2 Timothy 3:13-17
Warning and Exhortation:
In spite of deliverances from persecution at times, this does not mean the Christian is permanently exempt from trials. No indeed; evil people and religious impostors will be around always. Corrupt teachers will grow increasingly vile, being victims of deceit and deceiving others as well. But Timothy must remain rooted in the solid truths he had learned, and remain assured of their integrity. His confidence was emboldened by the quality of his Christian teachers (v. 14). From the time of his infancy, Timothy had been exposed to the “sacred writings.” Jewish history suggests that Hebrew children were taught the Scriptures beginning at about age five. The “sacred writings” (embracing New Testament Scripture as well) are able to make one “wise unto salvation.” The Old Testament alone is incapable of doing this. Apart from biblical revelation, one cannot know of the salvation which is through faith and which is resident “in Christ Jesus” (v. 15; cf. 2:10; Gal. 3:26-27).
Paul therefore makes a general propositional statement (vv. 16-17). It embraces “all scripture,” Old Testament and New Testament. Too, since “scripture” (writing) consists of words, the implication is that the very words of which the larger body is composed are inspired. “Scripture” is “inspired of God.” Its source is divine, and its conveyance was protected from all error. It is practical for: (a) “teaching” (imparting information)—there are more than three hundred explicit quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament, and thousands of allusions; (b) “reproof” (in exposing error and false teachers); (c) bringing about “correction” (i.e., repairing that which is broken); (d) “instruction in righteousness” (training and discipline).
The ultimate goal is that the Christian may be “complete, furnished completely unto every good work.” “Complete” refers to that which is sufficient to meet all demands. “Completely furnished” reflects a grammatical form which indicates the “fitting” is by God, and the result is a permanent mode (namely the Bible) of completely qualifying man for “every good work” needed to pursue the service of God.
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
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