Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.

By the "Bible" we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.

By "inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.

(from Articles of Faith: Of the Scriptures)

Basic truths:

[1] God specifically revealed himself to mankind through the Bible.

[2] The Bible is inspired. God superintended the authors of the Old and New Testaments such that what they wrote were exactly what He wanted to be written.

Definition of terms

[1] The word “inspiration” describes the process by which God gave the Bible to man. He did not mechanically dictate the Scriptures to the human authors. Rather, He superintended or “carried along” the writers (2 Peter 1:21) without destroying their individual vocabularies, writing styles, etc.

[2] The term “plenary inspiration” means that Bible as a whole is the Word of God. The Bible does not merely contain God's Word. It is God's Word. Each and every word is fully inspired (Matt 5:18).

[3] The term “verbal inspiration” means that God guided the human authors of the Bible as to the very words they used (1 Corinthians 2:13).

The divine aspect of inspiration

[1] God is the source of all Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16)

[2] The Bible is “inerrant” or without error (Titus 1:2; John 17:17). Since God Himself is the source of the Scriptures, they are without error. Furthermore, since the entire Bible is inspired, the entire Bible is inerrant.

[3] The Bible is “infallible” or authoritative on all matters (John 10:35; 2 Peter 1:3).

[4] The Bible is relevant (2 Timothy 3:16).

Difference between inerrancy and infallibility

Inerrancy emphasizes the Bible’s truthfulness. Infallibility, on the other hand, emphasizes its authority. Because the Bible is the infallible Word of God, it is the final authority on all matters.

The human aspect of inspiration

[1] The Bible was written in human language, the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in “koine” or common Greek.

[2] The Bible was written over more than 1,500 years by over 40 different authors. Each author wrote from the context of his own personal, family and cultural background, personality, vocation, circumstances, etc. God superintended or “carried along” the writers (2 Peter 1:21) without destroying their individual vocabularies, writing styles, etc. in such a way that the final product was exactly what He wanted. We can see for example, the differences between the Gospel written by John and the epistles written by Apostle Paul.

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] A Theological Journey: Pt. 1 Our Foundation, by Luke Harris

[2] Can I Trust the Bible? by Randy Weece

[3] Archeological Finds Confirm The Bible, by Jarred Edgecombe

[4] Inspiration and Inerrancy, by M. James Sawyer, Th.M., Ph.D.

[6] The Bible: The Inerrant Word of God, by J. Hampton Keathley, III, Th.M

For available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?”

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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