Is the ENTIRE Bible God's Inspired Word?

Your Questions - Bible Answers

A) When Paul said in 2 Timothy that all scripture is given of God by inspiration all his epistles were not written yet. Mind you he did write 1 Timothy previously which must be inspired? So my real question is do you accept all Paul's writings as inspired of God and profitable for doctrine, and rebuke and instruction? So the only way that women can be saved is by keeping her mouth shut and having many children? What does your wife think about (Paul's writings regarding women)?

In response to your question, I would like to broaden the scope of it. Currently, your question, addresses a specific instance in Scripture which at first may appear like a contradiction (I will explain...). I will answer your SPECIFIC question with relation to God's plan for women in the church. But first I would like to address the concept of inspiration more generally.

It seems to me that you may have an inaccurate view of the way God's inspiration works. It appears that you may currently buy into the idea that the Bible is WORD INSPIRED. I would like to propose to you that the Bible is THOUGHT INSPIRED. What is the difference? Word inspired is the concept that God stood over the writer's shoulder and dictated what was to be written word-for-word. However, there is no basis in Scripture for this type of inspiration. In fact the only parts of the Bible that are WORD-FOR-WORD from the mouth of God are the ten commandments - which HE wrote Himself with His own finger, and statements which He made while on earth - as quoted by the human author.

When God moves a person with the inspiration to write, He does it by giving them a THOUGHT. The person then puts that DIVINELY INSPIRED THOUGHT INTO HUMAN WORDS. Look at the differences between the four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John often cover the exact same territory. And yet, each accounting of it is somewhat different. None are more or less ACCURATE than the other, they just emphasize different things. In other words, they are writing God's inspired concepts, but are coloring it with their own personal touch.

Does this knowledge lessen the Bible's power in some way? Does it negate its Divine origin? NO! Absolutely not! Rarely does God do anything without requiring man to be a part of it. Let's look at His miracles in the Bible. When Jesus fed the 5,000 people He could have just brought food out of the air. But instead He asked for the use of a little boy's lunch. Does the fact that God took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes from a boy make the miracle of feeding 5,000 men (not to mention women and children) from it any less a miracle? Of course not! That, my friend, is how our wonderful God works. He graciously LETS US be a part of His Divine work.

Now let's deal with your question specifically. Paul tells us that a woman must "learn in silence", and that she must be "submitted" to men - thus not permitted to teach. At first glance, these words by Paul would seem to be in direct conflict with the following texts:

Acts 10:34:
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, 'Of a truth I perceive that God is NO RESPECTOR of persons'."

Galations 3:26-29:
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female. For ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Now I can assure you immediately, friend, that the Bible does NOT contradict itself. How can a house divided against itself stand? So, how do we reconcile this seemingly blatant contradiction? The Bible always shows us God's beautiful truth if we study ALL of it on any given subject. One of the reasons there are so many differing ideas about the Bible today is that people take one or two texts of Scripture and spin an entire theology upon it. Yet we are instructed to study it in its ENTIRETY in order to find God's truth on any given subject.

So, in Paul's letter to the church in Corinth (Corinthians), he is inspired with the thought that women should be quiet, left in the background - and unobtrusive. Yet, when Paul writes his inspired letter to the church in Galacia (Galatians), he is inspired with the thought that God doesn't care WHAT we are, only WHO we are. So, slaves are no less important to God than kings. And women are the same before God as men - EQUALS!

There is yet another concept that I must introduce into this mix which will, I believe, clear this up. It is the "weaker brother" concept. Incidentally, Paul writes about this concept to the church in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 8:9:
"But take heed (or be careful) lest by any means this liberty (whatever you are free to do in your strong relationship with God) of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak."

There was something going on in in Corinth, my friend. And Paul's writings to them reflect that there was some volatility and fragility in the church there. Yet there is much for us to learn from these specific instructions even today. Should we take from this that God finds women repulsive and that they should shut up and sit down? Well, even Paul doesn't teach this as he told the Galations that God doesn't CARE WHAT WE ARE - GOD CARES WHO WE ARE.

So, to take some male-dominating theology from the Corinthian letters is just as wrong as it is to throw out the Corinthian letters as uninspired. Rather, look at the truth behind it, friend. God CARES more than anything that all precious souls be saved. Some people are more fragile and easily offended. We are all on different levels in our relationship with the Lord. But, just because YOU can do something and know that it puts nothing between your soul and your savior, doesn't mean you are free to do it. What do I mean? Do you recall Cain's argument to God? "Am I my brother's keeper?" The answer is that YES, to a degree we are responsible for those around us. We should hold ourselves in check so that our weaker brother or sister are not caused to fall away from God by us (a stumbling block).

Let's speak plainly. In the church in Corinth, women needed to be in the background, because some men there were a little weaker on that subject. And it was more important that both men and women be saved than for women to exercise their God-given talents to speak. Does that mean that for all time women must refrain from exercising the very talents GOD HAS GIVEN THEM IN THE CHURCH! God forbid, friend! Our Lord, in His wisdom does not give a person the ability to speak for Him only to shut them up again because of gender, race, religion or any other earthly source of prejudice.

In conclusion, the entire Bible is God's Divinely inspired Word from Genesis to Revelation. Do not let anything or anyone take any part of God's Word from you, friend. For within each page you will find the beauty of Jesus and the way in which to be saved. If you find yourself taking it apart or lessening the significance of small portions of it, you set yourself up as judge and jury over the WORD OF GOD! That is dangerous ground to be on. At first, you only throw out things that APPEAR to be contradictions - which would become clear if you would only study them thoroughly! But soon you find that since you've thrown out such-and- such a concept, why not throw out this one two - after all, it steps on your toes and is inconvenient.

Do not fall prey to the danger of this kind of doubt. Pray to God to reveal to you His beauty in all of the Scripture, for as we have discussed here, even in Paul's "hard-nosed" instructions to women a beautiful truth is found. And that is, that Christians should care more about saving others than they should care about exercising their own personal freedoms.

2 Chronicles 20:20:
"...Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established. Believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper."