Page 6 - August 2018 - Truth & Tidings






Page 6 - August 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 6

n the previous article, we saw how   and power-imparting. Because Scripture is
            Paul directed Timothy to the resources   God-breathed it is possessed of the same
        Iwhich would allow him to stand      power. The Bible is no mere collation of
        for truth in the face of encroaching and   dead documents. It is a living organism,
        increasing error: the “holy writings” of   warm with the breath of God.
        Old Testament Scripture and the apostolic   Paul says little here about the mechan-
        teaching Timothy received directly from   ics of inspiration. It is left to Peter to tell
        Paul. They are two parts of one whole: “all   us that “holy men of God spake as they
        Scripture … God-breathed and profitable.”   were moved [carried along, NET] by the
        Notice the adjectives applied to Scripture   Holy Ghost” (2Peter 1:21, KJV). It is also
        in 2 Timothy 3:16: “God-breathed” and   Peter who tells us these prophets did not
        “profitable.” These reveal something of   fully understand “what manner of time
        the power, profit, and purpose uniquely   the Spirit of Christ which was in them did
        characteristic of the Word of God.   signify, when it testified beforehand the
          It is worthwhile to begin by stating the   sufferings of Christ, and the glory that
        obvious. These adjectives are not isolated;   should follow” (1Peter 1:11, KJV). Those
        there is a close relationship between them.   whom God used in the giving of Scripture
        Scripture is profitable because it comes   did not fully understand the import of the
        from God. The power that it has because   message they communicated.
        it is God-breathed is the power that makes   Yet, for all this, they were not simply
        it profitable. It is the “living and effective”   automatons or amanuenses – inspiration
        Word of God (Heb 4:12, HSCB). Moreover,   is not simply Divine dictation. One of the
        the power and profit of Scripture are di-  great joys of Scripture is the diversity in
        rected to a specific purpose: the equipping   its unity. Paul does not write like John,
        of the man of God to every good work.  nor Matthew like Mark. One could never
          “God-breathed” (theopneustos) occurs   mistake Haggai for Zechariah, or confuse
        only this once in the Bible, and appears to   Ezekiel with Daniel. The works of each
        have been a word coined by the apostle.   writer bear the stamp of his personality,
        It comes with a rich resonance of Old   education, and experience. Inspiration did
        Testament imagery. We can hardly read it   not overpower or eliminate the personality
        without thinking of the scene in Genesis 2,   of the individual, but God moved by the
        when “the Lord God formed man of the   Holy Spirit in a way we can neither fully
        dust of the ground, and breathed into his   understand nor explain, to give, through
        nostrils the breath of life; and man became   fallible human instruments, the infallible
        a living soul” (v7, KJV). There may be   Word of God. What a wonder it is to hold
        echoes, as well, of John 20:22, where the   in our hands the Holy Scriptures possess-
        Lord Jesus “breathed on [the disciples],   ing Divine power.
        and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy   Because it has this power, the Scripture
        Ghost” (KJV), and the breath summoned   is also profitable. In verse 15, Paul reminds
        by  the  Word  of  God  to  reanimate  the   Timothy the “holy writings” of the Old
        dried bones of Ezekiel 37. Implicit in this   Testament “are able to make thee wise unto
        term are the ideas of Divine origin and the   salvation through faith which is in Christ
        concomitant concept of Divine power. The   Jesus” (KJV). Notice that “are able” (like the
        breath of God is life-giving, soul-forming,   verb dunamai which the expression trans-

        230 TRUTH kTidings   August  2018
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