Daily Bible Nugget #299, 2 Timothy 3:17

The Nugget:

2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

My Comment:

The third proof that the Bible is understandable, proof of the perspicuity of the Scriptures, is what is stated at 2 Timothy 3:17, the Bible equips for every good work.

From the time I first read the New Testament seriously as a teenager, this verse stood out clearly to me. To me this verse showed that the Bible is sufficient to perfectly equip us for all good works.

This means that if we learn what the Bible says, we need look to no other authority, no other teaching authority, beyond its pages, as might be claimed to exist in an institution, such as a church or denomination, or religious organization. In a similar vein of thought, John taught the readers of his first letter at 1 John 2:20, 27, that his readers did not have any need to follow the teaching of anyone else. Paul taught his readers in the churches of Galatia that they must not allow any new source of teaching that differed from what Paul had already taught them to influence their belief or practice. Paul placed a strong curse against those who would teach his converts in Galatia any new doctrine (Galatians 1:8, 9). Jude urged his readers to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).

To suggest that the Bible does not teach that it is “sufficient” is to contradict what Paul has written here by Divine Inspiration. To attempt to get around what Paul here proclaims by redefining “sufficiency” into “formal sufficiency” and “material sufficiency,” which I first learned of in my discussion here with Dave Armstrong, I believe is reading a distinction into this text of Scripture that is not there, and was not there or understood in such a manner by those to whom this letter was written. I wonder if such a distinction is an idea introduced into the text by a church intent on disobeying the Bible by its inclusion of Tradition in a manner to add to what is in the Bible to justify some beliefs and practices which are not found in or are even contrary to the New Testament.

In order for the man of God, or any Christian believer, to be perfect or complete, thoroughly furnished or prepared or equipped for the work God wants done, the Bible must be understandable, and it most certainly is for those who will read and study it.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1414 for 2 Timothy 3:17.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1435 or in Logos 5 Bible software for 2 Timothy 3:17.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

2 Timothy 3:17. the man of God. Dt 33:1. Jsh 14:6. Jg 13:6, 8. 1 S 2:27. 9:6-8, 10. 1 K 12:22. 13:1, 4-8, 11, 12, 14, 21, 26, 29, 31. 17:18, 24. 2 K 1:9-13. 4:7, 9, 16, 21, 22, 25, 27, 40, 42. 5:8, 14, 15, 20. 6:6, 9, 10, 15. 7:2, 17-19. 8:2, 4, 7, 8, 11. 13:19. 23:16, 17. 1 Ch 23:14. 2 Ch 8:14. 11:2. 25:7, 9. 30:16. Ezr 3:2. Ne 12:24, 36. Ps 90:1, title. See on **Ps 119:98-100. Je 35:4. +1 Tim 6:11. 2 P 1:21. perfect. or, fitted. Gr. artios (S#739g, only here), fresh, that is, (by implication) complete (Strong). Jb 36:4. 2 Cor 13:9. %**+Ep +4:11-14. Phil 3:15. James 1:4. throughly furnished. or, perfected. or, equipped. Gr. exartizō (S#1822g, only here and Ac 21:5), to finish out (time); figuratively to equip fully (a teacher) [Strong]. FS41, Ge +10:1. Holy Scripture is the only source of doctrinal and spiritual authority for the Christian. This passage teaches the sufficiency of Scripture: Scripture furnishes all that the Christian must know to be saved and to grow in grace, and tells us all we need to know to live a life which is well pleasing to God. No source of doctrine or revelation outside of Scripture is valid, for such a source would be adding to the written word of God, which is absolutely forbidden by Scripture (+*Re 22:18). Cardinal John Henry Newman thinks otherwise. He states: “The Church would always be the living teacher. It is a mistake to limit ‘Christ’s word’ to the written word only or to suggest that all his teachings were reduced to writing. The Bible nowhere supports either notion.” And that is not what this text of Scripture claims. This text of Scripture teaches the Bible is sufficient to equip the man of God, and sufficient to bring a person to salvation. Cardinal John Henry Newman is attacking a “straw man” and himself asserting a false claim. This is an example of the heresy Paul warned us against (Ac 20:29, 30). The Church is not our teacher: the Bible is. That is not to say that a church may not teach about Jesus Christ, for genuine churches focus upon the balance of truth given us in the New Testament and Scripture as a whole, but we are to test the truthfulness of all teaching by checking it against what is written in the Bible. Cardinal Newman further states: “It is quite evident that this passage furnishes no argument whatever that the sacred Scripture, without Tradition, is the sole rule of faith; for, although sacred Scripture is profitable for these four ends, still IT IS NOT SAID TO BE SUFFICIENT.” (Newman, Inspiration, p. 131). Apparently, Cardinal Newman simply did not know how to read the Bible accurately. The very passage Cardinal Newman is discussing is the central Bible text which asserts THE ABSOLUTE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE! For him to flat-out deny the teaching of this text shows he simply had an axe to grind, and was not properly conveying the meaning and teaching of this Bible text. This is the chief text in the entire Bible on the subject of the sufficiency of Scripture. To deny this, as Cardinal Newman did, shows an inability to read the Scripture and take it for what it most plainly says. The claim of the Roman Catholic Church to possess additional teaching from Jesus Christ in the form of unwritten Tradition not found in the New Testament is not true (2 Th 2:15n). Such a claim by the Roman Catholic Church is heresy. It is also a lie. This very text of Scripture teaches we must go by Scripture alone. This is a position logically derived from the statements of the Bible itself, starting here (see also Ps 119:104, 105, 130. Is 8:20. Je 23:28. Mk 12:24. Jn 5:39. **Jn 20:31. Ac 17:11, 12. 1 Th 5:21n. 1 P 2:2. 2 P 1:19. 3:18). The Bible as we now have it is complete: there are no additional sources available today which contain genuine communications from Jesus, his original twelve disciples, or the Apostle Paul, that are essential and necessary for a person to have saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, words which legitimate scholarship agrees are genuine and from the time of Christ. All we have, and all we need, is contained in the 27 primary source documents of our New Testament, and the 39 books of the Old Testament, and nowhere else. Dave Armstrong, noted Roman Catholic apologist, affirms two types of sufficiency: material sufficiency and formal sufficiency. Roman Catholics affirm material sufficiency: that the Scriptures contain all the truths necessary to believe to be saved, but deny formal sufficiency, that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice even over the Church and Tradition, which is what Cardinal Newman was denying. T#1112. +*2 Tim 2:21. Ne 2:18. **+Ps 119:104, 113, 128. +**Is 8:20n. *Je 23:28. Mt 13:52. +Lk 6:40. +*Ep 4:11-14. good works. +2 Tim 2:21. Ex 35:29. Mt 20:2. 26:10. +Mk 14:6. Jn 15:16. Ac 9:36. Ro 12:2. *2 Cor 9:8. **Ep 2:10. 1 Tim 5:10. Titus 1:16. **Titus 2:14. 3:1, 8. *He 10:24. +**1 J 2:3n.

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One Response to Daily Bible Nugget #299, 2 Timothy 3:17

  1. ken sagely says:

    2 tim 3.17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good
    cross refs.
    1 tim 6.11 But thou,O man of GOd, flee these things; and follow after righteousness,
    godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
    2 co 9.8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye, always having
    all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
    eph 2.10 For are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which
    God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

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