2 Timothy 3

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2 Timothy 3

Chapters: 1 2 3 4

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2 Timothy 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. Lk. 21:8-28; 1Tim 4:1; 2Pet 2:3; Jude 1:18; 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Matt 18:17; Rom 16:17; 2Thess 3:6; Titus 3:10; 2John 1:10; 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Matt 23:14; Titus 1:11; 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. Exod 7:11; 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me. Acts 13:50; Acts 14:2; Acts 14:19; Ps 34:19; 2Cor 1:10; 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Matt 16:24; Luke 24:26; John 17:14; Acts 14:22; 1Thess 3:3; 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2Pet 1:20; 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. TOC

Commentary:

2 Timothy 3 - Dangerous times in the latter days, from the apostasy and wickedness of men, of whom an affecting description is given, 2Ti. 3:1-7. It shall happen to them as to Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses, 2Ti. 3:8, 2Ti. 3:9. The apostle speaks of his persecutions and sufferings, and shows that all those who will live a godly life must suffer persecution, 2Ti. 3:10-12, because evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, 2Ti. 3:13. Timothy is exhorted to continue in the truths he had received, having known the Scriptures from a child, 2Ti. 3:14, 2Ti. 3:15. All Scripture is given by Divine inspiration, 2Ti. 3:16, 2Ti. 3:17. Clarke

2 Timothy 3 - I. The apostle forewarns Timothy what the last days would be, with the reasons thereof (2Ti. 3:1-9). II. Prescribes various remedies against them (2Ti. 3:10 to the end), particularly his own example (“But thou hast fully known my doctrine,” etc.) and the knowledge of the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation, and will be the best antidote against the corruptions of the times we live in. In this chapter Paul tells Timothy how bad others would be, and therefore how good he should be; and this use we should make of the badness of others, thereby to engage us to hold our own integrity so much the firmer. =h

2Ti 3:1-9

Even in gospel times there would be perilous times; on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. Men love to gratify their own lusts, more than to please God and do their duty. When every man is eager for what he can get, and anxious to keep what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another. When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. When children are disobedient to their parents, that makes the times perilous. Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. We abuse God's gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection to children. And when men have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honoured. God is to be loved above all; but a carnal mind, full of enmity against him, prefers any thing before him, especially carnal pleasure. A form of godliness is very different from the power; from such as are found to be hypocrites, real Christians must withdraw. Such persons have been found within the outward church, in every place, and at all times. There ever have been artful men, who, by pretences and flatteries, creep into the favour and confidence of those who are too easy of belief, ignorant, and fanciful. All must be ever learning to know the Lord; but these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus. Like the Egyptian magicians, these were men of corrupt minds, prejudiced against the truth, and found to be quite without faith. Yet though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.

2Ti 3:10-13

The more fully we know the doctrine of Christ, as taught by the apostles, the more closely we shall cleave to it. When we know the afflictions of believers only in part, they tempt us to decline the cause for which they suffer. A form of godliness, a profession of Christian faith without a godly life, often is allowed to pass, while open profession of the truth as it is in Jesus, and resolute attention to the duties of godliness, stir up the scorn and enmity of the world. As good men, by the grace of God, grow better, so bad men, through the craft of Satan, and the power of their own corruptions, grow worse. The way of sin is down-hill; such go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. Those who deceive others, deceive themselves, as they will find at last, to their cost. The history of the outward church, awfully shows that the apostle spake this as he was moved by the Holy Ghost.

2Ti 3:14-17

Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. The age of children is the age to learn; and those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. They must not lie by us neglected, seldom or never looked into. The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God, 2Pe. 1:21. It is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible. — MHCC

2Ti 3:1-9

Timothy must not think it strange if there were in the church bad men; for the net of the gospel was to enclose both good fish and bad, Mat. 13:47, Mat. 13:48. Jesus Christ had foretold (Mt. 24) that there would come seducers, and therefore we must not be offended at it, nor think the worse of religion or the church for it. Even in gold ore there will be dross, and a great deal of chaff among the wheat when it lies on the floor.

I. Timothy must know that in the last days (2Ti. 3:1), in gospel times, there would come perilous times. Though gospel times were times of reformation in many respects, let him know that even in gospel times there would be perilous times; not so much on account of persecution from without as on account of corruptions within. These would be difficult times, wherein it would be difficult for a man to keep a good conscience. He does not say, “Perilous times shall come, for both Jews and Gentiles shall be combined to root out Christianity;” but “perilous times shall come, for such as have the form of godliness (2Ti. 3:5) shall be corrupt and wicked, and do a great deal of damage to the church.” Two traitors within the garrison may do more hurt to it than two thousand besiegers without. Perilous times shall come, for men shall be wicked. Note, 1. Sin makes the times perilous. When there is a general corruption of manners, and of the tempers of men, this makes the times dangerous to live in; for it is hard to keep our integrity in the midst of general corruption. 2. The coming of perilous times is an evidence of the truth of scripture-predictions; if the event in this respect did not answer to the prophecy, we might be tempted to question the divinity of the Bible. 3. We are all concerned to know this, to believe and consider it, that we may not be surprised when we see the times perilous: This know also.

