2 Timothy 3:13-17
13. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
13. Mali autem homines et impostores proficient in pejus, errantes, et in errorem.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
14. Tu autem mane in iis, quae didicisti, et quae credita sunt tibi, sciens a quo didiceris;
15. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
15. Et quòd a pueritia Sacras litteras novisti, quae to eruditum reddere ad salutem per fidem, quae est in Christo Iesu.
16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;
16. Omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata est ac utilis ad doctrinam, ad redargutionem, ad correctionem, ad institutionem, qua est in justitia.
17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
17. Ut integer sit Dei homo, ad omne opus bonum formatus.
I stated, a little before, in what respect they
Again, as to the power of doing injury, 1 it is not because falsehood, in its own nature, is stronger than truth, or that the tricks of Satan exceed the energy of the Spirit of God; but because men, being naturally inclined to vanity and errors, embrace far more readily what agrees with their natural disposition, and also because, being blinded by a righteous vengeance of God, they are led, as captive slaves, at the will of Satan. 2 And the chief reason, why the plague of wicked doctrines is so efficacious, is, that the ingratitude of men deserves that it should be so. It is highly necessary for godly teachers to be reminded of this, that they may be prepared for uninterrupted warfare, and may not be discouraged by delay, or yield to the haughtiness and insolence of adversaries.
This passage teaches us, that we ought to be as careful to guard against obstinacy in matters that are uncertain, (such as all the doctrines of men are,) as to hold within unshaken firmness the truth of God. Besides, we learn from it, that faith ought to be accompanied by prudence, that it may distinguish between the word of God and the word of men, so that we may not adopt at random everything that is brought forward. Nothing is more inconsistent with the nature of faith than light credulity, which allows us to embrace everything indiscriminately, whatever it may be, and from whomsoever it proceeds; because it is the chief foundation of faith, to know that it has God for its author.
If it be objected, "How can this be known?" I answer, both to disciples and to teachers, God is made known to be the author of it by the revelation of the same Spirit. Moses and the prophets did not utter at random what we have received from their hand, but, speaking at the suggestion of God, they boldly and fearlessly testified, what was actually true, that it was time mouth of the Lord that spake. The same Spirit, therefore, who made Moses and the prophets certain of their calling, now also testifies to our hearts, that he has employed them as his servants to instruct us. Accordingly, we need not wonder if there are many who doubt as to the Author of the Scripture; for, although the majesty of God is displayed in it, yet none but those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit have eyes to perceive what ought, indeed, to have been visible to all, and yet is visible to the elect alone. This is the first clause, that we owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God; because it has proceeded from him alone, and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it.
It would be too long to explain what we are to learn from the Scriptures; and, in the preceding verse, he has given a brief summary of them under the word faith. The most valuable knowledge, therefore, is "faith in Christ." Next follows instruction for regulating the life, to which are added the excitements of exhortations and reproofs. Thus he who knows how to use the Scriptures properly, is in want of nothing for salvation, or for a Holy life.
But here an objection arises. Seeing that Paul speaks of the Scriptures, which is the name given to the Old Testament, how does he say that it makes a man thoroughly perfect? for, if it be so, what was afterwards added by the apostles may be thought superfluous. I reply, so far as relates to the substance, nothing has been added; for the writings of the apostles contain nothing else than a simple and natural explanation of the Law and the Prophets, together with a manifestation of the things expressed in them. This eulogium, therefore, is not inappropriately bestowed on the Scriptures by Paul; and, seeing that its instruction is now rendered more full and clear by the addition of the Gospel, what can be said but that we ought assuredly to hope that the usefulness, of which Paul speaks, will be much more displayed, if we are willing to make trial and receive it?
1 "Si on demande d'ou vient ceste puissance et facilite de nuire?" "If it be asked, Whence comes this power and facility of doing injury?"
2 "Satan les tire, d'un coste et d'autre, a son plaisir." "Satan leads them, on one side or another, at his pleasure."
3 "Par lequel mot il signifie qu'il est requis d'user de jugement et discretion en cest endroit." "By this word, he means that it is necessary to use judgment and discretion in that matter."
4 "Et qui to vent commises ou desquelles plene assurance t'a este donnee." "And which have been intrusted to thee, or of which full assurance hath been given to thee."
5 "Who is it that by nature will not desire his happiness and his salvation? And where could we find it but in the Holy Scripture, by which it is communicated to us? Woe to us if we will not listen to God when he speaks to us, seeing that he asks nothing but our advantage. He does not seek his own profit, for what need has he of it? We are likewise reminded not to read the Holy Scripture so as to gratify our fancies, or to draw from it useless questions. Why? Because it is profitable for salvation, says Paul. Thus, when I expound the Holy Scripture, I must be guided by this consideration, that those who hear me may receive profit from the doctrine which I teach, that they may be edified for salvation. If I have not that desire, and do not aim at the edification of those who hear me, I am a sacrilegious person, profaning the word of God. On the other hand, they who read the Scripture, or who come to the sermon to listen, if they are in search of some foolish speculation, if they come here to take their amusement, are guilty of having profaned a thing so holy." -- Fr. Ser.