jesus to the preaching of the gospel, and it seemed like a veritable sea of people.” <Notes> a) John 11:48, b) John 12:19, c) Luke 16:16, d) John 6:44, 65.
Another example is in James 1:2, “Hegeomai lead-the-way-by-considering-it as pas joy/source of joy/gladness/delight when you fall into various trials” doesn’t mean “When you stumble into various kinds of trials, consider them as-a-whole/in-entirety as a joyful/source of joy/glad/delightful experience!” This is like calling black “white” and evil “good.” It’s is a lie! And it’s absurd! God doesn’t want us lying to Him about our experiences – practicing liars don’t even make it into heaven (1 Timothy 1:10; Revelations 21:8)! Instead James is saying: “take responsibility for yourself by leading the way in the way you are thinking/supposing throughout various kinds of trials, by “thinking/supposing ‘a portion of’ chara joy/source of joy/gladness/delight.” James is a pretty gloomy guy, even telling worldly Christians to “turn their joy into gloom” in James 4:9, but here in James 1:2-12 he defines “a portion of joy/source of joy/gladness/delight” in context to be what a Christian will get when you know your “tested faith produces steadfastness leading to completeness.” An example is “the lowly brother boasting/glorying in his [later] exaltation” for “blessed/to-be-envied is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for WHEN/AFTER he has stood the test he shall indeed receive the crown of genuine-life.” This is “the source of joy/gladness/delight” we can have during our trials! We have to get our “head out of our currently earthly woes” and “look forward to our eternal rewards!”
That’s exactly what Hebrews 12:1-5 is saying: “Let us also lay aside every weight, and/coupled sin – in context, likely the persecution of others causing us trials, our out temptation to give up our faith in Christ – which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our trusting-relying-faith, who for the joy/source of joy/gladness/delight that was set in front of him [in time] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted [in your trials of persecution]. In your struggle against sin (see above) you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
Let’s look at the use of pas just in 2 Timothy. Paul uses pas as “the whole/entirety of” often, clearly verifiable or ideal statement of truth (a), he also uses it as “a portion of” because the idea of “entirety” would simply be impossible, or impossible to verify, but more often an exaggerated perspective used for literary effect (b). <Notes> a) 2 Timothy 3:11-12, 4:8, 16-17, 21, b) 2 Timothy 1:15, 3:9.
The use of graphe scripture here in 2 Timothy 3:16 is singular without the definite article which always emphasizes ‘portions of’ scripture, the type determined by the context. In this case, we will see that ‘portion’ is likely not limited to the OT Prophets, we’ve seen a common division of the OT, but to all “God-breathed” prophetic ‘portions’ everywhere in scripture, even the Law, as emphasized in the indefinite singular used in 1 Peter 2:6; 2 Peter 1:20 – see BT5, section a3.
For example, Moses speaks of “a Prophet like me from among you – it is to Him you must listen” (a). Jesus said, “And beginning with Moses and pas whole/entirety-of the Prophets, Jesus interpreted to them in pas ‘portion of’ the scriptures the things concerning Himself. . . . pas ‘portion of’ things written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms (b) must be fulfilled/finished” (c). Here you can see that the ‘portion of’ uses of pas are clearly defined as those “concerning Himself . . . written about Me.” Philip told Nathanael, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote” (d). Paul often cites prophetic ‘portions’ of scripture to prove the Messiah and His gospel, specifically to stubborn or wavering Jews (e), so likely Paul is simply telling Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:14-17 to do “continue in what you have already learned . . . from childhood . . . that powerfully-enabled you to be wise unto salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus . . . so that as the ‘man of God’ [that you are] may be complete, equipped for every good work” that you are called to do in your preaching-evangelism ministry. It’s really important to read verse in context! <Notes> a) Deuteronomy 18:15, b) we’ve seen a common 3-part division of the scriptures, c) Luke 24:27, 44, d) John 1:45, e) Romans 1:2, 4:3, 9:17, 10:11, 11:2, 15:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Galatians 3:8, 4:30; 1 Timothy 5:18.
Also, as I’ve said, in ALL of Paul’s other writings graphe has the definite article and only refers to specific ‘portions of’ scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16 is only place without the article, but likely Paul will be consistent, especially since the normal use by others, as we’ve seen, of the indefinite singular is as ‘portion of.’ Furthermore, the context tells us exactly what ‘portion’ is in mind: theopneustos “God-breathed-kind” is an adjective right after “pas scripture” that very obviously qualifies what kind of scripture! But even more obvious are the words that immediately preceded “pas scripture” – “from childhood you already have eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know ta the sacred gramma writings, ta the-ones able to make you wise for salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus.” Thus the ‘portion of’ is the theopneustos “God-breathed-kind” spoken by God prophetically throughout the OT – see note ‘2B’ of Logos Word of God – BT4 for the plural use of gramma with the definite article ta and repeated as “ta the-ones” to refer to a specific group of writings. Since the definite article ta was already used twice for a specific group of Messianic salvation writings in v. 3:15 and Paul is relating this to “pas graphe” scripture in v. 3:16, as is common in Greek, and certainly Paul’s Greek where he routinely leaves word out (called ellipsis), this subsequent reference to the same group or ‘portion of’ scripture does NOT need the definite article ta to still be referring to the same specific group. Thus vv. 3:15-16 are referring to the same specific group of Messianic salvation writings of the OT.
