I have a question regarding 2 Timothy 3:16 ("All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"). How do you understand the term God-breathed here, and what was the general interpretation of this term in ancient times? The way I see it, not all scriptures are God-breathed in the sense that God told the writers what to write. In some cases, as with the prophets, it was indeed so; in other cases, especially in the time of Jesus Christ, it was the word of witnesses (i.e. evangelists) who saw the acts of God and felt compelled to write about them. In this way they were under the "control," so to speak, of the Holy Spirit. -- Dmitry Starodub (Kiev)

I agree with you that God did not necessarily force biblical writers to write as they did. Their free will and even their personalities were not overridden. The Lord worked through them, through quite natural processes.

This does not, of course, nullify the divine element of inspiration. Through the centuries many have fallen into a "mechanical" view of inspiration. While God could have worked this way, the question is, Did he? What are we required to conclude as we study the scriptures? I think you are on the right track.

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