Category Archives: 2 Timothy

The Holy Spirit and Inspiration

Scripture declares it is inspired.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, ESV)

Here, in the English Standard Version (ESV), translators have chosen to interpret the word “inspired,” which is found in older translations, as “breathed out.” This is an appropriate decision as it better reflects the meaning of the word inspired. Today, inspiration is commonly credited for exemplary works of art or for stunning landscapes. Originally however, to be inspired meant to be given divine truth for transmission to mankind. In other words, the Bible writers were to record the words breathed out by God.

We offer the following human definition of Biblical inspiration which might help:

“Biblical inspiration is the transmission of truth from God, to man, through man and for man.”

The words of the Bible are not like the words of any other literature. They are the very thoughts of God as revealed to mankind. Inasmuch as the words of God are truth (John 17:17) we should seek them for the benefit they bring. We should also handle carefully the truth (2 Timothy 2:15) like we would a sharp weapon (Hebrews 4:12, Revelation 1:16, Revelation 2:12).

Inspiration provides for man the only truth needed for his eternal existence. It is complete (Jude 3) and allows a man to become complete before God. The words of the Bible are verified through great signs and wonders performed by God’s approved messengers. Since there are no true miracles occurring today, there is no confirmation of any supposed new or fresh word from God. We now have the truth and it is able to make us complete and to prepare us for every good work.

The Holy Spirit is integral in the work of inspiration. Peter defends the truthfulness of the apostolic message and the inspired word given through the work of the Holy Spirit.

“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Here, the unique nature of prophecy, which is a part of Scripture, is affirmed as being beyond mortal abilities. Instead the source of that inspiration is the Holy Spirit. This comports well with Jesus own promise to the apostles to send the Spirit who would then “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). Make note that the passage speaks of “all the truth,” not some of it or a portion of it, but all the truth.

The Divine Workman has provided us every scintilla of truth needed for our eternal journey. There is nothing more. Let us give glory to the Spirit who has supplied our need so richly.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

Who are Jannes and Jambres?

Jannes JambresJannes and Jambres appear only once, by name, in the Bible at 2 Timothy 3:8. While our knowledge is limited there some things that can be known and more importantly, some things that we should learn from them.

Jewish tradition taught that Jannes and Jambres were Pharaoh’s two magicians who stood against Moses in Exodus 7:11 ff. Moses was sent to demand the release of the Hebrews from Egyptian servitude. At the first meeting with Pharaoh Moses demonstrated his own bona fides by casting down his staff which became a snake. Two magicians countered with a trick that appeared equal to what Moses had done. But to the astonishment of all, Moses snake devoured the two belonging to the magicians. Tradition asserts that these two magicians were Jannes and Jambres.

While there is an extensive and often bizarre tradition about these two, there are some things that we can know for certain and most importantly, some things that we can learn from them.

Jannes and Jambres Are Examples of False Teachers

This portion of Scripture, at 2 Timothy 3:1-9, discusses the failing away that occurs in the last days. Paul has previously spoken of this heretical time in 1 Timothy 4:1. Paul talks of the same failing away in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. In both cases false teaching will occur. While Paul looks for the coming of the “man of sin” in his Thessalonian letter, he is more general in the letter to Timothy. But false teaching is in the forefront.

Jannes and Jambres are caricatures of the people detailed in the second Timothy letter.

“For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. From these also turn away” (2 Timothy 3:2-5).

As with all false teachers, these people love themselves more than God, appear righteous but deny the power and glory of the Lord.

Jannes and Jambres Failed Like All False Teachers

Jannes and Jambres gave the appearance of being godly. They opposed Moses and his message of truth. One ancient legion even calls them sons of Baal. They tried to demonstrate their other-worldly power through tricks but ultimately failed (Exodus 8:18-19).

False teachers today sweep millions, even billions, into the fold of deception and trickery. Yet, like these two, they will fail. Sadly, they will take untold souls into a Devil’s hell. Like Simon, their riches will perish with them apart from true repentance.

As Christians, we have the once for all revealed word of God (Jude 3) which sustains and supports all our needs (2 Corinthians 9:8). Through constant examination of the Scriptures (Acts 17:11) we can know the truth (John 8:32) and be prepared to discern truth from fable. As John wrote, let us test the spirits to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1).

 Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

Inspiration | 20 Reasons I Am A Christian

BibleI asked some university students to define “inspiration.” While some gave the correct answers, others were just confused. Some said that inspiration is what enables you to write a beautiful poem or paint a memorable portrait. Others thought it was what happened to you when you hear powerful music and you are lifted higher by the chords and harmonies. I guess some of that is true – at least in our present culture – but the word is much more important than that.

It is very important for the Christian to understand and, as much as possible, fully appreciate the meaning of inspiration in Scripture because it is the underlying foundation of all Scripture.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16).

We need to take a moment and drink in this verse because it teaches an incredibly important lesson. In fact, until you understand what Paul says here you will never fully appreciate the vast importance of the Bible. Continue reading Inspiration | 20 Reasons I Am A Christian

A Call for Courage in the Pulpit

Preaching is the finest task a man can do. There is no more demanding work than that of a dedicated spokesman for God. The task is too important to be left to last-minute-find-a-sermon-on-the-internet kind of preachers. The preparation is hard and the presentation exhausting. To be sound, preaching must be done with courage.

Sound gospel preaching demands courage.

The time for men willing to stand and speak plainly is now. It takes little or no courage to preach the trends of today. Few people will complain of preachers who sound more like television variety show hosts or who seem to craft their preaching after a stand-up comic somewhere. However, men who call sin what it is and point out sin in their communities and even in their churches are not terribly popular.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Paul’s carefully worded, inspired advice to Timothy speaks plainly to us today. Continue reading A Call for Courage in the Pulpit