The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 152 of 261
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This passage opens with the deception that arises from the teaching of evil men,
"deceiving, and being deceived", and looks down the age to the time that will come when
men shall turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned unto fables. In contrast with
such fatal error the Apostle places the "throughly furnished" man of God.
This man of God was once a child: this man, who is now seeking to serve his Lord,
once needed to be shown the way of salvation. We are not only saved to serve, but no
one can possibly serve who has not already been saved, "for all have sinned".
"From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise
unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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, throughly furnished unto all good
works" (II Tim. 3: 15-17).
This passage may be restated in analyzed form thus:
A | B | 15-. The CHILD.
C | -15-. The holy Scriptures Grammata.
D | -15. Wise unto SALVATION.
A |
C | 16. All Scripture Graphe.
B | 17-. The MAN OF GOD.
D | -17. Furnished for SERVICE.
Here we see the range covered by the scriptures; the child must begin with them, and
the man of God still needs them. They make wise unto salvation; they are profitable for
doctrine; they provide a complete outfit.
Two words are employed here when speaking of the Scriptures, (1) Gramma,
(2) Graphe. Both are derived from grapho, "to write", but, whereas the Holy Scriptures
with which Timothy was acquainted as a child are called grammata, referring rather to
the "letters", the "elements" of revelation, the Scripture spoken of in verse 16 is Graphe,
meaning "The Writings", and by common consent The Writings par excellence, namely,
the Scriptures as a whole. Moreover the phrase, "It is written" (gegraptai), literally,
"It hath been written (and remains so)", is never used except to refer to the Scriptures
as authoritative. The following passages are examples of this usage: Matt. 4: 4;
Mark 14: 27; Luke 7: 27; John 12: 14; Acts 15: 15; Rom. 1: 17; and Gal. 3: 10.
The word used by Paul for "a child" shows that one can scarcely begin Christian
training too early. Brephos (allied to "embryo", Luke 1: 41), refers to a newborn babe,
and Peter does not hesitate to say, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the
word" (I Pet. 2: 2).
These Scriptures, learned by Timothy as a child at his mother's knee, were able "to
make wise" unto salvation. Sophizo is used in the Greek version of Psalm 19:: "The
testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple" (Psa. 19: 7).