The “breath of God” is the Jewish idea of the Spirit that gives man life (a), and was the way the disciples received the Spirit (b), the “wind of God that blows where it will” related to being born-again Christians (c) and “the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” in their testimony of Christ (d), just like God came ‘upon or on’ the OT Prophets (e), and the Jewish-Christian Paul speaks often of the Spirit and prophecy, making it a top priority of Christians (f). The Spirit blew across the face of the waters to cause the land to appear (g). <Notes> a) Job 33:4; Acts 17:25; Revelation 11:11, b) John 20:22, c) John 3:8, d) Luke 12:12, e) Numbers 24:2; 1 Samuel 19:20, 23; 2 Chronicles 15:1, 20:14, f) 1 Corinthians 12:10, 13:9, 14:1, 5, 24, 31, 39, g) Genesis 1:2.
Though the adjective theopneustos Paul uses for “God-breathed-kind” isn’t used anywhere in the bible, the root pneo is used of the blowing of a strong wind (a), but in the NT of the Holy Spirit within born-again Christians moving them where He wills (b). Paul could also have borrowed the idea from pre-Christian Greek writings where it refers to “divinely-inspired wisdom,” like Plato who believed “sole rulership of the divine spirit replaced human mental activity” in a prophet. However, more likely Paul, as a Pharisee who studied under the famed Gamaliel (c), is “borrowing” from His great gnosis info-knowledge of prophetic scriptures and rabbinic Judaism, which spoke often of the “Spirit resting on and sometimes in the Prophets, speaking through them so that their words were from God by the means of the Spirit.” <Notes> a) Matthew 7:25, 27, John 6:18; Luke 12:55; Acts 27:40; Revelation 7:1, b) John 3:8, c) Acts 5:34, 22:3.
Paul did NOT write “All scripture IS God-breathed and/thus IS profitable for teaching.” There is no “IS” in the Greek text that many bibles erroneously insert! “God-breathed” and “profitable” are both adjectives, but then they say, “They must be predicate adjectives acting as direct-objects of verbs that here don’t exist, thus justifying the insertion of “IS.” They argue that Paul has done this before in 1 Timothy 4:4 where he argues against following the Jewish food Laws as Christians: “For the reason is: every created-thing (noun) of/belonging-to God IS a-good-kind (adjective) and/thus [by parallel structure:] absolutely-in-fact no thing (noun) IS a-rejectable-kind (adjective), [but] routinely being received (participle) with thanksgiving.” The participle phrase explains why “absolutely-in-fact no thing IS a rejectable-kind [of thing].” Just because it makes sense here to insert IS, we aren’t forced to in 2 Timothy 3:16. You can’t use just 1 case to force another case.
In first place, why would Paul be trying to make a point that the “whole/entirety of scripture IS God-breathed and-coupled-to-this IS profitable for teaching, for . . .”? Wouldn’t that be stating the obvious to Timothy, his long-time protégé? Isn’t that something His believing Jewish-Christian mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (a) would have clearly drilled into him to bring him to the Lord as a child? If Paul was trying to prove to Timothy the inspiration of scripture, how come he didn’t given any proofs of this? And Paul didn’t say “Because the whole of scripture IS inspired THEN it’s profitable for teaching, for . . .”. When they chose the least obvious path of translation, they have to find a way to get around the many problems they create. <Notes> a) 2 Timothy 1:5; Acts 16:1.
Secondly, based on the fact that Paul just reminded Timothy of a certain ‘portion’ of scripture he was taught by Lois & Eunice that was prophetic regarding the Messiah and His New Covenant because they “are powerfully-enabled to make you wise for salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus,” it’s much more likely that the adjectives “God-breathed kai profitable” are NOT special predicate-adjectives but 2 normally-functioning adjective-modifiers linked by kai to again emphasize the prophetic ‘portion’ that Timothy was trained “from childhood” but that he also “already learned” (a) throughout 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy from “the sound doctrine/teaching” that Paul further trained him by (b). <Notes> a) “Knowing from whom you already learned it” has “whom” in the plural, allowing for Lois, Eunice, and Paul, b) 1 Timothy 1:10, 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13, 4:3.
The main argument of the entire passage is to get Timothy to understanding that what he has already learned is also “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training-rearing (like Timothy had already undergone) . . .for the man of God to be complete, equipped for every good work.” The adjective “profitable for” introduces Paul’s main argument, not that it “all scripture IS God-breathed.” The latter is the only a clarifying reason for why Paul is considering it “profitable for . . .” That’s why “God-breathed” and “profitable for” are linked by kai. This conjunction doesn’t always “couple similar things together” but often is best translated “and this too, and also, and likewise, moreover, even this, indeed namely, and thus” to introduce a conclusion from a previous argument. That’s what we see here.
Therefore, it’s more likely Paul is saying: “14Continue in what you have already learned . . . the sacred gramma writings, the ones that are powerfully-enabled to make you wise for salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus. Pas ‘every of the ones in that portion’ of Scripture, the God-breathed ‘portion’ thus/indeed-are profitable for teaching, for . . .” Thus Paul uses kai to introduce the conclusion of his argument started way back in verse 14, “continue in what you have already learned and have already firmly put your trusting-relying-faith in . . .” You can trust your mother, grandmother, and me and you already know the value of the Messianic prophecies being God-breathed and making you spiritually-wise for saving-faith in Christ Jesus, so therefore NOW use them in your ministry as “a man of God so that you will be complete and equipped for every good work.” Paul is saying, “Use what you have learned for yourself to help others in your ministry.” It’s just so important to read everything in context to understand the main argument so that you don’t get side-tracked into other arguments that simply are NOT there if you translate correctly. Paul is telling Timothy to use the ‘portions’ that you already learned from others, which you know the value of and have confidence in, the ‘portions’ that I routinely use in my own ministry, even in training you, the “sound teachings” that you see in all my writings. This fits perfectly with note ‘2B’ of Logos Word of God – BT4 for the plural use of gramma with the definite article to refer to a specific group of writings – see discussion above.
Thirdly, the only 4 other places that graphe scripture in the singular (a) is used without the definite article (b) they ALL refer to a ‘portion’ of scripture, where that ‘portion’ is clearly prophetic, specifically of Jesus Christ and the logos gospel message of The Truth about Him – and Paul’s Romans verses are 50% of these! Thus it is very likely Paul is doing the same here in 1 Timothy 3:16. The prophetic ‘portion’ of scripture is also the “pay attention” emphasis of Peter: “We have the prophetic logos message more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention to . . . knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of/belonging-to scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (c). So the main apostles of the Jews and Gentiles both zero in on ‘a portion’ of scripture in their logos message ministry. It is no wonder that ALL the NT writers most frequently quote from the OT Prophets! Shouldn’t we be wary of the other ‘portions’ of scripture? <Notes> a) see BT5 – a section of definitions, b) John 19:37; 2 Peter 1:20; Romans 1:2, 16:26, c) 2 Peter 1:19-21.
Fourthly, the NT writers aren’t just obsessed by the prophetic ‘portion’ of OT writings, they are really obsessed about current prophetic experience! Likewise, we consistently see the Holy Spirit “coming upon or on” God’s “servants” in the NT (a) with signs & wonders and grace-gifts bestowed as part of the promised Spirit during Spirit-baptism (b), as prophesied by the prophet Joel that Peter preached to begin the Church with (c). Jesus is our example of Spirit-empowerment for ministry (d), and likely is how the kingdom of God comes upon us (e). That’s the real promise of the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant – not just a few prophets who “see and hear” God’s directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words through “prophecy, dreams, and visions” or only a few “greatest among you” who receive this experientially, relationally ginosko knowing of God, but now to “ALL of God’s people” (f), ALL of God’s “men-servants and maid-servants” (g)! If the NT writers are obsessed about the prophetic, old and new, then why aren’t we? <Notes> a) Luke 1:35, 2:25; 1 Peter 4:14, b) Acts 1:8, c) Joel 2:28-29 cited by Acts 2:17-18, d) Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18, e) Matthew 12:28, f) Jeremiah 31:33-34, g) Acts 2:18.
Fifthly, we also have to keep in mind who the audience is that NT writers are speaking to when they refer to any ‘portions of’ graphe scripture, even if they are prophetic. If you do a careful analysis of every OT citation within the NT, you will find that they were ALWAYS done for a Jewish audience who would naturally revere the scriptures as authoritative, likely understand their meaning, and thus hopefully be convinced of the NT argument. However, you will NEVER see this done for a Gentile audience who could care less, wouldn’t understand, and thus not be convinced. This is the first rule of effective speaking – “know thy audience!” You can look at the dates of books and see the difference! Books written before the time when Paul & Barnabas turned away from the Jews to the Gentiles in Acts 13:45-46 around 48 AD, books especially after 64 AD Jewish Wars, and definitely books after the Jewish dispersion in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem were predominantly written to Jewish-Christian audiences, unless clearly designated otherwise. Know thy audience! We especially see a change in vocabulary and scripture references in later Christian writers written predominantly to Gentiles!
