PART 5 - THE
INSPIRATION AND AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE
Was The Bible Dictated By God
Some feel that the
authors of the Bible were like stenographers registering the
truth of God in the same manner as a tape recorder. They liken
it to the claim Muslims make for the Koran, believing that it
was dictated by Allah from heaven in the Arabic language.
Not What Bible Says
The idea of a
mechanical dictation, though taught by some, is not what the
Bible says occurred. It has never been the teaching of the
church that the Bible resulted by some sort of dictation from
God to the authors.
Styles And Personalities
The idea of
dictation is easy to refute when one looks at the different
biblical books. Each writer has his own personality, style,
and vocabulary. For example, the New Testament writings of
John are in sharp contrast with those of Luke. John writes a
very simple Greek with a limited vocabulary, while Luke writes
a much better style of Greek showing greater familiarity with
the language of the Apostle Paul runs the gamut of emotions.
It is hard to reconcile some of the sections where Pauls
personality is evident with the idea that he was simply a
Use Of Sources
writers also made use of non-biblical sources. The following
source books are mentioned in the Old Testament:
Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14);
* Book of
Jasher (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18);
* The records of the
Chronicles of King David (1 Chronicles 27:24);
Annals on the Book of Kings (2 Chronicles 24:27);
Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chronicles 9:29; 12:15).
words of the biblical writers resulted from their own careful
Since many have undertaken to set down
an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled
among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who
from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the
word, I too decided, after investigating everything
carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account
for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the
truth concerning the things about which you have been
instructed (Luke 1:1-4).
Not Just Two
Some would have us believe that there
are only two possible ways in which the Bible could have come
to man. Either the Bible was dictated by God to man or man
alone was involved in the recording of Scripture, resulting in
legends, mistakes, and inaccuracies. But neither of these is
true. God inspired the biblical writers to use their own
personalities, vocabularies, and writing styles to impart His
Word to humanity.
What Is Inspiration?
Today, when we use
the word inspire or inspiration, it has the idea of something
challenging to the human heart. Yet when we talk of the Bible
being inspired, we are speaking of an entirely different
matter. Though millions of books have been written through the
ages, and many of them have inspired the human heart, there
was only one book that has been written by divine inspiration,
Claims Of Scripture
The Bible speaks of itself as being inspired by
God. The word inspiration is derived from 2
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and
is profitable for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness.
The word translated inspiration is
the Greek word theopneustos meaning
God-breathed. Our English word inspiration is derived from the
Latin Vulgate Bible where the verb inspire is used in 2
Timothy 3:16 to translate theopneustos. A more literal
translation, however, is God-breathed and is reflected in some
English translations (NIV, Young's Translation). Therefore the
Bible is more than a mere inspired piece of literature—it is
the very Word of the living God.
Inspiration, therefore, can be
defined as the inward working of the Holy Spirit in the lives
of men whom God chose to write the books of the Bible. This
guaranteed that the final result would be exactly what God
intended. Thus, the Bible is the written Word of God to
humanity, and, when originally written, was without error. It
is the final authority for all matters of faith and practice.
There are several elements in this definition of
inspiration that need to be expanded upon.
1. God Guided The Process
with the human authors of Scripture in the various things that
they wrote or the sources which they used. Thus the Spirit of
God guaranteed the accuracy of every thing that was written.
2. The Writers Composed The Text
Though all Scripture is God-breathed, it is proper
to say that the Bible is a book both human and divine. Its
ultimate source is God the Holy Spirit, yet God used human
instruments to compose the books. When one reads the
Scriptures, it immediately becomes apparent that the various
authors employed different writing styles and different
vocabularies giving evidence of their humanity. C.S. Lewis
commented upon the human instrumentality:
The same divine humility which decreed
that God should become a baby at a peasant woman's breast,
and later an arrested field preacher in the hands of the
police, decreed also that he should be preached in a vulgar
prosaic and unliterary language. If you can stomach the one,
you can stomach the other (C.S. Lewis, Introduction to J.B.
Phillips Letters to Young Churches, MacMillan
Therefore, it is proper to say that
the inspiration of the Bible has its source in God but that
human instruments were used in writing and recording God's
Word. This is the biblical teaching on the subject.
