Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Inspiration;   Minister, Christian;   Prophecy;   Scriptures;   Word of God;   Works;   Scofield Reference Index - Inspiration;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible, the;   God's Word;   Holy Spirit;   Inspiration;   Inspired, Word;   Profit and Loss;   Profitable Things;   Word;   Word of God;   Word, God's;   The Topic Concordance - Doctrine;   Instruction;   Reproof;   Scripture;   Teaching;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Doctrines of the Gospel, the;   Holiness;   Holy Spirit, the, Is God;   Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the;   Perfection;   Reproof;   Righteousness;   Scriptures, the;   Works, Good;  
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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Canon of the Old Testament;   Chastening;   Correction;   Discipline;   Doctrine;   Give;   Inspiration;   Scripture;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Bible Canon;  
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Adam Clarke Commentary

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God - This sentence is not well translated; the original πασα γραφη θεοκνευστος ωφιλιμος προς διδασκαλιαν, κ. τ. λ. should be rendered: Every writing Divinely inspired is profitable for doctrine, etc. The particle και, and, is omitted by almost all the versions and many of the fathers, and certainly does not agree well with the text. The apostle is here, beyond all controversy, speaking of the writings of the Old Testament, which, because they came by Divine inspiration, he terms the Holy Scriptures, 2 Timothy 3:15; and it is of them alone that this passage is to be understood; and although all the New Testament came by as direct an inspiration as the Old, yet, as it was not collected at that time, not indeed complete, the apostle could have no reference to it.

The doctrine of the inspiration of the sacred writings has been a subject of much discussion, and even controversy, among Christians. There are two principal opinions on the subject:

  1. That every thought and word were inspired by God, and that the writer did nothing but merely write as the Spirit dictated.
  • That God gave the whole matter, leaving the inspired writers to their own language; and hence the great variety of style and different modes of expression.
  • But as I have treated this subject at large in my Introduction to the Four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, I must refer the reader to that work.

    Is profitable for doctrine - To teach the will of God, and to point out Jesus Christ till he should come.

    For reproof - To convince men of the truth; and to confound those who should deny it, particularly the Jews.

    For correction - Προς επανορθωσιν· For restoring things to their proper uses and places, correcting false notions and mistaken views.

    Instruction in righteousness - Προς παιδειαν την εν δικαιοσυνῃ . For communicating all initiatory religious knowledge; for schooling mankind. All this is perfectly true of the Jewish Scriptures; and let faith in Christ Jesus be added, see 2 Timothy 3:15, and then all that is spoken in the following verse will be literally accomplished.

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    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    All Scripture - This properly refers to the Old Testament, and should not be applied to any part of the New Testament, unless it can be shown that that part was then written, and was included under the general name of “the Scriptures;” compare 2 Peter 3:15-16. But it includes the whole of the Old Testament, and is the solemn testimony of Paul that it was all inspired. If now it can be proved that Paul himself was an inspired man, this settles the question as to the inspiration of the Old Testament.

    Is given by inspiration of God - All this is expressed in the original by one word - Θεόπνευστος TheopneustosThis word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means, God-inspired - from Θεός Theos“God,” and πνέω pneō“to breathe, to breathe out.” The idea of “breathing upon, or breathing into the soul,” is that which the word naturally conveys. Thus, God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life Genesis 2:7, and thus the Saviour breathed on his disciples, and said, “receive ye the Holy Ghost;” John 20:22. The idea seems to have been, that the life was in the breath, and that an intelligent spirit was communicated with the breath. The expression was used among the Greeks, and a similar one was employed by the Romans. Plutarch ed. R. 9:p. 583. 9. τοὺς ὀνείρους τοὺς θεοπνεύστους tous oneirous tous theopneustousPhocylid. 121. τῆς δὲ θεοπνεύστου σοφίης λόγος ἐστὶν ἄριστος tēs de theopnoustou sophiēs logos estin aristoshowever, this is not an expression of Phocylides, but of the pseudo Phocylides. So it is understood by Bloomfield. Cicero, pro Arch. 8. “poetam - quasi divino quodam spiritu inflari.” The word does not occur in the Septuagint, but is found in Josephus, Contra Apion, i. 7. “The Scripture of the prophets who were taught according to the inspiration of God - κατὰ τὴν ἐπίπνοιαν τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ kata tēn epipnoian tēn apo tou TheouIn regard to the manner of inspiration, and to the various questions which have been started as to its nature, nothing can be learned from the use of this word. It asserts a fact - that the Old Testament was composed under a divine influence, which might be represented by “breathing on one,” and so imparting life. But the language must be figurative; for God does not breathe, though the fair inference is, that those Scriptures are as much the production of God, or are as much to be traced to him, as life is; compare Matthew 22:43; 2 Peter 1:21. The question as to the degree of inspiration, and whether it extends to the words of Scripture, and how far the sacred writers were left to the exercise of their own faculties, is foreign to the design of these notes. All that is necessary to be held is, that the sacred writers were kept from error on those subjects which were matters of their own observation, or which pertained to memory; and that there were truths imparted to them directly by the Spirit of God, which they could never have arrived at by the unaided exercise of their own minds. Compare the introduction to Isaiah and Job.

    And is profitable. - It is useful; it is adapted to give instruction, to administer reproof, etc. If “all” Scripture is thus valuable, then we are to esteem no part of the Old Testament as worthless. There is no portion of it, even now, which may not be fitted, in certain circumstances, to furnish us valuable lessons, and, consequently, no part of it which could be spared from the sacred canon. There is no part of the human body which is not useful in its place, and no part of it which can be spared without sensible loss.

    For doctrine - For teaching or communicating instruction; compare the notes on 1 Timothy 4:16.

    For reproof - On the meaning of the word here rendered “reproof” - ἐλέγγμος elengmos- see the notes on Hebrews 11:1. It here means, probably, for “convincing;” that is, convincing a man of his sins, of the truth and claims of religion, etc.; see the notes on John 16:8.

    For correction - The word here used - ἐπανόρθωσις epanorthōsis- occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, “a setting to rights, reparation, restoration,” (from ἐπανορθόω epanorthoōto right up again, to restore); and here means, the leading to a correction or amendment of life - “a reformation.” The meaning is, that the Scriptures are a powerful means of reformation, or of putting men into the proper condition in regard to morals. After all the means which have been employed to reform mankind; all the appeals which are made to them on the score of health, happiness, respectability, property, and long life, the word of God is still the most powerful and the most effectual means of recovering those who have fallen into vice. No reformation can be permanent which is not based on the principles of the word of God.

    For instruction in righteousness - Instruction in regard to the principles of justice, or what is right. Man needs not only to be made acquainted with truth, to be convinced of his error, and to be reformed; but he needs to be taught what is right, or what is required of him, in order that he may lead a holy life. Every reformed and regenerated man needs instruction, and should not be left merely with the evidence that he is “reformed, or converted.” He should be followed with the principles of the word of God, to show him how he may lead an upright life. The Scriptures furnish the rules of holy living in abundance, and thus they are adapted to the whole work of recovering man, and of guiding him to heaven.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness:

    There are two ways of rendering this verse, as seen by a glance at the KJV, compared to this.

    Every Scripture that is inspired of God (ASV).

    All scripture is given by the inspiration of God (KJV).SIZE>

    Many scholars such as Lenski and Lipscomb insist that there is no difference in the meaning of these renditions; but such a viewpoint has always been a mystery to this writer. The passages simply do not say the same thing. "The first of these renderings necessarily implies that there are some Scriptures which are not inspired";[28] and, in context, it is impossible to suppose that Paul meant to imply that.

    All Scripture ...

    In distinction from the "sacred writings" (2 Timothy 3:15), "all Scripture" here means everything which, through the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the church, is recognized by the church as canonical. When Paul wrote these words, the direct reference was to a body of sacred literature which even then contained more than the Old Testament.[29]

    Is inspired of God ... The Greek words here are "God-breathed," meaning that the canonical writings are absolutely trustworthy. The great prophecies of the New Testament have been and are being fulfilled. Every line of it has stood the test of centuries, shattered every attack of evil men, and yet stands enshrined in the hearts of millions as God's saving word for lost men.

    Profitable for teaching ... If the church would prosper, let it teach the word of Scripture, for there is no profit in the postulations of men.

    For reproof ... Only the Christian morality is the true ethic governing human behavior. The pre-Christian Gentiles forsook God, and the result was the near-universal debauchery of the human race. There can be no doubt that forsaking the New Testament ethics on such things as adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, etc., if persisted in, will have the same final result.

    For correction, for instruction ... Such uses as these could not be attributed to human works; therefore, it is in view of the holy inspiration of the Bible that Paul was able to add this and 2 Timothy 3:17.

    [28] A. C. Hervey, op. cit., p. 43.

    [29] William Hendriksen, op. cit., p. 301.

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    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,.... That is, all holy Scripture; for of that only the apostle is speaking; and he means the whole of it; not only the books of the Old Testament, but of the New, the greatest part of which was now written; for this second epistle to Timothy is by some thought to be the last of Paul's epistles; and this also will hold good of what was to be written; for all is inspired by God, or breathed by him: the Scriptures are the breath of God, the word of God and not men; they are "written by the Spirit", as the Syriac version renders it; or "by the Spirit of God", as the Ethiopic version. The Scriptures are here commended, from the divine authority of them; and which is attested and confirmed by various arguments; as the majesty and loftiness of their style, which in many places is inimitable by men; the sublimity of the matter contained in them, which transcends all human understanding and capacity ever to have attained unto and discovered; as the trinity of persons in the Godhead, the incarnation of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, &c. The purity and holiness of them before observed, show them to be the word of him that is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; as also their harmony and agreement, though wrote by different persons, in different places, and ages, and at sundry times, and in divers manners; what seeming inconsistencies are observed in them may, with labour and industry, by divine assistance, be reconciled. The predictions of future events in them, as particularly concerning Josiah and Cyrus, by name, long before they were born, and especially concerning Jesus Christ, and which have had their accomplishment, and many others in the New Testament both by Christ and his apostles, are a proof that they could not be the writings of men, but must have the omniscient God for their author; the impartiality of the writers of them, in not concealing the mean extract of some of them, the sins of others before conversion, and even their sins and failings afterwards, as well as those of their nearest relations and dearest friends, strengthens the proof of their divine authority; to which may be added, the wonderful preservation of them, through all the changes and declensions of the Jewish church and state, to whom the books of the Old Testament were committed; and notwithstanding the violence and malice of Heathen persecutors, particularly Dioclesian, who sought to destroy every copy of the Scriptures, and published an edict for that purpose, and notwithstanding the numbers of heretics, and who have been in power, as also the apostasy of the church of Rome; and yet these writings have been preserved, and kept pure and incorrupt, which is not the case of other writings; nor are there any of such antiquity as the oldest of these: to which may be subjoined the testimony of God himself; his outward testimony by miracles, wrought by Moses and the prophets, concerned in the writings of the Old Testament, and by the apostles in the New; and his internal testimony, which is the efficacy of these Scriptures on the hearts of men; the reading and hearing of which, having been owned for the conversion, comfort and edification of thousands and thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand: and

    is profitable for doctrine; for the discovering, illustrating, and confirming any doctrine concerning God, the being, persons, and perfections of God; concerning the creation and fall of man; concerning the person and offices of Christ, redemption by him, justification by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, reconciliation and atonement by his sacrifice, and eternal life through him, with many others. The Scripture is profitable for ministers to fetch doctrine from, and establish it by; and for hearers to try and prove it by:

    for reproof; of errors and heresies; this is the sword of the Spirit, which cuts all down. There never was, nor is, nor can be any error or heresy broached in the world, but there is a sufficient refutation of it in the Scriptures; which may be profitably used for that purpose, as it often has been by Christ and his apostles, and others since in all ages:

    for correction; of vice; there being no sin, but the evil nature of it is shown, its wicked tendency is exposed, and the sad effects and consequences of it are pointed out in these writings: for instruction in righteousness; in every branch of duty incumbent upon men; whether with respect to God, or one another; for there is no duty men are obliged unto, but the nature, use, and excellency of it, are here shown: the Scriptures are a perfect rule of faith and practice; and thus they are commended from the usefulness and profitableness of them.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    5 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    (5) The eighth admonition which is most precious: a pastor must be wise by the word of God alone: in which we have perfectly delivered to us, whatever pertains to discerning, knowing and establishing true opinions, and to prove which opinions are false: and furthermore, to correct evil manners, and to establish good.
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    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    All scriptureGreek, “Every Scripture,” that is, Scripture in its every part. However, English Version is sustained, though the Greek article be wanting, by the technical use of the term “Scripture” being so well known as not to need the article (compare Greek, Ephesians 3:15; Ephesians 2:21). The Greek is never used of writings in general, but only of the sacred Scriptures. The position of the two Greek adjectives closely united by “and,” forbids our taking the one as an epithet, the other as predicated and translated as Alford and Ellicott. “Every Scripture given by inspiration of God is also profitable.” Vulgate and the best manuscripts, favor English Version. Clearly the adjectives are so closely connected that as surely as one is a predicate, the other must be so too. Alford admits his translation to be harsh, though legitimate. It is better with English Version to take it in a construction legitimate, and at the same time not harsh. The Greek, “God-inspired,” is found nowhere else. Most of the New Testament books were written when Paul wrote this his latest Epistle: so he includes in the clause “All Scripture is God-inspired,” not only the Old Testament, in which alone Timothy was taught when a child (2 Timothy 3:15), but the New Testament books according as they were recognized in the churches which had men gifted with “discerning of spirits,” and so able to distinguish really inspired utterances, persons, and so their writings from spurious. Paul means, “All Scripture is God-inspired and therefore useful”; because we see no utility in any words or portion of it, it does not follow it is not God-inspired. It is useful, because God-inspired; not God-inspired, because useful. One reason for the article not being before the Greek, “Scripture,” may be that, if it had, it might be supposed that it limited the sense to the {(hiera grammata}, “Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:15) of the Old Testament, whereas here the assertion is more general: “all Scripture” (compare Greek, 2 Peter 1:20). The translation, “all Scripture that is God-inspired is also useful,” would imply that there is some Scripture which is not God-inspired. But this would exclude the appropriated sense of the word “Scripture”; and who would need to be told that “all divine Scripture is useful (‹profitable‘)?” Hebrews 4:13 would, in Alford‘s view, have to be rendered, “All naked things are also open to the eyes of Him,” etc.: so also 1 Timothy 4:4, which would be absurd [Tregelles, Remarks on the Prophetic Visions of the Book of Daniel]. Knapp well defines inspiration, “An extraordinary divine agency upon teachers while giving instruction, whether oral or written, by which they were taught how and what they should speak or write” (compare 2 Samuel 23:1; Acts 4:25; 2 Peter 1:21). The inspiration gives the divine sanction to all the words of Scripture, though those words be the utterances of the individual writer, and only in special cases revealed directly by God (1 Corinthians 2:13). Inspiration is here predicated of the writings, “all Scripture,” not of the persons. The question is not how God has done it; it is as to the word, not the men who wrote it. What we must believe is that He has done it, and that all the sacred writings are every where inspired, though not all alike matter of special revelation: and that even the very words are stamped with divine sanction, as Jesus used them (for example in the temptation and John 10:34, John 10:35), for deciding all questions of doctrine and practice. There are degrees of revelation in Scripture, but not of inspiration. The sacred writers did not even always know the full significancy of their own God-inspired words (1 Peter 1:10, 1 Peter 1:11, 1 Peter 1:12). Verbal inspiration does not mean mechanical dictation, but all “Scripture is (so) inspired by God,” that everything in it, its narratives, prophecies, citations, the whole - ideas, phrases, and words - are such as He saw fit to be there. The present condition of the text is no ground for concluding against the original text being inspired, but is a reason why we should use all critical diligence to restore the original inspired text. Again, inspiration may be accompanied by revelation or not, but it is as much needed for writing known doctrines or facts authoritatively, as for communicating new truths [Tregelles]. The omission here of the substantive verb is,‘ I think, designed to mark that, not only the Scripture then existing, but what was still to be written till the canon should be completed, is included as God)-inspired. The Old Testament law was the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; so it is appropriately said to be “able to make wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ”: the term wisdom being appropriated to a knowledge of the relations between the Old and New Testaments, and opposed to the pretended wisdom of the false teachers (1 Timothy 1:7, 1 Timothy 1:8).

