“All Scripture is God-Breathed.”

2 Timothy Chapter 3 verse 16 starts by saying that “all Scripture is God-breathed,” or inspired and most Christians would at least give lip-service to that. If that is the case then why do many believers underline or highlight verses in their Bibles, often at the behest of preachers who will insist that members of their congregations must underline this or that verse? Are we saying that we regard some portions of Scripture as being more inspired than others. Inadvertently that might be the case. I hasten to add that I have heard many fine and solid preachers of the Word tell their listeners to do the above and this is not meant as criticism of any one individual. The question we need to ask ourselves is “Do I regard some of Scripture as being more inspired than others?”
Imagine a diagram or graph, along the base is written the names of the various books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and on the vertical axis the percentage to which we believe the Word of God to be inspired. In theory there should be a straight line at a hundred per cent from one side to the other. But in reality is this the case? I think not. If I am honest then I have to admit that some passages of Scripture leave me rather cold. We can try and argue that verses that excite us are 200 per cent inspired, but surely either a verse of Scripture is inspired or it is not. In arguing that some verses are more inspired, inevitably we are at the same time arguing that some verses are less inspired.
Going back to our imaginary diagram; the Sadducees only believed that the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) were inspired so the diagram for them would be a straight line for the first five books then steeply falling towards zero. The Pharisees believed what is the whole of the Old Testament to be Scripture. In theory the diagram for them would be straight until the New Testament was reached. After Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem he was able to cause division between the two factions largely because of their attitudes to what parts of Scripture were inspired or not. Today when Christians from different strands of Christianity discuss matters they often find themselves talking at cross purposes. How much of this is because we think that Scripture that agrees with our theology is more inspired than that which might challenge it? To simplify matters imagine the discussion between an Orthodox Jew and an Evangelical Christian. Both use verses as if they were playing a card game, hoping that each card they play will win the trick. The Orthodox Jew not regarding the New Testament as Scripture will find the Evangelical’s favourite quotes from either Jesus or Paul as being invalid. Likewise, the Evangelical finds that the Orthodox Jew’s quoting of the Torah as being “Old Covenant,” that has been superceeded by the “New.” The problem being that it is if each other does not recognise the suit which they have called trumps, leading to increasing frustration.
If we do not accept the first part of the verse then it is no use for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Jesus when arguing with the Sadducees had to quote from the Torah to contradict their unbelief in the concept of resurrection when said “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” thus proving the Lord was the God of the living and not the dead.
David Rose, 2015.

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About davidgrose

I am a Bible believing Christian, brought up in the Brethren Movement, and now find myself associating with charismatics even though I do not always agree with them. I am in full-time employment. I have interests in history and photography amongst others.
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