What Scripture says about inspiration!
I believe in the inspiration of the Bible, in part, from the Bible itself. I know thatsounds like circular thinking. But it only makes sense to me that if the Bible was inspired,the authors themselves would show that they held this belief. And so, Peter, speakingabout prophecy, and all scripture in general, says,
“Above all, you must understandthat no of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation. Forprophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God asthey were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
(2 Peter 1:21). And in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, the Apostle Paul is speaking to his companion Timothy saying
, “And from a childyou have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise forsalvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus
All Scripture is God-breathedand is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work
.” That term, “God-breathed” is a reference to the Holy Spirit. Paul is telling us thatthe origin of scripture is inspired by God’s Spirit and that the object of scripture is tomake a person fully equipped for doing the good works of God’s kingdom.
The ApostlePaul says in Romans 15:4 that,
“everything that was written in the past waswritten to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of theScriptures we might have hope.”
Of course he is referring to the Old Testament, forthose were his only Scriptures. The OT writers wrote for their own age and for their owncontemporaries. And yet, he says, they were written to teach
, meaning, Paul’s owngeneration.
Therefore, it seems clear that Paul believed that the OT writings containedsome universal application and wider, enduring significance beyond their own era of authorship. This implied for Paul, that there was a transcendent, divine wisdom andmeaning in the Scriptures for every generation. He believed that behind the authors wasan Author; that there was a Master Mind behind the minds of the writers, who had allages in view in the use of the scriptures. This was a belief that each of the books of theBible has a living message and an enduring value for all people. The underlyingassumption of Paul is that the Master Author intended to share a spiritual message whichwas for all peoples in all ages. What is implied in Paul’s statement is the notion of revelation and inspiration.
What is Inspiration and Revelation?
What do I mean when I say that the Bible is
by God? And how do I know itis not simply another book containing just the inspirational thoughts of the writers?When we say that the Bible was divinely inspired, we mean that the writers wereinfluenced and directed by the Spirit of God to receive and communicate (and writedown) some revealed truth, or manner of explaining an event, both for their owngeneration and for posterity. Both the content and the literary form of expression wereguided by the Spirit. This means that the actual words were inspired, and implies thatthe Bible I hold in my hands today is accurate and reliable if it is indeed based upon theoriginal monographs of the Bible.I understand Scriptural inspiration as represented in passages like