The Five Tests of False Doctrine

You can quote all the scripture you want, but you are still ignoring a basic problem with YECism.


I think you’re painting with too broad a brush. Sometimes Man lets Woman contribute, too. Sometimes.


Kelli, there are some different things to consider about the passage in 2 Timothy.

  1. The compound Greek word “godbreathed” is usually translated inspired. A compound word cannot be reliably defined by its two root words. A butterfly is not a fly made of butter, and understand does not mean to take an upright posture below something.

  2. The passage is often intentionally mistranslated by the insertion of the word “is.” The Greek text does not say “all scripture is,” as the word “is” inserted by translator. A look at a Greek Interlinear will show that is true.

  3. In context, the scriptures discussed in the text are the sacred scriptures that Timothy had known from his youth. That would have been the Septuagint, and it would have included none of the New Testament.

  4. The Greek word translated scripture, graphe, applied to all writings, secular and holy.

A better translation, which still inserts an “is” which is not in the Greek is found in the American Standard Version:

2 Timothy 3:15-17

American Standard Version

15 and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

Remember that the Greek did not have punctuation. Dropping out the “is” that was inserted and changing the punctuation:

and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus: every scripture inspired of God, also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

It is unfortunate that the passage has been intentionally mistranslated, with words inserted to change the meaning. That has led some to take their eyes off Jesus and glorify the Bible.

This shows an ignorance of Greek in particular and how translation works in general. Verbless clauses (i.e., those which assume an existential verb, e.g., is, was, will be) are common in many languages. The is correctly renders the Greek clause into English (which requires an explicit verb in a clause), though you bringing up the NASB shows there might be an alternative way to render it (but its addition of is in another place shows that a verbless clause is being used, so a proper English translation needs to insert the verb at some point). Using an interlinear without basic knowledge of language can be silly if not dangerous. To then pontificate that scholars are intentionally mistranslating the text shows you might be speaking out of turn.

I don’t recall bringing up the NASB.

I have discussed this often with a good friend who started reading Koine Greek around age 12 and studied it in graduate school at Princeton.

Do you really think Paul considered his writings in the same league as the sacred writings that Timothy had known as a youth? For that matter, do you really think Paul wrote 2 Timothy?

Sorry,NASB is New American Standard (so same translation tradition as original). Maybe ask your friend about verbless clauses, and whether translation happens more at the word level or the sentence level. (I’m speaking from my own education [PhD] and experience [full time college professor of Bible and languages.)

I never addressed this, so my view on it is irrelevant here.

1 Like

I quoted the ASV, not the NASB.

So the NASB is irrelevant here.

Correct–I acknowledge my mistake–but you totally sidestep the point about the concept translation itself…

Feel free to provide your own translation.

Also, you might explain how this could possibly be interpreted as applying to the New Testament canon set not earlier than the late fourth century when the context specifically mentions the sacred scriptures that Timothy had known from his youth.

You also might opine on whether compound words can be defined by their two roots.

I might…if you start a new thread. My retort on this thread was solely about your erroneous comments about translation itself, and your irresponsible accusation of intentional mistranslation by others.

1 Like

Thank you for your input.

We disagree.

I do know that it is a very difficult position for a person teaching at a Bible college to have an opinion that deviates from the school’s positions. I am not implying that is your situation, but I have seen that in others.

1 Like

Yes Vance, there is no [is]

Thanks for posting, Kelli.

Note also that the term “writings” other than “scripture” was used, which is more consistent with how the early readers would have read the passage since graphe just means writings.

“Every/all inspired writings” makes sense in the passage.

To say “all writings are inspired” should make little sense given the contents of many secular books. To say “all writings are god-breathed” makes even less sense, considering that many books describe and promote activities not pleasing to God.

Psalms 19 and 119 and Proverbs 30:5–6 make powerful statements about God’s Word, setting it apart from any other religious writing or instruction in the history of mankind. These passages make the case for the Bible being called “sacred” (2 Tim. 3:15) and “holy” (Rom. 1:2).

