Another key proof-text used by those Christians who argue the inspiration of the canonical texts (in that manner that we are presently holding for this thread) is that of 2 Peter 3:15,16--esp. 16.
Again, this document is heavily contested① as to authorship, and my understanding is that the likelihood that the autograph had come from the disciple Peter himself, is very slim. Again, however, if we were to hold, for the sake of argument, that the letter had come from Peter, or his immediate troupe, we can still see how it comes to play in formulating the conclusion that the Bible is not inspired as considered by fundamentalists.
The best thing to do, for any who wish to follow along carefully, would be to check out the running context in that work, so that the intended idea to be communicated
can be better visualized. I will provide the immediate lines below:
[INDENT]15 . . . Paul wrote to you . . .
16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
The New American Standard
(1977) gives us '. . . which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction
' in verse 16.
The key wording is that of 'the other scriptures
,' or 'the rest of the Scriptures
.' It is posited that the writer thus understands Paul's letters to the several congregations scattered about as being in the same class as the scriptures--the LXX. (which the writer considers inspired 1:19-21) In other words, he Tanakh is inspired by YHWH, and Paul's letters were inspired by YHWH
. Nestle-Aland's 27th ed (1993) [hereafter N/A 27] is in agreement with Wescott and Hort, as well as Griesbach, and has tas loipas graphas
(the remaining; the rest of; the others③) there.
The outline of the contextual deveopment is a bit long, and so I'll jump over it here, and go to the conclusion (if any one would like to see it anyway, I'll present it upon request, however). The use of tas loipas
requires a universal set, but does not require both mentioned members to be equal in inherent quality. Therefore here, while the writer does put the LXX and Paul's letters in a single class, the overall context (along with some broader points) more likely renders that class (universal set) as being 'documents of a religious bearing known to, or used by, the direct and immediate audience
This passage, then, will be seen to not
support the understanding that the author of that document understood Paul's letters as being 'inspired
' in the same way as, and a continuation of, the LXX. The qualification of Paul's writings had been given as simply 'god-given wisdom
,' and nothing more.
① The Muratorian Fragment (c. 170) doubts it; Irenaeus of Asia Minor (c.180) includes it (as canon); Clement of Alexandria (c. 190) makes no mention of it; Tertullian of N. Africa (c. 207) makes no mention of it.
② NRSV with Apopcrypha; 1989, OUP
③ 'The others' is the weaker translation here because there is another word which better carries that notion, and due to contextual setting. Also, maintaining as closely as realistically reasonable, to 'one meaning assignment,' we find the former candidates preferable.