The writers of the Old and New Testament were not
merely stenographers who mindlessly wrote what God dictated to
them. Their own experiences and personalities were involved
when the various books were being composed. Ultimately,
however, the final result was supernaturally guided by God.
3. The Text Is Without Error
itself, claims to be true regarding every thing that it
Sanctify them in the truth; your word
is truth (John 17:17).
The sum of your word is truth;
and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever
everything written in Scripture is correct—there are no errors
of any kind since the ultimate source is God.
4. In The Original
extends to the original manuscripts of the Old and New
Testaments—it does not extend to any translations or any
When we speak
of the Bible being inspired, it means that it is God's
accurate revelation of Himself to us. Though the various books
of Scripture were composed by humans, the result was an
error-free work in the original manuscripts. This is because
all Scripture was God-breathed. Consequently, the Bible cannot
be categorized with other literature that causes the human
heart to be challenged or inspired. It is much more than
that—it is God's divine Word to humanity.
What Are Some Non-Biblical
Views Toward The Bible's Authority?
The Bible is God's revealed Word
to humanity. There are, however, a variety of other ways in
which people have approached the issue of ultimate authority
apart from Holy Scripture. Each of these views denies that the
Bible is the final authoritative source on all matters of
which it speaks. These non-biblical approaches include the
1. Human Reason
Human reason, or
rationalism, is the final source of authority on all matters
for many people. Humans are the ones who are the final
determiners of what is true and what is not. There is no
outside source of authority to determine what is truth. When
this is applied to the Bible, it denies that God has revealed
Himself to humanity. Under this approach the Bible is not
viewed as authoritative but rather as a piece of religious
literature. Agnostics, atheists, as well as theological
liberals would fall into this category.
Human reason, as brilliant
as it may be, is always limited. Even the best human minds are
pathetically limited in what they know or can know. Human
reason, therefore, is an inadequate way to establish authority
in any realm.
Some people have developed
their theories of ultimate authority purely upon human
feelings. This is usually as a reaction to human reason being
the final source of authority. Since our knowledge is limited
and not always reliable, humans must resort to feelings to
determine what is true. Therefore, experience, not reason,
becomes the final judge of all matters.
Personal feelings also place
the final source of authority somewhere apart from the Bible.
Feelings can be misleading – they are not always an accurate
guide as to what is true. Furthermore, what if two people have
different feelings about the same issue? Who or what
determines what is correct? Appealing to personal feelings do
not solve the authority problem.
Human nature, either
in its reason or feelings becomes the final source of
authority for these first two perspectives.
Neoorthodoxy means the new
orthodoxy. It is a religious point of view that places the
final authority in Jesus Christ, not humanity. However the
Neoorthodox position is that the Bible is not an infallible
guide to all matters of faith and practice. They believe that
it contains misstatements and errors. Consequently they make
the believers personal experience with Christ as the final
determiner of what is true and what is not.
relies on personal experience alone, even while acknowledging
Jesus Christ, there is no ultimate standard of authority. We
again have the problem of two people disagreeing on a certain
issue. There is no way of knowing whom, if anyone, is right
about the matter.
4. The Church
There are some people who
feel that Jesus entrusted all authority to the church. As the
years went by, and different situations have arisen, it is the
church that has the authority to say what is right and what is
Roman Catholic Church
The position of the Roman
Catholic Church is that they are the final authority. All
matters of faith and practice are determined by their
interpretation of the Scripture. They believe Bible is the
product of the church, therefore only the church is capable of
interpreting the Bible. The Bible, therefore, is not the final
standard of truth—rather it is the Roman Catholic Church and
their infallible interpretation of it.
Orthodoxy, like Roman Catholicism, finds its authority in
tradition rather than Scripture. The Bible does not have the
final say on matters of faith and practice.
are a number of problems with placing the authority of the
church over the authority of Scripture. What happens when the
two conflict? Who are we to believe? The church or the Bible?
