2 Tim. 3:16..."Inspiration" or "God-breathed"?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, May 27, 2007.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    The KJV reads, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God", while several other versions read, "All Scripture is God-breathed ". A check of the Greek shows the word here is "theopneustos", which is literally "God-breathed".

    We know that God doesn't hafta breathe air as we do, & we know He has presented His word in many ways at various times. He WROTE the Decalogue with His own finger & upon Belshazzar's wall. He SPOKE DIRECTLY to many people, either individuals, or to the whole nation of Israel at Sinai. He often simply placed words into the minds of many others, and He sent angels to deliver His messages as He did to Mary. He used visions as He did to Daniel. he simply caused some men to know certain things, allowing them to write their own words which became Scripture.

    Is there any limit as to how God can communicate with us?

    I believe paul used a word which summed up all of God's means of communication He's ever used with us...He "BREATHED" His words to us, by whatever means He actually used to make His chosen audience know His particular words at the time. Anyone with a licka sense knows that when God breathed life into Adam, it was much more than simply blowing air into his airway. same with God's word...there's a lot more to it than simply rattling vocal cords with air.

    Why, then, do some advocates of a certain doctrine insist that the literal English rendering of "theopneustos" is WRONG? What can be more CORRECT than the LITERAL MEANING of a given word?

    What're YOUR thoughts on this?
     
  2. Snitzelhoff

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    From an online etymology dictionary:

    Considering the root of "inspiration," I think either expresses the concept. Certainly not advocating the certain doctrine to which you referred, but I think "theopneustos" is accurately translated either way. "God-breathed," however, is probably a superior translation in that it renders the sense of the Greek word to the average English reader/hearer better than "given by inspiration of God".

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    Michael
     
  3. Hope of Glory

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    I think you're correct that either word could be used, but does "inspire" mean the same thing to us in modern English? I know that when I use it, it means I've had a good idea and I'm now motivated to work on my next project. Here's the modern definition. See how far down the list you have to go to find the one that applies?

    –verb (used with object) 1.to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: His courage inspired his followers. 2.to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others. 3.to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.: to inspire a person with distrust. 4.to influence or impel: Competition inspired her to greater efforts. 5.to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future. 6.to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence: writings inspired by God. 7.to guide or control by divine influence. 8.to prompt or instigate (utterances, acts, etc.) by influence, without avowal of responsibility. 9.to give rise to, bring about, cause, etc.: a philosophy that inspired a revolution. 10.to take (air, gases, etc.) into the lungs in breathing; inhale. 11.Archaic. a.to infuse (breath, life, etc.) by breathing (usually fol. by into). b.to breathe into or upon. –verb (used without object) 12.to give inspiration. 13.to inhale.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    I like "God-breathed".

    It sort of makes me think of three other passages.
    • The Genesis passage that you recalled where God breathed physical life into humanity.
    • The John 20:21-23 passage where Jesus Christ breathed spiritual power onto a handful of the disciples.
    • And the Acts 2 passage where the "breath" of the Holy Spirit, if you will allow me to call it that, brought power to the new-born church.
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    If you are referring to the KJVO position, I am not aware of any who would say that "God-breathed" is wrong. We very readily admit that the literal translation of "inspiration" is "God-breathed."

    What are you going to do the next time someone tells you to "break a leg?" The LITERAL MEANING is not always the best, especially in modern English.
     
  6. Deacon

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    I don't have a problem with either God inspired or God-breathed.

    However in medicine, inspiration means to breath-in;
    I normally consider words of Scripture to have come forth from God (expiration?).

    I guess that the word, inspiration is used to convey the idea that the ordinary words used by men were infused with the meaning God wanted them to have; the words or the authors breathed-in God's intended meaning and were therefore put forth inspired Scripture.

    Rob
     
    #6 Deacon, May 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2007
  7. EdSutton

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    Hang around the thread for awhile. :laugh: You might find one yet, KJVO or not.

    On a serious note, I personally prefer to say "God-breathed-out", for the above reason one posted about the general meaning of "inspiration", meaning to "breathe in", since alll Scripture is 'sent out' or given by God.

    Ed
     
  8. HankD

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    In both Greek and Hebrew there is a curiosity.

    The word for wind is also the word for Spirit.

    Greek : Pneuma
    Hebrew: Ruach

    Context gives the meaning.

