What to do With the Word

“All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable …”

(2 Tim. 3:16).

     Two things are affirmed: (1) Inspiration. The word translated “inspiration” (theopneustos) literally means, “God breathed”. Geisler and Nix explained, “It does not mean, as the English word ‘inspire’ might imply, that God breathed in the word but rather that the very words were breathed out” [A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 35 (cf. Mt. 4:4)]. The word translated “scripture” (graphe) appears 52 times in the New Testament, and without exception, it refers to the writings of the Bible. It is used in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (Notice: 1 Tim 5:18 quotes Deut. 25:4 and Lk. 10:7 and refers to them as scripture. Notice: It is used of the writings of Paul, 2 Pet. 3:15-16). The word “scripture” in the New Testament functions as a technical term for the writings of the Bible. (2) Profitability. There are some things unprofitable spiritually speaking (see 2 Tim. 2:14 cf. 1 Tim 1:4; 4:7; 6:20; Tit. 1:14). However, the words inspired of God are profitable.

Profitable for what?

(2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Therefore …

(2 Tim. 4:2)

  1. Doctrine/teaching            1. Preach the word
   2. Reproof            2. Convince/reprove
    3. Correction           3. Rebuke
    4. Instruction/training       in righteousness           4. Exhort
5. Equipping for every good work           5. Maintain good works Note: This is not taught in 2 Tim. 4:2, but is taught throughout 1, 2 Timothy and Titus. See: Tit. 3:8; 3:14; cf. 1 Tim. 2:10; 3:1; 5:10; 5:25; 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:21; 4:5; Tit. 1:16; 2:7


1. Doctrine. Vine’s “either (a) that which is taught …, or (b) the act of teaching, instruction.”

2. Reproof. Arndt-Gingrich, “bring to light, expose, set forth … convict or convince someone of something, point something out to someone.” Thayer, “A proof that by which a thing is proved or tested … (or) of an inward result of proving viz. a conviction.”

3. Correction. The term was used of restoration of a building or rebuilding a city. Vine’s, “Lit. a restoration to an upright or right state.”

4. Instruction/training. Thayer, “training and education of children.” Arndt-Gingrich, “upbringing, training, instruction … in our lit. chiefly as it is attained by discipline, correction.”

5. Preach. Vine’s, “Be a herald.” TDNT, “It is important that heralds deliver news or pass on messages strictly as they are given to them.” A good preacher does not create a message but acts as a messenger. The message does not belong to him. Note: The terms teaching and preaching are paralleled. The modern differential usage is not made here.

6. Reprove. See reproof above.

7. Rebuke. Thayer, “To tax with fault.” Denny Petrillo, “to warn … it implies a sharp, severe rebuke” (Commentary on 1, 2 Timothy and Titus, p. 146). Wayne Jackson, “to express strong disapproval” (Before I Die, p. 277).

8. Exhort. The word literally means “to call to the side.” It can refer to calling one aside to encourage, or to teach, or to admonish. Notice in context it is paralleled with instruction or training.

How are you using God’s word?

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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