    doctrineGreek, “teaching,” that is, teaching the ignorant dogmatic truths which they cannot otherwise know. He so uses the Old Testament, Romans 1:17.

    reproof — “refutation,” convicting the erring of their error. Including polemical divinity. As an example of this use of the Old Testament, compare Galatians 3:6, Galatians 3:13, Galatians 3:16. “Doctrine and reproof” comprehend the speculative parts of divinity. Next follow the practical: Scripture is profitable for: (1) correction (Greek, “setting one right”; compare an example, 1 Corinthians 10:1-10) and instruction (Greek, “disciplining,” as a father does his child, see on 2 Timothy 2:25; Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:5, Hebrews 12:11, or “training” by instruction, warning, example, kindnesses, promises, and chastisements; compare an example, 1 Corinthians 5:13). Thus the whole science of theology is complete in Scripture. Since Paul is speaking of Scripture in general and in the notion of it, the only general reason why, in order to perfecting the godly (2 Timothy 3:17), it should extend to every department of revealed truth, must be that it was intended to be the complete and sufficient rule in all things touching perfection. See Article VI, Common Prayer Book.

    inGreek, “instruction which is in righteousness,” as contrasted with the “instruction” in worldly rudiments (Colossians 2:20, Colossians 2:22).

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    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable (πασα γραπη τεοπνευστος και ωπελιμοςpāsa graphē theopneustos kai ōphelimos). There are two matters of doubt in this clause. One is the absence of the article ηhē before γραπηgraphē whether that makes it mean “every scripture” or “all scripture” as of necessity if present. Unfortunately, there are examples both ways with both παςpās and γραπηgraphē Twice we find γραπηgraphē in the singular without the article and yet definite (1 Peter 2:6; 2 Peter 1:20). We have πας Ισραηλpās Israēl (Romans 11:26) for all Israel (Robertson, Grammar, p. 772). So far as the grammatical usage goes, one can render here either “all scripture” or “every scripture.” There is no copula (εστινestin) in the Greek and so one has to insert it either before the καιkai or after it. If before, as is more natural, then the meaning is: “All scripture (or every scripture) is inspired of God and profitable.” In this form there is a definite assertion of inspiration. That can be true also of the second way, making “inspired of God” descriptive of “every scripture,” and putting εστινestin (is) after καιkai “All scripture (or every scripture), inspired of God, is also profitable.”

    Inspired of God (τεοπνευστοςtheopneustos). “God-breathed.” Late word (Plutarch) here only in N.T. Perhaps in contrast to the commandments of men in Titus 1:14.

    Profitable (ωπελιμοςōphelimos). See note on 1 Timothy 4:8. See Romans 15:4. Four examples of προςpros (facing, with a view to, for): διδασκαλιανdidaskalian teaching; ελεγμονelegmon reproof, in lxx and here only in N.T.; επανορτωσινepanorthōsin correction, old word, from επανορτοωepanorthoō to set up straight in addition, here only in N.T., with which compare επιδιορτοωepidiorthoō in Titus 1:5; παιδειανpaideian instruction, with which compare Ephesians 6:4.

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    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
    Bibliographical Information
    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    All Scripture ( πᾶσα γραφὴ )

    Better, every Scripture, that is, every passage of Scripture. Scripture as a whole is as αἱ γραφαί or αἱ γραφαί ἅγιαι . Ἱερά is never used with γραφὴ. Γραφὴ is the single passage, usually defined by this, or that, or the, or which saith.

    Is given by inspiration of God ( θεόπνευστος )

    N.T.oolxx. From θεὸς God and πνεῖν tobreathe. God -breathed. The word tells us nothing of the peculiar character or limits of inspiration beyond the fact that it proceeds from God. In construction omit is, and rend. as attributive of γραφὴ everydivinely -inspired Scripture.

    And is profitable ( καὶ ὠφέλιμος )

    According to A.V., καὶ and is merely the copula between two predicates of γραφὴ . It is divinely inspired and is profitable. According to the interpretation given above, καὶ has the force of also. Every divinely-inspired Scripture is, besides being so inspired and for that reason, also profitable, etc. Ὡφέλιμος profitablePastoSee on 1 Timothy 4:8.

    For doctrine ( πρὸς διδασκαλίαν )

    Better, teaching. Comp. to make thee wise, 2 Timothy 3:15.

    Reproof ( ἐλεγμόν )

    Better, conviction. N.T.ooClass. Comparatively frequent in lxx, mostly in the sense of rebuke: sometimes curse, punishment. See Ps. of John href="/desk/?q=joh+3:20&sr=1">John 3:20.

    Correction ( ἐπανόρθωσιν )

    N.T.oTwice in lxx. Restoring to an upright state ( ὀρθός erect); setting right.

    Instruction ( παιδείαν )

    Better, chastisement or discipline. See on Ephesians 6:4. In lxx mostly correction or discipline, sometimes admonition. Specially of God's chastisement by means of sorrow and evil.

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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    All scripture is inspired of God — The Spirit of God not only once inspired those who wrote it, but continually inspires, supernaturally assists, those that read it with earnest prayer. Hence it is so profitable for doctrine, for instruction of the ignorant, for the reproof or conviction of them that are in error or sin, for the correction or amendment of whatever is amiss, and for instructing or training up the children of God in all righteousness.

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    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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    Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    Все Писание. Или «Писание целиком», хотя смысл от этого меняется мало. Апостол продолжает развивать похвалу, которую ранее высказал в весьма сжатом виде. Он расхваливает перед Тимофеем происходящие от чтения Писания плоды, ссылаясь, во- первых, на его авторитет, а, во-вторых, на его полезность. Чтобы утвердить авторитет Писания, апостол учит, что оно богодухновенно. Ведь если это так, не будет повода для споров о том, должны ли люди его почтительно принимать. Принцип, отличающий нашу религию от всех прочих, состоит в следующем: мы знаем, что с нами говорил Бог, и твердо убеждены в том, что пророки вещали не от своего разума, но, будучи орудиями Святого Духа, проповедовали лишь то, что было заповедано свыше. Итак, всякий желающий получить пользу от Писания должен, прежде всего, постановить для себя, что закон и пророчества – это учение, созданное не по воле людей, а продиктованное Святым Духом.

    Если же кто в качестве возражения спросит: откуда мы можем об этом узнать? – отвечаю: авторство Бога возвещается и ученикам, и учителям откровением Того же Самого Духа. Ибо то, что мы имеем от Моисея и пророков, они возвестили нам не по собственной дерзости. Напротив, проповедуя по вдохновению Божию, эти люди бестрепетно и уверенно, как и было должно, засвидетельствовали, что через них говорили уста Господни. Итак, Тот же Самый Дух, Который ранее удостоверил Моисея и пророков в их призвании, свидетельствует теперь нашим сердцам, что воспользовался их служением для нашего научения. Поэтому не удивительно, что многие сомневаются в авторстве Писания. Ведь, как бы ни сияло в нем величие Божие, глаза имеются лишь у тех, кто просвещен Святым Духом, дабы видеть то, что возвещается всем, но понятно одним лишь избранным. Итак, первое положение таково: Писанию полагается такое же почтение, какое мы выказываем Богу, поскольку оно проистекает только от Него и не содержит в себе никакой человеческой примеси.

    И полезно, и т.д. Затем следует вторая часть похвалы Священному Писанию: оно содержит в себе совершеннейшее правило для доброй и блаженной жизни. Говоря эти слова, апостол имел в виду следующее: там, где люди не ищут подобной пользы, происходит искажение Писания и злоупотребление им. Таким образом, Павел косвенно порицает тех краснобаев, которые пичкают народ своими пустыми и ветреными умствованиями. И на этом же основании мы можем сегодня осудить всех тех, кто, отбросив стремление к назиданию, занимается лишь тем, что поднимает утонченные и глупые вопросы. Больше того, всякий раз, как нам навязываются подобные глупые тонкости, мы должны выставлять против них подобно щиту слова о пользе Священного Писания. Отсюда следует, что его не подобает толковать без пользы. Ибо Господь, передав нам Писание, хотел не удовлетворять наше любопытство, не потакать нашей склонности к мишуре, не давать повода для болтовни и баснословия, а принести нам пользу. Поэтому правильное использование Писания всегда должно быть нацелено на преуспевание в нем.

    Для научения. Апостол показывает здесь, сколь многую и разнообразную пользу можно получить от Писания, перечисляя ее отдельные виды. На первое место он ставит научение, поскольку оно по порядку предшествует всему остальному. Напрасно будешь ты обличать и убеждать кого-либо, если прежде его не научишь. Но коль скоро голое учение часто кажется холодным, апостол добавляет к нему обличение и исправление. Далее, было бы слишком долго объяснять здесь, чему именно мы научаемся из Писания. Поэтому апостол еще раньше кратко обозначил его суть словом «вера». Итак, главное наше знание – это вера во Христа. За ней следуют наставления о том, как надо строить свою жизнь, стрекала увещеваний и порицаний. Таким образом, у того, кто умеет правильно пользоваться Писанием, будет все необходимое и для спасения, и для доброй жизни. Обличение же и исправление не особо отличаются друг от друга. Разве что второе проистекает из первого. Ведь начало вразумления состоит в осознании собственного зла и предощущении суда Божия. Наставление же в праведности означает здесь основательное объяснение того, как жить свято и благочестиво.




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    These files are public domain.
    Bibliographical Information
    Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

    Scofield's Reference Notes


    (See Scofield "1 John 3:7").

    Copyright Statement
    These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
    Bibliographical Information
    Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


    ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’

    2 Timothy 3:16

    Can we believe the Bible? Such a question may sound childish, or something worse. But it has become necessary to discuss it.

    I. The mode of inspiration is beyond human definition.—For seventeen centuries, at least, the Church of Christ deliberately refrained from defining it. And she showed her wisdom in refraining. The attempts of later days to distinguish between ‘the inspiration of superintendence,’ ‘the inspiration of elevation,’ ‘the inspiration of direct revelation’ etc., have ended as they deserved to end—in failure. The truth is we are no more qualified to pronounce upon the mystery of Inspiration than we are upon the mystery of the Incarnation. In both the Divine and the human elements are blended.

    II. But though, we cannot fully say what inspiration is, we may be able to remove some misconceptions if we make clear what it is not.

    (a) When we affirm the inspiration of Holy Scripture, we have in view not existing documents, but the original manuscripts only.

    (b) But while we say this, we do not mean (as some appear to think we must) that Scripture is written in scientific language. It could not be so written, for the scientific language of one age differs widely from that of the next.

    (c) Nor are we to be understood to contend that all parts of Scripture are necessarily of equal value.

    (d) Nor do we mean that every statement therein recorded or therein described has necessarily received God’s sanction or been authorised by Him.

    (e) We do not mean to exclude, as some suppose, the human element in the Scriptures; that is to say, we do not mean by plenary inspiration what some have termed a mechanical inspiration, as if the writers of the Bible were mere machines.

    III. But, while this is so, it remains true that the writings of Holy Scripture, however diverse their features, and whether directly inspired or selected under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit from existing documents, did all at length receive such an imprimatur of Divine authority, not only as regards their thoughts, but their language, as constituted them for us God’s Word written.

    —Rev. E. W. Moore.


    (1) ‘“You have no idea,” said a young man in a City office to me only a few months ago, “what I have to go through. I am known to be a Christian, and I am the butt of the office, because I believe the Bible. ‘What!’ they say, ‘believe that old book! Why, it has been exploded long ago. No one believes the Bible nowadays. Who believes in Jonah and the whale, and all the rest of it? You must be a little weak, gone in the upper storey,’ etc. etc.” That young man was fighting a hard battle, and there are hundreds of others like him. They need sympathy and they need support, and too often they fail to receive it.’

    (2) ‘When Dr. J. P. Thompson visited Berlin in his early manhood he met the famous Lepsius in the library of the Royal University, and when the young man told the scholar that he hoped, at some future time, to write a little book on Moses, the German professor exploded. “But, mein Gott, there never was a Moses.” That was the fashion fifty years ago. But since the discovery of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, which prove that the art of writing was practised a hundred years before Abraham, Moses has come back to stay.’