II. Paul tells Timothy what would be the occasion of making these times perilous, or what shall be the marks and signs whereby these times may be known, 2Ti. 3:2, etc. 1. Self-love will make the times perilous. Who is there who does not love himself? But this is meant of an irregular sinful self-love. Men love their carnal selves better than their spiritual selves. Men love to gratify their own lusts, and make provision for them, more than to please God and do their duty. Instead of Christian charity, which takes care for the good of others, they will mind themselves only, and prefer their own gratification before the church's edification. 2. Covetousness. Observe, Self-love brings in a long train of sins and mischiefs. When men are lovers of themselves, no good can be expected from them, as all good may be expected from those who love God with all their hearts. When covetousness generally prevails, when every man is for what he can get and for keeping what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another, and obliges every man to stand on his guard against his neighbour. 3. Pride and vain-glory. The times are perilous when men, being proud of themselves, are boasters and blasphemers, boasters before men whom they despise and look upon with scorn, and blasphemers of God and of his name. When men do not fear God they will not regard man, and so vice versâ. 4. When children are disobedient to their parents, and break through the obligations which they lie under to them both in duty and gratitude, and frequently in interest, having their dependence upon them and their expectation from them, they make the times perilous; for what wickedness will those stick at who will be abusive to their own parents and rebel against them? 5. Unthankfulness and unholiness make the times perilous, and these two commonly go together. What is the reason that men are unholy and without the fear of God, but that they are unthankful for the mercies of God? Ingratitude and impiety go together; for call a man ungrateful, and you can call him by no worse name. Unthankful, and impure, defiled with fleshly lusts, which is an instance of great ingratitude to that God who has provided so well for the support of the body; we abuse his gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. 6. The times are perilous when men will not be held by the bonds either of nature or common honesty, when they are without natural affection, and truce-breakers, 2Ti. 3:3. There is a natural affection due to all. Wherever there is the human nature, there should be humanity towards those of the same nature, but especially between relations. Times are perilous when children are disobedient to their parents (2Ti. 3:2) and when parents are without natural affection to their children, 2Ti. 3:3. See what a corruption of nature sin is, how it deprives men even of that which nature has implanted in them for the support of their own kind; for the natural affection of parents to their children is that which contributes very much to the keeping up of mankind upon the earth. And those who will not be bound by natural affection, no marvel that they will not be bound by the most solemn leagues and covenants. They are truce-breakers, that make no conscience of the engagements they have laid themselves under. 7. The times are perilous when men are false accusers one of another, diaboloi - devils one to another, having no regard to the good name of others, or to the religious obligations of an oath, but thinking themselves at liberty to say and do what they please, Psa. 12:4. 8. When men have no government of themselves and their own appetites: not of their own appetites, for they are incontinent; not of their own passions, for they are fierce; when they have no rule over their own spirits, and therefore are like a city that is broken down, and has no walls; they are soon fired, upon the least provocation. 9. When that which is good and ought to be honoured is generally despised and looked upon with contempt. It is the pride of persecutors that they look with contempt upon good people, though they are more excellent than their neighbours. 10. When men are generally treacherous, wilful, and haughty, the times are perilous (2Ti. 3:4) - when men are traitors, heady, high-minded. Our Saviour has foretold that the brother shall betray the brother to death and the father the child (Mat. 10:21), and those are the worst sort of traitors: those who delivered up their Bibles to persecutors were called traditores, for they betrayed the trust committed to them. When men are petulant and puffed up, behaving scornfully to all about them, and when this temper generally prevails, then the times are perilous. 11. When men are generally lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. When there are more epicures than true Christians, then the times are bad indeed. God is to be loved above all. That is a carnal mind, and is full of enmity against him, which prefers any thing before him, especially such a sordid thing as carnal pleasure is. 12. When, notwithstanding all this, they have the form of godliness (2Ti. 3:5), are called by the Christian name, baptized into the Christian faith, and make a show of religion; but, how plausible soever their form of godliness is, they deny the power of it. When they take upon them the form which should and would bring along with it the power thereof, they will put asunder what God hath joined together: they will assume the form of godliness, to take away their reproach; but they will not submit to the power of it, to take away their sin. Observe here, (1.) Men may be very bad and wicked under a profession of religion; they may be lovers of themselves, etc., yet have a form of godliness. (2.) A form of godliness is a very different thing from the power of it; men may have the one and be wholly destitute of the other; yea, they deny it, at least practically in their lives. (3.) From such good Christians must withdraw themselves.

III. Here Paul warns Timothy to take heed of certain seducers, not only that he might not be drawn away by them himself, but that he might arm those who were under his charge against their seduction. 1. He shows how industrious they were to make proselytes (2Ti. 3:6): they applied themselves to particular persons, visited them in their houses, not daring to appear openly; for those that do evil hate the light, Jn. 3:20. They were not forced into houses, as good Christians often were by persecution; but they of choice crept into houses, to insinuate themselves into the affections and good opinion of people, and so to draw them over to their party. And see what sort of people those were that they gained, and made proselytes of; they were such as were weak, silly women; and such as were wicked, laden with sins, and led away with divers lusts. A foolish head and a filthy heart make persons, especially women, an easy prey to seducers. 2. He shows how far they were from coming to the knowledge of the truth, though they pretended to be ever learning, 2Ti. 3:7. In one sense we must all be ever learning, that is, growing in knowledge, following on to know the Lord, pressing forward; but these were sceptics, giddy and unstable, who were forward to imbibe every new notion, under pretence of advancement in knowledge, but never came to a right understanding of the truth as it is in Jesus. 3. He foretels the certain stop that should be put to their progress (2Ti. 3:8, 2Ti. 3:9), comparing them to the Egyptian magicians who withstood Moses, and who are here named, Jannes and Jambres; though the names are not to be met with in the story of the Old Testament, yet they are found in some old Jewish writers. When Moses came with a divine command to fetch Israel out of Egypt, these magicians opposed him. Thus those heretics resisted the truth and like them were men of corrupt minds, men who had their understandings perverted, biassed and prejudiced against the truth, and reprobate concerning the faith, or very far from being true Christians; but they shall proceed no further, or not much further, as some read it. Observe, (1.) Seducers seek for corners, and love obscurity; for they are afraid to appear in public, and therefore creep into houses. Further, They attack those who are the least able to defend themselves, silly and wicked women. (2.) Seducers in all ages are much alike. Their characters are the same - namely, Men of corrupt minds, etc.; their conduct is much the same - they resist the truth, as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses; and they will be alike in their disappointment. (3.) Those who resist the truth are guilty of folly, yea, of egregious folly; for magna est veritas, et praevalebit - Great is the truth, and shall prevail. (4.) Though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, God has it in a chain. Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further and no longer than God will permit him: Their folly shall be manifest, it shall appear that they are imposters, and every man shall abandon them.