Tradition Over Scripture
This approach places
tradition over the Scriptures. The Bible does teach that
certain traditions do have their place.
then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the
traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of
mouth or by our letter (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and
not according to the tradition that they received from us (2
However, Jesus repeatedly
chided the religious leaders for putting ungodly traditions
over the Word of God.
Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For
they do not wash their hands before they eat. He answered
them, And why do you break the commandment of God for the
sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:1-3).
The Word of God has always been the final authority
for God's people. Traditions can only be accepted if they
conform to what God has previously revealed.
Furthermore each individual is responsible for
studying the Bible on their own.
your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him,
a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining
the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
The New Testament nowhere teaches that the church
is the final authority on all matters. It is only the
Scriptures themselves that constitute God's final Word.
Bible And Additional Revelation
Many non-Christian cults
have additional revelation to the Bible. This revelation is
considered as authoritative or more authoritative than
Scripture. They add to God's Word with their so-called
revelation. The final source of authority is that revelation,
not the Bible. Although they may claim to believe the Bible as
the authoritative Word of God, it is always interpreted in
light of the further revelation or from their center of
authority. In some cases, it is the teachings of only one
The problem with this perspective is that the
teaching from the additional revelation always contradicts the
Scripture at some point. Both cannot be true at the same time.
Either the Bible is incorrect or the teaching of the
6.Bible Authority Is Now
Another perspective concerning the Bible's
authority is the rejection for modern humanity. The Bible may
have been fine for those in the ancient world, but it is
out-of-date for those of us living in modern times. Because
times have changed, modern humankind does not have to accept
everything in Scripture as true. People can feel free to pick
and choose which parts they believe and obey.
view assumes that our modern thinking is correct and the Bible
is wrong. If God has revealed Himself in a written record, it
should be for all places and all times, not just the ancient
world. Why would He reveal His truth to one generation and not
to the next? Holding the view that each human can choose for
themselves what they wish to believe in Scripture strips away
all the authority from Scripture. The end result is a mixture
of a number of different belief systems but it certainly isn't
the Christian faith.
While the Scripture clearly
teaches that it alone is the final authority in all matters of
faith and practice there are other approaches that people
continue to take that are at odds with this view. These
1. Those who make human reason as the final
authority on all matters.
2. Others place their own
feelings as the source of truth.
while acknowledging Christ, rejects the Scriptures as an
4. Those who place the final
authority in the church, rather than the Scriptures..
5. The cults, who have a separate revelation apart
from the Bible.
6. Those who believe the Bible once
had authority but do not hold absolute truth for modern
All of these approaches fall short of what
the Bible teaches about God and how He has revealed Himself to
humanity. The final authority must alone rest in the inspired
Word of God. No other source provides reliable answers to the
basic questions of humankind.
How Did Inspiration Occur?
If the Bible was
not mechanically dictated by God to man, how did He get His
Word through the inspired writers? Scripture does not tell us
exactly how the process of inspiration worked. It does,
however, tell certain things about the communication of God's
truth to man.
Originates With God
The origin of inspiration is in the mind and will
of God. The inspiration was given under the direct control of
But we speak the wisdom of God in a
mystery, the hidden wisdom which God
ordained before the ages for our glory (1 Corinthians 2:7).
Writings Not Writers
According to Scripture it is the writings, the
finished product, that are inspired, not the writers
themselves. The Bible says the writers were sometimes unaware
of the meanings of what they wrote:
Of this salvation the prophets have
inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the
grace that would come to you, searching
what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was
in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the
sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow (1
Daniel did not
understand some of the prophecies he recorded.
Although I heard, I did not understand.
Then I said, My lord, what shall be the end of these
things? And he said, Go your way, Daniel, for
the words are closed up and sealed till the time of
the end (Daniel 12:8,9).
The How Of
The Bible indicates how inspiration
Above all, you must understand that no
prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own
interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the
will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried
along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
From this statement we discover that
whatever the Scripture says was not the product of any human
opinion. It was, rather, the very Word of God. Furthermore,
Scripture had its origin in God, not with human beings.
