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The Inspired Book

The Inspired Book

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY GEORGE HODGES

Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Ghost.— 2 Pet. 1 : 21.

What is meant by inspiration ? What is
God's part and what is man's in the writing of
an inspired book ? How much belongs to the
holy men and how much to the Holy Ghost ?
Wherein does the inspiration of the Bible dif-
fer from any other action of God upon the
human soul and mind ?
BY GEORGE HODGES

Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Ghost.— 2 Pet. 1 : 21.

What is meant by inspiration ? What is
God's part and what is man's in the writing of
an inspired book ? How much belongs to the
holy men and how much to the Holy Ghost ?
Wherein does the inspiration of the Bible dif-
fer from any other action of God upon the
human soul and mind ?

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 10, 2014
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THE INSPIRED BOOK BY GEORGE HODGES Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.— 2 Pet. 1 : 21. What is meant by inspiration ? What is God's part and what is man's in the writing of an inspired book ? How much belongs to the holy men and how much to the Holy Ghost ? Wherein does the inspiration of the Bible dif-fer from any other action of God upon the human soul and mind ? To these questions the Christian Church gives no authoritative answer. The doctrine of the inspiration of Holy Scripture is a doc-trine without a definition. There are defini-tions, indeed, in plenty, and large books writ-ten in defense of them, but they are individual definitions, the theories or pronouncements of unofficial persons. Some of these persons claim, indeed, to speak the mind of the Church ; and their claim is just, if by the mind of the Church we mean the conviction of a majority of church people for a great many years.
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But the settled mind of the Church, in the true sense of that phrase, is the deliberate as-sertion which is reached after long considera-16 THE INSPIRED BOOK IT tion, and is expressed in accepted formulas. The creeds speak the mind of the Church ; so, in a lesser degree, do the historic offices of worship. Nowhere in these documents is there any theory of inspiration. The Decrees of the Council of Trent, the Articles of the Church of England, and the Westminster Con-fession of Faith have somewhat to say about the Bible ; they are all agreed in setting it in the forefront of religion ; they exalt it in strong words ; but they do not decide or even debate the question of its inspiration. It is true that at ordination, before the service begins, as the last word in the exam-ination of the candidate, he is required to sub-
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scribe to this declaration : "I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testa-ments to be the Word of God." But the state-ment thus made is capable of very different interpretations. It may mean that every sen-tence of the sacred book came by divine revela-tion ; or it may mean no more than that the Bible is God's message to man. It is God's word : that is all that is said about it. There is no assertion as to the way in which the word came, or as to the accuracy with which they to whom it originally came delivered it. There is no settled doctrine of inspiration. There is indeed a very generally accepted 18 THE YEAR OF GRACE opinion as to the nature of the Bible. And the positive terms in which it is expressed, the piety of those who hold it, the strong en-deavor, — sometimes successful, — to maintain that those who do not hold it are enemies of the faith, might seem to give it the standing
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