The Inspiration of Scripture


A. The divine author

1. The Bible is inspired by God. -- 2 Timothy 3:16

The Greek word means God-breathed - from God Himself.


2. It is the Word of God.

Mark 7:10-13, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:13

B. The human instruments

1. To write His word, God used human beings who were specifically selected by Him.

O.T. ---> prophets - Hebrews 1:1-2 - Jeremiah 1:5, 30:1-2 - Jeremiah 29:18-19

N.T. ---> Jesus through the apostles - Ephesians 3:4-6 - John 14:26

C. God's method of writing the Bible

How God used men to write down His Word is called inspiration..

1. Definition of verbal, plenary inspiration: "God, by His Spirit, so guided the human authors that, using their own individual personalities, what they wrote was the Word of God."

2. Inspiration is different from revelation and illumination.

Revelation: God revealing His truth Inspiration: God guiding the writing down of His revelation Illumination: God helping the believer understand His revelation written down as the inspired Scriptures.

3. Key Points:

a. The Holy Spirit guided the human authors to write every word they wrote in the Bible.

2 Peter 1:20-21

b. God worked through the human authors using their own individual style and personalities. God did not primarily dictate His revelation to them.

1 John 1:5-10, Ephesians 1:3-14

c. The Scriptures are inspired, not the writers.

2 Timothy 3:16

1 Corinthians 5:9

Colossians 4:16

d. "Verbal" means every WORD in the Bible is inspired.

God did not just inspire the ideas or concepts and let the authors write it down in their own words without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Exodus 34:27, Jeremiah 30:1-2, 1 Peter 1:10-11

e. "Plenary" means that ALL of the Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.

This includes not only the spiritual statements, but the historical, and geographical and scientific statements in the Bible as well.

2 Timothy 3:16, Jeremiah 25:13

f. The human authors composed and recorded God's revelation without error.

John 17:17 Truth cannot contain error.

John 10:35, Matthew 5:18, Titus 1:2

NOTE: Inerrancy is a necessary, logical deduction from inspiration.

If the Bible (every word of it) is God's Word and God cannot lie, then every word must be true.

g. Inspiration applies to the original autographs only.

However, the copies we possess in the original languages are historically accurate and reliable translations are available.

"The variant readings about which any doubt remains... affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice." ~ F.F. Bruce

II. The Authority Of The Bible

A. The Bible is the final authority for doctrine - what we are to believe about God and His creation.

2 Timothy 3:16, John 17:17, 2 Timothy 4:1-4

B. The Bible is the final authority for living - how we are to obey God in our daily lives.

Psalm 119:9, 105, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15

This does not mean that everything that exists or is true is in the Bible. For example, the Bible does not mention every kind of animal life that exists. Science can reveal truth about the world. What it means is that all things must be measured against the Bible to see if they contradict the Bible.

The operative question in our lives must always be, "what does the Bible say?"

If the Bible says it, it is true.If the Bible contradicts it, it is false.If it agrees with the Bible, it is true. If it disagrees with the Bible, it is false.