The #Bible’s New Testament: 2 Timothy – All Scripture is Useful for Teaching (I Guess It Only Matters What Lesson It’s Teaching)

Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.

This is one of Princess Leia’s most memorable lines of dialogue from Star Wars, in part because it’s the first line Luke hears from her. As such, it prompts him to take action, seek out this Obi-Wan, and eventually follow Kenobi to Alderaan in search of his destiny. If you’re the only one to help, you must rise to the occasion, right?

I’ve felt this very same impulse anytime I’m at a Pride parade and the predictable bunch of protesters is serving up their hate-filled denunciation of homosexuality.  The Bible says us homosexuals are evil, sinning, going to hell, etc., right? Ugh. Certainly I’m not the only one capable of engaging with these misguided people. Yet most—understandably—want to shout these people down, not parse through their faulty logic, explaining how they are misusing this book they claim to know so well.  I feel especially emboldened now that I’m almost done reading the Bible. Though, to be fair, I doubt that many of these people have any interest on hearing anyone else’s take on the good book.

In 2 Timothy, Paul says basically the same thing to Timothy—you’re my only hope; everyone else has deserted me (1:14-15). You must carry the message for me.

Among the many challenges Timothy will encounter include stupid, foolish arguments (2:23), presumably espousing or defending incorrect or distorted beliefs. He should avoid these.

But how to engage with the people who spout off this nonsense? Paul suggests that all scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting (3:16), and he should be prepared to use it. Why should Timothy be extra prepared for this particular task? Paul suggests that there will come a time—soon, most likely—when “men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (4:3-4).

So apparently, people will stop following the example God and Jesus set and instead create their own version, one that suits their interests, believing only what they want to believe, not what has been put down. Sounds just like the groups who routinely protest gay events with their distorted version of the Bible by their side.

One day, I hope to actually engage with them and walk them through their points—to which they are so steadfast they would likely be incapable of rational conversation. Still, there’s a chance for change, right? Why are they so afraid of the very book they claim to embrace?

About virgowriter

Brad Windhauser has a Master's in English from Rutgers University (Camden campus) and an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte. He is an Associate Professor (Teaching/Instruction) in the English Department at Temple University. His short stories have appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Santa Fe Writer's Project Journal, Ray's Road Review, Philadelphia Review of Books, Northern Liberty Review, and Jonathan. His first novel, Regret (a gay-themed thriller set in Philadelphia) was published in 2007. You can read more about (and buy) it here: His second novel, The Intersection, is being published by Black Rose Writing September 2016. He is one of five regular contributors to On his solo blog, he is chronicling his experience as a gay writer reading the Bible for the first time: Follow his work at:
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1 Response to The #Bible’s New Testament: 2 Timothy – All Scripture is Useful for Teaching (I Guess It Only Matters What Lesson It’s Teaching)

  1. Bert Johnson says:

    Sadly, you follow the example of your predecessors who translate and examine faulty translations presented as (erroneous) exegesis, yet have no understanding of the actual texts of scripture. Just 4 lines of the record will suffice to assess your blogs on what you call “bible” yet only translations of European ideology, יִתְבָּרֲרוּ וְיִתְלַבְּנוּ וְיִצָּרְפוּ רַבִּים וְהִרְשִׁיעוּ רְשָׁעִים וְלֹא יָבִינוּ כָּל־רְשָׁעִים וְהַמַּשְׂכִּלִים יָבִינוּ
    ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται

    πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ὠφέλιμος πρὸς διδασκαλίαν, πρὸς ἐλεγμόν, πρὸς ἐπανόρθωσιν, πρὸς παιδείαν τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ,

    ψυχικὸς δὲ ἄνθρωπος οὐ δέχεται τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ θεοῦ· μωρία γὰρ αὐτῷ ἐστιν καὶ οὐ δύναται γνῶναι, ὅτι πνευματικῶς ἀνακρίνεται.
    Go and actually learn and study the actual texts then your comments and conclusions might have weigh of validity.

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