Friday, July 31, 2009

2 Timothy 3:16-17 -- Even Further Thoughts

OK, so we've established that I was wrong in placing 2 Tim. 3:14-17 in a single sentence. But no translation I have EVER read portrays verses 16 and 17 as anything other than a single sentence, and this is important. Let's look:

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Hmmm... notice anything? What's Scripture given FOR? It's not for "right belief." It's not "that you may believe God created the world in six days." It's not "that you may have the correct doctrine of the Atonement." It's not even "that you may have the correct view of the Trinity."

So what's it for? SO YOU CAN GET ABOUT DOING WHAT GOD INTENDED YOU TO DO!!!

Funny thing about the Bible...it's way less confusing when you're looking for stuff to obey, than when you're looking for theories, systems, and beliefs. Wonder if it's because that was its purpose???

6 comments:

あじ said...

But it's that one word — doctrine — that everyone gets enamored with. Of course, it could just mean, you know, teaching. Like, since you're a pastor, use the bible to teach. But too many people equate "doctrine" with "systematic theology", start running, and never look back.

Dan Martin said...

Of course, it could just mean, you know, teaching. Like, since you're a pastor, use the bible to teach.

Now you're getting literal on me. . . ;{)

Yes, of course that's what it means. Just like "graphe" should be translated "writing," not some holy word like "Scripture." Obviously Paul is talking here about the writings he just referred to in the prior sentence, but by sanctifying the word we've done nothing but introduce confusion.

Josh said...

"Funny thing about the Bible...it's way less confusing when you're looking for stuff to obey, than when you're looking for theories, systems, and beliefs. Wonder if it's because that was its purpose???"

Maybe we should read the Bible "looking for a story to live." Perhaps the purpose of Scripture is to provide a life-giving story--the story that helps us to make sense of our many stories. Thinking missiologically, I suspect this narrative approach will be more attractive to more people than a rulebook approach.

David Rudel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ruth said...

And that is exactly the point of the whole thing. We are called to a LIFE, not a theory.
Mom

Dan Martin said...

Josh, I appreciate your "looking for a story to live" phraseology. I certainly don't want to see the biblical text reduced to a set of rules (the problem of the Pharisees in Jesus' day) any more than I want it reduced to a set of intellectual propositions (the problem of Evangelicals today). My semantics may not have made this clear. But to use your missiological focus, the aim of mission is disciple-making, not believer-making. That differential is really what I'm aiming at.