2Ti 3:10-17

Here the apostle, to confirm Timothy in that way wherein he walked,

I. Sets before him his own example, which Timothy had been an eye-witness of, having long attended Paul (2Ti. 3:10): Thou hast fully known my doctrine. The more fully we know the doctrine of Christ and the apostles, the more closely we shall cleave to it; the reason why many sit loose to it is because they do not fully know it. Christ's apostles had no enemies but those who did not know them, or not know them fully; those who knew them best loved and honoured them the most. Now what is it that Timothy had so fully known in Paul? 1. The doctrine that he preached. Paul kept back nothing from his hearers, but declared to them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), so that if it were not their own fault they might fully know it. Timothy had a great advantage in being trained up under such a tutor, and being apprised of the doctrine he preached. 2. He had fully known his conversation: Thou hast fully know my doctrine, and manner of life; his manner of life was of a piece with his doctrine, and did not contradict it. He did not pull down by his living what he built up by his preaching. Those ministers are likely to do good, and leave lasting fruits of their labours, whose manner of life agrees with their doctrine; as, on the contrary, those cannot expect to profit the people at all that preach well and live ill. 3. Timothy fully knew what was the great thing that Paul had in view, both in his preaching and in his conversation: “Thou hast known my purpose, what I drive at, how far it is from any worldly, carnal, secular design, and how sincerely I aim at the glory of God and the good of the souls of men.” 4. Timothy fully knew Paul's good character, which he might gather from his doctrine, manner of life, and purpose; for he gave proofs of his faith (that is, of his integrity and fidelity, or his faith in Christ, his faith concerning another world, by which Paul lived), his long-suffering towards the churches to which he preached and over which he presided, his charity towards all men, and his patience. These were graces that Paul was eminent for, and Timothy knew it. 5. He knew that he had suffered ill for doing well (2Ti. 3:11): “Thou hast fully known the persecutions and afflictions that came unto me(he mentions those only which happened to him while Timothy was with him, at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra); “and therefore let it be no surprise to thee if thou suffer hard things, it is no more than I have endured before.” 6. He knew what care God had taken of him: Notwithstanding out of them all the Lord delivered me; as he never failed his cause, so his God never failed him. Thou hast fully known my afflictions. When we know the afflictions of good people but in part, they are a temptation to us to decline that cause which they suffer for; when we know only the hardships they undergo for Christ, we may be ready to say, “We will renounce that cause that is likely to cost us so dear in the owning of it;” but when we fully know the afflictions, not only how they suffer, but how they are supported and comforted under their sufferings, then, instead of being discouraged, we shall be animated by them, especially considering that we are told before that we must count upon such things (2Ti. 3:12): All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution: not always alike; at that time those who professed the faith of Christ were more exposed to persecution than at other times; but at all times, more or less, those who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. They must expect to be despised, and that their religion will stand in the way of their preferment; those who will live godly must expect it, especially those who will live godly in Christ Jesus, that is, according to the strict rules of the Christian religion, those who will wear the livery and bear the name of the crucified Redeemer. All who will show their religion in their conversation, who will not only be godly, but live godly, let them expect persecution, especially when they are resolute in it. Observe, (1.) The apostle's life was very exemplary for three things: for his doctrine, which was according to the will of God; for his life, which was agreeable to his doctrine; and for his persecutions and sufferings. (2.) Though his life was a life of great usefulness, yet it was a life of great sufferings; and none, I believe, came nearer to their great Master for eminent services and great sufferings than Paul: he suffered almost in every place; the Holy Ghost witnessed that bonds and afflictions did abide him, Acts 20:23. Here he mentions his persecutions and afflictions at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra, besides what he suffered elsewhere. (3.) The apostle mentions the Lord's delivering him out of them all, for Timothy's and our encouragement under sufferings. (4.) We have the practice and treatment of true Christians: they live godly in Jesus Christ - this is their practice; and they shall suffer persecution - this is the usage they must expect in this world.

II. He warns Timothy of the fatal end of seducers, as a reason why he should stick closely to the truth as it is in Jesus: But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, etc., 2Ti. 3:13. Observe, As good men, by the grace of God, grow better and better, so bad men, through the subtlety of Satan and the power of their own corruptions, grow worse and worse. The way of sin is down-hill; for such proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. Those who deceive others do but deceive themselves; those who draw others into error run themselves into more and more mistakes, and they will find it so at last, to their cost.

III. He directs him to keep close to a good education, and particularly to what he had learned out of the holy scriptures (2Ti. 3:14, 2Ti. 3:15): Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned. Note, It is not enough to learn that which is good, but we must continue in it, and persevere in it unto the end. Then are we Christ's disciples indeed, Jn. 8:31. We should not be any more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, Eph. 4:14. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines; for it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace, Heb. 13:9. And for this reason we should continue in the things we have learned from the holy scriptures; not that we ought to continue in any errors and mistakes which we may have been led into, in the time of our childhood and youth (for these, upon an impartial enquiry and full conviction, we should forsake); but this makes nothing against our continuing in those things which the holy scriptures plainly assert, and which he that runs may read. If Timothy would adhere to the truth as he had been taught it, this would arm him against the snares and insinuations of seducers. Observe, Timothy must continue in the things which he had learned and had been assured of.

1. It is a great happiness to know the certainty of the things wherein we have been instructed (Luk. 1:4); not only to know what the truths are, but to know that they are of undoubted certainty. What we have learned we must labour to be more and more assured of, that, being grounded in the truth, we may be guarded against error, for certainty in religion is of great importance and advantage: Knowing, (1.) “That thou hast had good teachers. Consider of whom thou hast learned them; not of evil men and seducers, but good men, who had themselves experienced the power of the truths they taught thee, and been ready to suffer for them, and thereby would give the fullest evidence of their belief of these truths.” (2.) “Knowing especially the firm foundation upon which thou hast built, namely, that of the scripture (2Ti. 3:15): That from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures.

2. Those who would acquaint themselves with the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the holy scriptures, for these are the summary of divine revelation.

3. It is a great happiness to know the holy scriptures from our childhood; and children should betimes get the knowledge of the scriptures. The age of children is the learning age; and those who would get true learning must get it out of the scriptures.

4. The scriptures we are to know are the holy scriptures; they come from the holy God, were delivered by holy men, contain holy precepts, treat of holy things, and were designed to make us holy and to lead us in the way of holiness to happiness; being called the holy scriptures, they are by this distinguished from profane writings of all sorts, and from those that only treat morality, and common justice and honesty, but do not meddle with holiness. If we would know the holy scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did, Acts 17:11. They must not lie by us neglected, and seldom or never looked into. Now here observe,

(1.) What is the excellency of the scripture. It is given by inspiration of God (2Ti. 3:16), and therefore is his word. It is a divine revelation, which we may depend upon as infallibly true. The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved or carried forth by the Holy Ghost, 2Pe. 1:21. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but what they received of the Lord that they delivered unto us. That the scripture was given by inspiration of God appears from the majesty of its style, - from the truth, purity, and sublimity, of the doctrines contained in it, - from the harmony of its several parts, - from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it, - from the accomplishment of many prophecies relating to things beyond all human foresight, - and from the uncontrollable miracles that were wrought in proof of its divine original: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will, Heb. 2:4.

