Is the Bible Inspired or Not?

Is the Bible Inspired or Not?

Dear Roger,

Some believe the Bible is the absolute word of God. Others believes that the Bible is God inspired. I believe in the latter. What is your feelings about this and why? Thanking you in advance for your answer.

John

Dear John, 

I believe in the infallible, inerrant, verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture. In other words, the Bible is fully inspired; has no mistakes; and every word is literally inspired by God. I believed that the Bible is absolutely the Word of God; and that the original autographs (the documents actually written and signed by the original Bible writers) are 100% accurate. The doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible means that the Bible is God-breathed, that it is a divine product, and, because it is divine, the original documents are inerrant (Copies of the original documents are not inspired).


I don’t believe that the Bible was simply dictated by God to the Biblical writers. Otherwise, the Bible would sound the same from start to finish. I think that God used the individual personalities of each writer to influence the style and the manner in which the divine words are composed.


The Biblical writers often declared the validity of the Scriptures as the words of God. For example, Paul when wrote to Timothy about the purposes of the Bible, he began with a declaration regarding the divine validity of the Bible: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The word “inspired” is literally “God-breathed” (“theos” and “pneuma”).


Peter also agreed that, “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). According to Peter, prophecy is not the product of human will. Prophecy is a divine certainty because those who wrote were moved to write by the Holy Spirit Himself.


Jesus affirmed that the gospel writers were trustworthy because the Holy Spirit would accurately help them remember everything that occurred during Jesus’ time on earth: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).


Not every one agrees with this position—even some who are Christians.


Some people teach that the Bible writers never claimed to be inspired or directly guided by God. They say that neither the writers nor God viewed Scripture as a revelation of the mind of God which we should follow as a pattern for our lives. Personally, as far as I’m concerned this view empties the Bible of all authority. If this view is true, then why bother with the Bible at all?

Others teach that the writers did put down some of God’s ideas, but that some writers also included their own uninspired ideas. In essence, they teach that the Bible “contains” the Words of God and therefore, we are free to try to determine which are His and which are not. I find it inconceivable that anyone would see this endeavor as anything more than an exercise in human speculation and/or futility. Anyone who claimed to have separated God’s words from man’s would be guilty of gross arrogance.


Others say the Bible writers speak the truth in matters of religious faith and morals, but when the Bible writers speak about history or science, they are writing as humans and may be wrong. Unfortunately, my opinion is that those with this view have a shallow understanding of Biblical hermeneutics (the principles of Biblical interpretation). A proper understanding reveals no conflict between the Bible and Science. Many of those with persuasion refuse to accept the Bible accounts of miracles. They thus relegate the Biblical teachings regarding miracles to be little more than humanistic myths.


In one way or another, each of these non-Biblical views of inspiration leaves little doubt that errors exist in the words written by “inspired” men. In other words, the Bible is not the infallible, inerrant, verbal, plenary truth of God expressed accurately as recorded in the Bible.


These attacks on the Bible originated in the 1800s with the rise of German rationalism which literally gutted the Bible of anything that could not be understood from a human, naturalistic perspective. Today, these views are often characterized by the terms “modernism” or “liberalism.”


John, our belief in the infallible, inerrant, verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture is a matter of faith. The Bible declares itself to be divine. Certainly, you know that it is not possible for anything to validate itself by itself. I mention this because you may at times find yourself discussing the truth of the Bible with non-Christian friends and they might point this out to you. Don’t let your faith falter in the face of their arguments. All of the Christian life is based on faith.


Fortunately, the book, “The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable,” by F.F. Bruce not only speaks to this issue but will greatly strengthen you faith in the inspiration, divinity and reliability of the Word of God. This book is a page turner. You will really enjoy it.


Well, John, I hope you find my answer helpful in strengthening your faith. Let me leave you with Jesus’ words in Revelation 19:9: “These are true words of God.”


Love, Roger


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