Thomas Hall, 1658, on 2 Timothy 3:15: “Love the Scriptures for their purity. As God is to be loved for his purity, so is his word.”

So here what a large encomium and high commendation the Holy Ghost gives of the Scriptures, even such as is given to no other book in the world besides.

  1. He commends them in respect of one special property and adjunct, viz. their Holiness. The Holy Scriptures.
  2. From their effects, they are able to make us wise unto salvation.
  3. From their Authority, Utility, and Perfection, verse 16, 17.

The Holy Scriptures. Tis not simple “holy” but “the holy.” Those eminently holy letters, those sacred Scriptures; the article is emphatic, and therefore the Holy Ghost to distinguish these sacred writings from all profane writings, gives then such adjuncts and epithets as are incompatible to all other writings whatsoever. Now the reason why God would have his word written is this, viz. that it might be kept the better, and be propagated to posterity, and be more easily kept, and vindicated from corruption than revelations could have been, 1 Peter 1:19.

Observe: The word of God is holy Scriptures. This is its proper adjunct and excellency; tis holy, Rom. 1:2. They are perfectly holy in themselves, all other writings are profane further then they draw some holiness from them, which yet is never such, but that their holiness is imperfect.

  1. In respect to their Author and principle cause, viz. the most holy God.
  2. In respect of the penmen and instrumental cause, they were holy men of God, 2 Peter 1:21.
  3.  In respect of their matter; they treat of the holy things of God. They teach nothing that is impure or profane. They teach us holiness in doctrine and practice. They call upon us for self-denial, universal obedience, and teach us to do all things from holy principles, and for holy ends.
  4. In respect of their ends and effect, viz. our sanctification, John 17:17, by reading and hearing, and meditation on God’s word, the Holy Ghost doth sanctify us, Psalm 19:8,9. The word of God is not only pure, but purifying, not only clean per se, but effectively a cleaning word.
  5. By way of distinction and opposition, they are called Holy to distinguish them not only from human and profane, but also from ecclesiastical writings. They have their grains of allowance, but the holy Scripture is pure and perfect.
  1. This must bring us to pure minds to the reading, hearing, and handling of God’s holy word. The word is pure, and therefore calls for a pure frame of Spirit in him that reads it: for as no man can rightly sing David’s Psalms without David’s spirit, so no man can rightly understand the word of God, without the Spirit of God. Carnal, sensual hearts, and such divine works will never agree. A vessel that is full of poison, cannot receive pure water, or if it could the vessel would taint it. Tis not for unclean beasts to come high these sacred fountains, lest they defile them with their feet.
  2. Take heed to profaning the holy Scriptures by playing with them or making jests out of them. It’s a dangerous thing, Ludere cum sacris. See 7 sorts of profaners of the holy Scriptures condemned, in Mr. Trapps True Treasure, Chap. 4 Sec. 1 to 8.
  3. Love the Scriptures for their purity. As God is to be loved for his purity, so is his word. Many love it for the history or for the novelty, but a gracious soul loves it for its purity, because it arms him against sin, directs him in God’s ways, enables him for duty, discovers to him the snares of sin and Satan, and so makes him wiser than his enemies.

Thomas Hall. A Practical and Polemical Commentary of Exposition upon the Third and Fourth Chapter of the latter Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy wherein the Text is explained, some controversies discussed, sundry cases of conscience are cleared, Many common places are succinctly handled, and dicers useful, and seasonable Observations raised (London: Printed by E. Tyler, for John Starkey, at the Miter at the North door of the middle Exchange in Saint Pauls Church-yard, 1658), 267-268.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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