(2.) What use it will be of to us. [1.] It is able to make us wise to salvation; that is, it is a sure guide in our way to eternal life. Note, Those are wise indeed who are wise to salvation. The scriptures are able to make us truly wise, wise for our souls and another world. “To make thee wise to salvation through faith.Observe, The scriptures will make us wise to salvation, if they be mixed with faith, and not otherwise, Heb. 4:2. For, if we do not believe their truth and goodness, they will do us no good. [2.] It is profitable to us for all the purposes of the Christian life, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. It answers all the ends of divine revelation. It instructs us in that which is true, reproves us for that which is amiss, directs us in that which is good. It is of use to all, for we all need to be instructed, corrected, and reproved: it is of special use to ministers, who are to give instruction, correction, and reproof; and whence can they fetch it better than from the scripture? [3.] That the man of God may be perfect, 2Ti. 3:17. The Christian, the minister, is the man of God. That which finishes a man of God in this world is the scripture. By it we are thoroughly furnished for every good work. There is that in the scripture which suits every case. Whatever duty we have to do, whatever service is required from us, we may find enough in the scriptures to furnish us for it.

(3.) On the whole we here see, [1.] That the scripture has various uses, and answers divers ends and purposes: It is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction of all errors in judgment and practice, and for instruction in righteousness. [2.] The scripture is a perfect rule of faith and practice, and was designed for the man of God, the minister as well as the Christian who is devoted to God, for it is profitable for doctrine, etc. [3.] If we consult the scripture, which was given by inspiration of God, and follow its directions, we shall be made men of God, perfect, and thoroughly furnished to every good work. [4.] There is no occasion for the writings of the philosopher, nor for rabbinical fables, nor popish legends, nor unwritten traditions, to make us perfect men of God, since the scripture answers all these ends and purposes. O that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them than ever! and then shall we find the benefit and advantage designed thereby, and shall at last attain the happiness therein promised and assured to us.

2Ti 3:8

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses - The names of these two men are not elsewhere mentioned in the Bible. They are supposed to have been two of the magicians who resisted Moses (Exo. 7:11, et al.), and who opposed their miracles to those of Moses and Aaron. It is not certain where the apostle obtained their names; but they are frequently mentioned by the Hebrew writers, and also by other writers; so that there can be no reasonable doubt that their names were correctly handed down by tradition. Nothing is more probable than that the names of the more distinguished magicians who attempted to imitate the miracles of Moses, would be preserved by tradition; and though they are not mentioned by Moses himself, and the Jews have told many ridiculous stories respecting them, yet this should not lead us to doubt the truth of the tradition respecting their names. A full collection of the Jewish statements in regard to them may be found in Wetstein, in loc.

They are also mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist. 30:7; and by Numenius, the philosopher, as quoted by Eusebius, 9:8, and Origen, against Celsus, p. 199. See Wetstein. By the rabbinical writers, they are sometimes mentioned as Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses in Egypt, and sometimes as the sons of Balaam. The more common account is, that they were the princes of the Egyptian magicians. One of the Jewish rabbins represents them as having been convinced by the miracles of Moses, and as having become converts to the Hebrew religion. There is no reason to doubt that these were in fact the leading men who opposed Moses in Egypt, by attempting to work counter-miracles. The point of the remark of the apostle here, is, that they resisted Moses by attempting to imitate his miracles, thus neutralizing the evidence that he was sent from God. In like manner, the persons here referred to, opposed the progress of the gospel by setting up a similar claim to that of the apostles; by pretending to have as much authority as they had; and by thus neutralizing the claims of the true religion, and leading off weak-minded persons from the truth. This is often the most dangerous kind of opposition that is made to religion.

Men of corrupt minds; - compare the notes at 1Ti. 6:5.

Reprobate concerning the faith - So far as the Christian faith is concerned. On the word rendered “reprobate,” see the Rom. 1:28 note; 1Co. 9:27 note, rendered “cast-away;” 2Co. 13:5 note. The margin here is, “of no judgment.” The meaning is, that in respect to the Christian faith, or the doctrines of religion, their views could not be approved, and they were not to be regarded as true teachers of religion. Barnes

2Tim. 3:10: Timothy fully knew of Paul's “doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions.” To fully know shows that like his Lord, (1Jn. 1:3) Paul was a tangible, manifest presence to those He discipled, and pastors are to be “given to hospitality. (1Tim. 3:2) Paul's faith was not simply in word but in character and deed, in sunny as well as stormy times, in short trials and in long ones, in health and in infirmity, in private and in public, to the glory of God. Thus he could say, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1Cor. 11:1; cf. 1cor. 4:16; Phil. 3:17; Heb. 6:12) May we (I) seek to be such, and “be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity,” (1Tim. 4:12) in all that we are, say and do, in which i come much too short.

Sola Scriptura:

2Tim. 3:14-17: By “things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of” Paul here may be said to refer to “tradition,” as meaning the general body of Truth that was conveyed by his example and words, and which is followed by the affirmation of the Scripture as being wholly inspired and able to make one “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” It is by the latter that claims to be the former are examined by, the No other transcendent, material source is affirmed as such, the Lord Jesus Christ having ascended to glory. As regards the sufficiency of Scripture to provide for man what is necessary for God's “glory, man's salvation, faith, and life,” there are two senses in which this is true. One is that the Scriptures formally provide the truth necessary for salvation and growth toward perfection, and the other that it also materially provides for (reveals and affirms) suchg things as the interpretive office of the church, which explains the Word, as Scripture contains truths which , as the Westminster confession of faith. (A.D. 1647) states it, either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” (Tim. 3:15–17; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Thess. 2: 2) Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word. (John 6:45; 1Cor. 2:9-12)

