by Issa Haddad

George Muller, who was known for his strong faith, confided.

“The first 3 years after conversion, I neglected the Word of God. Since I began to search it diligently, the blessing has been wonderful. I have read the Bible through one hundred times and always with increasing delight!” John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, testified, “Read the Bible, and read it again, and do not despair of help to understand something of the will and mind of God, though you think they are fast locked up from you. Neither trouble yourself, though you may not have commentaries and expositions; pray and read, and read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from man.”

The Bible consists of sixty-six books that vary in style, literature, and history. The main theme of the Bible is God’s glory. God created this world to bring to himself glory. Sin entered the world and brought to God the ultimate glory through the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection to redeem humanity from sin.

I. False Theories of Inspiration

A. Natural Inspiration

This false theory states that the Bible was written by people who had a high order of genius or creativity like that belonging to fiction writers, and others with creative ability.

Objection: It would make the Scriptures solely a human product, subject to error.

B. Universal or Mystical Inspiration

This false theory holds that the Bible writers were inspired in the same way, although to a fuller degree, as Holy Spirit-filled people today are inspired to prepare a message or to preach a sermon.

Objection: It fails to distinguish between the prophet who produced God’s Word under divine inspiration and the preacher who proclaims God’s Word by reading or reciting it, interpreting it, and applying it to the needs of his listeners (2 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 1:10-11).

C. Inspired Concept Inspiration

God gave His spokesmen and Bible writers thoughts or ideas of divine truth and allowed them to express these in their own words as they remembered and understood them.

Objection: It will make the Bible a human product and subject to human error.

D. Variable Inspiration

Some parts of the Bible are more inspired than other inspired parts and that there are parts of the Bible that are not inspired at all.

Objection: The nature of divine inspiration is such that it does not admit degrees; it is absolute—either a text is inspired, or it is not (2 Timothy 3:16).

E. Dictation Inspiration

That every word of Scripture was dictated by God and that the Bible writers recorded these words as a stenographer would do.

Objection: It does not account for the characteristic style of the Bible writers and that dictation does not protect one from error in hearing and recording words.

II. The True View of Inspiration

The Scripture is inspired in the sense that they are the product of God’s breath, that is, a special work of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16). The speakers and writers of God’s words were inspired in the sense that they were acted upon by the Holy Spirit to produce through them God’s truth in Human language (2 Pet 1:21; cp. Num 23:12; Deut 18:18; 2 Sam 23:2).

Definitions

Divine Inspiration: is the activity of the Holy Spirit whereby He enabled certain people to receive God’s special revelation and to speak it or to write it without error or omission in their language and style as the very words of God

 

2 Peter 1:21 “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

 

Plenary inspiration: means that every part of the sixty-six canonical books of the Bible was the product of divine inspiration to an equal degree

 

2 Tim 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed (Gr. θεόπνευστος) out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

— πς γραφή (trans. pas graphe) pas mean “all, whole”; graphe “that which is written, the writing.” Graphe is not used with the definite article.

— θεπνευστος – translateration, theo “God,” pneustos “breath”)

 

Verbal inspiration: means that divine inspiration extended to every word of the Scriptures and to its grammatical form (cp. Gal 3:16[1])

III. Observations

1). Relating only to the original production of the Scriptures.

2). Divine inspiration, concerns God’s spokesmen only when they spoke or wrote His words under the influence of the Holy Spirit.??

3). Under divine inspiration the speakers and writers of God’s Word were kept not only from every error of communication but also from any omission. Their utterances and writings were complete and accurate within their divinely determined limits. Also, they did not say or write more than what God intended for them to.

4). While God did not approve every action or statement of angels and humans recorded in the Scriptures, divine inspiration secured an accurate (inerrant) biblical record of their actions and utterances (cp. Gen 3:4).

5). Our inability to understand how the Holy Spirit used fallible people to produce an inerrant record is not sufficient reason to deny His ability to do this and the fact that He did do this. Indeed, we do not fully understand any work of the Holy Spirit.

6). Because of the sufficiency of the Bible for belief and conduct and the statement of Proverbs 30:5-6[2]; 1 Corinthians 13:8[3]; and Revelation 22:18-19[4], I believe that no special revelation has been given since the close of the NT Canon at the end of the first century. Consisting of sixty-six canonical books, the Bible is the complete written revelation of God. It is noteworthy that the world’s religions and cults are doctrinally based on alleged extra revelation, in addition to the Bible (e.g. The Book of Mormon) or in place of the Bible (e.g The Koran).

7). The Bible teaches that all divine special revelation has it source in the Father (Rev 1:1[5]), is transmitted through the agency of the Son (Rev 1:1; John 1:1; Matt 11:27), and is clothed in human language by the Holy Spirit’s activity upon people (1 Cor 2:13; 2 Pet 1:21) who were God’s spokesmen (Deut 18:18; Heb 1:1-2).

8). God rarely spoke through unsaved people (2 Chron 35:21-22; John 11:49-51).

C. The Bible’s Testimony to Its Own Inspiration

1. The Inspiration of the Old Testament

Although not every book in the OT bears specific witness to its divine inspiration, each one belongs to an OT section that does give this testimony. Following the arrangement of the Hebrew OT (Tenach), there are three of these OT sections (Luke 24:44): one, the Law (Torah), consisting of the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch); two, the Prophets (Naviim[6]), consisting of the “Early Prophets” (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings) and the “Latter Prophets” (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Twelve Minor Prophets); and three, the Writings (Kethubim), consisting of poetical books—Psalms, Proverbs, and Job; the rolls—Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther as well as the remaining historical books—Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.

Certain writers of each section of the Hebrew OT bore witness to their divine inspiration: the Law (Exod 20:1; 32:16; Lev 27:34; Num 36:13), the prophets (Josh 24:26-27; 1 Sam 3:18-19; Isa 1:1-2; Jer 1:1-2; Ezek 1:3), and the Writings (Ps 45:1; Eccl 1:16; 12:9). They also regarded other portions of the OT as being divinely inspired: the Law (1 Kings 2:3), the Prophets (Neh 9:20; Dan 9:2; Dan 9:2, 10), and the Writings (2 Sam 23:2; 1 Kings 4:29-32).

2. The Inspiration of the New Testament

The divine inspiration of the NT books rests upon the authority of Christ and that which He delegated to His apostles (John 3:34-35; 12:49-50; Rom 12:3; 15:15-16; 1 Cor 14:37; 2 Cor 5:20; 13:10; Gal 1:1, 11-12; 1 Thess 5:27; 2 Peter 3:1-2). Our Lord testified to His own prophetic ministry (John 3:11, 34; 7:15-17; 8:28; 12:49-50; 14:10, 24). His apostles regarded their message as being from God (Gal 1:11-12; Acts 1:2-3), as being the Word of God (1 Peter 1:25; 1 Thess 2:13), and as being equal to that of the OT prophets (2 Peter 3:1-2).


[1]Galatians 3:16 “Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.”

[2]Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words,  lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”

[3]1 Corinthians 13:8 “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

[4]Revelation 22:18-19 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”

[5]Revelation 1:1 “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.”

[6]Prophets.

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