2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:1, 2 Timothy 3:13-16, 2 Timothy 3:16, Corrie ten Boom, Ephesians 6, Genesis 3, God-breathed, Holy Scripture, Jot and tittle, Matthew 5:18, pasa graphe, ta hiera grammata, the last days, Tramp for the Lord
2 Timothy 3:1, 13-16 reads:
“1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
What Corrie ten Boom said is true: “Now you are listening to the voice of God. Keep listening. He has much more to say to you,” (Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord, page 127-130). Oh how God longs for His people to be in His word, to be listening to His voice written there. How often we run to devotionals, to popular literature by others about what they think the Bible says, and even to uninspired sermons based on the opinions of commentators and theologians. But what about His word that lies dusty on a shelf or under a stack of other books or in a drawer or laying in a corner somewhere? And when we do open it, we become so distracted that we don’t get much read and very little of it is thought about.
But, according to Jesus, we shall not live by bread (food) alone, but by every word of God (Matthew 4). And Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16 says that, “All Scripture is inspired.” The Greek for inspired there is God-breathed. This is the same word that is used in Genesis when it says that God breathed into Adam and Eve the breath of life, and they became living souls. God’s word is God-breathed too. Thus, it is “living and active” (Hebrews 4) and life giving.
I’m going to go just a little bit deeper a minute. Stick with me if you can.
There are two Greek words used for the Word of God in these verses. Ta hiera grammata meaning “holy scriptures” and pasa graphe meaning “all Scripture”. So….there are two different words here used for Scripture. Graphe and Grammata.
In verse 15 “holy Scripture”, reveals to us that every microscopic detail matters to God and has been consecrated to Him. To begin with, the adjective used to define writings/Scripture is the term SACRED, which is hieros in the Greek meaning, “sacred and that which may not be violated” and refers to one’s position of office not one’s character. Thus, the scriptures have been given a holy position by God Himself. They are holy because He has consecrated them and made them holy. The Scriptures that have been consecrated are the very “letters of the alphabet,” even each book is made up of those letters. The letters of the alphabet mentioned here would be the letters of the Hebrew alphabet specifically, which Timothy had been trained up in since a child. And these sacred letters of the Hebrew alphabet make up the words of the books of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures). These letters and individual books have been made holy by the Lord.
What is the importance of every letter in Scripture? Jesus in Matthew 5:18 states, that “18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” A iota/jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and a tittle is the Greek word keraia which refers to the small stroke of the pen that helped to distinguish the difference between the letters. Both the iota and keraia are extremely small, yet extremely important! After all, Jesus said that they are. The smallest marks of the pen in the Scriptures is extraordinarily significant. Indeed, every letter makes up a specific word, and every mark (that distinguished one letter from another) makes the message clearer. Indeed, every letter and mark is sacred, for all will be brought to pass.
In verse 16, ALL is the Greek word pasa meaning “every part of it together, and every part of the whole respectively and includes the idea of oneness, a totality of the whole”. Graphe is the Greek word most often used for Scriptures in the Bible. Thus, it could read, “every part of the Scriptures all together.”
Thus, when Paul writes that “all Scripture is God-breathed” he means quite clearly that every smallest letter and every tiniest mark is God-inspired. Not even the smallest part can be avoided, for every part of it all together is God-breathed and will be fulfilled. For indeed, God honors His word above His name (Psalm 138:2). Thus, He will bring every part of it to pass, both Old and New.
Now, according to this passage why is it important to know that the Bible in its totality is God-breathed?
1. We’re living in the last days and those perilous times are upon us. Evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse, even infiltrating the Church, polluting the Gospel, and leading away believers into deception. There is an unseen war, and we are apart of it. Our weapon is the Word of God (Ephesians 6). There is a war of words, and the only way to win it is to know the Word. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15).
2. In them is the Gospel of salvation through Jesus (John 5:39, 46-47).
3. Furthermore, it changes us from the inside out, and is “profitable”
*for doctrine (biblically sound beliefs),
*for reproof (showing us where we are wrong),
*for correction (showing us the right way, getting us back on the right path),
*and for instruction in righteousness (it helps us put the Word of God to Action).
A lot of us have been in church a lot of years. A lot of us attended Sunday school as children. A lot of us have known Jesus a long time. But, I encourage us to continue reading the Bible. Don’t let tv or devotionals get in the way. If your eyes can’t read too well anymore, have someone read it to you. There is also the Bible on cassette tape or cd. You see, the Word of God is life for us. It is the voice of God to us. As Corrie ten Boom said, “Now you are listening to the voice of God. Keep listening. He has much more to say to you.”