| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 37 - Page 164 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
Inspired Scripture is most certainly profitable, but only if it be accepted in faith and
acknowledged in life.
Ophelimos occurs four times in the New Testament and each of the occurrences falls
within the pastoral epistles.
"For bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable unto all
things" (I Tim. 4: 8).
"These things (i.e. that believers should maintain good works) are good and profitable
unto men" (Titus 3: 8).
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable" (II Tim. 3: 16).
The apostle condemns the doctrine of the false teachers, not saying their teaching is
"uninspired" but that it is "unprofitable" (Titus 3: 9), "useful for nothing"
(II Tim. 2: 14), "vain" (I Tim. 6: 20), in utter contrast with inspired Scripture which is
"sound" or "healthful" (I Tim. 1: 10; II Tim. 1: 13) and profitable indeed. There is
nothing vague about the "profitableness" of Scripture, and the apostle proceeds at once to
specify the four ways in which the Scriptures are peculiarly profitable to "the man of
First and foremost, the apostle places "doctrine". One has only to read through the
pastoral epistles to perceive how anxious the apostle was that Timothy should know and
hold fast the doctrine that he had received. He is warned against anything "contrary to
sound doctrine" (I Tim. 1: 10), he is exhorted to give attention to "the reading . . . . . to
doctrine" (I Tim 4: 13), to keep a vigilant look out for "teaching that is otherwise"
heterodidaskaleo, but to maintain the doctrine that is according to godliness
(I Tim. 6: 3). So when he would call Timothy's attention to his past, he opens with
"thou hast fully followed my doctrine" (II Tim. 3: 10). These mattes have been dealt
with in some degree of thoroughness in No.30 of this series.
If we translate didaskalia "teaching" here in II Tim. 3: 16, we shall be quite true in
doing so, providing that we realize that the meaning of the apostle is the teaching of the
person, and not conferring upon the person a gift of teaching. As Alford with a play upon
the words "ability" and "stability" puts it:
"It is not Timothy's ability as a teacher, but his stability as a Christian, which is here
Doctrine is perhaps positive truth, the very stuff with which the teacher builds up the
believer. It will be remembered, however, that the apostle at times combined "warning"
with his "teaching" (Col. 1: 28). So the second item of profitableness that the apostle
gives, is "reproof".
Elegchos, the word translated "reproof", primarily means "the refutation of error" then
"conviction" as a result. The Authorized Version translates elegchos "to tell one's fault"