The Bible claims ultimate spiritual authority in doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness because it represents the inspired Word of almighty God (2 Tim. 3:16–17). Scripture asserts its spiritual sufficiency, so much that it claims exclusivity for its teaching (see Isa. 55:11; 2 Pet. 1:3–4).

God’s Word declares that it is inerrant (Pss. 12:6; 119:140; Prov. 30:5; John 10:35) and infallible (2 Tim. 3:16–17). In other words, since it is absolutely true, it is therefore totally trustworthy. All these qualities are dependent on the fact that Scripture is God-given (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20–21), which guarantees its quality at the source and at its original writing.

In Scripture, the person of God and the Word of God are everywhere interrelated, so much so that whatever is true about the character of God is true about the nature of God’s Word. God is true, impeccable, and reliable; therefore, so is His Word. What a person thinks about God’s Word in reality reflects what a person thinks about God.

Source: Biblical Doctrine : A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth

John MacArthur

Richard Mayhue

1 Like

The New Testament writers recognized the authority of the Old Testament. Paul founded his gospel on the Old Testament Scriptures. He wrote to the saints in Corinth saying, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3–4). The Scripture Paul refers to is the Old Testament. In this way, he asserts that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ were a fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. What the Old Testament says is to be taken as revelation from God. This is further supported by Luke’s assessment of the Bereans. He described them as “more noble” than the Thessalonians because they too received the Word with eagerness when Paul preached it to them. However, they also checked what he preached to them against the Old Testament Scriptures daily to verify that what he told them matched the teachings of the Old Testament (Acts 17:10–11). This is especially relevant to this discussion about the New Testament, since Paul praised the Thessalonians for receiving his message for what it really was—the Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13). This shows that the New Testament writers recognized the authority of the Old Testament as the Word of God and that they believed that their message was equally from God and in conformity with the Old Testament Scriptures.

Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary Of Bible Truth
John MacArthur

Richard Mayhue

The Bible actually claims it is God breathed in that verse, not “ultimate spiritual authority”. These authors are putting their words in God’s mouth and representing their words as being God’s. On of many reasons I have little respect for John MacArthur. That represents biblicism at best. I suspect if you go through those verses, similar liberties are taken. It is sad when leaders twist scripture to say what they want it to say rather than approaching it with humility and listening to the Spirit to learn what God wants them to learn from it. If I look back to the 5 rules listed, this statement alone breaks several of them.


And where in that list might I find geology? Or meteorology? Or nuclear physics? Hint, the Bible never assumes to be a science text book.


No it doesn’t.

First, the Bible is an anthology of books written over thousands of years in separate locations by dozens of different authors and the New Testament wasn’t completed, gathered into one place or a thing as such at the time that statement was made. You read the bible as if it fell from heaven fully completed in gift wrap with an address from God directly to you. I assure you, like the meat you find packed in cellophane in the supermarket, the Bible has its own history and its not always pretty. The incarnation refers to Jesus, not a book. The passage in question only refers to portions of the Old Testament at best whose exact extent wasn’t even fully settled yet.

Second, its circular. The Bible is a complete spiritual authority on every issue just because it says so or because you say so? Your proof-text hunting only works for those who already share your ideology. For the rest of us it is a logical fallacy resemblant of a puppy chasing its own tail.

Third, the Bible does not claim any such thing. YOU claim the Bible claims such a thing and like most proof-text hunters using 2 Tim 3:16-17, you are conveniently leaving off the most important part–verse 15 which says the purpose of the Bible is salvific: “and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Fourth how do we go from USEFUL to ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY? A text with errors in it can be absolutely useful. Imagine a book with typos in it, or a historical book that makes a few minor errors or even makes a some larger mistakes. The majority of its content can still be useful. I never met a doctor, or plumber or person who was absolutely perfect in everyday. They still can be exceptional at doing their job. I mean, you are good at baseball if you can hit a ball 3 out of 10 times! At any rate, by your own standard, scripture calls itself useful. I can live with that. Scripture is very useful, indeed.



Not to mention astronomy and cosmology, nor biology.

And definitely not botany if plants predate sunlight.

1 Like

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.