    If we believe in the inspiration of Holy Scripture we must be able to say why we believe it.

    I. Because Scripture itself affirms it.—Our first appeal, necessarily, must be to the Book itself, and the answer it gives us is decisive. ‘All Scripture’ says St. Paul in his famous utterance (2 Timothy 3:16), ‘is God-breathed.’ See such passages (among many others) as Acts 1:16 (‘This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake,’ etc.); Acts 3:21 (‘Which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’); and again (where the names of writers are altogether omitted), Hebrews 3:7, ‘the Holy Ghost saith, To-day’ (the quotation being from Psalms 95.); and Hebrews 10:15, ‘The Holy Ghost is a witness to us’ (the quotation which follows being taken from the prophet Jeremiah, chapter Jeremiah 31:33-34).

    II. Because the condition of mankind requires it.—Is it conceivable that a God of love should leave Himself without witness in the world that he has made? Is there to be no voice, nor any answer to His creature’s cry? It is not so. God has spoken.

    III. Because the consciousness of the seeking soul responds to it.—I say ‘of the seeking soul,’ for this book is an oracle, and does not reveal its secrets to every one. This book is a living book.

    IV. Because the Jews, with whom the conservation and defence of their ancient writings was a passion, and who had far better opportunities than any twentieth-century scholars, however learned, can have of knowing what were and what were not canonical writings, received as God’s Word the very same books as those with which we are now familiar as the Scriptures of the Old Testament.

    V. Because the Church militant here upon earth says so.—The attack upon the truth of inspiration is comparatively of recent date. For centuries, from apostolic times downwards, the question was never raised.

    VI. Because the Church triumphant in heaven says so.—‘They have Moses and the prophets,’ said Abraham, to Dives, in the parable, ‘let them hear them.’

    VII. We believe the Bible to be inspired because the Christ Whom it has revealed to us says it is.—This, after all, is the kernel of the whole matter. You may rely upon it, it is impossible to maintain your faith in the infallibility of Christ if you lose your faith in the inspiration of His Word. Let it never be forgotten, this testimony of Christ to the Scripture was given not only during the period of His ‘Kenosis’ as it has been termed; it was given on the day of His Resurrection, when sin, death, and hell were captives at his feet. It is in the walk to Emmaus (St. Luke 24:44) that He once more endorses the whole Jewish canon as it is known to us, and as it was known to Him. This, surely, is decisive as to the whole question, even if it stood alone.

    —Rev. E. W. Moore.


    ‘It may be worth while to quote the well-known passage from Josephus in which this matter is referred to. It runs thus (Tract v. Apion, Bk. I. ch. 8): “For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us disagreeing from and contradicting each other (as the Greeks have), but only twenty-two books, which contain the record of all past times, which are justly believed to be Divine. And of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind until his death. This interval of time was little less than 3000 years. But as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes, King of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets who were after Moses wrote down what was done in their time in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God and precepts for the conduct of human life. How firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already elapsed no one hath been so bold as either to add anything to them, or take anything from them, or to make any change in them. But it becomes natural to all Jews, immediately and from their very birth, to esteem these books to contain Divine doctrines and to persist in them, and, if occasion be, willingly to die for them.”’



    Granted that Scripture is inspired, what is inspiration? I answer that question by asking another: What is life? We know the difference between a living person and a dead body, and we know what the power and forces of life are, but that is all. And, in the same way, we may all know what inspiration is, by its influence upon ourselves and its influence upon others.

    I. Nowhere in the whole of the New Testament is one word said about the nature of inspiration.—It is merely the fact that is asserted, and its results. And what are the results of inspiration? They are these: first of all, that the Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus; and next, that they are profitable for the whole education of the Christian man.

    II. It is this spiritual force and power of the Scriptures on which I desire especially to insist.—It might have been supposed, starting with a theory, that God would have preserved His Word from all possibility of defect or error. It might have been supposed that He would have given us an infallible text, that He would not have left it uncertain what the original words are in which the revelation was conveyed. We might have expected that everything would have been made so clear, and plain, and easy, that even a child should understand it. But God has not so ordered His Word. It is not so delightfully simple and easy as some good people would have us believe. Neither is it perfect, in the sense in which men deem perfection. So long as the words of God are translated into any language, they must take a certain colouring from the translator. And therefore it is quite useless to insist on the inspiration of the very words of the Bible. Ought we not rather to rejoice in this than to be troubled by it? Ought it not to be a comfort for us to be able to rest assured that the translation we have is sufficient? We do not need to be Hebrew or Greek scholars, thank God, to read our Bibles with profit and edification, and to find in them food for our souls, to find them all that St. Paul declares them to be, as profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. In short, this theory of the absolute perfection of the Bible in every detail—does it not rest upon an entire mistake?

    III. God would have us learn that what we men deem perfection is no necessary evidence of a Divine work. Look at Nature. Nature is God’s work. Nature shows forth His glory. Am I to deny this? Am I to say that Nature is not God’s handiwork because I see on the face of Nature many traces of imperfection? Nature has her monstrous births, and imperfect growths, and her abnormal developments; everywhere side by side with perfect loveliness there is failure, blight, and imperfection. How can we reconcile these things with our ideas of Divine order and perfection? Is the world less Divine because there is so much in it, quite apart from the ravages of sin, which baffles and perplexes us? And if I find in God’s other and greater book, that book which does not merely display the glory of God, but which reveals to me the will of God, and opens to me the gates of eternal life, through the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord—if I find there traces of apparent incompleteness and imperfection, or of what men deem imperfection, am I then to say, I give it up altogether; it is merely a human work; God is not there? No; it is God’s book, but it is a book given to us through men. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. It is God’s Word, it is God’s witness, but human hearts beat there, and human pens have conveyed the message, and on everything human there must rest in some measure—or it would cease to be human—the shadow of imperfection.

    —Bishop J. J. S. Perowne.


    ‘I am more and more persuaded every day I live, that the defence of the Bible is constantly put upon a wrong footing. I am more and more convinced that the attempts which are made by zealous and well-meaning persons to make claims for the Bible which it nowhere makes for itself have been a fruitful source of unbelief. We find the plainest facts denied. We find explanations given in our commentaries of difficulties which we should be ashamed to put on similar difficulties in profane authors, and which would really almost justify the taunt of some of the divines of the Church of Rome, that Scripture is a nose of wax, that with Protestant licence you can bend and twist it, and give it any shape you please. These desperate shifts can never satisfy a candid mind.’



    I. The Bible is a library, a collection of books gathered together ages ago by those who were competent to do so, from a large number of writings which lay before them, which ranged over centuries of time, were written by persons of very different characters and nationalities, in many different tongues and in many different parts of the world. When we realise that this was a library of books, we see, what helps us very much in our own personal life, that God taught the writers that they may teach us. God’s revelation to us is so universal that it has been given in all sorts of places, by all sorts of men, and in all sorts of tongues.

    II. What brings these books all together?—Why have they for centuries been always placed together as one library? Because they do all hang together in a very remarkable way. The great connecting link is this—God, man, a Saviour. In some by anticipation, in others in poetry, in others in prophecy, in others in allusion, but always there is in the Bible something about God, about God’s views, which must be true views, concerning man, and about the need of some one to live and die for man to put man right with God. Why do we call them inspired, and what do we mean? We mean that we believe exactly what the books say about themselves.

    III. Why was the Bible written?—To teach us. Above everything else, the Bible was written to save souls. The acquisition of knowledge, the knowledge of a string of facts, is of little worth, in many cases is nothing worth, if character and conduct count for nothing. A human being stored with facts and full of energy, whose character and conduct have never been trained, is something very much like a curse to the community. What is the use, when we know we shall only live in this world for a very few years, of being stored with knowledge which is of no use beyond the edge of the grave? From the beginning to the end of the Bible we have the Blessed Saviour manifested—Jesus, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; Jesus from beginning to end; Jesus the Way and the Truth and the Life.

    —Rev. Dr. Springett.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
    Bibliographical Information
    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    Ver. 16. All Scripture is given] Gr. θεοπνευστος, breathed by God, both for matter and words. What frontless heretics then are our upstart anti-scripturists, that dare affirm that the Scriptures are not divine, but human invention, and that the penmen wrote as themselves conceived; they were the actions of their own spirit, &c. Also that the Scriptures are insufficient and uncertain, &c. Papists likewise speak and write basely of the Holy Scriptures, as Bishop Bonner’s chaplain, who called it "his little pretty God’s book." Gifford and Raynolds say, the Bible contains something profane and apocryphal. A certain Italian bishop told Espencoeus that his countrymen were charged not to read the Scriptures, ne sic fierent haeretici, lest they should thereby be made heretics. (Epenc. in Titus 1:1-16) But Gregory calls the Bible Cor et animam Dei, the heart and soul of God; Augustine, a fortress against errors; Tertullian calleth it Nostra digesta, Our digests, from the lawyers; and others, Our pandects, from them also. Classicus hic locus est, saith Gerhard upon the text. This is a classic place to prove the perfection of the Scriptures against Papists, and whatsoever adversaries, who argue it of insufficiency, accounting traditions or revelations to be the touchstone of doctrine and foundation of faith. If the Scriptures be profitable for all these purposes, and able to make a minister perfect, &c., who can say less of it than that it is the soul’s food, ψυχης τροφη, as Athanasius calleth it; the invariable rule of truth, κανων της αληθειας ακλινης, as Irenaeus: the touchstone of errors, the aphorisms of Christ, the library of the Holy Ghost, the circle of all divine arts, the wisdom of the cross, the cubit of the sanctuary.

    And is profitable for instruction] See my True Treasure, p. 40. And hereunto add, for consolation, according to Romans 15:4, though this also is here comprehended in doctrine and instruction for righteousness. The same Greek word, παρακαλεω, signifieth to exhort and to comfort.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    2 Timothy 3:16

    Unity of Plan in the Old Testament.

    I. The most cursory glance will show us that the Old Testament is divided into four parts—the Pentateuch, the historical books, the poetical books, the prophetical books, and I may say at once that I regard the Song of Solomon as the climax of the whole; all that precedes leads up to it, all that follows flows from it. It is a mountain summit, where you may see Jesus only in His transfiguration glory: a Pisgah height where the Moses of the law gives up the ghost, and whence, gazing down the vista of prophecy, you may see the good land which God has prepared for His people; or, varying the metaphor, I see the river of life, whose sources are in eternity, in the Pentateuch, dashing down the crags of Sinai and of the law; in the historical books, meandering through the broad plains of history; in the poetical books, rushing through the narrow rocky bed of personal religion, until it flows into this lovely little Loch Katrine of the Song of Solomon, and thence flows forth in fuller volume through the prophetical books until it loses itself at last in the ocean of eternal love. In the Pentateuch God appeals to man's conscience; in the historical books, to man's intellect; in the poetical books, to man's heart, and in the prophetical books He opens to men the future.

    II. In the Pentateuch God appeals to man's conscience; in the historical books, to man's intellect; and he is bidden to survey human history, and see whether it is not always well with them who fear the Lord, and ill with those who reject Him. The historical books, for the most part, run in pairs, in which the positive and the negative side of this truth is put before us. In Joshua and Judges God is brought before us as the Deliverer, and we are asked to examine the history of the children of Israel from this point of view. In I. and II. Samuel God is regarded as the King; in I. and II. Kings we are asked to trace the history of those who revere and those who despise God's prophets; in I. and II. Chronicles the same period of history is examined, but from a different point of view—namely, the reverence which different kings showed, or neglected to show, for the public worship of God.

    III. In the poetical books we come to personal religion; in the prophetical books the future is spread out before you, and, gazing down the avenue of the prophets, the Lord will not hide from you those things which He is about to do; but, in spite of sin, failure, and rebellion, you will see the purposes of God remaining true, until, in the last chapter of the last of the minor prophets, you see the Sun of righteousness arising with healing in His wings, and you wait on the tiptoe of expectation for the opening of the New Testament, when the dayspring will arise and the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

    E. A. Stuart, Children of God, p. 11.

    Dogmatic Truth our Heritage.

    By the "mystery" St. Paul here seems to mean a knowledge, Divine in its source, concealed and kept back for a time, but now imparted, or as we say, revealed. Now this Divine knowledge is chiefly summed up under two heads, according to the subject on which it treats. It treats, firstly, of God as teaching us concerning Himself; and secondly, of human nature, man as related to God.

    I. The mistaken complaint of many at present is not so much that God has not given enough knowledge in revealing the mystery of godliness, but that He has given too much. They claim, that is, to set it aside wholly or in part, as involving a needless restriction on the free action of the mind, or to remould and alter it, as clashing with some conclusions of human wisdom. The forms of error are endless, and shift with the shifting phases of the human mind. But truth in its relation to them is older than them all, and stands fast through them all, and will doubtless survive them all, as it has already survived many. Thus the best, nay the only possible complete defence against error lies in active living convictions of the truth.

    II. Repeatedly in Scripture is the Gospel faith spoken of as something held in common by all Christians. It is not matter of opinion, of deduction, or of induction. God's truth is given for all alike. He makes himself known in Christ, not to a priestly coterie but to mankind. Therefore the Church has educated the nation: men of the purest lives and brightest gifts have thought it their highest privilege to trim the lamp of Divine truth. And before literature was diffused, and access to comments, or indeed to Scripture itself was common, the creeds of the Church did their work in keeping alive a saving knowledge amongst the people, and yet remain as standards of doctrine, and compendiums of Scripture truth. No term of science conveys to our minds what it ought, until we draw out all that it implies: and thus when we wish to be exact in our statements we are forced to be somewhat cumbrous in our terms. Men submit to this in science, but they seem to fret against it in theology; and then they reproach it as being dogmatic, without considering that this is the necessary characteristic of truth Divine in origin, and dealing with subjects to which human experience cannot reach.

    H. Hayman, Rugby Sermons, p. 8.

    References: 2 Timothy 3:16.—R. Thomas, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 261; H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. xxviii., p. 97; F. W. Farrar, Ibid., vol. xxix., p. 88; H. Wace, Ibid., vol. xxxvi., p. 241; J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living, p. 373; F. W. Farrar, Everyday Christian Life, p. 143.