Sixth, we have to keep in mind the radical shift in what was considered the logos “Word of God” from the OT to the NT – see BT3. This made it easier and easier to “let go” of the palios “old, antiquated, worn-out, weak, worthless” covenant, scriptures, and ways. The Church needed to radically shift to become “ministers of completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, absolutely in fact NOT of the gramma letter but of the Spirit. For the gramma letter kills, but the Spirit gives zoe genuine-life” (a). The “living, active, sharper than a double-edged sword” (b) is absolutely NOT any bible writings, but Jesus Christ, our High Priest, our Sabbath Rest from scripture’s ‘works’ (c). Context defines words! The Jewish bible students who “diligently searched/studied the scriptures supposing that they could take hold of zoe genuine-life everlasting” were sorely mistaken! These writings were simply there to “testify about Jesus,” but they “ongoingly refused to come to Jesus for that zoe genuine-life” (d), so they missed the whole point! Once you have the “real thing” what do you need the “shadow and copy of it” (e) for? And so we see over time, the early Church “letting go” more and more of the scriptures. <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 3:6 – see note ‘1B’ of Logos Word of God – BT4 for the singular use of gramma with the definite article to refer to the old covenant or Law viewed as a whole, b) Hebrew 4:12, c) Hebrews 4:9-11, 14, d) John 5:39-40, e) Hebrews 8:5, 10:1; Colossians 2:17.
Seventh, understanding how Paul has used these other words of “profitable, instruction/teaching, reproof, correction, training/rearing in righteousness, man-of-God, and good work” will clue us in what ‘category/portion/kind of’ scripture he is talking about. We will see it’s absolutely NOT the Law!
Timothy is the “man of God” in mind, but also others Timothy will train (a). All these “teaching, reproving, correcting” words Paul uses are descriptions of what the “man of God” Timothy, the preacher-evangelist-in-training, will need to do to counter the Jewish teachers of the Law that are opposing the gospel in the Church, trying to re-convert Jewish-Christians and Gentile proselytes back to Judaism – the book of Hebrews is dedicated to this. Many of Paul’s letters are attempts to undo the damage down by Jewish teachers of the Law and the oral “Traditions of the Elders.” We also know from the NT writings and early Church records that the prophetic ‘portion of’ scripture regarding the Messiah and salvation by trusting-relying-faith (b), were the main “tools” for converting or catechizing (c) Jews to Christ, just as Timothy had been. This is what Paul means in 2 Timothy 3:16 by “training/rearing in righteousness,” as we will see later. <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 6:11, b) like Romans 1:17 citing Habakkuk 2:4, c) katecheo: repetitive instruction of foundational truths: Luke 1:4; Galatians 6:6; 1 Corinthians 14:19; Acts 18:25 – see Teach One Another.
The “instruction/teaching” in 2 Timothy 3:16 refers to the “sound or good doctrine” of Jesus Christ and of the gospel’s trusting-relying-faith in Christ that accords with godliness (a). See Teach One Another. <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 1:10, 4:6, 6:3; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13, 2:1.
“Profitable” is used regarding physical training vs. godliness from the training (a) in the logos messages of The Trusting-Relying-Faith and/coupled of the good/beautiful doctrine/teaching that you have already followed” (b). Godliness doesn’t come from the Law but the gospel-of-Faith training! <Notes> a) training to renounce godlessness: Titus 2:12, b) 1 Timothy 4:6-8.
“Reproof” could mean correcting the persistent sin of Church leaders in front of the Church (a), but in context means to patiently yet sharply refute and rebuke teachers of Gentile religions and particularly the Jewish Law that all contradict ‘sound doctrine,’ so that they may be sound in The Trusting-Relying-Faith, absolutely in fact not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commandments of/belonging-to men who turn away from the The Truth“(b). Even if they are OT commandments of the Law, they are still “of/belonging-to men!” Paul has little patience for teachers of the Law! <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 5:19-20, b) Titus 1:13-14.
“Correction” is the Greek word epanorthosis used only here of restoration to the ‘straightness of’ uprightness or godliness but is similar to anorthoo used in Hebrews 12:12 for “strengthening listless hands and weak knees” during the discipline of enduring persecution while keeping the peace, which is certainly a training in righteousness. Jewish-Christians needed encouragement to keep from being swayed under trials and persecution to remain godly. However, Timothy was told to reject the Law’s methods of godliness through commandments, but to be “trained in/by/with the logos messages of trusting-relying-faith and/coupled the good doctrine/teaching you have already followed” per 1 Timothy 4:6-8.
“Training” is the noun paideia meaning child-rearing instruction (a), the discipline of little children that trains them in the way of peace and righteousness (b), but the verb form paideuo similarly means gently-as-with-a-child corrective training of opponents of the Lord’s gospel servants (c), just as the unconditional-favor-of-grace of God trains us to reject godless ways (d), or as the discipline of the Lord that benefits us that we may share in His holiness (e). Just as Timothy was ‘gently-reared’ by Lois and Eunice, the “man of God” needed to do the same for others, whether opponents or children, also “making them wise unto salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus” (f). <Notes> a) Ephesians 6:4, b) Hebrews 12:5, 7-8, 12, c) 2 Timothy 2:25, d) Titus 2:12, e) Hebrews 2:10, 12:6, 7, 10; 1 Corinthians 11:32, f) 2 Timothy 3:15.
