Romans 11:33

"Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways"? ESV [Strong's- inscrutable/anexichniastos/incomprehensible].

2 Timothy 3:16

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness".

We read in 2 Timothy 3:16 ways in which Scripture aids His followers to follow Him i.e. through teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness.

Which are the things that God teaches and explains as in 2 Timothy 3:16, and which in contrast cannot be taught because they are inscrutable/incomprehensible as in Romans 11:33?

1 Answer 1


By teaching that the Holy Scriptures are "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" St. Paul does not intend to convey the notion that every mystery of God, or every doctrine about God, or every one of his counsels is revealed therein, but only that for the bishop (here, Timothy), the Scriptures provide the normative and divine means God has given to teach His church. They provide an almost infinite bounty of wisdom and counsel, and they are not bare ancient words, but "alive" (Hebrews 4:12) but they are not intended to contain every mystery of the inner thoughts and ways of God.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Scripture provides many examples of what not to do as a follower of God. The book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are examples.

It also provides the laws of God, as in the Penteteuch, and the Prophets.

However, it does not give every reason that every law given is good, wholesome, or morally objectively good, or given to begin with, when it was given (instead of some other time). And I think St. Paul's point in Romans 11:33 is that we are not capable of knowing the reasoning behind all of God's commandments, laws, actions — "ways." It's both a profound and a common sense idea — if we could understand God's every thought and action, we would not be different from God, but would rather be identical to Him.

In brief, the things that are known and revealed by God for teaching from Scripture, is all that is written in Scripture. What cannot be known or understood cannot be written, and would therefore not be written—writing is for creatures, not for God.

  • +1. But Luke 10:20 "your names are recorded in heaven". Some writing "the book of life" occurs in heaven?
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 2, 2022 at 15:13
  • I don't think "the book of life" ("He that hath sinned against me, him will I strike out of my book Ex 32:33") is a literal book, but a metaphor. I could be wrong, but there's certainly no way to tell either way. Perhaps there is some kind of celestial register. Who knows, but it would be foolish, I think, to insist there either was or wasn't. Jun 2, 2022 at 15:24
  • I'm not insisting but your answer states "writing ..not for God". And it might be?
    – C. Stroud
    Jun 2, 2022 at 15:32
  • Well, definitely not physical writing. Even if there is a book, it would be spiritual. Physical, spiritual, and metaphorical are distinct. But let's not go into this rabbit hole lol. Jun 2, 2022 at 15:37
  • Good answer. +1.
    – Dottard
    Jun 2, 2022 at 22:33

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