Paul and The 'Inspiration' of Scripture

Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi

In II Timothy 3:16, we read the claim of Paul:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

In the above verse, we clearly see that the entire Bible is supposed to be inspired from God Almighty.

First of all, let us just say that we completely agree that “all scripture is by inspiration of God”. However, this is basically a valueless statement because what does the word “scripture” mean? It means Divinely revealed (or “inspired”) books that speak the will of God. Thus to say that “all scripture is by inspiration of God” is the same as saying “all books that were inspired by God were inspired by God”. This is pointless double-speak that not only proves nothing, but also fails to address the real issue. This issue is whether or not something that people claim to be scripture really is a scripture — in whole or in part.

This is not to mention the fact that when this statement was originally made by Paul, he was referring not to the New Testament, but only to the Jewish writings that he (rightly or wrongly) considered to be scripture. As most Protestant Christian apologists usually do, they fail to mention the verse just before the passage mentioned above. In II Timothy 3:15, we read: ” . . . and from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures . . .” Obviously, since none of the so-called “gospels”, nor the Epistles of Paul, could have existed in this person’s “childhood”, the entire New Testament is excluded from this passage. If later Christians came to believe that everything that they claimed was “inspired by God” was really “inspired by God”, then that is their mistake. So suffice it to say that we submit to and follow the authentic Word of God, but just because someone claims that they have been “inspired” doesn’t mean that we believe them.

Paul who wrote II Timothy 3:16 had ridiculously contradicted himself because he had admitted that he wasn’t always inspired by God Almighty (1 Corinthians 7:25-30). Verses 1 Corinthians 7:25-30 are today permanently preserved in the “Bible”. If God Almighty indeed spoke II Timothy 3:16 through Paul, then He wouldn’t have contradicted Himself in the verse about the entire Bible being His Word, while permanently preserving Paul’s personal words and suggestions in the “Bible”. This should be a partial evidence that Paul was not truthful.

The word “Bible” is a modern term, and comes from the word Biblia which means “books”. Furthermore, until today we see various Churches have a different number of collection of books in their “Bible”. So when such claim is made, it is not right for us to use it to prove the entire “collection” was inspired from God Almighty. Since all of the books of the New Testament were deemed “Divinely inspired” by a Church that already had a certain theological point of view, it comes as no surprise that some parts of the books that they selected (at the expense of others) confirm their beliefs. Suffice it to say that even if Christians are able to produce an (alleged) statement of Jesus, peace be upon him, in the New Testament in which he explicitly says “I am God, worship me!”, this would only prove that the Church had made a mistake in its selection of gospels.

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