“Good works” are ordained for every Christian (a), which are indeed “profitable” but “quarrels about the Law are unprofitable and worthless (b), something that teachers of the Law regularly engage in (c) because they believe it worships God with their “mind” (d). However, in context “the good works” of this “man of God” Timothy is the “work of preaching/evangelism of the gospel” (e), in which Timothy was grace-gifted by the Holy Spirit to do (f). Paul isn’t training him to teaching the Law! <Notes> a) 2 Timothy 2:21; Titus 3:1; of women: 1 Timothy 2:10, 5:10, b) Titus 3:8-9, c) 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:14, 23, d) Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27, e) 2 Corinthians 10:16; Philippians 4:3, f) 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6.
As useful as the prophetic ‘portions of’ scripture are to converting Jews, they are still stoicheion “elementary ‘abc’ doctrines” of Christ, foundational ‘abc’ teachings for Jewish-Christians which prepared them for Christian conversion, such as: teachings about turning from the dead/useless works of the Law and instead of trusting God (a), about the uselessness of ceremonial washings (b), about priesthood ordination by the laying on of hands (c), the resurrection of the dead (d), and the judgement of God (e) (f). It’s bewildering that so many Christians misinterpret this passage simply because they don’t know who the book of Hebrews was written to! <Notes> a) trusting the Law vs trusting Christ that He was sent by God is the central logos message of the NT, b) not to be confused with Christian water-baptism, c) not to be confused with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, d) the Pharisees believed in this, but the Sadducees didn’t, but if Christ wasn’t raised from the dead there is no forgiveness of sin, e) which will NOW be by Christ having been given ALL authority after His resurrection, f) Hebrews 6:1-2.
The Hebrew writer spends so much time quoting OT prophetic scriptures about the superiority of Christ and the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, which are all stoicheion “elementary, fundamental ‘abc’ principle” doctrines that led them originally to Christ, but “though by this time they ought to be teachers [to convert other Jews] you need someone to teach you AGAIN the stoicheion elementary ‘abc’ principles of the Oracles of God (a). You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is untrained/un-skilled in the logos message of righteousness (b) since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (c) – see New Covenant Ways – BT16. <Notes> a) logion uttered messages in the old covenant: Romans 3:2; Acts 7:38; in the New Covenant: 1 Peter 4:11, b) Jesus is the logos Word of God, or The Truth, the Righteous One. Again training isn’t supposed to come from the Law but Christ, c) Hebrews 5:12-14.
These “powers of discernment” certainly have something to do with “tasting the heavenly grace-gift, sharing in the Holy Spirit, tasting the goodness of the Logos Message of God (a) and/coupled the enabling-powers of the age to come.” This is the same Greek word dunamis for “enabling-power of the Holy Spirit” used throughout the NT! This is where discernment of good and evil is supposed to come from, not referring to commandments in the OT! In context, the “milk” is the OT scripture, even if it is prophetic about Christ, and “solid food” is “powerfully-enabling revelation by Christ’s Holy Spirit to renew your mind/heart/inner man to discern the Lord’s will” (b), from the “living logos Message of God” (c). God shows no partiality; even little children can discern by the means of the Holy Spirit to experientially, relationally ginosko know God and His will – see The Least Among You – BT8. <Notes> a) Jesus and His logos gospel message of The Truth, Hebrews 4:12, b) 1 Corinthians 2:14; Philippians 1:9; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:10, c) Christ in context: Hebrews 4:12, John 1:1-3; 1 John 1:1.
Finally, Paul reminded Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:14 “from childhood you already have eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know the sacred gramma writings.” Eido isn’t gnosis info-knowledge gained from study like the Pharisees and scribes were experts of. It’s not even emphasizing experiential, relational knowledge like ginosko, epignosis does, even though Paul often uses these words. Eido is OT Prophet and New Covenant prophetic-rhema visionary knowledge! Paul often uses eido for “knowing God” by perceiving Him with the mind’s eye (a), especially of knowing Jesus Christ (b), something he proseuchomai conversationally-prayed for every Christian to experience (c), which is the way God knows the mind of His own Holy Spirit (d), and the way the Holy Spirit knows the things of God (e), and by the Spirit is how we know the things freely given to us by God (f). This “seeing” knowledge is indeed part of prophecy, visions, and dreams, thus “seeing” mysteries and knowledge (g). About the false Jewish and Gentile teachers, Paul says they profess to know God but their deeds deny Him (h). <Notes> a) Galatians 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:5, b) 1 Corinthians 2:2, c) Ephesians 1:8, d) He “sees” it: Romans 8:27, e) He “sees” it: 1 Corinthians 2:11, f) 1 Corinthians 2:12, though previously hidden from men – v. 2:9, g) 1 Corinthians 13:2, h) Titus 1:16.