    God-"breathed" "Theo pneustos" probably has the nuance that the Words of God flowed through the Spirit of God to the spirit of the human author at the time of the writing.


    HankD
     
  9. robycop3

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    Pastor Bob::What are you going to do the next time someone tells you to "break a leg?" The LITERAL MEANING is not always the best, especially in modern English.

    The difference? "Break a leg" is an ENGLISH expression, used among actors where an understudy jokingly tells the starter to break a leg so the understudy can replace him. In the Greek, Paul is writing SERIOUS advice to Tim.
     
  10. Pastor_Bob

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    What about these examples? should these be interpreted as to their "literal meaning" or do we understand them to be figures of speech?

    Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    Jeremiah 1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.

    Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

    John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

    As has already been stated, "inspiration" is a literal translation and most certainly conveys the meaning adequately.
     
  11. TCassidy

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    The Greek says "θεοπνευστος" or "Theopneustos" which, when literally translated means "θεό" = God "πνευστος" = breathed. I have no problem at all with "God breathed" as that is an exact, literal translation of the Inspired, Inerrant, Preserved word of God in Greek.

    However, as is often the case, a too literal translation into the receptor language can often obscure the intent of the donor language, and I believe, in this case, "God breathed" is less informative of the intent of the donor language than "given by inspiration of God." What we must understand is that the two fold process of inspiration was not only an act of God, His breathing out the words, but also His act of breathing into the words themselves the very breath of God. Thus we, in English, use the word inspiration indicating that God breathed into the words His breath of life and scripture became the living word (Hebrews 4:12) instead of using the word expiration which would indicate that God breathed out the words but did not breathe into the words His breath of life making them living, eternal words.

    So, in short, I prefer "given by inspiration" over "God breathed" just because of the clarity, explained above, but have no problem at all with "God breathed," it is, after all, a literal translation of what God said. [​IMG]
     
  12. robycop3

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    Your above examples are pretty much literal translations, while 'inspiration' for "theopneustos" is at best a Dynamic Equivalent. But at least, unlike 'love of money is THE root...' it's a CORRECT DE.
     
  13. TCassidy

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    Cranston, you never fail to live down to my worst expectations of you. To claim that "given by inspiration of God" is a dynamic equivalence is simply ludicrous! Had you bothered to check any decent dictionary you would have noticed that one of the meanings of "inspiration" is "The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs." Nothing at all dynamic about the KJV's rendering of the verse, just as there is nothing wrong with the NKJV, ASV, NASV, and most of the other English versions.


    Cranston, you just gotta do something about this alarming tendency to see the dynamic equivalent boogey man under every bed!
     
  14. robycop3

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    I was simply responding to a KJVO assertion on another board that "God-breathed" was somehow incorrect when it's the literal translation of the Greek . I was seeking comment from members of THIS board, as there aren't too many "My KJV Right Or Wrong" types here, & the general opinion pool here is somewhat more erudite than it is elsewhere. (Guess that's because I'm a Baptist writing to baptists. And believe me, I read the Riot Act to certain meat heads on that other board, without mentioning this board or any member thereof!)

    I was a Pharmacist's Mate in the USN and a registered paramedic, so I know exactly what inspiration means medically. But I DO find it quite absurd for one to say say a contrived meaning of a Greek word in Scripture is better than the exact literal meaning.

    I believe my question has been answered quite thoroughly, so, Roger, if there are no further replies within 24 hours, ya might wanna close this thread.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    I have to agree with Dr. Cassidy. "Inspiration" here is certainly not dynamic equivalence, but literal. We might say of a secular book on a favorite subject, "That book was inspired!" What we mean is that it is a wonderful representation of the author's mind, a great product of the author. So "inspiration" is a literal translation.

    The even more literal "God-breathed" on the other hand, while very descriptive of the Scriptures as a direct product of God, is just as metaphorical as "the hand of God." Does anyone actually believe that God has lungs and an esophagus and a mouth through which the words of Scripture came and tumbled down to earth into the pen of the human authors? No, "God-breathed" means that the Scriptures are a direct product of God.

    When translating a Biblical metaphor, the translator must make sure it makes sense in the receptor language when translated literally. Otherwise, another expression must be used. Pastor Bob also, therefore, has some excellent points on this thread. :type:
     
  16. Deacon

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    So have we answered the question?

    Does God still breath?

    Rob
     

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