The Incredible Bible Chapter 4 - Inspiration

BIBLE700000007.gifNapoleon said: "The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it." The subjects we have been studying so far about the historicity of the Bible are very encouraging, but we can't stop there. If we did, we would have just an honest ancient work on religious matters. Is there anything more we can affirm from the Scriptures? Is the Bible really the truth? Is it really God's spoken Word, totally and in every part? Are we to consider the Scriptures as the absolute authority on this planet? I would say, definitely yes, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about it. But my testimony doesn't amount to much.So let's look at a few reasons why I have come to that conclusion, and find out what the Bible says about itself.

(1) Related Terms

In order to define Inspiration we'll need to distinguish it from other related terms. We will be briefly defining: Revelation , Infallibility , Inerrancy , and Illumination .

a. Revelation. God has revealed Himself. This is undeniably true, especially when we look around us. Things like mountains, clouds, animals, color, taste, stars, snowflakes, roses, etc; all reveal the touch of a master's hand.

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.

Even within our own minds, we can detect an all-knowing person who listens and watches, but this is not the type of revelation we are talking about here. The Biblical definition for "Revelation" is the Greek word "apokalupsis" which means an uncovering or unveiling. Revelation is the Spirit of God revealing to man that which is otherwise unknowable. He gives to us the knowledge of God:

  1. Cor 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

God can only be known if He chooses to reveal Himself. We could never know Him, or who He is just by looking at what He has made. We could only know about Him, or what He can do. When we read the Bible with total trust, it is God talking to us and allowing us to partake of His very Life, who He is.

b. Infallibility. The Bible is the Word of God and, therefore, carries with it divine authority. It is binding upon every man, whether he admits it or not, and it is the ultimate standard for our mind, conscience, will, and heart. The reason for this is because it is truth, and it is God's Word, and it is right. That is exactly what the Greek word for infallible means, "right", or "perfect". God is God, and He Knows everything, and He has spoken, and it is right, and we must submit. That is the essence of the word infallible.

Ps 19:7-11 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.

c. Inerrancy. The word "inerrant" is very closely related to the word "infallible". The Bible is infallible in total, and inerrant in every part. Inerrancy means that not just all the truth in the Bible is God's word, but every scripture down to the dotting of the "i" and the crossing of the "t" is the embodied Revelation of Almighty God, and is entirely true and never false in all it affirms, whether it be in doctrine, or ethics, or science, or history, or the future, or whatever the case may be. Jesus said,

Matt 5:18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Jn 10:35 "...the Scripture cannot be broken.

d. Illumination. The Bible can be read by anyone, and its contents can be grasped intellectually, but only when the Holy Spirit brings God's light into a man's darkened mind and darkened heart can he receive of God's Revelation. This can only happen through faith and trust in Jesus Christ and being born again. As I said before, Revelation is the very knowledge of God Himself. God is not physical, not of the 5 senses, He is Spirit, as Jesus said:

Jn 4:24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

According to the Bible, man was created in God's image. That image wasn't anything physical but spiritual. When Adam sinned all died. This meant that Adam died spiritually, and every child born after him would have a dead spirit, and all of mankind was plunged into spiritual darkness. So God in His wisdom established the sacrificial system, and called a sense ruled people, the Jews, to preserve it until the Lamb of God would come and rebuild a broken relationship between God and man through the shedding of His own blood. After Adam no one was born again until Jesus came. That is why Jesus said:

Jn 12:46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

Jn 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

So illumination is when the Holy Spirit teaches us everything we need to know about God and makes the Word "come alive" as we read it. A person who has not accepted Jesus cannot comprehend spiritual things for the Bible says:

  1. Cor 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But we have the promise of God that His Holy Spirit lives in us and will illumine us and teach us all we need to know for Jesus said:

Jn 14:16-17 16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Jn 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Inspiration

a. Definition

What does the word "inspiration" mean? According to Webster's dictionary it means to "inhale". The Biblical definition is found in 2 Tim 3,

  1. Tim 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

The word "inspiration" here is the Greek word "theopneustos" which literally means "God-breathed." The Scriptures teach that when God created all things that He "breathed" the universe into existence (Ps 33:6), and when He created man He "breathed" into Adam the breath of life (Gen 2:7). So now we see that the Bible also was created by the very breath of God. How much of the Bible did God breathe out? "All Scripture". The Greek word "all" is "pasa" which means "all" or "every" and the Greek word "scripture" is "graphe" which means "holy writing" or "scripture." Therefore "pasa graphe theopneustos" means "every scripture is God-breathed."

b. The Writers

God breathed out His Words through divinely chosen men so that the writings of these men were actually the Word of God. Lets look at a verse:

2 Pet 1:20-21 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

It is not of "private interpretation" (not the writer's own thoughts), also it did not come into being by "the will of man" (man did not intend to write it, or get together to arrange it), but "holy men" (divinely selected) "spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (the Spirit spoke through them and moved them as wind pushes a sail).

