2 Timothy 3:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

New Living Translation
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

English Standard Version
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Berean Study Bible
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Berean Literal Bible
Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

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

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

Christian Standard Bible
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,

Contemporary English Version
Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.

Good News Translation
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,

International Standard Version
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

NET Bible
Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

New Heart English Bible
All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Every writing which is written by The Spirit is profitable for teaching, for correction, for direction and for a course in righteousness,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God's approval.

New American Standard 1977
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

Jubilee Bible 2000
All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

King James 2000 Bible
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

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

American Standard Version
Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,

Darby Bible Translation
Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;

English Revised Version
Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness:

Webster's Bible Translation
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Weymouth New Testament
Every Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for convincing, for correction of error, and for instruction in right doing;

World English Bible
Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,

Young's Literal Translation
every Writing is God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that is in righteousness,
Study Bible
All Scripture is God-Breathed
15From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 29:29
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.

Zephaniah 3:2
She heeded no voice; she accepted no instruction. She does not trust in the LORD; she has not drawn near to her God.

Romans 4:23
Now the words "it was credited to him" were written not only for Abraham,

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.

2 Peter 1:20
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet's own interpretation.

2 Peter 1:21
For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Treasury of Scripture

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 The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.

Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone …

Matthew 22:31,32,43 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that …

Matthew 26:54,56 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be…

Mark 12:24,36 And Jesus answering said to them, Do you not therefore err, because …

John 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture …

Acts 1:16 Men and brothers, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled…

Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that …

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God.

Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen …

Hebrews 3:7 Why (as the Holy Ghost said, To day if you will hear his voice,

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any …

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well …

and is.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony …

Psalm 119:97-104,130 O how I love your law! it is my meditation all the day…

Micah 2:7 O you that are named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD …

Acts 20:20,27 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable to you, but have …

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with.

Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; …

for doctrine. See on ver.

2 Timothy 3:10 But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, …

for reproof.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, …

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs …

Proverbs 15:10,31 Correction is grievous to him that forsakes the way: and he that …

John 3:20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the …

Ephesians 5:11-13 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but …

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

for instruction.

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure …

Deuteronomy 4:36 Out of heaven he made you to hear his voice, that he might instruct …

Nehemiah 9:20 You gave also your good spirit to instruct them, and withheld not …

Psalm 119:9,11 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto …

Matthew 13:52 Then said he to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed …

Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent …

Romans 2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which have the …

(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 ???? ?????, 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" (2Peter 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 ???????????, 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. 17:45, "The Lord saith in the prophet;" and of Psalm 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.--Iren?us, A.D. 180. Contra H?r, iii. 1. Contra Haer.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 H?r. 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. paed. 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 Irenaeus 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. Pro?mium, 4. De Principiis, i. Pro?mium, 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.]

Verse 16. - Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, A.V.; teaching for doctrine, A.V.; which is in for in, A.V. Every Scripture, etc. There are two ways of construing this important passage: (A) As in the A.V., in which θεόπνευστος is part of the predicate coupled by καὶ with the following ὠφέλιμος; (B) as in the R.V., where θεόπνευστος ισ part of the subject (as πᾶ῀ν ἔργον ἀγαθόν, "every good work," 2 Corinthians 9:8, and elsewhere); and the following καὶ is ascensive, and to be rendered "is also." Commentators are pretty equally divided, though the older ones (as Origen, Jerome (Vulgate), the versions) mostly adopt (B). In favour of (A), however, it may be said

(1) that such a sentence as that which arises from (B) necessarily implies that there are some γραφαὶ which are not θεόπνευστοι, just as Πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν implies that there are some works which are not good; πᾶσα εὐλογία πνευματική (Ephesians 1:3), that there are some blessings which are not spiritual; πᾶν ἔργον πονηρόν (2 Timothy 4:18), that there are some works which are not evil; and so on. But as γραφή is invariably used in the New Testament for "Scripture," and not for any profane writing: it is not in accordance with biblical language to say, "every inspired Scripture," because every Scripture is inspired.

(2) The sentence, taken according to (B), is an extremely awkward, and, as Alford admits. harsh construction, net supported in its entirety by one single parallel usage in the whole New Testament.