The writer of Hebrews 8:11 citing Jeremiah 31:34 says the radical distinction of the completely-different-in-kind New (a) Covenant is that “absolutely no longer in possibility or in fact shall any man teach his brethren or neighbor to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord because pas (b) shall eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know,” but this time “from the least to the greatest!” The “seeing” knowledge of prophecy, dreams, and visions is “absolutely no longer” to just a few OT prophets but is now “promised” to ALL of God’s “men and maid-servants” (c). Therefore the use of eido in 2 Timothy 3:14 is another clue that Paul is speaking of ‘the portion of’ scripture that is “God-breathed-kind” or in other words, prophetic! <Notes> a) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior, b) every of a ‘portion of’ – clearly pas can’t be translated ‘the whole/entirety of’ the Jewish people because the NT says that “only a Jewish remnant are saved” so ‘the portion of’ are the elect/chosen remnant who are indeed God’s people under His New Covenant, c) Joel 2:28-29 cited by Acts 2:17-18.
The following from Logos Word of God – BT6 repeats some of what is above but adds more evidence, so is worth including here:
The prophetic ‘portion of’ sense of “pas all scripture” in 2 Timothy 3:16 above is even clearer by the next word, “breathed-out by God,” a compound adjective that comes from theos “God” + pneo “strong blowing” (a), which is associated with pneuma, the word for “wind, breath, Spirit.” Therefore, the adjective means “Spirit-blown” (b). This likely refers to the “wind or breath” of God that came “upon” or “on” OT Prophets (c) and God’s NT servants (d) as the grace-gift or promised Holy Spirit (e) or that started Christ’s ministry (f). Rabbinic Judaism ‘believed’ the “Spirit rested on/upon or rarely IN the Prophets, speaking through them so that their words were from God by the Spirit.” However, I couldn’t find any biblical evidence that the Spirit came INTO OT prophets! See also Logos Word of God – BT7. <Notes> a) Matthew 7:25, 27, John 6:18; Luke 12:55; Acts 27:40; Revelation 7:1, b) John 3:8, 20:22; Genesis 1:2, c) Numbers 24:2; 1 Samuel 19:20, 23; 2 Chronicles 15:1, 20:14, d) Luke 1:35, 2:25; 1 Peter 4:14, e) Acts 1:8, 2:17-18 citing Joel 2:28-29, f) Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18.
Neither this “Spirit-blown” adjective or the next coupled (by kai) adjective “profitable” have a verb, but too many translations insert the verbs “is” (a) as if both were “predicate adjectives” (b), as if Paul was about to prove to Jewish-Christians that “the whole/entirety of scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for … .” If that were the case, why didn’t Paul give us any proofs for “the whole/entirety of scripture being inspired by God?” No, Paul simply started with an “attributive adjective” what Timothy already know infant-childhood, simply adding this adjective modifier to remind Timothy what ‘portion of’ scripture Paul was talking about – the prophetic ones he grew up on and were converted to Christ by, the ones produced by the pneuma Spirit of theos God through the mouth of the Prophets! Many Greek scholars agree this first adjective is “attributive” (c). One reason is that anarthrous (d) adjectives, like “God-breathed,” always show up immediately after the noun they modify (here “scripture”), thus according to Vincent’s Word Studies (e), should be translated “every divinely-inspired scripture.” <Notes> a) some with no indication that it is an insertion, b) those that introduce additional statements, c) see franknelte.net/article 281, d) i.e., without an article, e) and other scholars Adam Clarke, Henry Alford, Daniel Mace.
Furthermore, the conjunction kai between “inspired” and “profitable” in 2 Timothy 3:16 is omitted in Old-Latin, Clementine Vulgate, Syrian Peshitta, and many of the Church Fathers. The Greek scholar Daniel Mace’s in his NT of 1729 didn’t include “and” either in his translation. The Greek scholar Adam Clark (1760-1832) stated that “kai is omitted by almost all the versions and many of the fathers, and certainly does not agree well with the text.” Henry Alford (1810-1871) though he “nevertheless acknowledged that the presence of kai in this verse is an awkward one, which really deprives the sentence of symmetry.” So much effort has been made to force kai to mean “and” to couple “inspired and profitable” together and force them to both be predicate adjectives. This is unnecessary because kai has other meanings “still, besides, also, moreover, likewise, even, indeed, namely, specifically” (a) that could just as easily apply. Based on the context, Paul probably meant: “Every portion/kind/class of scripture, i.e. [those] God-breathed prophetic “oracles of God”, are indeed/specifically profitable for . . .,” where the first adjective “God-breathed” is normally attributive, but the second is normally predicate to supply the verb for the rest of the sentence. You have to understand that Greek words have multiple meanings and you have to use the meaning that normally fits the context! <Notes> a) http://biblehub.com/greek/2532.htm, b) http://biblehub.com/greek/2532.htm.\
Even if you believe the arguments for both adjectives “is inspired and/coupled is profitable” being predicative adjectives to justify adding “is” in both cases, the vocabulary and contextual reasons stated above and below overwhelmingly indicate the meaning of “all scripture” to be “every of a kind/class/category/portion of scripture,” which in context are the prophetic ones that led Timothy as a child to trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. These are certainly inspired and indeed profitable for the things that Paul will now talk about for Jewish audiences! Whatever your understanding of Greek, the context makes it clear what Paul’s logos message to Timothy is. Never build a doctrine on one verse anyway, and certainly not by taking it out of context!