Now the question is, how did God do it? Did these writers have some superior insight? Or were they inspired the way we are when we write a special song or talk about the Lord to someone? Did God suggest thoughts to them and they put it into their own words? Or did He just dictate to them everything He said verbatim, word for word, as His secretaries, leaving out their own personalities? Is there an answer for this?

It is obvious in the Scripture that we can see a a twofold nature. On one hand, it has God's character. On the other hand, it has a human character. When we read the books of the Bible, we find human personality. God used men. It's true. He could have dictated everything, but He chose not to. He chose to let men express their own personalities, emotions, style, vocabularies, etc; and under God's guidance, the words they chose were not only their words but God's words. God was there forming their personalities, controlling their heredity, environment, and lives, to make them into the men He wanted them to be. Their lives had been so fashioned by God that the words they used out of their own personalities and vocabularies were in reality God's Words.

The only real explanation is that it was a miracle. Who could ever explain the miraculous nature of inspiration? Its never been seen. But we have its results. We have the Word of God.

It is imortant to remember that "the writers" weren't inspired, and everything they spoke and wrote wasn't inspired, but only the selected "words" at various times that God spoke through them and they recorded. The next question is, what does the Bible say about its own inspiration, and what did Jesus think about it?

c. Biblical Claims

The Bible claims to be the Word of God and if a man or book speaks truthfully on all other matters, we should allow them also to speak for themselves. The Bible makes claims for itself.

  1. Old Testament

Over 3800 times the Old Testament uses terms as "thus sayeth the Lord", "the Word of the Lord came to me", or "the Lord said". Lets examine a few verses' and let the Old Testament speak for itself:

Ex 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD.

Lev 26:46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the LORD made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of

Moses.

  1. Sam 23:1-2 1 Now these are the last words of David . Thus says David the son of Jesse; thus says the man raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.

Is 34:16 "Search from the book of the LORD, and read: not one of these shall fail; not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.

Jer 30:2 "Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: `Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.

Jer 36:1-2 1 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: 2 "Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day.

Ezek 11:25 So I spoke to those in captivity of all the things the LORD had shown me.

Zech 7:12 "Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.

2) The New Testament

The New Testament makes reference to the inspiration of the Old Testament as well as all of its sections, and almost every one of its books in particular. Also, it affirms the literal historicity of great persons and events, such as Adam, Noah, the Flood, Moses, Elijah, Jonah, etc. It even affirms the inspiration of the words of other New Testament writers, as well as the possibility of a New Testament from God. Here are some good verses:

Rom 3:1-2 1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed

the oracles of God.

  1. Cor 14:37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

  1. Thes 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

Heb 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

Heb 3:7-8 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice,

  1. Pet 1:10-12 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-- things which angels desire to look into.

  2. Pet 3:2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by

the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord

and Savior,

2 Pet 3:15-16 15 and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-- as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

Jesus and the Scriptures

Jesus Himself confirmed the literal historicity and inspiration of the entire Bible. When He said "it is written," He meant that it stands written for all eternity. To Him the Bible was the Word of God. He said:

Jn 10:35 "...the Scripture cannot be broken"

Matt 5:18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Lk 11:28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word

of God and keep it!"

Lk 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."

In fact Jesus put His stamp of approval on the entire Old Testament in one statement when He said:

Lk 11:51 "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

Abel was the first Old Testament martyr in Genesis (the first book), and Zechariah was the last in 2 Chronicles (the last book).

Jesus made reference to or alluded to every book in the Old Testament. Here

are just a few examples of persons, events, and miracles quoted by Him:

Matt 19:4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who

made them at the beginning `made them male and female,'

Lk 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:

Lk 17:29 "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

Matt 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty

works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would

have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Jn 7:22 "Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.

Jn 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why

do you seek to kill Me?"

Matt 19:8 He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts,

permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

Mk 12:26 "But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?

Matt 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matt 12:42 "The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear

the wisdom of Solomon ; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

Matt 12:3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was

hungry, he and those who were with him:

Matt 12:5 "Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?

Lk 4:25 "But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;

Lk 4:27 "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."

Jn 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

Matt 24:15 "Therefore when you see the `abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place"

In conclusion:

The Bible is the Word of God breathed out by Him for us. We can trust it; Jesus did. May we search hard for the infinite treasures that are in this book. May we come to God as children and just believe. And may we be daily assured that ... "all the promises in Him are yes, and amen!"

Amen. BIBLE700000032.gif

?1995 The Bible Knowledge Accelerator Created by Rusty Russell

The Life of Jesus

The Incredible Bible

Topics

BKA Series

Introduction 'Food from Heaven'
Chapter 1
 'The Only One of its Kind'
Chapter 2
 'Its Names Divisions and Canonicity'
Chapter 3
 'Ancient Materials and Manuscripts'
Chapter 4
 'Inspiration'
Chapter 5
 'English Translations'
Bibliography & Credits

The Bible

History
Divisions
Canonicity