The above source is used to support “sola scriptura” or “SS” here, but which is often misconstrued to mean “solo” scriptura, as if commentaries, historians, etc. could not be consulted in Biblical exegesis, but which is not the case. While explanations of SS generally vary a little, it most essentially means that Scripture, being the only transcendent objective source which is affirmed therein to be wholly inspired of God, is alone the supreme judge of truth claims. And that it provides the truth needed for salvation and to make one “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim. 3:15-17) Where Westminster begins by saying “all things” i have place “all truth” in again seeking to clarify between what Scripture formally provides (truth), and what it materially provides by its words, including the pastoral teaching office of the church, etc. (Eph. 4:11; Heb. 13:17)

New revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men” rightly pertains to adding to a finalized canon, as men such as Paul did add new revelations. And the Scriptures promise and example that the Holy Spirit can “speak” to souls in more precisely leading them in personal obedience to Scripture, though perhaps the writers of Westminster and some who hold to SS would disallow it (except during the offering!). But as with preaching, etc., such must be tested for conformity by that which is established truth, covenantal distinctions being understood, and must not truly contradict, nor add doctrines that are not warranted by it in its fullness.

Roman Catholic Tradition:

Rome holds another body of revelation as being equal to Scripture, that of oral tradition, based upon the oral preaching of men such as Peter and Paul sometimes being the word of God even if it was not written, (2Thes. 2:15) but there is no proof that this refers to truths that were not written in Scripture, or (most critically) that words which claimed to be apostolic truths were not dependant upon what was written for verification after the Scriptural manner. (Jn. 7:52: Acts 17:11) Oral tradition passed down by word of mouth by nature requires a material authority for testing, and Scripture is oral Tradition (but not all) that came to be establshed as wholly inspired by God due to its heavenly qualities and complimentary nature to that which had prior been establshed as Divine, and by the supernatural effects which corresponded to its claims.

Those who hold to SS may be said to also pass on “traditions,” but such are not of the same authority as Scripture for it by the latter established revelation of God that they are tested by. Westminster itself affirms “that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.” This would include methods of evangelism, while Sola Scriptura need not exclude aspects of wedding ceremonies that are not found in the Scriptures, if they are consistent to it, but not as dogmas. Also, preaching the truth of the Scripture can be said to be “the word” in a less formal sense. (Acts 4:31)

In contrast to this is what Roman Catholicism understands as Tradition, though precise infallible definition is lacking, but which thing is said (http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/insights-tradition.htm) to be unwritten oral truths, and which remain oral, and any written transmission of it is not Tradition itself, yet which is held as infallible and equal to Scripture. By such Rome teaches as Divinely revealed dogma such things as the immaculate conception of Mary (though the Orthodox church, also holding to Tradition, rejects it) and her sinless life and bodily assumption to Heaven, and damns those who oppose it. But by requiring assent of faith to doctrines which are based upon Tradition, and by claiming to be the uniquely infallible interpreter of both Scripture and Tradition, the self-proclaimed “infallible magisterium” of Rome is exalting her authority above Scripture and is essentially adding to a canon it boasts to have finalized (1400+ years after the last book was penned. Yet even the Jews, who clearly were given stewardship of Scripture, were not assuredly infallible interpreters of it.) This claim to apostolic authority requires that it can pass the test of Scripture as the apostolic preaching did, and the overt manner of abundant supernatural attestation by God given to them and to new doctrines. But in which she fails.

Progressive establishment of Scripture:

The way Divine writings were established before men as being from God was like the way God Himself persuaded men to faith in Himself as being the God of Abraham, (Ex. 9:16; 10:1,2; 15:11; 18:10,11; Num. 14:13-23; Dt. 2:25; 4:7,8; 11:22,23,25; 28:8-10; Josh. 2:9-11; 9:9,24; Neh. 9:10; 1Sam. 17:46,47; 1Kg. 8:60) and men of God and their claims were established as being of God. (Josh. 1:5; 6:27; 1Ki 17:24; Lk. 4:32; Jn. 5:39,46; 14:11; Acts 2:16-21,25-28; 43; 5:15; 17:2,11; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 1Cor. 4:20; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:12)

While the (restricted) formal sufficiency aspect of SS most fully pertains to a closed canon, in principle Scripture materially provided for further writings being progressively established as Divine, in accordance with its revelation of how Truth is established (by conflation in text and in power with prior established truth), and thus recognition of the lack of any more like unto to Scripture is also provided for.

It also can be shown that as written, Scripture became the supreme judge of truth claims, as further truth claims in faith and morals, real or purported, (Is. 8:20; Jn. 5:39,46; 7:52; Acts 17:11; 18:28; 28:23) had to conform to it. An objection might be that Moses added new teachings that were not warranted from what was known before, however apparently none were written before, while God, in adding new laws that would become Scripture, He mightily attests to the authority of a Moses with manifestly supernatural power, which later men of God also affirmed in writings that were recognized as Scripture in conflation with Moses, and were also established due to their own inherent and enduring qualities and effects. The Lord Jesus, who manifested fulfillment of Scripture and Moses-type attestation, can be seen affirming the Palestinian canon with its tripartite division, (Lk. 24:44) and the manifestly God-ordained apostles also affirmed books therein. (Acts 1:20; 13:33; 28:23; Rm. 3:10-17; more refs below*)

Another objection is that the Lord Jesus did “correct” Moses in Mt. 19:7,8, yet in so doing He does not say Moses was wrong in what he allowed, as if this was not the authoritative word of God, and in fact Ezra 10:11,14 seems to affirm putting away unbelieving wives (though see Dt. 21:10-13; 1Cor. 7:12-15), and their motive was holy, but the Lord states that the allowance of Moses was allowed due to the hardness of men's hearts, while the Lord from Heaven came to magnify the law according to its full intent. Both the allowance by Moses under that covenant of something that was not clearly proscribed, and the Lord's restoring what Gn. 2:24 in principal teaches and which the New Covenant enables, are conformable to Scripture in the light of its revealed principal of progressive revelation and means of establishing truth, with covenantal distinctions working towards fulfilling the highest intent of the law.

And again, in addition to doctrinal conflation, we can see how that God also establishes truth by Divine attestation, (Rm. 15:19) its foremost manifestation being the gospel of truth resulting in transformative regeneration with its effects, (1Thes. 1:3-9) with other evidence of God's attestation of power and providence also Biblically being expected. (Mk. 16:20; 1Cor. 4:20) But also again, Scripture is the supreme objective doctrinal authority by which even miracles are tested by. It was by “manifestation of the truth” (2Cor. 4:2) — conformity to Scripture and its means of establishment of truth — that the apostles persuaded truth-seeking souls by.