As Christian musicians, do we really want to teach poor translations of the bible, unsupported by the original languages or context, that create “winds of doctrine” that wreak havoc in the Church? Let’s do our homework before we spout off theology! Since the Jews were obsessed with reading and studying the Law of Moses, how are Christians so different? Won’t we end up with the same “hard-hearted” results that Paul warned of, still “under the dominion of sin?” We have to be careful about reading the scripture, because Jesus, all NT writers, and Jews to this day view the entire OT as the torah/nomos Law of God, not just the 5 books of Moses. That’s because 97.4% of the OT is permeated by the conditional-favor of the Law. Only 600 verses have to do with the unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace of Jesus, His gospel message, or His kingdom!
Sure, the early Jewish Church used the prophetic ‘portions’ of the OT to convert Jews to Christ, but even the NT writers considered this ‘milk’ to the ‘solid food’ of the Holy Spirit’s teaching. Are you a Jew needing the ‘milk?’ Then maybe you should look at these ‘portions,’ but then shouldn’t you ‘grow up’ and be taught through the discernment of the Holy Spirit? If you are a Gentile, why are you reading stuff written only for immature Jews? Shouldn’t you be “free from the imprisonment of the scriptures” and be learning directly from Christ by His Spirit of holiness?
To translate 2 Timothy 3:16 as “pas the whole/entirety of graphe scripture is God-breathed/inspired and is profitable for teaching . . .” violates the way the NT uses the word graphe in the singular without the definite article, especially Peter and Paul as the apostles to the Jews and Gentile respectively, and also violates ALL other ways Paul uses graphe even with the article. It also violates the way pas often means “every of a ‘portion’ of” instead of “the whole/entirety of” throughout the NT, especially of with Paul.
Therefore to be consistent, it should be translated “every of a ‘portion/class of’ scripture . . .” To do otherwise violates everything Paul says negatively about the Law as not just the 5 books of Moses, for he often equates it with the “prison of scripture” in general, as Jesus, the other writers, and Jews to this today do. The Law permeates 97.4% of the OT! Paul won’t even allow Moses to be read in the Church, let alone teachers of the Law to drag Christians back into the slavery of Judaism. Why would Paul tell Timothy the Law is “profitable for teaching . . .” when so often he prohibits it? All of the world’s religions that teach “commandments, precepts, ordinances, rules, and regulations” enslave people to these “weak, worthless, fundamental ‘abc’ principles.” Weren’t Christians supposed to be set free and stay free from ALL of this?
Even by Greek specific language and clear context, 2 Timothy 3:16 is saying: “the ‘portions’ of scripture, that is the God-breathed prophetic ‘portions’ that Timothy has already learned from Lois and Eunice in his childhood and recently from Paul’s pastor-in-training efforts, the ones that are “powerfully-enabling to make him wise unto salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus” that are the ones that are “profitable for teaching . . .” – but certainly not the Law of Moses! God-breathed-speaking is exactly the grace-gift of prophecy that every Christian was supposed to ardently-desired above all every grace-gifts. Prophetic grace-gifts, signs, wonders, and miracles are the unique “showing-off-demonstrable-proof” confirming the New Covenant gospel message. If Christians were going to speak or “teach one another” in their Church assemblies, then they should as with the OT “oracles of God.” It’s just terrible that many insert words into the text without any indication why, so you believe the original text contains them.
Paul didn’t write “pas scripture IS God-breathed and IS profitable for …” There is no verb IS and you don’t have to treat the adjectives “God-breathed” and (kai) “profitable” as predicate adjectives to justify inserting IS. There are very few reasons to do this and a lot of reasons not to! The least obvious choice of translation often creates a slew of problems to then rationalize around.
