DAILY EMAIL GOODIES
Issue #2474 September 21, 2010
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).
The Greek word graphe from which “Scripture” is translated simply means “Writings.”But the Scriptures are not just any “writings.” They are THE Writings – THE Scriptures. They stand unique and alone from the very breath of God.
“Graphe” is used with the definite article THE as we would use the word “book” with the definite article THE to describe the Word of God – it is THE Book.
A study of the usage of this Greek word “graphe” in the Scriptures will prove quite revealing as to its true scriptural meaning. Thus we are reminded that the Scriptures always define themselves.
Throughout the Greek Scriptures the word “graphe” is an unmistakable reference to quotations from both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. In its usage we can clearly determine the following regarding the “Scriptures”:
- They can be read (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10), as they are directly related towords (Romans 4:3; 9:17; Romans 10:11).
- They are directly tied to the knowledge of God (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).
- They are our absolute standard, without which we would be in error (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).
- They are prophetic, foretelling future events (Matthew 6:54, 56; Mark 14:49; 15:28; Luke 4:21; John 13:18; 17:12).
- They were written by God’s Prophets (Matthew 26:56; Luke 24:27; Romans 16:26).
- They are the actual words of God – the Word of God (II Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 9:17; c.f. Exodus 9:16).
- They are God-breathed – given by the special inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16-17; c.f. Luke 4:4; Genesis 2:7; John 6:63).
- They speak about the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 8:35; 17:2-3; 18:28; I Corinthians 15:3-4).
- They include all three sections of the Hebrew Scriptures – the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).
- They include the Greek Scriptures – examples: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (I Corinthians 15:3-4; I Timothy 5:18), and Paul’s writings (II Peter 3:15-16). They are preserved, permanent, unbreakable, and unchangeable (John 10:35).
- They are sometimes hard to understand (II Peter 3:15-16).
- They require that our spiritual eyes be opened for understanding (Luke 24:31-32, 45; c.f. Ephesians 1:18).
- They can be wrested (twisted) by those who are unlearned, to their own destruction (II Peter 3:15-16).
- They need to be studied – searched, tracked, investigated and explored (John 5:39; Acts 17:11).
- They are not for private, or personal (i.e., one’s own individual) interpretation (or explanation) (II Peter 1:20). We must therefore study them carefully to find out God’smeaning. The Scriptures are actually their own explanation. Thus we are to learn the meaning of the words in the local and remote contexts.
- They are to be the basis of our reasoning, as they alone are the standard of truth – we test everything by them (Acts 17:2-3; c.f. John 5:39).
- They are the source of our spiritual power and ability (Acts 18:24). We are to be well versed in them.
- They are to be searched daily. Such a searching is a noble work before God (Acts 17:11) – as opposed to merely Sunday listening, we are to be involved in daily searching.
- They are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction (II Timothy 3:16-17).
- They are for our perfecting (maturing), to completely furnish us to do all of God’s good works (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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