In our last lesson we had an overview of what inspiration was and so this week we will be getting into specifics of inspiration. While we know in short that inspiration refers to the way in which God gave us the Bible there are certainly more specifics that should be considered.
Benjamin Warfield known as the modern day defender and advocate of inspiration had this to say, “The Biblical books are called inspired as the Divinely determined products of inspired men; the Biblical writers are called inspired as breathed into by the Holy Spirit, so that the product of their activities transcends human powers and becomes Divinely authoritative. Inspiration is, therefore, usually defined as a supernatural influence exerted on the sacred writers by the Spirit of God, by virtue of which their writing are given Divine trustworthiness.”
Pastor Sargent (whose materials I am referencing in this study) has defined inspiration this way, “The Holy Spirit moved the human writers of the Bible in such a way that they recorded the very words and sense of God, though couched in their own literary style.”
Thiessen – Quoting Louis Gaussen said inspiration is, “that inexplicable power which the divine Spirit put forth of old the authors of Holy Scripture, in order to their guidance even in the employment of the words used, and to preserve them alike from all error and from all omission”
I decided to include Arthur Pink since his view doesn’t get a lot of attention today and is in reference to the book itself. The Bible is the LIVING WORD of God. See Hebrews 4:12
Arthur Pink – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” 2 Timothy 3:16
The word “inspire” signifies to in-breathe, and breath is both the means and evidence of life; for as soon as a person ceases to breathe he is dead. The Word of God, then, is vitalized by the very life of God, and therefore it is a living Book. Men’s books are like themselves—dying creatures; but God’s Book is like Himself—it “liveth and abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
One point of interest I want to bring up. Some would argue that Christians use circular reasoning in their defense of the Bible. It’s an argument that would go something like this; I believe the Bible is true because the Bible says that it is true. There may be variations on that, but the structure of the argument is basically the same. For Christians there is no higher authority to turn to than to God so naturally the argument comes back around to him.
The truth of the matter is that, for all arguments for an absolute authority must ultimately appeal to that authority for proof. The difference then is the length and detail of the argument but eventually it comes back to its ultimate authority for proof.
The doctrine of inspiration is without a doubt the citadel for all doctrines that follow in the Christian faith. Inspiration is a miracle when you consider that it took over 1600 years and 40 different authors from a variety of backgrounds to give us this amazing book.
When inspiration is attacked and then undermined all other points of theology become suspect.
The scriptural support for divine inspiration is found throughout. For example:
- ____________________________ – The word inspiration here means God breathed.
- God and writers together penned the very words God wanted us to have.
- Inspiration also meaning God breathed carries with it the sense that God breathed into the scriptures life thereby making it the living word of God.
- II Peter 1:19-21 –
- New Testament writers refer to the Old Testament as the Scriptures.
- Romans 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 3:1-2
- Old Testament writers acknowledged other works or books as scripture
- Joshua – mentioned the Law of Moses Joshua 1:7-8
- Ezra called Jeremiah the Word of the Lord Ezra 5:1
Methods Used for Inspiration
In our next section we are going to deal with the different methods used concerning that of inspiration.
__________________________ ~ This is the combination of both God and man writing the scriptures. In other words God used men to reveal his perfect will.
- Matthew 1:22; Acts 4:24-25, Acts 13:35, Isaiah 8:1, Isaiah 30:8
- Based on the examples make a note in your journal or Bible where you see any occurrences of this method of inspiration.
_____________________________ ~ By this is meant that the very words of scripture are God’s words. Inspiration goes BEYOND CONCEPTS and message to the actual words of God. We see throughout scripture an emphasis on the very words of God.
- Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 6:6; Jeremiah 1:9; Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 24:35; 1 Corinthians 2:13
- Based on the examples above make a note in your journal or Bible where you see an emphasis on the “words” of God
_____________________________ ~ The basic meaning here is that inspiration extends to all parts alike. In other words inspiration the entire Bible is inspired and every part is equally inspired.
- II Timothy 3:16 ~ States clearly ALL Scripture is inspired and all parts equally inspired.
_________________________________ ~ The simple meaning here is that the Bible is without error in its teaching. The important thing to note here while the Bible is true in what it teaches our understanding can be flawed. Infallibility does take into account things like figures of speech, similitude, hyperbole, allegory and parable.
- Psalm 119:160
________________________________ ~ This method of inspiration means that the scripture under inspiration is not liable to be proven false or mistaken. This means that the Bible was written down correctly in every detail.
- Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; John 10:35 (Scripture CANNOT be broken) Hebrews 6:18
- One other note what the scripture says God says.
- Romans 9:7 ————————– Exodus 9:13-16
- Galatians 3:8 ————————- Genesis 12:1-3