The Inspiration of Scripture

By Ron Jones ©Titus Institute 2009 Updated August 2022

The Bible is the Word of God

People accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior based on what the Gospels say about Jesus. God opens up their minds to see the truthfulness of what the Bible says about Jesus. In Matthew 16, Jesus asks his disciples who they believe he is. In v.16, Peter answers "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus responds to Peter's confession in v.17 saying, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." Jesus here tells us that God the Father opens the minds of people to recognize the true identity of Jesus as the Son of God. That's how we came to believe in Jesus Christ.

It is important for Christians to learn about the truthfulness of the whole Bible. We need to understand whether we can trust it to give us God's revelation. So, we need to ask questions like "How do we know the Bible is true? How do we know how much of the Bible is true? Is the Bible true in what it says about history, geography, and science or just spiritual truth?" We can learn the answers to these questions by looking at what Jesus and his apostles taught about the truthfulness of the Bible. This is not something we as human beings can discern.

It is something that must be revealed to us. The Bible is a series of supernaturally inspired books given to the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles in the New Testament. Jesus and his apostles have revealed to us that the whole Bible is true because the whole Bible is the revelation of God and it has been given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Do not be surprised that the world does not accept the Bible as God's revelation. Many do not accept any kind of supernatural being or phenomenon so they are not going to accept the Bible as God's supernatural revelation. God has to open a person's mind to accept the supernatural and believe in Jesus and what he taught to understand the nature and truthfulness of the Bible.

Once you accept that God has divine supernatural power and can do anything, the truthfulness of the Bible is easy to accept. Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, whatever he, and his specially appointed apostles, taught about the Bible is true. It doesn't matter how many PhDs someone has or what prestigious position they hold, if they disagree with Jesus, they are mistaken. They are in error. In this chapter we will learn that all of the Bible is true because all of the Bible is the Word of God. God is a God of truth and cannot lie and Jesus, the Son of God, declared it to be truth.

First, we know all of the Bible is true because all of the Bible is the Word of God. Let's look at 2 Timothy 3:16. This is one of the key Scriptures you need to know that clearly claims that the Bible is inspired by God and therefore the Word of God. It gives the essential identity of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 states, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

In this important verse, Paul the apostle gives a powerful statement to Timothy of the nature of the Bible. He says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God." The phrase "breathed out by God" is one word in the Greek translated in the ESV by four words in English. This word has also been translated in other translations as "inspired by God" or "God-breathed." It means that all Scripture comes from "the breath of God" or the "mouth of God." It is the basis of the expression, the "Word of God." It is also where we get the concept of the inspiration of Scripture.

What comes from out of our mouths from our breath moving in between our teeth and outward? Words! From the breath or mouth of God comes the words of God. "God breathed" is simply a metaphorical expression in the Scriptures for the words that come from God. The Scriptures are the words of God. God is the source of Scripture. The author of the Scriptures is declared by Paul to be God himself and the words of the writers of the Scriptures are the words of God. The Bible is inspired by God. The Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is God's communication to human beings. Notice, also Paul says "All Scripture." He is using the singular "Scripture" rather than the plural "Scriptures." This is similar to "words of God" and "word of God." The difference is only in emphasis. "Scripture" means "writing" and is in the singular and refers to all the books of the Bible as one whole revelation. "All" means all that is in the Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. This includes not only the statements about spiritual truths, but also the statements about historical, geographical, and physical phenomena and events.

All the words and therefore, all the statements, are the Word of God. So "All Scripture is breathed out by God" means that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, guided the human authors so that what they wrote down was the very Word of God. It was not by dictation. Although some parts are quotes of God's actual words. The Holy Spirit worked within the individual personalities of the writers to write what he wanted. We know this because we know that the books the authors wrote are the Word of God and we observe that they show individual styles as the Holy Spirit guided them. So, Paul is very clear that all of Scripture is the Word of God. Since all of Scripture is the Word of God, then all of Scripture must be true because God is a God of truth. Paul writes of this attribute of God in Titus 1:2 which says, "In hope of eternal life, which God who never lies promised before the ages began."

When God makes promises they are true because God by his very nature is a God of truth. If all of the Bible is the Word of God as Paul says, then all of the Bible must be true because God speaks only the truth. This is exactly what Jesus proclaimed about the Bible, that it was God's truth. In John 17:17 Jesus said, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth."

John records that Jesus is praying to the Father for his disciples. Jesus asks the Father to make his disciple s holy according to the truth. Then he gives how that will happen. It is through the Word of God ("Your Word") because his Word is the truth. Notice, in v.17 "Word" is singular because it takes the whole Word of God as one unit, as a whole. This is just like the singular of "Scripture" in 2 Timothy 3:16 which Paul uses, Jesus uses the singular "word."

In v.17, Jesus doesn't say that the Word is true, but that the Word is truth. The noun "truth" describes the nature of the Word of God. It is a stronger statement. It is true because it is by its very nature truth. It defines truth. The difference is significant, for this statement encourages us to think of the Bible not simply as being "true" in the sense that it conforms to some higher standard of truth, but rather to think of the Bible as being itself the final standard of truth.

The Bible is God's Word, and God's Word is the ultimate definition of what is true and what is not true. God's Word is itself truth. Thus, we are to think of the Bible as the ultimate standard of truth, the reference point by which every other claim to truthfulness is to be measured. Those assertions that conform with Scripture are true while those that do not conform with Scripture are not true. The world is full of the lies of Satan which they believe to be truth, but they are not. Satan attempts to redefine reality and morality through the world, but only God can tell us what is real and what is moral. Human beings cannot and should not. Jesus made it very clear that the Word of God was truth and for Christians that's enough for us!