And as also mentioned, Scripture also provides for the teaching office, or “magisterium” of the church, (Eph. 4:11; 2Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:12; 2:15; Heb. 13:17) which is to preach the truth and judge that which claims to be so, and yet this office is not autocratic, so that whatever it says would be de facto true due to conformity to a formula, rather its teachings must be dependant upon Scriptural corroboration and its manner of testimony for truth. Submission to authority is Scriptural, but as with civil rulers, it is conditional upon conformity to God's laws, yet dissent would normally be expected only in clear violations.

Unity:

Although holding that all must be verified by the completed Scriptures is a position that can result in divisions over meanings, and of souls justifying heresy, the solution is not by holding that an ecclesiastical office is the supreme judge, which autocratically defines truth so that whatever it says is de facto infallible, as if from God Himself and requiring implicit assent of faith, as this allows it to teach anything without correction, without being in demonstrable submission to the Scriptures, and is a mark of cults, and its unity is constrqry to Scripture. While in cults required implicit assent of faith encompasses all things, in Roman Catholicism non-infallible teachings can allow for some degree of dissent, as obeying one's conscience may require dissent, even if necessary "against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority”, (Joseph Ratzinger in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II ,Vol. V., pg. 134 (Ed) H. Vorgrimler, New York, Herder and Herder, 1967) including to Rome's so-called "infallible" teachings, and one can withhold the required assent of faith to such if he is not sure that something is taught infallibly. Here, while there are a few infallible declarations which are held to be certainly such, how many or what parts of pronouncements are infallible out of the multitude of possibly infallible teachings is a matter of interpretation, while infallible teachings themselves are open to some degree of interpretation by theologians. Moreover, the reasoning and arguments behind an infallible pronouncement are not necessarily infallible. (Catholic Encyclopedia > Infallibility)

In addition, the so-called “unanimous consent” of the “fathers” required by Vatican 1 rarely is, but being an autocratic entity such can be redefined through the art ofdevelopment of doctrine,” while Tradition is such an amorphous “thing” that it can be redefined and interpreted different ways. All of which renders the assuredly infallible magisterium to be the supreme and autocratic judge, which defines itself as coming out of infallible Tradition and Scripture, over which it is the supreme authority. Likewise Mormonism has their living prophet, and the WTC has its ruling elders.

2Thess. 2:15 (by word) is often invoked by Catholics in support of their oral Tradition being equal with Scripture, and certainly some of Scripture was first given orally before it was written, but the one declaring this was an apostle and speaking for the apostles, who, unlike Rome, had unique qualifications and a level of manifest supernatural attestation as being chosen instruments of Divine revelation, in addition to personal purity, (Acts 4:33; 1Cor. 9:1; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:12; Rm. 15:19) and who added to an open canon. Nor is there any proof that the oral teaching referred to was not subsequently written down, as is the norm with the "Word of God/the Lord," as seen in Scripture. But while the apostle's preaching could be the Word of God, noble souls tested the apostle's preaching by the Scriptures, (Acts 17:11) which is one of many examples (see bottom) showing the written word to be the standard for Truth. For as Scripture is the only distinct class of Divine revelation that is tangible, and assuredly perpetually infallible, and instrumentally used to save and make men perfect, (2Tim. 3:15-17) thus it stands in judgment over all that claims to be the Word of God, especially eons-old nebulous oral tradition, which due to its amorphous nature is supremely susceptible to undetectable corruption.

In contrast to the apostles, Rome fails of the qualifications of apostleship, and does not claim to be giving new revelation, and if the canon of Scripture is closed then nothing can be added to it, yet she effectively purports to do so by teaching as doctrines oral traditions of men, and which the Lord reproved the Pharisees for doing with their "tradition of the elders." (Mk. 7:3-16) In response to this Rome claims that this censure was only for teaching traditions that were contrary to Scripture, which Rome denies she does. However, this denial is based upon the premise of Rome's assured formulaic infallibility, which is not dependent upon the weight of Scriptural corroboration and warrant, and her claim to infallibility denies that she can be wrong in her infallible decrees, by which the Pharisees could have justified their requirements of washing and the law of Corban no matter what Scriptural arguments opposed them.

And thus Rome teaches as doctrines such things as praying to departed saints, the perpetual virginity and sinlessness of Mary, etc., even though Scripture does not require these and they are decidedly contrary to sound exegesis as regards what the weight of Scripture does teach. [In which no one but pagans ever prayed to anyone else in Heaven but God, nor is this needed due to lack of immediate access into the holy of holies, (Heb. 10:19) or insufficiency on the part of Christ, (Heb. 2:18; 4:16-18; 7:25), while perpetual virginity in marriage is contrary to 1Cor. 7:5, and to the description of marriage, (Gn. 2:24; Mt. 19:5) and the normal meaning of "heo¯s" in Mt. 1:25. And as God brought forth His pure word through holy but fallen men, there is no restriction on God that would require a sinless vessel to bring forth His Son in the body He had prepared, (Heb. 10:5) into a sinful world, while the absence in Scripture of the exceptions Rome claims is contrary to the principle manifest in Scripture in which notable exceptions of its characters are noted, from having more than ten fingers (2Sam. 21:20) to being sinless, and which Christ is at least thrice mentioned as being. (Jn. 8:26; 2Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26; 1Pt. 2:22)]

This does not disallow any traditions, including the typical marriage ceremony, but disallows post-apostolic traditions being taught as equal with Scripture, which remains the only supreme infallible judge on earth for doctrine. Moreover, preachers today can call souls to obey the preaching of the Word, which the whole church preached, (Acts 8:4) as referring to preaching Scriptural truth, upon which authority preaching depends for its authority, but not as assuredly infallible which Rome claims she is whenever she speaks universally on faith and morals.

