Sola Scriptura 8
Scripture means writing. “The term “scripture” is derived from the Latin “scriptura”. Almost invariably this word occurs with the definite article “the” indicating the authoritative written matter of the Bible itself” (Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, 1537).
Paul used the Greek word graphe in 2 Timothy 3:16. Within this context, it refers to the Old Testament. However, as the canon of Scripture was completed, it also came to refer to this passage, along with the entire New Testament. The crucial factor in this text is the usage of the word “all.” The clearest understanding is that God inspired all and every separate part of Scripture.
The phrase “is given by inspiration of God” is a single word in the Greek; θεόπνευστος / theopneustos. It literally means God-breathed. One author defines biblical inspiration as “God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs.”
Warren Wiersbe writes:
The Holy Spirit of God used men of God to write the Word of God (2 Peter 1:20–21). The Spirit did not erase the natural characteristics of the writers. In fact, God in His providence prepared the writers for the task of writing the Scriptures. Each writer has his own distinctive style and vocabulary. Each book of the Bible grew out of a special set of circumstances. In His preparation of men, in His guiding of history, and in His working through the Spirit, God brought about the miracle of the Scriptures (The Bible Exposition Commentary, 1989).
Another author states:
It is important to note that inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the Bible writers; there are no inspired Scripture writers, only inspired Scripture. So identified is God with His Word that when Scripture speaks, God speaks (Romans 9:17; Galatians 3:8). Scripture is called “the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2; I Peter 4:11) and cannot be altered (John 10:35; Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 6:17; Revelation 22:18-19) (MacArthur Study Bible, 1879).
Dr. R.C. Sproul explains:
Paul is saying that Scripture is “expired” or “breathed out” by God. This is not a mere quibble. It is obvious that for inspiration to take place there must first be expiration. A breathing out must precede a breathing in. The point is that the work of divine inspiration is accomplished by divine expiration. Since Paul says that Scripture is breathed out by God, Scripture’s origin or source must be God himself (Tabletalk 25: VIII).
Scripture alone is the believer’s final authority. The church must remain committed to this truth. Why is a commitment to Sola Scriptura so necessary? We address this question in tomorrow’s blog.