Michael Green comments on this verse:
He [Peter] uses a fascinating maritime
metaphor in verse 21 (where the same word, pheromene, is used of a ship carried along by
the wind). The prophets raised their sails, so to speak
(they were obedient and receptive), and the Holy Spirit
filled them and carried their craft along in the direction
He wished. Men spoke: God spoke (Michael Green The Second
Epistle of Peter and the General Epistle of Jude: An
Introduction and Commentary, London:
Tyndale, 1968, p. 91).
This verse, therefore, teaches us two things with
respect as to how the Bible was inspired.
1.It was not
the will of the human authors that guided what was written in
2.The ultimate source of writing was God
the Holy Spirit.
Writers In Control
The writers of Scripture wrote under normal
circumstances in control of their senses. There are some
exceptions to this, where the writers would record dreams or
visions granted to them by God, but the usual method was that
the writers simply wrote down the truth God wanted revealed.
Yet we are at a loss to explain how that happened because the
Bible does not tell us.
Clark Pinnock comments:
By confluency is meant the dual
authorship of Scripture, the fact that the Bible is at one
and the same time the product of the divine breath and a
human pen. The miracle of inspiration is analogous to the
union in one person of the two natures of Christ; the Word
of God in the words of men. This is a mystery that we can
only confess and not explain. It is a subject to raise when
heaven's school begins its classes, and one about which we
dare not claim to know more than we do (Clark Pinnock,
Biblical Revelation, p. 92).
Bible does not give us exact details of the process of
inspiration, it does tell us that the words of Scripture
originated with God and were communicated to man in order to
produce the resultant Word of God.
Is Every Statement In The Bible
When we read the
Bible, should we regard every statement as true? Can we
confidently read any portion of Scripture and act upon any
statement? The answer is no. A distinction needs to be made
between the accuracy of the statements in the Bible and
Truth Of Every Statement
Inspiration guarantees the accuracy of every
statement, but not the truth of it. For example, every time
Satan spoke, he lied. Jesus said of him,
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and does not stand in the
truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a
lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it
In the Garden of Eden the serpent
promised Eve that she and her husband would be like God if
they ate of the forbidden fruit.
And the serpent said to the woman, You
will not surely die. For God knows in that day you eat of it
your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil (Genesis 3:4,5).
of the serpent is recorded accurately, but the statement is
not true. Other examples can be found in Scripture where
people made statements that are against the clear teaching of
God and His Word.
There are also human misstatements in Scripture.
The religious leaders said to Nicodemus,
Are you also from Galilee? Search and
look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee (John 7:52).
If this is the proper understanding
of what the religious leaders said (and there is some
controversy as to what exactly they did say) then this
statement of the religious leaders was not true. The prophet
Jonah was from the region of Galilee.
Laws Done Away
There is also the record of laws that have been
done away with. The New Testament says of these laws,
Therefore let no one judge you in food
or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or
sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the
substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16,17).
of the Bible needs to be read in context. We need to know who
is speaking to see whether the statement, though recorded
accurately, is in harmony with the truth of God.
Did The Biblical Writers Always
Understand They Were Recording The Word Of God?
As we look at the
various ways in which inspiration occurred we will find that
the writers did not always know that they were recording Holy
Understood But Did Not Recognize
Sometimes the writers understood what they were
writing, but did not recognize their words as being divine.
For example, in his prologue Luke informs us that his work was
a result of careful historical investigation (Luke 1:1-4).
Understood And Recognized
The Bible also
gives examples where the writers were conscious that they were
recording divinely inspired words as well as understanding
what they were saying:
These things we also speak, not in
words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit
teaches (1 Corinthians 2:13).
Did Not Understand
There were other times that the
writers did not know the import of their words even though
they realized that they were divinely inspired. After
receiving prophetic messages from God, the prophet Daniel
said, Although I heard, I did not understand (Daniel 12:8).
Neither Understood Nor Recognized
In a few instances the statements of Scripture were
not understood by those giving them nor were recognized as
part of Scripture.