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    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, The scriptures with which Timothy had been acquainted from his infancy were evidently those of the Old Testament; for none of the books of the New Testament were then committed to writing. The same thing seems plainly to be intended here byall scripture, which, in the preceding verse, is called the sacred scripture, and which St. Paul asserts to be divinelyinspired. The Old Testament revelations were not final, but preparatory to the New Testament; and therefore the scriptures of the Old Testament are here represented as able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. There is, however, no reason to confine St. Paul's assertion, that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, to the Old Testament. If in the Mosaic dispensation the written rule was given by inspiration of God, where the church was conducted in every step at first by divine oracular responses, and afterwards by a long series and continued succession of prophets; and all this under an extraordinary administration of Providence, such as might well seem to supersede the necessity of scriptural inspiration; how confidently may we conclude that the same divine goodness would give the infallible guide of an inspired scripture to the Christian church, where the miraculous influence of the Holy Spirit is supposed to have ceased with the apostolic ages? Nor can it be said, that what St. Paul predicates of scripture, must be confined to the law, and what is prefatory to it, since the largeness of his term, all scripture, extends to the whole canon of the Old Testament, as then received by the two churches. The canonical books of the Old Testament therefore being inspired, the reason of things directs us to expect the same quality in the New, if there were not a thousand unanswerable arguments besides. And as in the Old, among several occasional writings, there was the fundamental record, or the great charter of the Pentateuch; and in the volumes of the prophets, the oracular predictions of the future states of the church, to the first coming of the Messiah, and so indeed more obscurely to the second coming; so in the New, there is, besides the occasional Epistles, the authentic record or great charter of the Gospel-covenant; and in the Revelations of St. John, the same divine predictions continued, and more fully predicted, to the second coming of the Saviour of the world. We may therefore venture to say, that the general proposition which affirms that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, necessarily includes the scriptures in question; what it predicates of all scripture, taking in the New as well as the Old; as well that which was to be written, as that which was already collected into a canon. For the term scripture, as the context leads us to understand it, is general, and means a religious rule, perfect in its direction for the conduct of human life in belief and practice, it being under this idea that St. Paul recommends the scripture to Timothy. The assertion therefore is universal, and amounts to this, "That divine inspiration is an essential quality of every scripture, which constitutes the law or rule of a religion coming from God." On the whole then we conclude, that all the scriptures of the New Testament were given by the inspiration of God; and accordingly these scriptures are fitted for doctrine, as laying down the most fundamental doctrines and rules of religion, and every necessary truth; for reproof or conviction, as guarding us from all pernicious errors, and shewing us the turpitude of vice; for correction, as affording the strongest arguments under the grace of God for amendment; and for instruction in righteousness, as not only recommending holiness of heart and life in general, but likewise exciting us to a continual progress in holy and virtuous habits.

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    Our apostle closes this chapter with an exhortation to Timothy to persevere in his study of the holy scriptues, by an argument drawn,

    1. From the dignity and authority of the scriptures; 2. From their utility; 3. From their perfection.

    1. From their dignity and authority,They are given by the inspiration of God: that is, they are not the contrivance of any man's wit and fancy, but a revelation of the mind and will of God; and those that wrote them were excited to it, and assisted in it, by the Spirit of God; no part of scripture had either angels or men for its author, but every part of scripture is divinely inspired or breathed by God, both for matter and order, style and words.

    A second argument is drawn from the utility and sufficiency of the holy scriptures; they are profitable for doctrine and instruction, teaching us what to know and believe in order to salvation, concerning God, and Christ, and ourselves, &c. for reproof of error, and confutation of false doctrines, for correction of sin and evil manners, for instruction in righteousness, directing us how to lead a holy and righteous life, according to the will of God.

    A third argument is taken from the perfection of them; they are able to make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works; that is, to make the ministers of Christ complete in knowledge, faith, and holiness, every way fitted for their work and duty, as Christians, and as ministers.

    Observe here, 1. That the scriptures of the Old Testament, and not of the New, must be the scriptures here intended, they being the only scriptures which Timothy had known from a child; that was before the scriptures of the new Testament were written.

    Observe, 2. That the apostle doth not say that these scriptures were of themselves sufficient to make Timothy wise unto salvation, but only that with faith in Christ Jesus they were sufficient for that end; much more then must the scriptures both of the Old and New Testament together, when accompanied with faith in Jesus Christ, be sufficent for that end.

    Observe, 3. That the scriptures are a perfect, plain, and sufficient rule, in all things necessary to salvation.

    1. They are a perfect rule; because the writers of them were inspired, and consequently their writings are infallible.

    2. They are a plain rule; otherwise they would be no rule at all, of no more use to direct our faith and practice than a sun-dial in a dark room is to tell us the hour of the day. A rule that is not plain, whatever it may be in itself, is of no use to us till it is made plain.

    3. They are a sufficient rule; they are able to make the man of God perfect, and wise to salvation. Here the church of Rome distinguishes, and says, the scriptures are sufficient to salvation, but not to instruction, to whom one of the martyrs replied, "If so, God send me the salvation and you the instruction."

    It is conceived by some that this was the last epistle that ever St. Paul wrote; if so, this is the last charge that ever he gave, and concerns us the more to attend to the solemnity of it. The chapter before us is St. Paul's Cygnea Cantio, his last and sweetest song; by a spiritual sagacity he saw his end approaching, and the time of his martyrdom to be at hand; he therefore, like a dying man, adjures TImothy in a most awful and tremendous manner, to preach the word with all diligence and care, which he had so highly extolled in the foregoing chapter, as being able to make all persons wise unto salvation.

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    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    16.] The immense value to Timotheus of this early instruction is shewn by a declaration of the profit of Scripture in furthering the spiritual life. There is considerable doubt about the construction of this clause, πᾶσα ὠφέλιμος. Is it to be taken, (1) πᾶσα γραφὴ (subject) θεόπνευστος (predicate) ( ἐστιν), καὶ ὠφ., i.e. ‘every Scripture (see below) is θεόπνευστος and ὠφέλιμος:’ or (2) πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος (subject) καὶ ὠφέλ. ( ἐστιν) (predicate), i.e. Every γραφὴ θεόπνευστος is also ὠφέλιμος? The former is followed by Chrys. ( πᾶσα οὖν ἡ τοιαύτη θεόπνευστος), Greg.-Nyss. ( διὰ τοῦτο πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος λέγεται), Ath., Est. (‘duo affirmantur: omnem scripturam esse divinitus inspiratam, et eandem esse utilem,’ &c.), all., by Calv., Wolf, al.: by De W., Wiesinger, Conyb., &c., and the E. V. The latter by Orig. ( πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος οὖσα ὠφέλιμός ἐστι, in Jesu nave Hom. xx. 3, vol. ii.: repeated in the Philocal. c. 12, vol. xxv. p. 65, ed. Lomm.), Thdrt. ( θεόπνευστον δὲ γραφὴν τὴν πνευματικὴν ὠνόμασεν), al.: by Grot. (‘bene expressit sensum Syrus: omnis Scriptura quæ a Deo inspirata est, etiam utilis,’ &c.), Erasm. (‘tota Scr. quæ nobis non humano ingenio, &c., magnam habet utilitatem,’ &c.), Camerar., Whitby, Hammond, al.: by Rosenm., Heinr., Huther, &c. and the Syr. (above), Vulg. (‘omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata utilis est,’ &c.), Luth. (denn alle Schrift von Gott eingegeben ist nütze u. s. w.), &c. In deciding between these two, the following considerations must be weighed: (a) the requirement of the context. The object of the present verse plainly is to set before Timotheus the value of his early instruction as a motive to his remaining faithful to it. It is then very possible, that the Apostle might wish to exalt the dignity of the Scripture by asserting of it that it was ( θεόπνευστος, and then out of this lofty predicate might unfold καὶ ὠφέλ., &c.—its various uses in the spiritual life. On the other hand it may be urged, that thus the two epithets do not hang naturally together, the first consisting of the one word θεόπνευστος, and the other being expanded into a whole sentence: especially as in order at all to give symmetry to the whole, the ἵνα ἄρτιος ᾖ κ. τ. λ. must be understood as the purposed result of the θεονευστία as well as the ὠφέλεια of the Scriptures, which is hardly natural: (b) the requirements of the grammatical construction of καί, which must on all grounds be retained as genuine. Can this καί be rendered ‘also,’ and attached to ὠφέλιμος? There seems no reason to question its legitimacy, thus taken. Such an expression as this, πᾶς ἀνὴρ πλεονέκτης, καὶ εἰδωλολάτρης, though a harsh sentence, would be a legitimate one. And constructions more or less approximating to this are found in the N. T. e.g., Luke 1:36, ἐλισάβετ ἡ συγγενίς σου καὶ αὐτὴ συνειληφυῖα: Acts 26:26, πρὸς ὃν καὶ παῤῥησιαζόμενος λαλῶ: Acts 28:28, αὐτοὶ καὶ ἀκούσονται: Romans 8:29, οὓς προέγνω καὶ προώρισεν: Galatians 4:7, εἰ δὲ υἱὸς καὶ κληρονόμος. In all these, καί introduces the predicatory clause, calling special attention to the fact enounced in it. Cf. also such expressions as καὶ τοῦτο μὲν ἧττον καὶ θαυμαστόν, Plato, Symp. p. 177 b,— σκέψαι τάλαν, ὡς καὶ καταγέλαστον τὸ πρᾶγμα φαίνεται, Aristoph. Eccl. 125,— ᾗ μᾶλλον καὶ ἐπετίθεντο, Thuc. iv. 1.

    I own on the whole the balance seems to me to incline on the side of (2), unobjectionable as it is in construction, and of the two, better suited to the context. I therefore follow it, hesitatingly, I confess, but feeling that it is not to be lightly overthrown. See on the whole, Ellicott, who takes the same view. Every Scripture (not ‘every writing:’ the word, with or without the art., never occurs in the N. T. except in the sense of ‘Scripture;’ and we have it, as we might expect in the later apostolic times, anarthrous in 2 Peter 1:20, πᾶσα προφητεία γραφῆς. Where it occurs anarthrous in the Gospels, it signifies a passage of Scripture, ‘a Scripture’, as we say: e.g. John 19:37. It is true, that πᾶσα γραφή might be numbered with those other apparent solœcisms, πᾶσα οἰκοδομή, Ephesians 2:21, πᾶσα ἱεροσόλυμα, Matthew 2:3, where the subst. being used anarthrous, πᾶς = πᾶς ὁ: but, in the presence of such phrases as ἑτέρα γραφὴ λέγει (John l. c.), it is safer to keep to the meaning, unobjectionable both grammatically and contextually, ‘every Scripture’—i.e. ‘every part of (= in the sense, ‘all’) Scripture’) given by inspiration of God (as γραφή answers to γράμματα above, so θεόπνευστος to ἱερά. De W. has well illustrated the word: “ θεόπνευστοςdivinitus inspirata,’ Vulg., is an expression and idea connected with πνεῦμα (properly breath), the power of the divine Spirit being conceived of as a breath of life: the word thus amounts to ‘inspired,’ ‘breathed through,’ ‘full of the Spirit.’ It (the idea) is common to Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Jos. contra Apion. i. 7, τῶν προφητῶν τὰ μὲν ἀνωτάτω καὶ τὰ παλαιότατα κατὰ τὴν ἐπίπνοιαν τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ μαθόντων. Æschyl. Suppl. 18; ἐπίπνοια διός, and similarly Polyb. x. 2. 12. Plato, Republ. vi. 499 b, legg. v. 738 c: Phocyl. 121, τῆς δὲ θεοπνεύστου σοφίης λόγος ἐστὶν ἄριστος: Plut. mor. p. 904, τοὺς ὀνείρους τοὺς θεοπνεύστους: Cic. pro Arch. 8, ‘poetam … quasi divino quodam spiritu af-(l. in-) flari:’ de nat. deor. ii. 66, ‘nemo vir magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino unquam fuit:’ de div. i. 18, ‘oracula instinctu divino afflatuque funduntur.’ First of all, θεόπνευστος is found as a predicate of persons: ὁ θεόπνευστος ἀνήρ Wetst. (from Marcus Ægyptius), cf. Jos. and Cic. in the two passages above,—2 Peter 1:21, ὑπὸ πνεύματος ἁγίου φερόμενοι ἐλάλησαν ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἄνθρωποι: Matthew 22:43, δαυεὶδ ἐν πνεύματι καλεῖ αὐτὸν κύριον: then it was also applied to things, cf. the last passage of Cicero, and Phocyl., Plutarch, above.” On the meaning of the word as applied to the Scriptures, see Prolegg. to Vol. I. ‘On the inspiration of the Gospels:’ and compare Ellicott’s note here. As applied to the prophets, it would not materially differ, except that we ever regard one speaking prophecy, strictly so called, as more immediately and thoroughly the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit, seeing that the future is wholly hidden from men, and God does not in this case use or inspire human testimony to facts, but suggests the whole substance of what is said, direct from Himself) is also (besides this its quality of inspiration: on the construction, see above) profitable for (towards) teaching ( ἃ γὰρ ἀγνοοῦμεν ἐκεῖθεν μανθάνομεν, Thdrt. This, the teaching of the person reading the Scriptures, not the making him a teacher, as Estius characteristically, is evidently the meaning. It is not Timotheus’s ability as a teacher, but his stability as a Christian, which is here in question), for conviction ( ἐλέγχει γὰρ ἡμῶν τὸν παράνομον βίον, Thdrt. The above remark applies here also), for correction ( παρακαλεῖ γὰρ καὶ τοὺς παρατραπέντας ἐπανελθεῖν εἰς τὴν εὐθεῖαν ὁδόν, Thdrt. So Philo, Quod Deus immut. 37, vol. i. p. 299, ἐπὶτῇ τοῦ παντὸς ἐπανορθώσει βίου: similarly Polyb. p. 50, 26 al. freq. in Raphel: so Epictetus, ib.), for discipline (ref. Eph. and note) in (if the construction is filled out, the παιδείαν is abstract, and the τὴν ἐν particularizes; discipline, viz. that which …) righteousness (which is versed in, as its element and condition, righteousness, and so disciplines a man to be holy, just, and true): that (result of the profitableness of Scripture: reasons why God has, having Himself inspired it, endowed it with this profitableness) the man of God (ref. 1 Tim. and note) may be perfect (ready at every point: ‘aptus in officio,’ Beng.), thoroughly made ready (see note on ref. Acts. It is blamed by the etymologists as an ἀδόκιμον. Jos. Antt. iii. 2. 2, has πολεμεῖν πρὸς ἀνθρώπους τοῖς πᾶσι καλῶς ἐξηρτισμένους) to every good work (rather to be generally understood than officially: the man of God is not only a teacher, but any spiritual man: and the whole of the present passage regards the universal spiritual life. In ch. 2 Timothy 4:1 ff. he returns to the official duties of Timotheus: but here he is on that which is the common basis of all duty).

