Five years ago, I wrote a post called “Scripture and Inspiration.” Why? Well, to be honest, I’m not content with most of the pat answers that I’ve heard related to Scripture and inspiration. In fact, I don’t think most of the things I’ve been taught related to Scripture and inspiration can be backed up by Scripture itself. So, I wrote this post mainly to ask questions. When I first wrote the post, it resulted in a very good and edifying discussion, even among people who disagreed. Hopefully, we’ll find the same kind of discussion this time.
Last Sunday evening, I took part in another discussion group meeting. As I mentioned in a previous post, some friends of mine have started a discussion groups that meets about every other week to discuss a particular topic. For this meeting, the topic was “Scripture” – which is a very broad topic. We discussed several aspects of Scripture, but much of the time was spent discussing Scripture and inspiration. The following passage found itself woven through much of our discussion:
All Scripture is breathed out by God (inspired) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
I thought I would list some of the questions that we discussed. If you’d like to take part in this discussion (after the fact), feel free to offer your answers, or other related questions, in the comments.
1) If we accept that “all Scripture is inspired”, does this also mean that “all that is inspired is Scripture”?
2) In Colossians 4:16, Paul says:
And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. (Colossians 4:16 ESV)
Paul seems to treat the non-existent “letter to the Laodiceans” as being in the same category as the “letter to the Colossians”. Would the “letter to the Laodiceans” be inspired? Should it be considered Scripture?
3) We know (from Scripture) that God communicated many times with people in the past, but that communication was not included in Scripture. Was God’s communication which was not included in Scripture also inspired?
4) Many would say that God continues to communicate with people today, although many would also say that that communication is not the same as Scripture. Would God’s communication with people today be considered inspired?
Primarily, the discussion last Sunday evening helped me think about the terms “inspired” and “Scripture” separately. I think this discussion is going to continue helping me understand the role of Scripture in my life and in the lives of other people.