3:16 All scripture. “All Scripture”—that is, every individual “scripture”—is included in this reference, not just the thoughts, but the actual writings, the words written down. Thus the words, not just the “thoughts,” are inspired of God. This one verse repudiates the idea of “partial inspiration” and also that of so-called “dynamic inspiration.” The true doctrine is plenary verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. Since God is omniscient, the Scriptures are, therefore, infallible and free from error of any kind.

3:16 inspiration of God. “Given by inspiration of God” is all one word in the Greek, theopneustos, meaning “God-breathed.” This word refutes any idea of human inspiration (such as a poet, or musician might claim). The Scriptures, by whatever particular methods God may have used in their various parts, including the individual human abilities and researches of the various human writers (whose abilities He had created and whose researches He had guided), as they finally came from their Spirit-guided minds and pens, are in effect God-breathed.

3:16 doctrine. “Doctrine” is the same as “teachings.” All that the Bible teaches is true and profitable for study.

3:16 reproof. “Reproof” means “conviction” or “evidence” (as the word is translated in Hebrews 11:1). The Scriptures themselves give abundant internal evidence of their own divine inspiration.

3:16 correction. “Correction” means “setting right.” This is the only occurrence of this particular word (Greek epanorthosis) in the New Testament.

3:16 instruction in righteousness. “Instruction” (Greek padeia) is translated “nurture” in Ephesians 6:4 and “chastening” in Hebrews 12:5,7,11. The Scriptures not only teach doctrine, but also provide evidence of their truth, correction of any mistaken notions, and then any needed conviction and discipline warranted for our training as babes in Christ.

3:17 perfect. The word used here for “perfect” (Greek artios) is found nowhere else in the New Testament. It seems basically to mean “new” or “fresh,” which most expositors interpret as “complete.” Perhaps, however, it refers to our ultimate perfection in Christ, when “we shall be like Him” (I John 3:2), with all sin removed and the age-long effects of the curse taken away. He has promised: “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5), and that must include us as well, even our bodies (Philippians 3:20-21). We shall then, indeed, be as fresh and perfect as Adam was when he was first created—even more so, as perfected in Christ. No doubt, the “man of God” shall be as perfect then as “the law of the LORD is perfect” now (Psalm 19:7), for the Holy Scriptures are now, and will eternally be, our spiritual food (Matthew 4:4; 24:35).

3:17 throughly furnished. “Throughly furnished” is one word in the Greek, meaning “completely equipped.” We need nothing more than God’s complete Word for our complete life.


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