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    2 Timothy 3:16. Reason given for the last thought.

    πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ὠφέλιμος πρὸς κ. τ. λ.] πᾶσα γραφή, not: “the whole of Scripture” (Beza: tota scriptura, i. e. Canon Hebraeorum), but “every Scripture;” or, still better, “all Scripture.”

    θεόπνευστος] ἅπ. λεγ.; the explanation of this word, which also in classic Greek is applied to seers and poets, is specially aided by the passage in 2 Peter 1:21 : ὑπὸ πνεύματος ἁγίου φερόμενοι ἐλάλησαν οἱ ἅγιοι θεοῦ ἄνθρωποι.

    In various old versions (Syr. Vulg.; so also in Clement, Origen, Tertullian, etc.) καί is wanting; and Luther did not express it in his translation; in that case θεόπν. is clearly an attribute belonging to the subject; Luther: “all Scripture inspired by God is.” With the correct reading, however, θεόπν. may be a predicate; so Bengel: est haec pars non subjecti (quam enim scripturam dicat Paulus, per se patet), sed praedicati; so, too, Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, and others. Other expositors, again, such as Grotius, Rosenmüller, Heinrichs, Plitt, Hofmann, take θεόπνευστος as an attribute of the subject, even with this reading, and explain καί as “also.” This construction is the right one. On the one hand, it is ungrammatical to explain πᾶσα γραφή by “the whole of Scripture.” Wiesinger argues against this by appealing to Ephesians 2:21 and to Hebrews 3:3; see Meyer on the one passage and Delitzsch on the other, where, too, Lünemann translates: “every house.”(55) Wiesinger argues also that γραφή is regarded as a proper name, which he tries to prove by 2 Peter 1:20 and John 7:15; but, though a substantive is used once without an article, it does not follow that it has the signification of a proper name (on John 7:15, comp. Meyer). On the other hand, this sentence does not properly give a reason for the preceding thought (Wiesinger), but rather confirms it, and hence there was no reason for directing attention to the fact that the whole of Scripture is θεόπνευστος. There was no doubt on that point (viz. that the whole of Scripture and not a part of it was inspired by God), but on the point whether the Scriptures as θεόπνευστοι are also ( καί serves to confirm) ὠφέλιμοι. There is no ground for asserting that, with this view, there could not have been an ellipse of ἐστιν (Wiesinger).

    πρὸς διδασκαλίαν κ. τ. λ.] Heydenreich thinks that the apostle is not speaking here of the profitableness of Scripture in general and for all Christians, but of its utility to teachers of religion. So also Hofmann: “The sentence does not say of what service Holy Scripture is to him who reads it, but what use can be made of it by him who teaches.” This view, however, is wrong; neither in 2 Timothy 3:14 nor 2 Timothy 3:15 is there anything said regarding Timothy’s work in teaching; the apostle does not pass on to this point till the next chapter, 2 Timothy 3:17 notwithstanding.

    πρὸς διδασκ.; Holy Scripture is profitable for teaching by advancing us in knowledge; πρὸς ἔλεγχον (or ἐλεγμόν), by convincing us of sin and rebuking us on account of sin. Theodoret: ἐλέγχει γὰρ ἡμῶν τὸν παράνομον βίον. Chrysostom understands it only of the conviction of error; so, too, Bengel: convincit etiam in errore et praejudicio versantes; Heydenreich, too, refers it, like διδασκαλία, only to what is theoretical. ἐλέγχειν certainly does occur in this sense, Titus 1:9; Titus 1:13, but it is more frequently used of what is practical, 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 2:15.

    πρὸς ἐπανόρθωσιν] by working amendment in us. Theodoret: παρακαλεῖ καὶ τοὺς παρατραπέντας ἐπανελθεῖν εἰς τὴν εὐθείαν ὁδόν;

    ἐπανορθ. ( ἅπ. λεγ.) is synonymous with νουθεσία, 1 Corinthians 10:11.

    πρὸς παιδείαν τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ] by advancing us in the further development of the Christian life. Luther is not wrong in translating παιδεία by “correction,” inasmuch as in N. T. usage it is applied to the education which not only developes the existing good, but also counteracts existing evil. δικαιοσύνη: “the Christian life of piety.”

    Theodoret: ἐκπαιδεύει ἡμᾶς τὰ εἴδη τῆς ἀρετῆς.

    There is an obvious climax in the series of these thoughts.

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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    2 Timothy 3:16. πᾶσα γραφὴ, all Scripture) The sacred Scripture, in all its parts. All the latest epistles of Paul as much as possible recommend the Scripture.— θεόπνευστος, given by inspiration o God) This is a part, not of the subject (for what Scripture or class of writings [as Scripture means] Paul intends, is evident in itself, as elsewhere, so in this passage), but of the predicate. It was divinely inspired, not merely while it was written, God breathing through the writers; but also, whilst it is being read, God breathing through the Scripture, and the Scripture breathing Him [He being their very breath]. Hence it is so profitable.— πρὸς διδασκαλίαν, for doctrine) Doctrine instructs the ignorant; reproof convinces also those who are labouring under error and under prejudice; correction recalls a man from wrong (obliquity) to right (rectitude): training [‘eruditio,’ Engl. Vers. instruction] in righteousness positively instructs; ch. 2 Timothy 2:24; Sirach 18:13.

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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God: Scripture signifies no more than writing; some therefore translate this text thus: All Scripture which is inspired of God; not all writings, but all the books of the Old Testament, is yeopneustov. This is expounded by Peter, 2 Peter 1:21: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. And is profitable for doctrine; and it is profitable to instruct us in all propositions of truth which we need believe in order to salvation.

    For reproof; elegcon, to convince us either of any truth, that we may believe it without any hesitation, or of any sin, that we may be humbled for it, without any extenuation.

    For correction; for reproof, or correction, or reformation, to reprove us in what we are to be reproved, to correct us in any error, to show us the way to bring us to rights and to reform us.

    For instruction in righteousness; to instruct us in the true righteousness, in which we must appear before God; for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, Romans 1:17.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

    Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Все Писание Подобные этой грамматические конструкции греческого языка (Рим. 7:12; 2Кор. 10:10; 1Тим. 1:15; 2:3; 4:4) убедительно доказывают, что перевод «Все Писание богодухновенно» является точным. Под Писанием подразумевается Ветхий и Новый Заветы (см. пояснения к 2Пет. 3:15, 16), т.е. Новый Завет отождествляется с Писанием.

    богодухновенно Буквально «вдохновлено Богом», или «дыхание Божье». Иногда Бог сообщал еврейским авторам точные слова, которые они должны были передать людям (например, Иер. 1:9), но чаще использовал их разум, словарный запас и опыт для передачи Своего совершенного, непогрешимого и верного Слова (см. пояснения к 1Фес. 2:13; Евр. 1:1; 2Пет. 1:20, 21). Следует отметить, что богодухновенность относится только к рукописям Писания, а не к авторам Библии. Богодухновенно только Писание, а не его авторы. Бог отождествляется с Его Словом. Если Писание говорит, значит, говорит Бог (ср. Рим. 9:17; Гал. 3:8). Писание называется «Словом Божьим» (Рим. 3:2; 1Пет. 4:11) и не может быть изменено (Ин. 10:35; Мф. 5:17, 18; Лк. 16:17; Отк. 22:18, 19).

    научения Божье наставление, или учение, содержащееся в Ветхом и Новом Заветах (ср. 2:15; Деян. 20:18, 20, 21, 27; 1Кор. 2:14-16; Кол. 3:16; 1Ин. 2:20, 24, 27). Писание дает всеобъемлющее и полное представление о Божьей истине, необходимое для жизни и благочестия. Ср. Пс. 118:97-105.

    обличения Упрек в неправильном поведении или неправильной вере. Писание указывает на грехи (Евр. 4:12, 13), которые требуют исповедания и покаяния.

    исправления Восстановление чего-либо до должного уровня. В Новом Завете слово употребляется только в этом месте. Оно использовалось в греческом языке (вне Библии) для обозначения действия: поднять упавший предмет, помочь встать на ноги тем, кто оступился. Писание не только упрекает в неправильном поведении, но также указывает путь возврата к благочестивой жизни. Ср. Пс.118:9-11; Ин. 15:1, 2.

    наставления в праведности Писание обеспечивает положительное воспитание («наставление» означало «воспитание ребенка») в благочестивом поведении, а не только упрек и исправление неправильного поведения (Деян. 20:32; 1Тим. 4:6; 1Пет. 2:1, 2).

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    MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Inspiration of God; God directed the men who wrote it what to write, and how to write it, that as a rule of faith and practice for men it might be perfect.

    For doctrine; the communication of instruction.

    For reproof; to show men their sins.

    For correction; to reclaim them.

    For instruction; in what is right, and the presentation of the highest and best motives to induce men to do it. As all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and like its author is perfect, and as it tends to make perfect all who believe and obey it, it should with the least possible delay be put into the hands of all people.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    ‘Every scripture, inspired of God (God breathed) is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.’

    By stressing that Christ is central we do not by it diminish the value of the Scriptures. Rather we enhance it. For while it is Christ Jesus the risen Saviour Who is undoubtedly pre-eminent, the Scriptures are all important in pointing to Him. They are the means by which, through prayer, He can be made known to men and women. They are our source of the truth about Him and what He came to do. For the Scriptures are ‘breathed out by God’, they are the very words of God, and are profitable for teaching men, and reproving men, and correcting men, and for instructing them in righteousness. They are thus the means by which Christ and His teaching can be brought home to the heart as they are received in prayerful faith.

    We should possibly note here that while it is mainly the Old Testament which is in mind in Paul’s words, by this time the traditions concerning Jesus had taken on a fixed form, even probably a written form (Luke 1:1), and were being equally seen as ‘Scripture’, as were Paul’s letters (2 Peter 3:16).

    Note also how the Scriptures are seen as meeting every spiritual need. They provide sound teaching. They reprove men for their sin. They correct men in their daily walk. They instruct men in righteousness.

    One problem that arises here is as to whether we should translate as ‘every Scripture, being God-breathed, --’ or ‘all Scripture is God out-breathed --.’ Both are linguistically possible. In the first case the emphasis would be on each part of Scripture as being God out-breathed so that it can be used in order to speak to the heart, in the other the emphasis is on the Scriptures as a whole being God-outbreathed. But either way they are indicating that all Scripture is ‘God-outbreathed. To all who read Paul’s words in 1st century AD both would basically be saying the same thing. ‘Scripture is God-outbreathed and is in every part therefore profitable --.’ For no one in Paul’s day would have questioned the difference, nor have argued that only some of it was God outbreathed or profitable. Nor more importantly would Paul himself.

    It is however, probable, that we should translate as ‘all Scripture is God-outbreathed’, for the contrast is not between different Scriptures, (this is not a dissertation on Scripture), but between the fact that the Scriptures are ‘God-outbreathed’ while the false teachers teach hot air, breath from their own mouth. They are ‘puffed up’ by their own breath (2 Timothy 3:4; 1 Timothy 6:4) and speak with vain babblings (2 Timothy 2:16). In contrast with that Timothy’s foundation in the Scriptures is sure, for that is ‘God-outbreathed’.

    Other arguments that favour this translation are:

    1) If it was not intended to be seen as a predicate theopneustos would come before graphe.

    2) The habit of dropping the copula in the opening clause of the sentence was typical of the writer, compare especially the parallel construction in 1 Timothy 4:4. See also 1 Timothy 1:8; 1 Timothy 1:15 etc.

    3) Early Greek fathers translated as ‘all Scripture is God-outbreathed’, and Greek was their native tongue.

    All these arguments favour translating as ‘all Scripture is God-outbreathed’.

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    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Greek sentence leaves the verb to be understood, and this leaves the sentence ambiguous. ‘All Scripture God-inspired also profitable.’ According to the position which we assign to the omitted verb, we have—(1) All Scripture is God-inspired, and is profitable, etc.; or (2) All Scripture God-inspired is also profit-able, etc. Of these two, the former has been more commonly adopted, probably on account of the doctrine as to inspiration which it was supposed to confirm. The latter has, however, been adopted by many commentators, appears in the Revised Version of the New Testament, and on internal grounds has most to commend it. We can hardly think that St. Paul found it necessary to impress the abstract doctrine on the mind of Timothy. What was necessary was to impress on him the practical end to which every inspired writing ought to minister. Every Scripture, so far as it is inspired, works for the completeness of ‘the man of God,’ of the minister of Christ, and of his work.

    For doctrine, i.e. as before, teachings in all its width. The words appear purposely chosen to describe the work of Scripture both on the individual character of the reader and on his pastoral work. It will be noticed that the points on which stress is laid are precisely those to which Timothy had been urged

    the work of teaching (1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 4:11; 1 Timothy 4:13); of reforming (1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:15); of correcting (2 Timothy 2:25). It is as though he said, ‘It is of small use acknowledging the inspiration of Scripture as a dogma, unless you use it for its appointed work.’