The conjunction kai is introducing Paul’s real point of the entire passage: That because ‘the portion of’ scripture that is God-breathed or prophetic has already led Timothy to salvation by trusting-relying-faith in Christ, he should continue in this, even as a ‘man-of-God’ ‘worker of good’ in his evangelism ministry to teach, reprove, and correct godless opponents of the gospel, especially under pressure from Jewish and Gentile religions and philosophy, but also to train/rear in righteousness with gentleness these opponents and possibly other children in the source of true righteousness, Jesus Christ The Righteous One is our Righteousness, just as Timothy previously already eido mentally ‘saw’ to perceive/know, a spiritual-insight knowledge. The training Paul and the book of Hebrews is always talking about isn’t gathered from the commandments of the Law but the discernment of the Holy Spirit, that even little children can be guided and taught by, just as Jesus promised the “secrets of the kingdom would be un-hidden to but kept hidden for the so-called ‘wise and understanding one’ bible students that erroneously supposed that by their diligent study of the scripture that in them they would take hold of genuine-life everlasting.” Boy were they wrong! They only “testified of Jesus to come to Him” for this! Bible writing are at best “milk for babies” while the Spirit’s teaching is “solid food for mature sons, ready for their inheritance.”
One of the greatest context violations is not understanding the intended audience, and thus Gentile-Christians mistakenly applying to themselves what was written specifically for Jews using their specialized vocabulary and historical-cultural understanding. Another violation is not understanding the many ways the NT writers are re-defining terms Jews are used to, because they have more revelational “substance” behind the “shadows and copies” of them in the OT, especially what the logos “Word of God” is. The NT also emphasizes things NOW for ALL of God’s servants that were only for a few in the OT, like eido mental ‘seeing’ to perceive/know visionary, prophetic knowledge of prophets, if which NOW all Christians are to aspire to become. This is the word Paul used for the anointed Timothy had in his scripture learning. This isn’t the gnosis info-knowledge of the bible-student Pharisees and scribes. It’s a night and day difference!
If you erroneously believe under a completely-different-in-kind New Covenant and New Way, God is still using graphe scripture as His “Word of God” communication of Himself and His will to His people, then you will fight tooth and nail for a “the whole/entirety of scripture IS God-breathed/inspired and IS profitable for teaching . . .” interpretation, even if you have to twist and distort Greek definitions and ignore the context to do it. Ironically, they become the very “twisters and distorters” Peter says in 2 Peter 3:16 some are doing with Paul’s hard-to-understand writings, just as they also do with other hard-to-understand OT scriptures. These people always look for difficult passages, so they can “quarrel about words” as Paul warned Timothy about in 1 Timothy 6:4 and 2 Timothy 2:14. Even if you don’t know the Greek, the context should have made it clear that 2 Timothy 3:16 couldn’t be talking about “the whole/entirety of scripture is . . . profitable for teaching.”
Lord, keep us as simple as little children who learn directly from their parents by watching and listening to them, not by reading biographies about them or rules written by them thousands of years ago. What child reads an owner’s manual? Thank You that You are impartial, yet “giving grace to the humble but opposing the proud,” even “un-hiding the secrets of the kingdom to little children but keeping them hidden from the so-called ‘wise and understanding ones.’” Thank You from freeing us from “the imprisonment of the scriptures” and “ministry of death by the gramma letters that kill, but give us a ministry of zoe genuine-life by the means of Your Holy Spirit.” Instead of being devoted to the “milk” sacred writings about You, we can NOW be devoted to directly eido mentally ‘seeing’ to perceive/know You and Your will through the “solid-food” discernment of the Holy Spirit. This is NOW how we become holy, not by following old, dusty writings in a book and certainly not “commandments, precepts, ordinances, and regulations” of the Law. Praise Your Name we are free to NOW know you personally by Your Spirit of holiness.
I know You speak right to where we are – You know Your audience: To the Jews, the scriptures mean something, and so You still use them to reveal Your New Covenant plan of salvation to them, but then you still call them to ween off the “milk” of writings for the “solid food” of the Spirit of holiness. Thank You Jesus that You also reach us Gentiles right where we are, not requiring us to know even one thing from the OT. In fact, You warn us to not fall in the “snare, trap, and retribution” the bible-students of Christ’s day stumbled over – they unwisely opted for paper over the person of Christ it testified of, mere copies and shadow instead of the reality they spoke of – see New Covenant Ways – BT17.
However, once we hear the “great news” logos message of The Truth, Jesus Christ, You reach right into our lives by Your Spirit “to convict us of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come.” You call us to Your Son by Your Spirit and we respond by receiving your free grace-gift of genuine-life by coming to Jesus and saying, Yes! I want You to be my Savior and Lord, my owner and master-ruler. I confess my sin and turn away from ruling my life, surrendering completely to You NOW ruling my life. Thus I turn or ‘repent’ and willingly die with You in water-baptism so that my old, self-seeking man will finally die to pull out the power-plug of sin. Then I will also been resurrected with You in water-baptism so that I have a completely-different-in-kind New Spirit-man in my innermost being so that NOW by continued surrender and Your indwelling Spirit’s power I may live more holy, godly, and righteous in order to NOW be able to serve You.
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