God's inspired word?

by ChrisCross 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • ChrisCross

    What are the passages in the bible that say it is God's inspired word?

  • kwintestal

    2 Tim. 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

  • Narkissos

    Strictly speaking, none.

    For no "Bible writer" could know what the Bible would be (and which texts would be taken in or left out).

    But you probably think of 2 Timothy 3:16f:

    All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
    What is "all scripture"? That is the question. Especially when the author had just referred to a "scripture" which happened not to be included in "the Bible" (you won't find Jannes and Jambres, v. 8, in the Moses story of the Old Testament).
  • ChrisCross

    That's really the point I'm trying to get at. The bible was put together by man. Who's to have a final say in what is and what isn't a part of the bible. Also, what exactly does inspired mean? Man may have been inspired by God to write good words about him, but does that make it infallible?

  • Leolaia

    The OT prophets were believed to be "inspired" because they were "moved" by the Spirit of God. From the Christian point-of-view, and the "official" view in Acts and in Paul's letters, all Christians who were in Christ experienced the Spirit -- so was anything written by any faithful Christian automatically "inspired" Scripture? The reality is that the NT canon was determined not by assessing which letter or writing was more "inspired" than another (as if such an objective standard exists), but instead by what was "popular" and "accepted as authoritative" in the normative church -- and until the forth century, different churches had different lists of what was considered Scripture. How a personal note such as Philemon that has rather little religious content got to be considered "Scripture" just because it was written by Paul (or a phoney-baloney epistle like 2 Peter, which falsely claims to have been written by Peter, to name just one example of pseudenymity), while such important early like the Didache got excluded from canonicity is purely a matter of reputation and church politics a century or two after the works were written.

    And what of the sources that NT writers themselves used? The author of Jude was steeped in OT pseudepigrapha, alluding to the story in the Assumption of Moses and five times alluding to 1 Enoch and once explicitly quoting the book (by combining two passages into one):

    Jude 6: "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, he has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day."

    1 Enoch 12:4: "Go and make known to the Watchers of heaven who have abandoned the high heaven, the holy eternal place, and have defiled themselves with women."

    1 Enoch 15:3, 7: "For what reason have you abandoned the high, holy, and eternal heaven; and slept with women and defiled yourselves with the daughters of the people....I did not make wives for you for the proper dwelling place of spiritual beings of heaven is heaven."

    1 Enoch 10:4-6: " Bind Azazel hand and foot and throw him into the darkness....He covered his face in order that he may not see light; and in order that he may be sent into the fire on the great day of judgment."

    1 Enoch 10:11-12: "Bind Semjaza and the others who are with him, who fornicated with the women, that they will die together with them in all their defilement...Bind them for seventy generations underneath the rocks of the ground until the day of their judgment and of their consummation, until the eternal judgment is concluded.

    Jude 6-7: "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, he has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh (heteras sarkos, "different flesh"), and exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire."

    Testament of Naphtali 3:4-4:1: "Do not become like Sodom, which departed from the order of nature. Likewise the Watchers departed from nature's order; the Lord pronounced a curse on them at the Flood. On their account he ordered that the earth be without dweller or produce. I say these things, my children, because I have read in the writing of holy Enoch that you will also stray from the Lord." (Reference is to a lost Book of Enoch that Jude apparently also knew)

    1 Enoch 106:5-12, 14: "I have begotten a strange son: He is not like an ordinary human being, but he looks like the children of the angels of heaven to me; his form is different, and he is not like us. His eyes are like the rays of the sun, and his face glorious. It does not seem to me that he is of me, but of the angels ; and I fear that a wondrous phenomenon may take place upon the earth in his days...his color was whiter than snow and redder than a rose, the hair of his head is whiter than white wool....He did not believe that the child was of him but of the image of the angels of heaven....[The angels] united themselves with women and commit sin together with them; and they have married wives from among them, and begotten children by them, upon the earth they give birth to giants, not of the spirit but of the flesh."