Due to its variability Rome can have men branded (and sometimes burned) as heretics in one century and require formal submission to the pope as necessary for or salvation, (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, etc.) and then take part in an ecumenical service with the like in a later century, and affirm Protestants such as are baptized as being united with Christ and joined with Rome in the Holy Spirit, who gives His “gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power.” (LUMEN GENTIUM) Such “redefinition” has resulted in a formal separation between post Vatican Two Catholics and a group of traditional Catholics called “sedevacantists,” who contend the chair of Peter is empty, and that the current popes are “anti-popes,” a historical term as in the past Rome sometimes had more than one person claiming the chair, and sometimes it sat empty for up to 3 years.

There are other divisions between churches which hold to the nebulous thing called Tradition as being equal to or one with the Bible, with a magisterium being supreme over it, most notable the Easter Orthodox, who, among other things, consider papal infallibility and his supreme jurisdiction to be contrary to Tradition.

While Protestantism manifests more divisions, by the measure some Cathlolics use, Catholicism has more than they realize and some of this is due to a liberal definition of the term, and decentralization (versus loyalty to an autocratic visible head) and (outside of carnal causes) but also to commitment to truth (institutionalized churches are less prone to division), if not always with a right heart. But the Roman Catholic argument that impugns the efficacy of holding to sola scriptura (SS) with its supremacy of Scripture (versus the church being the supreme authority) because it results in divisions, is spurious, because the manner of official unity that Rome boasts of is not necessarily better than that of any cult, and on the popular level it is worse than those who hold to SS and its basic literalistic interpretive “tradition” of Biblical exegesis.

And while unity is more difficult using the Berean method, (Acts 17:11) as it requires the same kind of heart to be effectual, yet it results in the most essential unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3) which born again evangelicals experience across denominational lines among those who have realized the transformative regeneration of the new birth, (Jn. 3:3-7; Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13) through faith in the gospel of grace out of a contrite heart, broken of self-righteousness, (Ps. 34:18; Lk. 18:13,14) and who thus are baptized into the universal church. (1Cor. 12:13) Any further unity is also superior to that which is by the cultic method of implicit trust in moral men, as it must result of seeking God with all one's heart, in submission to the Scriptures as the only infallible supreme objective authority on faith and morals, and in accordance upon its means of establishing truth. Such unity is greater than its differences, while full corporate comprehensive doctrinal unity has ever been a goal not realized, as we yet see things imperfectly, the problem being on our end, not God's. While the evangelical “fellowship of the Spirit” must come first, but it is to proceed: "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, {2} Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. " (Philippians 2:1-2)

Thus, unity among the true people of God in any church is based upon a faith in essential salvific truths of Scripture and the heart it requires and the realization of regenerational effects, resulting in a supernatural Scriptural relationship with God and religion which is centered upon that, looking unto Jesus now and future full union with Him, (Rm. 3:8-5:1; Titus 3:3-7) while seeking to obey Him here. (Jn. 10:27,28)

In contrast, unity in the institutionalized church is typically much based upon identification with a particular non-scripture-centered church and culture, which conveys a hope of salvation based upon one's moral merit and or the power of the church they look to, largely resulting in religion which perpetuates conformity to the same. Although they profess a faith in facts about Christ and an idea of the mercy of God, yet such never have had a day of salvation when they personally came to God as souls who are damned for their sins and destitute of any moral merit whereby they may escape Hell and gain Heaven, and who therefore looked to the mercy of God in the risen Lord Jesus Christ to save them by His sinless shed blood, and are manifestly born again.

Having said this, holding to the supremacy of Scripture should bring one to realize that while divisions are necessary because of truth, (1Cor. 11:19; cf. Lk. 12:51) and which is better than in unity in error, and even though comprehensive corporate doctrinal unity has never been realized, and the basic unity of the Spirit is most essential, yet the kind of divisions among brethren that evangelicals have is not in full conformity with the early New Testament church. While the evangelical “fellowship of the Spirit” must come first, yet it is to proceed: "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, {2} Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. " (Philippians 2:1-2)

As regards formal divisions, while having many decentralized individual living cells in the body of Christ has and can work to the expansion of the universal church, and its divisional drawbacks are less deleterious than official unity in salvific error, yet we should ask why or how it would be wrong to have a central leadership like that in individual churches or denominations but on a wider corporate level, and how this could further the mission of salvation of souls and sanctification of believers, to the glory of God.

Unlike that of Rome, the authority of such would have to be established not by autocratic self-declaration, effectively exalting its above Scripture, or ruling by the arm of men, but by holiness, spiritual power and fidelity to essential doctrines which have been established by “manifestation of the truth” (2Cor. 4:2) in conformity to Scripture, which it must demonstrate that it holds as the supreme objective authority.

It would not necessarily need to interfere much with local autonomy in areas that there should be some liberty, but could judge among major cases of doctrine and discipline brought to it by local bodies. It could not impose its will upon others by the arm of the flesh, but its word as well as and its ability to bind and loose would require manifest spiritual power, in proportion to its claim to authority. It would not necessarily prevent or heal every division, but insofar as its authority and teaching is established by Scriptural means it could overall be a stabilizing influence. And its perpetuation would require the very thing that it was established by, as such is how God constituted the church to operate, its very existence being by supernatural Scriptural faith with its attestation. Of course, this is basically what we are to see on a local level now, and anything more is a speculative proposal, an ideal goal to be considered and prayed for insofar as it is confirmed by God according to Scripture.

*Partial list of references to Divine written revelation being written (Scripture) and references to it, substantiating the claim that as they were written, the written word became the standard for obedience and in establishing truth claims. In full, the New Testament is stated to have approximately 250 express Old Testament quotations (including repetitions I believe), and more than 1,000 if one includes indirect or partial quotations, while another counts 275 direct quotes and at least 600 allusions to the Old (view many of both here. The following list does not include all of the former, and rarely includes simple allusions to Scripture (versus clear references such as to the law), but supplies a multiplicity of viewable (place mouse over reference, and if you cannot see them use a different browser, like Firefox) references to what was written or quotes thereof, including internal references within each Testament to Scripture (not just the New referencing the Old): Ex. 17:14; 24:4,7,12; 31:18; 32:15; 34:1,27; 35:29; Lv. 8:36; 10:10,11; 26:46; Num. 4:5,37,45,49; 9:23; 10:13; 15:23; 16:40; 27:23; 33:2; 36:13; Dt. 4:13; 5:22; 9:10; 10:2,4; 17:18,19; 27:3,8; 28:58,61; 29:20,21,27; 30:10; 31:9,11,19,22,26; 33:4; Josh. 1:7,8; 8:31,32,34,35; 10:13; 14:2; 20:2; 21:2; 22:5,9; 23:6; 24:26; Jdg. 3:4; 1Sam. 10:25; 2Sam. 1:8; 1Ki. 2:3; 8:53,56; 12:22; 2Ki. 1:8; 14:6; 17:37; 22:8,10,13,16; 23:2,21; 1Ch. 16:40; 17:3,9; 2Ch. 23:18; 25:4; 31:3; 33:8; 34:13-16,18,19,21,24; 34:30; 35:6,12; Ezra 3:2,4; 6:18; Neh. 6:6; 8:1,3,8,15,18; 9:3,14; 10:34,36; 13:1; Psa. 40:7; Is. 8:20; 30:8; 34:16; 65:6; Jer. 17:1; 25:13; 30:2; 36:2,6,10,18,27,28; 51:60; Dan. 9:11,13; Hab. 2:2;