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". 1879-90.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture — Or the whole Scripture, received by the Jewish Church, θεοπνευστος, is inspired of God — Respecting the inspiration of the books of the Old Testament, I find two opinions, says Dr. Benson, on this passage: “1st, That the writers of the several books had all the thoughts, and even the very words, suggested to them by the Spirit of God: and that they were the penmen of the Spirit to commit to writing just what he dictated. 2d, Others think with more latitude; and allow, indeed, that Moses received the Law from God; and that the prophets were inspired by the Spirit to foretel future events, which lay out of the reach of human foresight; but that they were left to express themselves in their own words and phrases, in which they give a faithful account of what the Spirit dictated to them, 2 Peter 1:20-21. But as to what was handed down by authentic tradition, or the facts with which they themselves were thoroughly acquainted, they could, as faithful historians, commit them to writing, and that without any extraordinary inspiration. And their account, as far as our present copies are exact, may be depended upon as satisfactory and authentic.” He adds, “If the Spirit presided, strengthened their memories, and preserved them from mistakes, this last opinion may not be much amiss.” See Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 7, 8, where the subject of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures is more particularly considered. Is profitable for doctrine — All the great and important doctrines of religion necessary to be known in order to salvation, are there taught, and that more clearly and fully than elsewhere; and with an authority and influence to be found in no other writings. For reproof — Or conviction, as ελεγχον rather signifies; and that not only of error in judgment, but of sin in practice, and of condemnation and wrath due to us on account of sin; as also the depravity of our nature; of our weakness and inability to save ourselves, and of righteousness and salvation for us in Christ. For correction — Or amendment, as επανορθωσιν may be properly rendered; showing us clearly, 1st, What evils in temper, word, or work, are to be avoided: 2d, What graces and virtues must be possessed and practised; furnishing us, at the same time, with all proper and needful motives to holiness of heart and life, showing us where our strength lies. For instruction — Or training and building persons up, in righteousness — Leading them on from one degree of piety and virtue to another, with a progress which will continually advance in proportion to the regard they pay to these divine writings. For the Spirit of God not only once inspired those who endited them, but continually inspires and supernaturally assists those that read them in humility, simplicity, and faith, with earnest prayer to the Father of lights for a right understanding of them, and for inclination and power to reduce their contents to practice. That the man of God — Not only every Christian minister, or public teacher of religion, but every man devoted to the service of God; may be perfect — May come to the measure of the stature of Christ’s fulness, Ephesians 4:13, &c., where see the note, and on Colossians 1:28; or may stand complete in the whole will of God; thoroughly furnished unto all good works — Fitted for discharging every part of his duty. Thus we see that the apostle’s encomium on the Jewish Scriptures consists of two parts; their divine inspiration, and their usefulness for illustrating the gospel revelation; so that a Christian minister, who rightly understands them, is thereby fitted for every part of his work. Our Lord also, on various occasions, bare testimony to the Jewish Scriptures, and to their connection with the gospel. What then are we to think of those teachers who are at so much pains to disjoin the Christian revelation from the Jewish, as if the latter were not of divine original, and had no connection with the gospel; and, instead of illustrating and confirming the gospel, were rather an encumbrance to it?

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    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    All scripture divinely inspired is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, or admonish, to instruct others in justice, and in the ways of virtue, that thus he who is a man of God, a minister of the gospel, may be perfect and instructed unto every good work. But when our adversaries of the pretended reformation, undertake from these four verses to shew, first, that every ignorant man or woman is hereby warranted to read and put what construction his or her private spirit, or private judgment, suggests upon all places of the holy Scriptures; and secondly, that the Scriptures alone contain all truths which a Christian is bound to believe; or at least, that the Scriptures teach him all things necessary to salvation, without regard to the interpretation and authority of the Catholic Church: I may at least say (without examining at present any other pretended grounds of these assertions) that these consequences are very remote from the text and sense of St. Paul in this place. As to the first, does this follow; the Scriptures must be read by Timothy, a priest, a bishop, a man of God, a minister of the gospel, whose office it is to instruct and convert others, therefore they are proper to be read and expounded by every ignorant man or woman? Does not St. Paul say elsewhere, (2 Corinthians ii. 17.) that many adulterate and corrupt the word of God? does not St. Peter tell us also, (2 Peter iii. 16.) that in St. Paul's epistles are some things....which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as also the other scriptures, to their own perdition? See the preface to [the Gospel of] St. John, where reasons are brought for which it was requisite that the Church should put some restraint to the abuse which the ignorant made of reading the Scriptures in vulgar tongues. As to the second consequence, does it follow: every Scripture divinely inspired is profitable for St. Timothy, for a priest, a bishop, a man of God, a minister and preacher of the gospel, to teach and instruct, and conduce to bring both him and others to salvation; therefore they contain all things that a Christian need to believe? &c. Is not every Christian bound to believe that the books in the canon of the New and Old Testament are of divine authority, as in particular these two epistles of St. Paul to Timothy? Where does the Scripture assure us of this? But of this elsewhere. (Witham) --- Every part of divine Scripture is certainly profitable for all these ends. But if we would have the whole rule of Christian faith and practice, we must not be content with those Scriptures which Timothy knew from his infancy, (that is, with the Old Testament alone) nor yet with the New Testament, without taking along with it the traditions of the apostles and the interpretation of the Church, to which the apostles delivered both the book and the true meaning of it. (Challoner)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    All Scripture. Greek. pasagraphe (singular)

    given by inspiration of God = God-inbreathed. Greek. theopneustos. Only here.

    profitable. See 1 Timothy 4:8.

    for. App-104.

    reproof. Greek. elenchos. It means "proof" and so "conviction". Only here and Hebrews 11:1. The texts read elegmos.

    correction. Greek. epanorthosis. Only here.

    instruction. Greek. paideia. See Ephesians 6:4.

    righteousness. App-191. It will be noticed that in the earlier part of the verse the word "is "appears in italics, showing that there is no word for it in the Greek and it has therefore to be supplied. The Revised Version omits" is" in the first case and reads, "Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable", thus suggesting that some Scriptures are not inspired. There are eight other passages which present exactly the same construction, and not one of these has been altered by the Revisers. Had they done so in the same manner as they have done in this case, the result would have been as fol lows: Romans 7:12. The holy commandment is also just. 1 Corinthians 11:30. Many weak are also sickly. 2 Corinthians 10:10. His weighty letters are also powerful. Similarly with the other passages, which are 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:4, 1 Timothy 4:9. Hebrews 4:13. It is true the Authorized Version rendering is given in the margin of the Revised Version, but it is difficult to see why that should be disturbed.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    All Scripture, [ pasa (Greek #3956) graphee (Greek #1124)] - 'Every Scripture;' i:e., Scripture in its every part. However, "all Scripture" is a justifiable translation, as the technical use of "Scripture" is so notorious as not to need the article (cf. Greek, Ephesians 3:15; Ephesians 2:21, in several manuscripts.) Graphee (Greek #1124) is never used of any writings except the sacred Scriptures. The position of the two Greek adjectives [Theopneustos kai ofelimos] forbids taking the one as an epithet, the other as predicate (as Ellicott), 'Every Scripture given by inspiration of God is also profitable.' The adjectives are so closely connected that as one is a predicate, the other must be so too. This construction is not, as Ellicott's, harsh. [ Theopneustos (Greek #2315)] 'God-inspired' is found nowhere else. Most of the New Testament books were written when Paul wrote this his latest letter: so he includes in 'All Scripture [every portion of the hiera (Greek #2413) grammata (Greek #1121), "the Holy Scriptures"] is God-inspired,' not only the Old Testament, in which alone Timothy was taught when a child (2 Timothy 3:15), but the New Testament books, according as they were recognized in churches, having men gifted with "discerning of spirits," and so able to distinguish really inspired utterances, persons, and writings (1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:37) from spurious.

    'All Scripture is God-inspired, and therefore useful:' because we see no utility in any portion, it does not follow it is not God-inspired. It is useful because God-inspired; not God-inspired because useful. One reason for the Greek article not being before "Scripture," may be that, if it had, it might have seemed to limit "Scripture" to the hiera (Greek #2413) grammata (Greek #1121), "Holy Scriptures" (2 Timothy 3:15) of the Old Testament, whereas the assertion is general: "all Scripture" [cf. pasa profeteia grafees, 2 Peter 1:20]. Plenary inspiration of every part of the Scriptures, as a living organic whole, is here set forth. The translation, 'all Scripture that is God-inspired is also useful,' would imply that there is some Scripture which is not God-inspired. But the exclusive New Testament sense of "Scripture" forbids this: and who would need to be told that "all divine Scripture is profitable?" Hebrews 4:13 would then have to be rendered, 'All naked things are also open to the eyes of Him,' etc.: so also 1 Timothy 4:4 (Tregelles 'On Daniel').

    Knapp defines inspiration, 'An extraordinary divine agency upon teachers while giving instruction, whether oral or written, by which they were taught how and what they should speak or write' (cf. 2 Samuel 23:1; Acts 4:25; 2 Peter 1:21). The inspiration gives God's sanction to all the words of Scripture, though they be the utterances of the individual writer, and only in special cases revealed directly (1 Corinthians 2:13). Inspiration is predicated of the writings, "All Scripture," not the persons. The question is not how God has done it: it is as to the word, not the men who wrote it. All the sacred writings are everywhere inspired, though not all alike matter of special revelation; even the words are divinely sanctioned, as Jesus used them (ex. gr., in the temptation, and John 10:34-35) for deciding all questions of doctrine and practice. There are in Scripture degrees of revelation, but not of inspiration.

    The sacred writers did not even always know the full significancy of their own God-inspired words (1 Peter 1:10-12). Verbal inspiration is not mechanical dictation, but 'all Scripture is (so) inspired by God' that everything in it-its narratives, prophecies, citations, ideas, phrases, words-are such as He saw fit to be there. The present condition of the text is no ground against the original text being inspired, but is a reason why we should use all critical diligence to restore the original. Inspiration may be accompanied by revelation or not; but it is as much needed for writing known doctrines or facts authoritatively as for communicating new truths (Tregelles). The omission of "is," I think, marks that not only the Scripture then existing, but what was still to be written until the canon should be completed, is included as God-inspired. The Old Testament was the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; so it is appropriately designated as "able to make wise unto salvation:" wisdom being appropriated to a knowledge of the relations between the Old and New Testaments, and opposed to the sophistical wisdom of the false teachers (1 Timothy 1:7-8).

    Doctrine - teaching dogmatic truths which we cannot otherwise know. Paul so uses the Old Testament (Romans 1:17).

    Reproof, ['Aleph (') A C G read elegmon (G1648a) for elengchon (Greek #1650) (Delta)] - confuting error: including polemical divinity. As an example of this use of the Old Testament, cf. Galatians 3:6; Galatians 3:13; Galatians 3:16. 'Doctrine and reproof' comprehend speculative divinity. Next follows practical: Scripture is profitable for correction [ epanorthoosis (Greek #1882)], 'setting one right.' Compare the Old Testament used for this, 1 Corinthians 10:1-10, and instruction [ paideian (Greek #3808)], 'disciplining,' as a father his child. Note, 2 Timothy 2:25; Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:5; Hebrews 12:11, "training" by instruction, warning, and chastisements. Compare an example of this use of the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 13:5; 1 Corinthians 5:13. The irreverent are 'confuted,' the frail 'set right' (Grotius). Scripture 'teaches' the ignorant, as the Ethiopian eunuch; 'confutes' the evil, as Elymas; 'sets right' the erring, as David; 'disciplines' the godly, as Paul's thorn in the flesh. Thus theology is complete in Scripture. Since Paul is speaking of Scripture in general, the only general reason why, in order to perfecting the godly (2 Timothy 3:17), it should extend to every department of revealed truth, must be that it was intended to be the complete and sufficient rule. See Article VI., 'Common Prayer Book.'

    In - `instruction which is in [ teen (Greek #3588) en (Greek #1722)] righteousness,' as contrasted with the "instruction" in worldly rudiments (Colossians 2:20; Colossians 2:22).

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God.—Although this rendering is grammatically possible, the more strictly accurate translation, and the one adopted by nearly all the oldest and most trustworthy versions (for example, the Syriac and the Vulgate), and by a great many of the principal expositors in all ages (for instance, by such teachers as Origen, Theodoret, Grotius, Luther, Meyer, Ellicott, and Alford), runs as follows: “Every scripture inspired by God is also profitable for doctrine, for reproof,” &c.

    The rendering followed by the English version, and which is certainly grammatically possible, by making—“all Scripture” the subject, and “given by inspiration of God” the predicate, declares positively the inspiration of all the Old Testament Scriptures, for this is what the Apostle must have referred to, if we understand this verse as we have it rendered in the English version above. The New Testament at this period was certainly not all written; for instance, St. John’s Gospel, St. John’s Epistles, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Apocalypse, with several of the Catholic Epistles, probably were composed at a later date than that assigned to this letter to Timothy. St. Paul, massing together an evidently well-known number of writings under the term πᾶσα γραϕή, spoke of the Jewish Scriptures, the “canon” of which was then determined.

    But such a declaration of the inspiration of these writings to Timothy and to those associated with him would seem unnecessary and uncalled for. Timothy and the trained Jew of the first century would never dream of doubting the divine origin of their most prized and sacred writings. There is nothing in the verses immediately preceding which would call out such a statement. It seems, therefore, on exegetical, as well as on grammatical, considerations best to follow the interpretation of those ancient and venerable witnesses the Syriac and Latin (Jerome’s) versions, and to understand St. Paul’s words here, as asserting that every inspired writing (this, it should be observed, does not exclude those recent sacred compositions which—Gospels or Epistles—he had seen or written himself, and the divine origin of which he well knew) is profitable for doctrine, &c. Thus he exhorted Timothy to show himself a contrast to the false teachers—ever shifting their ground and waxing worse and worse—by keeping steadily to the old teaching of doctrine and of life. He was not to change, not to advance, but was to remember that every inspired Scripture was profitable for doctrine and for life. It was by these writings, St. Paul would remind him, that he must test his teaching. On the way in which “inspiration of God” was understood in the Church of the first days, see Excursus at the end of this Epistle.

    Inspiration of God.—This thought, perhaps, rather than these words, is admirably paraphrased by St. Peter: “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). The various uses of Holy Scripture in the training of the man of God are set forth in the enumeration which closes this verse. These sacred writings must, in all ages, St. Paul would urge, be the hand-book of the Christian teacher. From it he must prove the doctrines he professes; hence, too, he must draw his reproofs for the ignorant and erring. It must be the one source whence he derives those instructions which teach the Christian how to grow in grace.



    “See and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”

    Jeremiah 6:16.

    THE question of “inspiration” is one that in the present day often is the subject of debate. In the hot and often angry controversies on this subject among us, it will be useful and interesting to see what were the opinions held by those learned and devoted men living, many of them, in the times immediately succeeding the first age of the Faith, when those walked on earth who had seen and conversed with the Lord Jesus. We wilt give the words of a few of the more distinguished of the early fathers of the Faith, selecting them from different centres of Christianity.