    1 Enoch 27:2-3, 100:4-9, 103:7-8: "This accursed valley [e.g. Gehenna] is for those accursed forever; here will gather together all those accursed ones, those who speak with their mouths unbecoming words against the Lord and utter hard words concerning his glory. Here shall they be gathered together, and here shall be their judgment, in the last days. There will be upon them the spectacle of the righteous judgment, in the presence of the righteous forever....There was produced from that bronze and fire a smell of sulfur which blended with those waters. This valley of the perversive angels shall continue to burn punitively underneath that ground....The Most High will arise on that day of judgment in order to execute a great judgment upon all the sinners...Woe unto you sinners, when you oppress the righteous ones, in the day of hard anguish, and burn them with fire! You shall be recompensed according to your deeds. On account of the deeds of your wicked ones, in blazing fires worse than fire it shall burn ....You yourselves know that they will bring your souls down to Sheol and they shall experience evil and great tribulation--in darkness, nets, and burning flame. Your souls shall enter into the great judgment; it shall be a great judgment in all the generations of the world."

    Jude 8: "Yet in the same manner [e.g. as the fallen angels and those who committed immorality with them, and those who lusted after angels in Sodom and Gomorrah] these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties."

    1 Enoch 15:3-4: "For what reason have you abandoned the high, holy, and eternal heaven; and slept with women and defiled yourselves with the daughters of the people, taking wives, acting like the children of the earth, and begetting giant sons? Surely you used to be holy, spiritual, the living ones, possessing eternal life; but now you have defiled yourselves with women, and with the blood of the flesh begotten children."

    1 Enoch 9:5, 7: "You have made everything and with you is the authority for everything....Semyaz, to whom you have given power to rule over his companions, co-operating, they went in unto the daughters of the people of the earth; and they lay with them -- with those women -- and defiled themselves, and revealed to them every kind of sin."

    Jude 12-13: "These men are those who are ... wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever."

    1 Enoch 17:6-7: "And I saw all the great rivers and reached to the great darkness and went into the place where all flesh must walk cautiously. And I saw the mountains of the dark storms of the rainy season and from where the waters of all the seas flow."

    1 Enoch 18:14-16: "This place is the ultimate end of heaven and earth: it is the prison house for the stars and the powers of heaven. And the stars which roll over upon the fire, they are the ones which have transgressed the commandments of God from the beginning of their rising because they did not arrive punctually. And he was wroth with them and bound them until the time of the completion of their sin."

    1 Enoch 21:6: "These are among the stars of heaven which have transgressed the commandments of God and are bound in this place until the completion of ten million years, according to the number of their sins."

    1 Enoch 10:4-6: " Bind Azazel hand and foot and throw him into the darkness....He covered his face in order that he may not see light; and in order that he may be sent into the fire on the great day of judgment."

    Jude 14-15: "And about these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.' "

    1 Enoch 60:8: "...the garden of Eden, wherein the elect and the righteous ones dwell, wherein my grandfather [Enoch] was taken, the seventh from Adam."

    1 Enoch 1:9: "Behold, he will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment upon all. He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him."

    1 Enoch 5:4: "You have not been long-suffering and you have not done the commandments of the Lord, but you have transgressed and spoken slanderously grave and harsh words with your impure mouths against his greatness."

    1 Enoch 27:2: "This accursed valley is for those accursed forever; here will gather together all the accursed ones, those who speak with their mouth unbecoming words against the Lord and utter harsh words concerning his glory."

    Of course, 1 Enoch has also left clear marks in Revelation, Colossians, and elsewhere, and other pseudepigrapha and apocrypha show their influence throughout the NT. What idea of "Scripture" did the NT writers have? I plan to write a thread in the future on how the letter of James might quote from the lost Book of Eldad and Modad. On the other hand, the 66-book canon of the Bible dates back only to the Reformation when Protestants rejected the apocrypha that was considered scripture by Catholics. I have long argued that if we are to really understand the Bible, we need to broaden our view of early Christian and Jewish literature and place the "Bible" within its literary context.

  • Leolaia

    See also my post on "Apocyphal Jewish Tradition in the New Testament":


    The NT was quite dependent on Jewish midrashic and haggada material; details and statements about the patriarchs and ppl in the OT which do not occur at all in the OT. Where did they come from? My thread traces some of the novel details to Jewish sources which, supposedly, should be considered uninspired by the Society, but are acceptable because they are reproduced in the NT.

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