Monday, March 16, 2015

The Other Scriptures

     In the context of 2 Peter 3:14-18, Peter says Paul's letters "contain some things that are
hard  to  understand, which  ignorant  and  unstable  people  distort."  Then  Peter  uses  a
phrase that is not only remarkable, but  its  implications  are  profound!  The people about
whom he writes, not only distort Paul's letters, but  they  do  the  same  thing  to "the other
scriptures" (tas loipas graphas). (v.16)

     First, Peter implies that Paul's letters are scripture. He said ignorant people distort Paul's
letters, "as they do also the other scriptures." (ASV-1901) The word "other"(Grk.loipos)
connotes "rest of." So, the  uninformed  distorted  Paul's  letters  as  they  did  the rest of
the scriptures. No  human  council  or  legislative  body  determines  what  does and does
not constitute scripture. God has made that determination. When  an  apostle and  others 
who  were "carried  along  by  the Holy Spirit,"  (2 Peter 1:21)  put  "pen  to  paper"  in 
revealing truth  from  the  mind  of  God (1 Corinthians 2:13), they were writing scripture! 

     Second, since the apostles and other supernaturally guided men wrote scripture, their
writings are authoritative, and serve as an inerrant guide in all religious matters. Paul told
the  Corinthians,   "The  things  I  am  writing  to  you  are  the  command  of  the  Lord."
(1 Corinthians 14:37) He even commended them for "maintaining the traditions" as he had
delivered them. Traditions refers to apostolic instructions. Paul informed the Thessalonians
that when they heard the word from him, it was not "the  word  of  men," they received,
but "the  word  of  God" that  was  at work in them.(1 Thessalonians 2:13) He told the
believers  in  Rome  that  they  would be judged by the message of good news that he
preached. (Romans 2:16)

     Third, therefore, inasmuch as there is a  body of literature  that  has been "breathed
out by God" ( 2 Timothy 3:16), it is not only futile but also eternally disastrous for people
to  distort  it. Those  who  twist  the  scriptures,  do  so  to  "their  own  destruction!"
(2 Peter 3:16)  We are to remain in the teaching of Christ (2 John 9). The faith, that is,
the body of eternal truth has been "once for all delivered to the holy people." (Jude 3)
God has supplied mankind with "all things that pertain to life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3)
No other  written  message will  be given. We  have  the  mind  of  God  verbalized  in
Paul's writings and "the other scriptures."

                                                                                                                      R. Daly
Copyright 2015 


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