12) It has been mentioned in 3:16 of 2 Timothy that the Bible is the
word of God. What is it that is implied here?
“….. and how from infancy you have known the Holy
Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through
faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful
for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
(2 Timothy 3:15, 16).
Here, it must be appreciated that the Bible may be said to have
claimed for itself the status of divine revelation only if the term ‘Holy
Scriptures’ as used by Paul referring to the books of the Bible.
However, the reality is different.
Amongst the twenty-seven books in the New Testament of the
Bible, that came to be accepted as canonical, it was the epistles of
Paul that were first written. It is the opinion of the scholars that these
were first written between the years 40-60 C.E. The epistles of Paul
aside, all the other books of the New Testament were written between
the years 65-150 C.E. Observe the quotation that was cited above.
Paul has referred to certain ‘Holy Scriptures’ with which Timothy
had been familiar. The particular way in which he has couched his
words indicate that that ‘Scriptures’ had been in circulation even before
the writings of Paul and as far as the New Testament is concerned, it
is certain that there is in it no writings, whatsoever, that existed before
those of Paul himself. Thus there can be no justification in holding on
to the idea that the divinely inspired witings to which Paul alluded
were of the books of the New Testament. It is certain, therefore, that
the Holy Scriptures to which Paul makes a reference here is, in fact,
the works that were extant before the books of the Bible came to be
written. Then how can it be the claim of the Bible that these were,
indeed, divinely inspired? In fact, this has never been the claim of the
Bible. It is nothing but the mention of certain writings that were not to
be found in the Bible but to which Paul had alluded. As for these
writings themselves, they are non-existent today.