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Commentary on "Keeping the Church Faithful (2 Thess. 2:13–3:18)"



Day 4: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - Scripture and Tradition (2 Thess. 3:6–8)


The lesson today starts out saying the Bible of Jesus was the “Old Testament”, but that wise followers did what Jesus said and that Jesus’ words and actions continued to be authoritative for the church. It almost seems like this lesson is trying to sneak in additional authority besides Scripture alone (thereby devaluing Scripture) by promoting the idea that actions can be just as authoritative. The verses listed say nothing of Jesus’ actions, only Jesus’ teachings. Jesus is The Word; Jesus is God. It’s not like a mere human such as the apostles were, where someone has to weigh whether or not their words should be considered Scripture. Not only are Jesus’ words and the apostles’ Scripture writings “supremely authoritative”, they are the Word of God. Because Adventists have a low view of Scripture by not teaching its inerrancy (in order to support the idea that it’s acceptable for Ellen White’s writings to contain error), this description of the Bible’s authority is rather weak.

The lesson’s point that Paul’s example and actions were as authoritative as Scripture further overlooks the truth that Scripture is literally God’s Word to us and is the only unfailing authority. Instead, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-8 simply shows that Paul didn’t live any differently than he taught; it is not about the supreme authority of Paul’s actions even though Paul’s life was a good role model showing how to live what he taught. Paul’s example and actions are not as authoritative as God’s Word because they are not God-breathed; like all human efforts, his actions were still tainted with sin.




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