    ROME.—Clement, Bishop of Rome, A.D. 70-96. Ad Cor Ep. i. 45. Ad Cor. Ep. i. 47.

    Our quotations begin from the very days of the Apostles. Clement mentioned by St. Paul (Philippians 4:3), who, as history tells us, was the second Bishop of Rome, exhorts his readers “to look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit;” and in another place in the same writing he expressly refers to a well-known New Testament Epistle thus:—“Take up the Epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle, what did he write to you in the beginning [that is, in the first days of the preaching] of the gospel? In truth, divinely inspired πνευματικῶς, divinitus inspiratus], he wrote to you Corinthians about himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because just then factions [party spirit] existed among you.”

    ASIA MINOR.—Polycarp of Smyrna, A.D. 108. Ep. to Philippians, cap. iii.

    Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of St. John, in the one letter we possess of his, tells us “that neither he nor any like him is able to attain perfectly to the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who, when he was with you, before the men who were then living taught the word of truth perfectly and surely.”

    SYRIA.—Ignatius of Antioch, A.D. 107. Ep. to Philad., cap. v. Ep. to Magn., cap. viii. Ep. to Romans, cap. iv.

    “Let us love the prophets” (of the Old Testament), wrote Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, the pupil of St. John, to the congregations of Philadelphia, “because they proclaimed the gospel, and believed in Christ, and waited for His coming, and through their faith in Him were saved.” “These most divine prophets lived according to Jesus Christ,” he writes to the Church of Magnesia, “being inspired by His grace.” Again: “I do not command you [Romans] like Peter and Paul: they were Apostles; I am a condemned man.”

    EGYPT.—Barnabas of Alexandria, probably A.D. 140-160. Ep. Barnabas, ix. Ep. Barnabas, x. and v.

    Barnabas (probably not the friend of St. Paul, but a teacher of Alexandria who lived some seventy or eighty years after St. Paul’s martyrdom), in his well known letter, speaks there of the inspiration of the Old Testament writings. Writing of Ps., “The Lord saith in the prophet;” and of Psalms 33:13, “The Spirit of the Lord prophesieth;” and in another place he tells us how “the prophets received their gift from Christ and spoke of Him;” also that “Moses spake in the Spirit.”

    ROME & EPHESUS. Justin Martyr, A.D. 140-150. Cohortatio ad Gen tiles, 12. Apologia, i. 44. Apologia, i. 44, &c.; i. 40; i. 35. Apologia i. 36. Cohortatio ad Gentiles, 8.

    This writer, several of whose works we still possess, was a scholar and thinker of no mean order. He wrote within half a century of St. John’s death. He in several places gives us his view of the inspiration of the divine writings. Referring to the Old Testament, he speaks of the history which Moses wrote by divine inspiration. while the Holy Spirit of Prophecy taught us through the instrumentality of Moses. Of David and of Isaiah he writes in similar terms (propheta Isaias divinitus afflatus a spiritu prophetico). His view, of the prophetic office is remarkable. “We must not suppose,” he writes, “that the expressions go forth from the men who are inspired, but from the divine word which moves them.” Speaking of the writers of the Old Testament, he calls them “holy men who required no eloquence, no skill in argumentative speaking, but who only needed to present themselves pure for the Divine Spirit to act upon, in order that the divine plectrum [an instrument, usually of gold or ivory, used for striking the lyre], coming down from heaven, acting on just men as a plectrum on a lyre or harp, might reveal to us the knowledge of divine and heavenly things.”

    ATHENS.—Athenagoras, A.D. 160-180. Leg. pro Christ. 9.

    This Athenian philosopher, who, while studying the Holy Scriptures with a view of refuting Christianity, was converted by the very writings he was endeavouring to bring into disrepute, writes (using the same strange, powerful metaphor which we found in the above quotation from Justin): “The prophets, while entranced . . . by the influence of the Divine Spirit, they gave utterance to what was wrought In them—the Spirit using them as instruments as a flute-player might blow a flute.”

    LYONS.—Irenœus, A.D. 180. Contra Hœr, iii. 1. Contra Hær.iii. 5.

    This famous writer and bishop of the early Church was connected in his early years with Polycarp, the pupil of St. John. He (to choose one out of many passages of his writings on this subject) thus writes of the Apostles:—“After that our Lord rose from the dead, and they [the Apostles] were clothed with the power of the Spirit from on high, they were filled with a perfect knowledge of all things.” “The Apostles, being the disciples of truth, are beyond all falsehood, though they speak according to the capacity of their hearers, talking blindly with the blind.”

    Contra Hœr. ii. 28.

    In another passage this Bishop of Lyons of the second century tells us, “The Scriptures are perfect, inasmuch as they were uttered by the Word of God and His Spirit.”

    NORTH AFRICA: CARTHAGE.—Tertullian, A.D. 200. Apologia xxxi.

    Tertullian, perhaps the ablest—and, had it not been for his unhappy choice in later life of a wild and perverted form of Christianity, the greatest—of the Latin fathers, calls the Holy Scriptures the “voices of God” (voces Dei). In another place he writes that “the four Gospels are built on the certain basis of apostolical authority, and so are inspired in a far different sense from the writings of the spiritual Christian. All the faithful, it is true, have the Spirit of God; but all are not Apostles.”

    EGYPT: ALEXANDRIA.—Clement master of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, A.D. 199-200. pæd. i. 11. Protr. i. 5

    Clement of Alexandria was master of the catechetical school of the most learned city of the world at the end of the second century, only 100 years after the death of St. John; and taught in famous school—as did well-nigh all the early fathers of Christianity—the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of Scripture. “It was by the masters of Israel,” wrote Clement, “that God led men properly to the Messiah—speaking to them in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets . . . The word of God, disregarding the lifeless instruments, the lyre and the harp, reduces to harmony . . . man, and through that many-voiced instrument makes melody to God, and says to man, ‘Thou art my harp, my flute, my temple: my harp, from the harmony [of many notes]; my flute, from the Spirit that breatheth through thee; my temple, from the word that dwelleth in thee.’ Truly of man the Lord wrought a glorious living instrument, after the fashion of His own image—one which might give every harmony of God tuneful and holy.”

    De Antichriitn 2. ROME.—Hippolytus of Portus, A.D. 218. De antichristo, 2.

    Hippolytus, Bishop of Portus (one of the suburban districts of Rome), a most learned and distinguished writer of the Italian Church of the early part of the third century, a pupil of Irenæus of Lyons, in one of his treatises preserved to us, expresses himself very clearly and with singular force on this subject. Speaking of the Jewish prophets, he writes, “These blessed men . . . spake not only of the past, but also of the present and future, that they might be shown to be heralds of things to come, not for a time merely, but for all generations. . . . For these fathers, having been perfected by the Spirit of Prophecy, and worthily honoured by the Word Himself, were brought to an inner harmony like instruments; and having the Word within them to strike the notes, by Him they were moved, and announced that which God wrote. For they did not speak of their own power, be well assured, nor proclaim that which they wished themselves, but first they were rightly endowed with wisdom by the Word, and afterwards well foretaught of the future by visions, and then, when thus assured, spake that which was revealed to them by God.”

    ALEXANDRIA.—Origen, A.D. 230. De Principiis, lib. i. Proœmium, 4. De Principiis, i. Proœmium, i. Contr.Celsum, vii. 4 Hom. in Jer. xxi. 2.

    The Church, while condemning the errors into which the greathearted Origen fell, still reads in every age with reverence and admiration his marvellous and brilliant teaching. It will be well to close this short paper on a great subject with two or three extracts from this famous Alexandrian master, on the subject of inspiration: “The Holy Spirit inspired each of the Saints, Prophets, and Apostles. . . . The same Spirit was present in those of old times as in those who were inspired at the coming of Christ.” “Christ, the Word of God, was in Moses and the prophet and by His Spirit they sake and did all things.” Again, in his work against Celsus, he writes the following wise and beautiful words:—“The true God acted on the prophets to enlighten and strengthen them, and not to cloud or to confuse their natural powers . . . . for the divine messengers, by the contact of the Holy Spirit with their soul, so to speak, gained a deeper and a clearer intuition of spiritual truth, and they then became more perfect men as well as wise seers.” In one of his homilies Origen does not hesitate even to say that “there is nothing, whether in the Law or in the Prophets, in the Evangelists or in the Apostles, which does not descend from the fulness of the divine majesty.”

    Hom. in Ex. xi. Hom. in Gen. xi. 3. De Principiis, iv. 16 Home. in Jos. xx.

    This gifted teacher’s noble words on the way in which these God-inspired writings should be read deserve to be graven on the heart of every Christian believer: “We must read them with pure hearts, for no one can listen to the word of God . . . unless he be holy in body and spirit: . . . no one can enter into this feast with soiled garments. He who is a student of God’s oracles must place himself under the teaching of God; such a one must seek their meaning by inquiry, discussion, examination, and, which is greatest, by prayer. . . . Prayer is the most necessary qualification for the understanding of divine things. . . . If, then, we read the Bible with patience, prayer, and faith; if we ever strive after a more perfect knowledge, and yet remain content in some things to know only in part—even as prophets and apostles, saints and angels, attain not to an understanding of all things—our patience will be rewarded, our prayer answered, and our faith increased. So let us not be weary in reading the Scriptures which we do not understand, but let it be unto us according to our faith, by which we believe that all Scripture, being inspired by God, is profitable” (Origen, quoted by Westcott).

    [For many other early patristic references on this subject of the teaching of the Church of the first days on the subject of the “Inspiration of the Scriptures,” see the exhaustive paper of the Religious Professor of Divinity (Cambridge), Canon Westcott, in his Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Appendix C, pp. 383-423, upon which this short Excursus is mainly based.]

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2 Samuel 23:2; Matthew 21:42; 22:31,32,43; 26:54,56; Mark 12:24,36; John 10:35; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Romans 3:2; 15:4; Galatians 3:8; Hebrews 3:7; 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21
    and is
    Psalms 19:7-11; 119:97-104,130; Micah 2:7; Acts 20:20,27; 1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:11-16
    for doctrine
    for reproof
    4:2; Proverbs 6:23; 15:10,31; John 3:20; Ephesians 5:11-13; Hebrews 11:1; *Gr:
    for instruction
    2:25; Deuteronomy 4:36; Nehemiah 9:20; Psalms 119:9,11; Matthew 13:52; Acts 18:25; Romans 2:20
    Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 4:8 - GeneralDeuteronomy 29:29 - revealed;  Job 32:8 - the inspiration;  Job 36:4 - perfect;  Psalm 102:18 - This;  Psalm 119:160 - Thy word is true from the beginning;  Zephaniah 1:1 - word;  Acts 16:1 - which;  Romans 4:23 - GeneralRomans 12:2 - good;  1 Corinthians 14:6 - doctrine;  Hebrews 5:13 - the word;  James 2:23 - the scripture;  1 Peter 2:6 - it;  2 Peter 1:21 - the prophecy

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

    Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

    2 Timothy 3:16

    "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    On all subjects connected with our most holy faith, it is most desirable to have clear views. Every point of divine truth is laid down with the greatest clearness and precision in the word of God. The darkness, the ignorance, the confusion which prevent us from seeing it are all in us. But as we search the Scriptures, as we meditate upon them, as we by prayer and supplication draw light, life, and wisdom out of Him "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;" and, above all, as we mix faith with what we read, there is often, if not usually, a gradual breaking-in of light; and as we follow up its heavenly rays, it shines more clearly and broadly, and the truth stands out more fully and prominently before our eyes. This is the only way in which we can be "filled with the knowledge of God"s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding," and thus be established in the faith, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

    To understand the scripture, to see in it the mind of the Holy Spirit, to be deeply penetrated with, and inwardly possessed of the heavenly Wisdom of Solomon, holy instruction, and gracious revelation of the counsels and will of God unfolded therein, demands much and continual patient and prayerful study. As in business, diligence and industry lead on to prosperity and success, and sloth and idleness are the sure road to ruin; so in the greatest, most serious, and important of all business, the concerns of the soul, there is a holy diligence, a heavenly industry, whereby it thrives and grows, and there is a slothful indolence whereby it becomes clothed with rags ( Proverbs 23:21).

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    Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible.

    Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

    "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

    Paul doesn"t leave it there - he further emphasizes the importance of Scripture for the believer - indeed, if we hath not a high regard for Scripture we will be deceived and go into that same evil as the evil men.

    All Scripture: We generally apply this phrase to the entirety of the Word as we have it today and rightly so, however Timothy would have understood the phrase differently. He would have thought of the Old Testament specifically and possibly some of the early writings that he had probably seen, however I am not sure he would have recognized Paul"s writings as inspired Scripture. I suspect he would have thought of the Old Testament only as inspired at this point in time.

    Can you imagine hearing this truth for the first time as Timothy did? The Jews held to the Bible being Gods word, but the specific thought of inspiration seems to be a new concept introduced by Paul and Peter.

    This is of note to me in that Paul had a concept of the inspired Word of God long before the church set forth the Canon. He recognized God"s work in the setting down of the Old Testament for all of mankind to use in their lives if they only would.

    Given by inspiration of God is a concept also pictured in 2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." I am told that this term "moved" has the thought of being born along as something or someone in a ship. The word is used in Acts 27:17 of Paul's ship being driven along by the storm. The thought of one in a boat being born along by the wind is the picture. As the writer wrote, he was born along by God. There are a number of thoughts on just what is meant by this idea of inspiration. I would like to just list some of these thoughts for your general knowledge.

    "1. DICTATION THEORY: When I consider this theory, I am reminded of the idea of padlocking someone"s mouth so that they can say nothing.

    "In this line of thinking, they tell us that the Holy Spirit took the message from God and imposed it upon the writer, and that the writer just recorded the words, much as a stenographer would record the words of an employer.

    "In short, man opened brain, and God poured it in. It then flowed out through the man"s hands. This thought is proven incorrect by the many styles of writing that we have in the Scriptures. The styles fit the life and times of the author. Not only are there different styles but there are different historical backgrounds involved in the scriptures.

    "If dictation were the method, then the texts that speak of the author"s great love, or remorse over sin would become phony and empty if the person penning the words weren"t involved (The Psalmist, Daniel in his prayers, etc.).