Mat. 1:22; 2:5,15,17,18; 3:3; 4:4,6,7,10,14,15; 5:17,18,33,38,43; 8:4,17; 9:13; 11:10; 12:3,5,17-21,40,41; 13:14,15,35; 14:3,4,7-9;19:4,5,17-19; 21:4,5,13,16,42; 22:24,29,31,32,37,39,43,44; 23:35;24:15; 26:24,31,54,56; 27:9,10,35; Mark 1:2,44; 7:3,10; 9:12,13; 10:4,5; 11:17; 12:10,19,24,26 13:14; 14:21,47,49; 15:28; Lk. 2:22,23.24; 3:4,5,6; 4:4,6-8,10,12,16,17,18,20,25-27; 5:14; 7:27; 8:10; 10:26,27; 16:29,31; 18:20,31; 19:46; 20:17,18, 28,37,42,43; 22:37; 23:30; 24:25.27,32,44,45,46; Jn. 1:45; 2:17,22; 3:14; 5:39,45-47; 6:31,45; 7:19,22,23,38,42,51,52; 8:5,17; 9:26; 10:34,35; 12:14,15,38-41; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24,28,36,37; 20:9,31; 21:24; Acts 1:20; 2:16-21,25-28,34,35; 3:22,23,25; 4:11,25,26; 7:3,7,27,28,32,33,37,40,42,43,49,50,53; 8:28,30,32,33; 10:43;13:15,27,29,33,39; 15:5,15-17,21; 17:2,11; 18:13.24,28; 21:20,24; 22:12; 23:3,5; 24:14; 26:22; 28:23,26,27; Rom 1:2,17; 2:10-21,31; 4:3,7,17,18,23,24; 5:13; 7:1-3,7,12,14,16; 8:4,36; 9:4,9,12,13,15,17,25-29,33; 10:11,15,19; 11:2-4,8,9,26,27; 12:19,20; 13:8-10; 14:11; 15:3,4,9-12,21; 16:16,26,27; 1Cor. 1:19,31; 2:9; 3:19,20; 4:6; 6:16; 7:39; 9:9,10; 10:7,11,26,28; 14:21,34; 15:3,4,32,45,54,55; 2Cor. 1:13; 2:3,4; 3:7,15; 4:13; 6:2;16; 7:12; 8:15; 9:9; 10:17; 13:1; Gal. 3:6,8,10-13; 4:22,27,30; 5:14; Eph. 3:3,4; (cf. 2Pt. 3:16); Eph. 4:8; 5:31; 6:2,3; (cf. Dt. 5:16); Col. 4:16; 1Thes. 5:27; 1Tim. 5:18; 2Tim. 3:14,16,17; Heb. 1:5,7-13; 2:5-8,12,13; 3:7-11,15; 4:3,4,7; 5:5,6; 6:14; 7:17,21,28; 8:5,8-13; 9:20; 10:5-916,17,28,30,37; 11:18; 12:5,6,12,26,29; 13:5,6,22; James 2:8,23; 4:5; 1Pet. 1:16,24,25; 2:6,7,22; 3:10-12; 5:5,12; 2Pet. 1:20,21; 2:22; 3:1,15,16; 1Jn. 1:4; 2:1,7,8,12,13,21; 5:13; Rev. 1:3,11,19; 2:1,8,12,18; 3:1,7,12,14; 14:13; 19:9; 21:5; 22:6,7;10,18,19 (Note: while the Bible reveals that there is revelation which is not written down, (2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 10:4) yet interestingly, a study of the the phrase “the word of God” or “the word of the Lord” shows that revelation that is referred to as being that normally was subsequently written down. Nor was the oral truth referred to in 2Thes. 2:15 that of nebulous ancient traditions (which can also result in different interpretations, such as the Roman Catholics and EOs example), but what Paul referred to was known instruction by a manifestly Divinely inspired apostle, whose manner was to reason out of the Scriptures, (Acts 17:2) and whose words were examined for veracity by Scripture. (Acts 17:11) And there is no proof that this truth also was not subsequently written down.

Note also that (reiterating what was prior expressed) Scripture reveals the Truth of God being established by testimony in both in text and in power, by way of textual conformity to what had been prior established as written Truth (God first confirming the faith of men like Abraham and Moses in virtue and power, and the latter providing the Law as the standard by which further revelation was tested by), and by conformity in Heavenly qualities and manifest effects, and often by the manner of supernatural attestation by the power of God given to it and to the intruments thereof (and most overtly to the authority of those who progressively added conflationary, complimentary new teachings to Scripture). Thus writings called Scripture were themselves progressively established as being the assured Word of God (though they were such before men recogized them as being so), to the glory of God their author. However, while the references above provide abundant evidence to the textual aspect, the many that could be provided to the testimony to Truth in power are not, such as 2Ki. 5:15; Josh. 3:7 (cf. Is. 63:12); 2Ki. 18:6,7; Jer. 15:16; Ps. 19:7-11; Ps. 119; Mk. 16:20; Jn. 5:36; 14:11,12; Acts 4:33; 15:7-18; Rm. 15:19; 1Cor. 4:20; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:12; Gal. 4:6; 1Thes. 1:3-10, Heb. 2:3,4).

Chapters: 1 2 3 4

See New Testament Table of Contents, and please read the Introductory Notes here