Originally posted by edsinger
3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 3:17 that the person
dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
Christians love to quote this passage as if it proves the Bible is inpired, but there are several serious problems with this passage :
2 Tim 3:16 is ambiguous
The meaning of 2 Tim 3:16 is ambiguous in the Greek because the "is" is not found in Greek.
Here is Young's literal translation, which hedges it's bets by including "is" not found in the original :
16 every Writing ('is') God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that ('is') in
Here is the literal translation without the fudged "is" :
16 every Writing God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that in righteousness,
Here is what essay on bible.org says about the variant translation :
"Such a translation is possible, but not required. Actually either translation can claim to be accurate. Both translations have to supply the word is
since it does not appear in the original."
Some Bible versions do have the variant :
(2 Tim 3:16 REB) All inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right
(2 Tim 3:16 Lamsa) All scripture written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for
instruction in righteousness;
(2 Tim 3:16 NEB) Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right
(2 Tim 3:16 ASV) Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in
(2 Tim 3:16 YLT) every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in
(2 Tim 3:16 Darby) Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in
(2 Tim 3:16 WYC) For all scripture inspired of God is profitable to teach, to reprove, to chastise, [for] to learn in rightwiseness,
(2 Tim 3:16 Douay-Rheims) All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice:
(2 Tim 3:16 Webster's) All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
(2 Tim 3:16 Inspired Version) And all scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
(2 Tim 3:16 Brown and Comfort Interlinear) ALL SCRIPTURE [IS] GOD-BREATHED AND USEFUL FOR TEACHING, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION FOR TRAINING IN
GNT's note at 2 Timothy 3:16 that gives "Every scripture inspired by God is also useful" as a valid translation (and one that implies that not all
scripture is inspired).
Note that apologists never quote this version of the translation, because it doesn't say what they want it to.
New Testament didn't exist when Timothy was written
It is basic Christian history that the NT did not exist when Timothy was written. Timothy was written in early-mid 2nd century (mid 1st according to
Christian stories though) But the NT did not exist as a collection until 4th century.
Timothy could not possibly have been cailling ITSELF "scripture" as it was being written, could it ?
Timothy is a forged letter
It is a well known consensus of NT scholars that the Pastorals were forged letters, not by Paul. You can read some details here as to why :
An excerpt follows :
2 Timothy is one of the three epistles known collectively as the pastorals (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus). They were not included in Marcion's
canon of ten epistles assembled c. 140 CE. Against Wallace, there is no certain quotation of these epistles before Irenaeus c. 170 CE.
Norman Perrin summarises four reasons that have lead critical scholarship to regard the pastorals as inauthentic (The New Testament: An Introduction,
1. Vocabulary. While statistics are not always as meaningful as they may seem, of 848 words (excluding proper names) found in the Pastorals, 306 are
not in the remainder of the Pauline corpus, even including the deutero-Pauline 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, and Ephesians. Of these 306 words, 175 do
not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, while 211 are part of the general vocabulary of Christian writers of the second century. Indeed, the
vocabulary of the Pastorals is closer to that of popular Hellenistic philosophy than it is to the vocabulary of Paul or the deutero-Pauline letters.
Furthermore, the Pastorals use Pauline words ina non-Pauline sense: dikaios in Paul means "righteous" and here means "upright"; pistis, "faith,
" has become "the body of Christian faith"; and so on.
2. Literary style. Paul writes a characteristically dynamic Greek, with dramatic arguments, emotional outbursts, and the introduction of real or
imaginary opponents and partners in dialogue. The Pastorals are in a quiet meditative [myspace]style[/myspace], far more characteristic of Hebrews or
1 Peter, or even of literary Hellenistic Greek in general, than of the Corinthian correspondence or of Romans, to say nothing of Galatians.
3. The situation of the apostle implied in the letters. Paul's situation as envisaged in the Pastorals can in no way be fitted into any
reconstruction of Paul's life and work as we know it from the other letters or can deduce it from the Acts of the Apostles. If Paul wrote these
letters, then he must have been released from his first Roman imprisonment and have traveled in the West. But such meager tradition as we have seems
to be more a deduction of what must have happened from his plans as detailed in Romans than a reflection of known historical reality.
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