(3) The sentence, taken according to (A), is a perfectly simple one, and is exactly parallel with 1 Timothy 4:4, Πᾶν κτίσμα Θεοῦ καλόν καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused."

(4) It is in perfect harmony with the context. Having in the preceding verse stated the excellence of the sacred writings, he accounts for that excellence by referring to their origin and source. They are inspired of God, and hence their wide use and great power.

(5) This interpretation is supported by high authority: Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, etc., among the ancients (Alford); and Bengel, Wiesinger, De Wette, etc., among modern. The advocates of (B), as Bishop Ellicott, Dean Alford, etc., speak very doubtfully. With regard to the rendering of πᾶσα γραφή, no doubt, strict grammar, in the absence of the article, favours the rendering in the R.V., "every Scripture," rather than that of the A.V., "all Scripture." But Alford's remark on Matthew 1:20 applies with full force here: "When a word or an expression came to bear a technical conventional meaning, it was also common to use it without the article, as if it were a proper name, e.g., Θεός νόμος υἱὸς Θεοῦ," etc. Therefore, just as πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα (Matthew 2:3) means "all Jerusalem," not "every Jerusalem," so here πᾶσα γραφή means "all Scripture." What follows of the various uses of Holy Scripture is not true of "every Scripture." One Scripture is profitable for doctrine, another for reproof, and so on. Examples of γραφή without the article are 2 Peter 1:20 and Romans 1:2; and of πᾶς not followed by the article, and yet meaning "all," are in Ephesians 2:21 and Ephesians 3:15. Inspired of God, etc. (θεόπνευστος); here only in the New Testament or LXX., but occasionally in classical Greek, as Plutarch. For teaching, etc. The particular uses for which Scripture is said to be profitable present no difficulty. Teaching, of which Holy Scripture is the only infallible source. Reproof (ἔλεγχον or ἐλεγμόν); only here and Hebrews 11:1; but in classical Greek it means "a proof," specially for the purpose of "refutation" of a false statement or argument. Here in the same sense for the "conviction" or "refutation" of false teachers (comp. Titus 1:9, 13), but probably including errors in living (compare in the 'Ordering of Priests,' "That there be no place left among you, either for error in religion or for viciousness in life"). Correction (ἐπανόρθωσιν); only here in the New Testament, but occasionally in the LXX., and frequently in classical Greek, as Aristotle, Plato, etc., in the sense of "correction," i.e. setting a person or thing straight, "revisal," "improvement," "amendment," or the like. It may be applied equally to opinions and to morals, or way of life. Instruction which is in righteousness. There is no advantage in this awkward phraseology. "Instruction in righteousness" exactly expresses the meaning. The Greek, τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνη, merely limits the παιδεία to the sphere of righteousness or Christian virtue. By the use of Holy Scripture the Christian is being continually more perfectly instructed in holy living. 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. 16. All scripture—Greek, "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, Eph 3:15; 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 (2Ti 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" (2Ti 3:15) of the Old Testament, whereas here the assertion is more general: "all Scripture" (compare Greek, 2Pe 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')?" Heb 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 1Ti 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 2Sa 23:1; Ac 4:25; 2Pe 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 (1Co 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 Joh 10:34, 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 (1Pe 1:10, 11, 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 (1Ti 1:7, 8).

doctrine—Greek, "teaching," that is, teaching the ignorant dogmatic truths which they cannot otherwise know. He so uses the Old Testament, Ro 1:17.

reproof—"refutation," convicting the erring of their error. Including polemical divinity. As an example of this use of the Old Testament, compare Ga 3:6, 13, 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, 1Co 10:1-10) and instruction (Greek, "disciplining," as a father does his child, see on [2504]2Ti 2:25; Eph 6:4; Heb 12:5, 11, or "training" by instruction, warning, example, kindnesses, promises, and chastisements; compare an example, 1Co 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 (2Ti 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.

in—Greek, "instruction which is in righteousness," as contrasted with the "instruction" in worldly rudiments (Col 2:20, 22).3:14-17 Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. The age of children is the age to learn; and those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. They must not lie by us neglected, seldom or never looked into. The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God, 2Pe 1:21. It is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible.
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