And one of them, Caiaphas, being high
priest that year, said to them, You know nothing at all, nor
do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man
should die for the people, and not that the whole nation
should perish. Now this he did not say on his own
authority, but being high priest that year he
prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation (John
deals with the words, not the men. It is not the people who
were inspired, but rather their words were accurately
Is The Old Testament Inspired
believes and teaches that the Old Testament has been inspired
by God. This however, is not a claim that developed within the
church over a period of time. The idea that the Old Testament
is inspired by God is the claim of the Bible itself.
Old Testament Claim
First, we must
point out that the Old Testament itself claims to be God's
Word. The writings were acknowledged as the commandments of
That you may fear the Lord your God to
keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command
you (Deuteronomy 6:2).
These commandments were to be
put in the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord said to Moses, And
I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first
tablets . . . and you shall put them in
the ark (Deuteronomy 10:2).
entire Old Testament we find references to the writings as
coming from God.
New Testament Confirmation Of Old
The New Testament considers the Old Testament to be
the Word of God. The Apostle Paul spoke of it as authoritative
which He promised before through His
prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2).
He also saw the Old Testament as
predicting justification by faith.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God
would justify the nations by faith (Galatians 3:8).
Testament gives confirmation that it is inspired of God. The
writers of the New Testament also believed that the Old
Testament was God's inspired Word.
What Was Jesus' View Of The Old
In examining the
four gospels we have a great amount of information to work
with concerning Jesus' view of the Old Testament. His view can
be simply stated in two words, total trust. Jesus accepted the
Old Testament Scriptures as being divinely inspired - He never
cast doubt on any of the accounts. Jesus assumed the people
were actual people and the events literally occurred. We never
find Him giving the slightest hint of anything but the
complete acceptance of the Old Testament as the Word of God.
1. The People Were Actual People
thing we find Jesus confirming about the Old Testament is that
the people mentioned in its pages truly did exist. They were
not mythical characters.
Jesus confirmed the existence of
Abraham. He said:
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My
day, and he saw it and was glad (John 8:56).
B.Isaac And Jacob
patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob, were real people according to
And I say to you, that many shall come
from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham,
and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew
C. The Queen Of Sheba
of Sheba actually came to visit Solomon.
The Queen of the South shall rise up
against this generation at the judgment and shall condemn
it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the
wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than
Solomon is here (Matthew 12:42).
Solomon himself, the great king, was a
yet I say to you that even Solomon in
all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these
Elijah was a genuine prophet.
When asked about Elijah returning to this earth, Jesus clearly
said that he was returning.
And He answered and said, Elijah is
coming and will restore all things (Matthew 17:11).
The story about Elisha the prophet and Naaman
the leper was also confirmed by Jesus.
And there were many lepers in Israel in
the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was
cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4:27).
Zechariah the prophet was also acknowledged by Jesus.
from the blood of Abel to the blood of
Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house of
God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this
generation (Luke 11:51).
Jesus believed that Sodom and Gomorrah
were actual cities that were judged by God.
Truly I say to you, it will be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of
judgment, than for that city (Matthew 10:15).
I.Tyre And Sidon
The account of Tyre and Sidon, the cities that were
judged in the Old Testament, was confirmed by Jesus.
Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you,
Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and
Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long
ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it
shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of
judgment, than for you (Matthew 11:21,22).
2. The Stories Were Factual
As we look at the way Jesus treated the Old
Testament, we discover that He assumed the various stories to
A. Moses Given
Jesus stated that it was
God who gave the people the rite of circumcision through
On this account Moses has given you
circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the
fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man (John
B. The Manna In The Wilderness
The provision of the manna, given to the children
of Israel while they were in the wilderness, was confirmed by
the Lord Jesus.
Our fathers ate the manna in the
wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread out
of heaven to eat' (John 6:31).
C. David Eating The Bread Of
The story of David and
his men eating the bread of presentation was acknowledged by
But He said to them, Have you not read
what David did, when he became hungry, he and his
companions; how he entered the house of God, and they ate
the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat,
nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? (Matthew
D. David The Writer Of Certain
Jesus taught that David was the writer
of certain of the Psalms.
He said to them, Then how does David in
the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying (Matthew 22:43).
E. Moses Wrote The Law
to Jesus, the Law was indeed given by Moses.
