The Greatest Text Message | 2 Timothy 3:16-17 | Devotional
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Many years ago, I visited a large church in downtown Dallas led by a high-profile pastor. He told the story about a young boy coming to him and asking if the story of Jonah was true. He chuckled and said he told the youngster that it didn’t matter if the story of Jonah was true; what mattered was that the story contained truth.
What do you think?
There are basically three views coming from today’s passage regarding the Doctrine of Inspiration (“God-breathed” or in some translations “inspired by God”). One view is called Conceptual Inspiration. The high-profile Dallas pastor held to this view. He believed that stories were in the Bible—some literal, others not—to put forth meaningful concepts. In this view, whether or not Jonah was real doesn’t matter. What matters is the story contains truth about God’s character (love for man, forgiveness, etc.).
Another view is called Partial Inspiration. Those in this camp say that God inspired the parts of Scripture that man could not have known about (e.g. creation). These “revelations” may have happened, or were told to put forth a conceptual truth. But the things that could be observed and recorded by men were not inspired, and are subject to error, prejudice, culture, and misunderstandings.
At The Bible Chapel, we hold to Verbal Plenary Inspiration. Simply put, we believe the words of Scripture (Verbal) and all the words of Scripture (Plenary) are God-breathed. We believe that from the “In the beginning” of Genesis to the “Amen” of Revelation, God inspired certain authors to pen his words using their styles, background, and experience. God’s word, and every word of God’s word, can be trusted.
So when you get to heaven, look up Jonah and ask him what it was like to spend a few days in the stomach of that large fish. His description will be a bit more vivid than a few concepts of truth.