2 Timothy 3:16–17

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."

Scripture, we have noted, testifies to the fact that God has revealed Himself progressively, building on what He revealed before until the final revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1–2). Though using human language to communicate to us and employing human authors to write His Word, the Lord is the ultimate source of the Bible, which is why we can be confident that divine revelation unfolds harmoniously without contradicting itself. When we speak of Scripture's origin, we are talking about the fact that Scripture comes from God Himself.

Numerous biblical passages testify to this truth, but 2 Timothy 3:16–17 may be the most important of these. In this text, the Apostle Paul tells us that "all Scripture is breathed out by God." The translation "breathed out" is the rendering of the Greek term theopneustos, and it is perhaps the most literal way to convey this term in English. Human speech requires us to breathe out. Air from our lungs must pass through our vocal cords, vibrating them at certain frequencies to produce sounds that are then formed into words by our mouths. In saying that God "breathed out" Scripture, Paul indicates that the words of the Bible are the Lord's words. Just as the words we say are our speech because we produce them in the process of breathing air out through our vocal cords and mouth, the words of Scripture are God's words because He produced them. Yes, human authors wrote down these words, but they are no less God's words than if the Lord had taken the pen and written them Himself.

Today, we find that many people consider us foolish for living by the teaching of Scripture because it was written long ago and by men who did not enjoy the same kind of technological advancements that we do. Given cultural pressure, we could find ourselves slowly adopting their view of Scripture if we are not careful to remember its divine origin. We follow the Bible not because it evokes fond memories of childhood when we went to church and our parents read the Scriptures to us. We reject modern notions of morality not because we are unthinking bigots who do not want people who are different from us to be happy. Our confidence in the Bible is based not in a fearful rejection of what science can legitimately tell us. No, we seek to conform our lives to the Scriptures because they are the very Word of God, and we have no option but to believe and live by what our Creator has said.

Coram Deo

We must have the firm confidence that Scripture is the Word of God, or we will not be able to stand firm in the day of trial. Scripture may have been written thousands of years ago, but it is the very revelation of God Himself. What the Bible says, the Lord says, and that is why we must know, love, and obey the Scriptures.

For Further Study