And Jesus said to him, See that you
tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and
present the offering that Moses commanded, for a testimony
to them (Matthew 8:4).
Suffering Of The Prophets
that the prophets suffered was used by Jesus as an example of
how His disciples will suffer.
Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward
in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who
were before you (Matthew 5:12).
G. Episode With
The story of Lot's wife, turning
into a pillar of salt, was used by Jesus as an example of not
Remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:32).
3. He Confirmed Some Of The Most
Jesus confirmed some of the most ridiculed stories in
the Old Testament. It is almost as though He went out of His
way to put His stamp of approval on them.
A. Adam And
Jesus believed in the Genesis account
of creation - which includes the direct creation of Adam and
And He answered and said, Have you not
read, that He who created them from the beginning made them
male and female and said, For this cause a man shall leave
his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the
two shall become one flesh (Matthew 19:4-5).
He used Adam and Eve as an example of
God's purpose in marriage.
B. Cain And
The account of Cain killing Abel is
rejected today in many circles, but Jesus believed it
from the blood of Abel to the blood of
Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house of
God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this
generation (Luke 11:51).
C.The Flood In
Was there really a Flood, in the
days of Noah, that God sent to destroy the earth? Jesus
assumed there was.
For the coming of the Son of Man will
be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which
were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they
were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that
Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the
flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of
the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:37-39).
Jesus compared the circumstances
surrounding Noah's Flood as similar to those at His Second
D.Jonah And The Great Sea
Jesus also believed the story of Jonah and the
great sea creature literally occurred. In fact, He used it as
a sign of His resurrection:
But He answered and said to them, An
evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no
sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;
for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the
belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three
days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of
Nineveh shall stand up against this generation at the
judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the
preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah
is here (Matthew 12:39-41).
Though the authorship of
Daniel is often rejected today, Jesus believed that he was a
Therefore when you see the abomination
of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the
prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader
understand) (Matthew 24:15).
All of these
disputed and ridiculed accounts of the Old Testament were
confirmed by Jesus as actually occurring. Furthermore, He used
certain of them as illustrating some of the most important
events in His own ministry - including His resurrection and
Second Coming. Since He demonstrated Himself to be God's Son,
His testimony settles the matter - these stories did occur.
4. Spoke Of Prophecy Being Fulfilled
said that certain predictions, recorded in the Old Testament,
were fulfilled in His life and ministry.
And He began to say to them, Today this
Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21).
This is the one about whom it is written, 'Behold, I
send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your
way before You' (Matthew 11:10).
And He said to them, Elijah does first
come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of
the Son of Man that He should suffer many things and be
treated with contempt? But I say to you, that Elijah has
indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just
as it is written of him (Mark 9:12,13).
because these are days of vengeance, in
order that all things which are written may be fulfilled
considered the predictions of the Old Testament as being
authoritative - He assumed they needed to be fulfilled.
As we examine the attitude of
the Lord Jesus toward the Old Testament we find Him viewing it
as totally trustworthy. Jesus believed the people actually
existed and the stories literally occurred. This includes some
of the most controversial accounts such as Adam and Eve, Noah,
and Jonah. He never cast doubt on any of parts of the Old
Testament, on the contrary He believed all of it was equally
authoritative. Consequently, Christians, to be consistent,
should have the same view as Jesus.
Therefore, we have the witness of the
Old Testament, the New Testament, and Jesus Himself that the
Old Testament was inspired by God.
How Did Jesus View His Own
We have seen that
Jesus viewed the Old Testament as the authoritative Word of
God. Now we consider how He looked at His own teaching.
Jesus also considered
His words as binding. When He spoke, He spoke
as the voice of authority. Jesus claimed
complete truth for all His teaching.
1. His Words
Would Never Pass Away
Jesus said that His words
would remain eternally:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My
words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:35).
2. The I Statements Of
Jesus made certain statements where He
contrasted His words with those previously written and spoken
by others. He put His own words on an entirely new level. We
find many such statements - like the following in the Sermon
on the Mount.
You have heard that the ancients were
told, 'You shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits
murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that
. . . (Matthew 5:21, 22).
