Sunday, 24 January 2016

Jots and Tittles




“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Concerning Scripture, Christ taught that every “jot and tittle” (i.e., even portions of letters, not to mention words and phrases) was inspired and would last forever. In many portions of Scripture, the teaching rests on a seemingly rather insignificant component of a word or phrase.

For example, consider the phrase “yet once more” in Hebrews 12:26, quoting Haggai 2:6. We see, in verse 27, that the argument requiring a coming judgment on all of creation hinges on it pointing back to a similar judgment in the past. Similarly, in Galatians 4:9, we see Paul couching his comments to the Galatian believers, who had returned to a legalistic system, in a question that turned on the active voice of a verb rather than passive. We have not only “known God” but “are known of God.” In John 8:58, a clever use of verb tense was made: “Before Abraham was, I am,” thereby asserting Christ’s deity. Note also in John 10:34-36 how Christ cleverly used the mood of a verb while quoting from Psalm 82:6 in order to defuse the charge of blasphemy leveled against Him. Paul’s argument in Galatians 3:16 (based on a quotation from Genesis 22:17-18) shows how even the singular or plural form of a word is equally inspired.

Consider Christ’s answer to the Sadducees who denied personal resurrection when He said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32). Christ is their God, not simply was. “And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine” (Matthew 22:33).

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable.” Let us handle Scripture with the same care and love it with the same fervency as did Christ and the apostles. 

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