    "Fundamentalists are accused of holding to this mode of inspiration but most do not. Most hold to verbal, plenary inspiration. There may be a few very strong "sovereignty of God" men that hold to the dictation theory.

    "2. PARTIAL INSPIRATION THEORY: This theory allows my mind to imagine the Sunday school teacher getting up to teach the class and presenting an overlay of Scripture. He has marked only three verses in red and mentions that these are the only verses that are inspired in that portion of the Bible, and that is what will be studied for the day. A ridiculous thought I trust?

    "This theory originated in answer to the problem that many think that the Bible has errors of history and nature in it. They felt that they had to devise a theory that would allow for those errors. (Heaven forbid that they take the Bible by faith and prove the historian and scientist incorrect - which has been done in most if not all of those "error" passages.)

    "This position holds to two authors as we believe, however is limited to only the doctrinal parts of scripture, and not the other areas such as history and science.

    "If only the doctrinal parts are inspired then why carry all the uninspired around with us? Let"s just rip all that uninspired stuff out and have smaller Bibles.

    "The problem arises - which sections are doctrinal and which are not. When Christ turned water into wine - was this section doctrinal or historic? It could be teaching miracles thus doctrinal, or trying to explain science, and not inspired. Who is the judge?

    "This view and the concept view are held by New and Young evangelicals. These people are probably Christians, however they are far a field of fundamentalism, and in reading some of their writings they seem more political than spiritual in emphasis.

    "3. CONCEPTUAL THEORY: The concept that God wanted to communicate was given to the author and the author was then free to put the concept into his own words and record those words as the Scriptures. This position even allows for the author to make up a story to show the concept. This is the basis for the thought of some that Jonah is "just a story".

    "This idea that God gave a concept and the man put it to words, is not a logical theory. How can one being communicate with another being without the words being important? They suggest that Jonah being in a fish, or not being in a fish is not the point. It was a story. It needn"t be true - only that the reader know that he was punished for his wrong doing.

    "The Jews killed after David"s sin of numbering the people is only to show the result of sin. It didn"t really happen. No one really died, they suggest.

    "Example: I want to communicate something to you. There was a man driving down the road and his car suddenly swerved out of control into a deep lake. The car began to sink. Luckily he was able to climb out of the window. What point was I trying to make? If you guessed that the building is on fire and you should climb out a window, you are right. Wouldn"t the phrase "FIRE" have communicated the facts more readily? This theory can only lead to great confusion.

    "4. INTUITION THEORY: The men that authored the scriptures were functioning only on insight which they had, and there is no divine author or interference.

    "Now, to put that into perspective, let"s assume that I have great insight into things, and indeed I feel that I do. In fact I think that I should author a book based on my great intellectual insight. Now, how many of you would like to base your eternal destiny on that book when it is written?

    "5. ILLUMINATION THEORY: The men were inspired and given much illumination and they recorded their own thoughts and words as they saw fit.

    "6. DYNAMIC THEORY: Some list this as the same as mystic, while others as verbal plenary, and some believe that both the men and words were inspired. God supernaturally inspired the man to write the words.

    "7. LIMITED INSPIRATION THEORY: This is the theory held by many Young Evangelicals. The Bible is inerrant in the matter of salvation, but it has errors in the historical and scientific areas. The next logical step is to question the Bible in the matters of salvation. If part is false then how can we determine which is true?

    "8. NEOORTHODOX THEORY: The Bible gives witness to God, however it has errors due to the infallibility of its writers.

    "9. NATURAL INSPIRATION THEORY: This view would have us believe that God sought out gifted men to write His message to man. Some men are great writers of poetry, some are great artists, some are great politicians and some are just great writers of things that inspire people to do things. The writers of scripture were only men gifted in this area.

    "If this theory be true then we can look to the great novels of man such as Giant, the Caine Mutiny or Hawaii for general guides for our lives.

    "Indeed, if this theory be true then there are no guides for our lives.

    "10. MYSTICAL INSPIRATION THEORY: This idea might be called the mystical zap theory as well. God mysteriously zapped the authors of Scripture and they wrote. God empowered the authors to write. This was some mystical empowerment to record God"s Word. I personally don"t feel comfortable using the results of a person"s "mystical high" to guide and pattern my life. Indeed, I do not want to trust my eternal destiny to such theories.

    "11. DEGREES OF INSPIRATION THEORY: Some parts are more inspired than others. When God spoke from the burning bush, or wrote the Ten Commandments - that"s really inspired! When Luke records the remembrances of Mary there was much less inspiration involved. If this be true then who is the judge of which is the "really inspired" and which is the "not so inspired?" There would be no basis for truth if this theory were true. Can we sin a little if its not "really inspired" then sin lots when its not so inspired? If this theory was true I"d probably use the not so inspired part of the Scripture for devotions! I wouldn't get so convicted if using less inspired passages.

    "12. VERBAL PLENARY INSPIRATION: God in some manner moved the author along as he wrote. The author used his own style of writing, yet the Holy Spirit was moving him along so that the result is God"s Word - true and complete. There were a number of methods by which He communicated with man. We have discussed these but will mention them again. Verbal communication, Dreams, Visions, Trances, Theophanies and Written communications.

    "The doctrine of inspiration would seem to be directly related to that information which the writer put into writing from verbal communication, however Scripture would also bear out the fact that other forms of communication were also inspired, and were also God"s own message.

    "This is the only view that allows for differences of style and language. It is the only view that allows God to communicate with man in a logical, real manner." (MR. D'S NOTES ON THEOLOGY Salem, OR 1992)

    Inspiration simply means God breathed - He moved the writers along as they wrote.

    Profitable for doctrine: This is the usual word for doctrine or learning - that which is taught and learned. Any teaching is actually doctrine, and in the church situation Bible teaching is doctrine. You see doctrine is not a bad thing as some indicate - it is the natural result of the Scriptures.

    Reproof: This is a proving of something - proving the wrong action of the one being reproved would be the thought of the word.

    In church discipline you would want to reprove the one in the wrong - confront them with their wrong, with why it is wrong and with why they should abandon their wrong.

    Naturally the use of Scripture in this process is a must - a required to make it right and correct.

    Correction: This term has the thought of righting a tipped over item - setting back upright.

    This runs along the lines of reproof, only probably not quite as strong. It might include items such as incorrect lifestyle or treatment of others.

    "Instruction in righteousness:" This instruction most likely works along with the previous items - the correcting of what is wrong via proper teaching of the Word.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books".

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    16.The divine suitableness of Scripture to fit the minister for his work.

    All Scripture—The Greek word for Scripture, , simply signifies writing; hence in 2 Timothy 3:15 the adjective holy, and, perhaps, here the adjective God-breathed, (which is the literal Greek of the full phrase given by inspiration of God,) are used to qualify the word as meaning the sacred writings. Yet of the fifty times in which the Greek word , occurs, it does not once designate any thing else than the sacred canon. Scholars find two interpretations for this passage. One is clearly expressed in our English translation: All scripture is inspired and profitable, etc. But the verb for is, not being in the Greek, can be supplied at a different place; and the Greek for and can be emphatic, also. We, then, may have the rendering, All inspired scripture is also profitable, etc. In the former interpretation the inspiration of Scripture is affirmed, in the latter case assumed. Either interpretation is sustainable by the Greek. Ellicott, Alford, and Huther prefer the latter; in which they are sustained by Origen, Grotius, Erasmus, Whitby, and Hammond; also by the Syriac, Vulgate, and Luther’s version. The latter meaning lies most clearly in the train of thought.

    That thought, and, perhaps, words, should be God-breathed into, or on, a human being, is a conception familiar to ancient pagan as well as Hebrew and Christian writers. Josephus says: “The prophets learned the highest and most ancient things by the inspiration (breathing on) that is from God.” Plutarch speaks of “the God-breathed dreams.” Cicero says, “No man was ever great without some divine afflatus, (breathing-on.) Either the thought might be imparted to the man, and then the thought was inspired; or the man might be elevated to a higher tone, and so, speaking spontaneously, his words would have something divine about them. 2 Peter 1:21; Matthew 22:43, seems to describe the latter inspiration.

    Scripture, Paul tells Timothy, is profitable, positively for doctrine, or teaching positive truth; negatively for reproof, or rather, refutation of error; disciplinarily for correction of conduct; formatively as a whole for righteousness or rectitude of character.


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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    2 Timothy 3:16. In the absence of any extant Greek MS. authority for the omission of before , we may assume that the early writers who ignored it did so from carelessness. The sentence then is best taken as a repetition and expansion of that which has just preceded; corresponding to , and , . . ., to , . . .: Every writing which is inspired by God is also profitable. of course has exclusive reference to the definite collection of writings which St. Paul usually designates as or ; but it is used here in a partitive, not in a collective sense. A parallel case is John 19:36-37, . Hence the rendering writing or passage is less free from ambiguity than scripture (R.V.). The nearest parallel to this ascensive use of , as Ellicott terms it, is Galatians 4:7, , . See also Luke 1:36, Acts 26:26; Acts 28:28, Romans 8:29.

    : If there is any polemical force in this adj., it is in reference to heretical writings, the contents of which were merely intellectual, not edifying. In any case, the greatest stress is laid on . St. Paul would imply that the best test of a being would be its proved serviceableness for the moral and spiritual needs of man. See Romans 15:4, 2 Peter 1:20-21. This, the R.V. explanation of the passage, is that given by Origen, Chrys., Thdrt., syrr., the Clementine Vulg., Omnis scriptura divinitus inspirata utilis est ad docendum etc. [The true Vulg. text, however, is insp. div. et utilis ad doc.] The other view (A.V., R.V.m.), which takes as a simple copula, Every Scripture is inspired and profitable, is open to the objection that neither in the antecedent nor in the following context is there any suggestion that the inspiration of Scripture was being called in question; the theme of the passage being the moral equipment of the man of God. For this view are cited Greg. Naz., Ath. It is to be added that it is possible to render , the whole of Scripture, on the analogy of Matthew 2:3, (Ephesians 2:21 cannot be safely adduced as a case in point); but it is unnecessary and unnatural.

    (see notes on 1 Timothy 1:10) and represent respectively positive and negative teaching. Similarly and have relation respectively to “the raising up of them that fall,” and the disciplining the unruly; ad corrigendum, ad erudiendum (Vulg.).

    : a which is exercised in righteousness. Compare the dissertation on the , Hebrews 12:5sqq. in reff. is used in relation to children only.



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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.

    The Bible Study New Testament

    16. All Scripture. The whole Sacred Scriptures. This statement will cover both the Old and New Testaments. Remember that some of the gifts from the Spirit made it possible to identify those writings that were inspired from those that were not inspired. So there would be no doubt on the CANON (those which make up the Old and New Testaments). For teaching the truth. The Good News about God’s act in Christ to set men free! In other words, the whole Christian System. Rebuking error. To show what is in error. See 1 Timothy 5:20and note. Correcting faults. To point people in the right direction by showing them how they ought to live. Giving instruction. So people will know both what God expects from them and what they must expect to meet along the way. This certainly includes making people aware of God’s promises and blessings!!! Compare Hebrews 12:5-14and notes.




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    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    16All Scripture; or, the whole of Scripture; though it makes little difference as to the meaning. He follows out that commendation which he had glanced at briefly. First, he commends the Scripture on account of its authority; and secondly, on account of the utility which springs from it. In order to uphold the authority of the Scripture, he declares that it is divinely inspired; for, if it be so, it is beyond all controversy that men ought to receive it with reverence. This is a principle which distinguishes our religion from all others, that we know that God hath spoken to us, and are fully convinced that the prophets did not speak at their own suggestion, but that, being organs of the Holy Spirit, they only uttered what they had been commissioned from heaven to declare. Whoever then wishes to profit in the Scriptures, let him first of all, lay down this as a settled point, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine delivered according to the will and pleasure of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit.

    If it be objected, “How can this be known?” I answer, both to disciples and to teachers, God is made known to be the author of it by the revelation of the same Spirit. Moses and the prophets did not utter at random what we have received from their hand, but, speaking at the suggestion of God, they boldly and fearlessly testified, what was actually true, that it was the mouth of the Lord that spake. The same Spirit, therefore, who made Moses and the prophets certain of their calling, now also testifies to our hearts, that he has employed them as his servants to instruct us. Accordingly, we need not wonder if there are many who doubt as to the Author of the Scripture; for, although the majesty of God is displayed in it, yet none but those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit have eyes to perceive what ought, indeed, to have been visible to all, and yet is visible to the elect alone. This is the first clause, that we owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God; because it has proceeded from him alone, and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it.

    And is profitable Now follows the second part of the commendation, that the Scripture contains a perfect rule of a good and happy life. When he says this, he means that it is corrupted by sinful abuse, when this usefulness is not sought. And thus he indirectly censures those unprincipled men who fed the people with vain speculations, as with wind. For this reason we may in the present day, condemn all who, disregarding edification, agitate questions which, though they are ingenious, are also useless. Whenever ingenious trifles of that kind are brought forward, they must be warded off by this shield, that “Scripture is profitable.” Hence it follows, that it is unlawful to treat it in an unprofitable manner; for the Lord, when he gave us the Scriptures, did not intend either to gratify our curiosity, or to encourage ostentation, or to give occasion for chatting and talking, but to do us good; and, therefore, the right use of Scripture must always tend to what is profitable. (192)

    For instruction Here he enters into a detailed statement of the various and manifold advantages derived from the Scriptures. And, first of all, he mentions instruction, which ranks above all the rest; for it will be to no purpose that you exhort or reprove, if you have not previously instructed. But because “instruction,” taken by itself, is often of little avail, he adds reproof and correction

    It would be too long to explain what we are to learn from the Scriptures; and, in the preceding verse, he has given a brief summary of them under the word faith. The most valuable knowledge, therefore, is “faith in Christ.” Next follows instruction for regulating the life, to which are added the excitements of exhortations and reproofs. Thus he who knows how to use the Scriptures properly, is in want of nothing for salvation, or for a Holy life. Reproof and correction differ little from each other, except that the latter proceeds from the former; for the beginning of repentance is the knowledge of our sinfulness, and a conviction of the judgment of God. Instruction in righteousness means the rule of a good and holy life.

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.