Prefaced By Truly, Truly
made solemn statements prefaced by the phrase truly, truly.
Jesus answered and said to him, Truly,
truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see
the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
4. Wise Men Listened To His
Jesus compared those who obeyed His words to
wise men. He said those who did not pay attention to His
teachings were to be compared to foolish men.
Therefore everyone who hears these
words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise
man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain
descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and
burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it
had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these
words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a
foolish man, who built his house upon the sand (Matthew
5. He Will Be
Ashamed Of Those Ashamed Of Him
Jesus words were
of such high value that those who were ashamed of them, He
Himself would be ashamed of these people.
For whoever is
ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and
sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be
ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His
Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38).
6. Those Who Understand Jesus'
Teaching Bear Fruit
In the parable of the sower,
those who are fruit bearers are the ones who understand Jesus'
And the one on whom seed was sown on
the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and
understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth,
some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty (Matthew
7. They Were Blessed To See And Hear
Jesus told His disciples that their eyes were
blessed to see Him and their ears were blessed to hear His
But blessed are your eyes, because they
see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to
you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see
what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear,
and did not hear it (Matthew 13:16,17).
According to Jesus, many prophets,
kings, and righteous men had desired to hear the things His
own disciples heard. Yet they had not heard them because Jesus
did not appear at their time in history.
8. His Words
Jesus considered His words were true.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I
praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did
hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did
reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was
well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed
over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except
the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son,
and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him (Matthew
His true words
are revealed to the humble, not the arrogant.
9. All Authority Has Been Given Unto
The last thing that Matthew records
Jesus commanding His disciples is that they should go and
preach His message. Jesus claimed that all
authority had been given over to Him.
Go therefore and make disciples of all
the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
10. Eternal Life Dependent Upon
Believing His Words
Jesus also made the monumental
statement that eternal life depended upon believing His words.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who
hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal
life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of
death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is
coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the
Son of God; and those who hear shall live (John
Teaching Had Its Origination From Above
to Jesus, His teaching originated from heaven.
The Jews therefore were marveling,
saying, How has this man become learned, having never
been educated? Jesus therefore answered them, and said, My
teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If any one is
willing to do His will, they shall know of the teaching,
whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself (John
biblical evidence we discover that Jesus considered His
teaching to be authoritative on whatever subject He dealt
with. When He spoke, He expected people to listen and obey -
because His words were the words of God. We learn the
following about Jesus' view of His own words.
1.His words would never pass away.
2.He made certain authoritative statements
where He contrasted His words with those of others.
3.Jesus made solemn statements prefaced by,
4.Wise men listened
to His words, foolish men did not.
5.Jesus will be ashamed of those who are
ashamed of Him.
6.The ones who
understand the teachings of Jesus bear fruit.
7.The eyes of Jesus' disciples were blessed
to see Him and their ears were blessed to hear His words.
8.Jesus believed His words were true.
9.He claimed that all authority had been
given to Him.
10.He said eternal
life depended upon how one responded to His words.
11.He said His teaching originated from
What Was Jesus' View Of The New
Jesus taught that
the Old Testament was inspired of God, and that His own
teachings were absolutely authoritative. We now come to
Christ's view with respect to the New Testament. We will
discover that He pre-authenticated it ahead of time so that we
can be assured that it too, is the Word of God.
selected and trained certain disciples that would be the
authorized teachers of His New Covenant. He chose well the men
who would be His disciples and who would pass on His teachings
to us - particularly the men whom He chose to record the
account of His life.
There was already the precedent of written
Scripture (the Old Testament) that would have been available
to the disciples. Since God had given a written account of His
words and deeds before the time of Jesus, it makes perfect
sense that He would continue with a written account of the One
to whom the Old Testament looked forward.
As we have also seen, since Jesus' words were
considered by Him to be absolutely authoritative on whatever
issue He spoke, there would have been the need to eventually
see them in some permanent form.
Jesus made some special promises to His
disciples which deal directly with this issue of the
inspiration and authority of the New Testament. John records
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom
the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you
that after He left this world, the Holy Spirit would come in
His place and teach His disciples. We note specifically the
promise of Jesus with respect to what the Holy Spirit will do.
