By: Brad Willis. Originally written July 15, 2013.
On the first episode of Lutheran Watchmen, we mentioned that Scripture is enough for fully equipping a Christian to be a Christian. Below you will find a more indepth examination of this point:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – Scripture provides complete equipment in teaching, reproof, correction, and training.
2 Peter 3:15-16 – Paul’s writings are called Scripture by Peter.
1 Timothy 5:18 – Paul quotes Luke – Luke 10:7 – after saying it is Scripture.
2 Peter 1:16-21, 2:1-3 – Scripture is the Word of God not man’s nor man’s interpretation. Scripture is superior to eye witnesses testimony and emotions.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 – Scripture is the teaching of God
Now for those who would discount 2 Peter as a reliable source, perhaps due to the principle of Antilegomena. It is important to point to Paul’s quotation of Luke as referrenced above from 1 Timothy 5:18. But let me point out that even if one were to reject 2 Peter as Antilegomena, it is still a document that was read amongest the Church. So it at least stands as a document of some worth. And what would its verses reveal that the writer and those who read it believed? That Paul’s writings were considered Scripture, and that Scripture is the Word of God, not mans interpretations.
It is also important to see what Jesus thought of Scripture. He thought that it would not pass away (Matthew 5:18), that it could not be broken (John 10:35), He used it as a source of Authority (Matthew 4:4-10), He taught that it revealed Himself (Luke 24:27).
Now I can hear the argument now: “But Jesus is talking about the Old Testament.” And to that I say Yep! So you ask “Why mention it then?” Well I mention it because if Jesus thought and taught those things about the Old Testament Scriptures, then it follows that His Apostles, when they speak of Scripture, taught the same thing about the New Testament Scriptures. All of the qualities and attributes held by the Old Testament Scriptures apply to the New.
When Paul calls Luke’s writing Scripture, he is placing Luke’s writing on the same level as the Old Testament writers. Someone may say that Paul is not quoting Luke, but another source, and I would then challenge that someone to find then from where is Paul quoting if not Luke?
It is important to look into the Greek as found in 2 Timothy to determine what is being spoken about there:
Here is the Greek for the words complete and equip in 2 Timothy 3:17.
ἄρτιος – artios – from arti – fresh, implication complete, perfect – nominative singular masculine
ἐξηρτισμένος – exertismenos – from ek and artizo – to fully equip, accomplish, finish out, thoroughly furnish, to finish out – perfect passive participle – nominative singular masculine.
If something is complete, fully equipped, fully armed, then there is no need for anything else. You have everything. Extra things are nice, but are not necessary. Tradition from the Church Fathers is what we would call extra. It is nice, but it is not needed.
Side note: The Apostles when speaking of what we call the Old Testament Scriptures, were speaking primarily (but not exclusively) of the Greek Old Testament, not the Hebrew. The Apostles therefore attributed Inspiration and Inerrancy, and the qualities listed above, not to the Autographs, but to the translations and manuscripts following the Autographs.