He will teach them all things and bring back to
their remembrance all things that Jesus said and did. What we have is
a promise from Jesus, to His disciples, of a supernatural gift
of total recall. Everything that Jesus said and did would be
brought back to them in a miraculous way. Therefore, we can be
assured that the final outcome of their teaching and eventual
writing (the New Testament) would be correct in all that it
Bear Witness Of Jesus
The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit and the
disciples of Jesus, will bear witness of the Lord.
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall
send to you from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you
also will bear witness, because you have been with me from
the beginning (John 15:26,27).
Those who have been with Jesus from the
beginning will bear witness of Him.
There is another promise from Jesus that was
given to His disciples.
But when He, the Spirit of truth,
comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not
speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will
speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come (John
This has to do with the guidance of
the Holy Spirit. It will be into all truth that He will guide
What He Promised
consider these verses, we have the following promises from
1. Jesus is going to
leave His disciples.
2. Yet, He will not leave them without a
Teacher or Helper. He will give them the Holy Spirit.
3. The Holy Spirit will be sent by God the
Father to remind them of all things that Jesus both
said and did.
4. This contains a
promise of total recall of all the words and deeds of Jesus
which they personally experienced.
5.Both the Holy Spirit, and the disciples,
will testify about Jesus.
6.These specific disciples will testify
about Jesus because they had been with Him from the beginning
of His ministry.
7. In addition. the
Holy Spirit will guide these disciples into all truth when
they preach the message about Jesus.
8. This will continue when their preaching
and teaching is recorded in a more permanent form (the New
In a sense, Jesus authenticated the New
Testament ahead of time by the various promises that He gave
His disciples. Therefore, we can have confidence in what the
New Testament says. Our confidence is based upon the promises
Why Are The Writings Of The
Apostle Paul Considered To Be Inspired?
The apostles not
only accepted the Old Testament and Jesus' Word's as
authoritative, they also began to see that their writings were
on the same authoritative level. Being led by the Holy Spirit,
they believed they were speaking for Christ. The Apostle Paul,
for example, wrote twelve letters that have been recognized as
Holy Scripture by the Christian church. What evidence do we
have to call Paul's writings Scripture?
Message To Be Divine
thing that must be noticed is that Paul believed his message
to be divine.
If anyone thinks himself to be a
prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things
which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord (1
And for this reason we also
constantly thank God that when you received from us the word
of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men,
but for what it really is, the word of God, which also
performs its work in you who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
However, believing to have a divine
message does not make it so. What evidence do we have of this
message being sent from God.
The Bible teaches that Paul received
direct revelation from God. Paul wrote,
Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?
(1 Corinthians 9:1).
encounter with the ascended Jesus on the Damascus road, Paul
had it explained by Ananias:
The God of our fathers has chosen you
that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and
hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to
all men of what you have seen and heard (Acts 22:14,15).
His Writings Considered Scripture
During His Lifetime
point is that the New Testament recognized Paul's writing as
Scripture. Peter wrote:
Our beloved brother Paul, according to
the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all
his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which
some things are hard to understand, which those who
are untaught and unstable twist to their
own destruction, as they do the rest of the
Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15,16).
The writings of Paul complete the New
Testament. He was the chosen instrument to explain the meaning
of the two comings of Jesus Christ.
To What Extent Is The Bible
The terms used to
describe the inspiration of the Bible is verbal
plenary. When we speak of verbal inspiration we
mean that every word has been inspired by God. This means the
very words were chosen by God. Plenary
inspiration means fully, in all parts. The Bible in all
parts is inspired by God. The evidence for verbal plenary
inspiration can be found in Scripture.
The Bible testifies to the importance
of every word. Sometimes an important truth hinges on the use
of a certain word or group of words. For example, the Apostle
Paul argued from the use of a word in the singular rather than
in the plural.
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the
promises made. He does not say, And to seeds, as of many,
but as of one, And to your Seed, who is Christ (Galatians
All Parts Inspired
The Scripture teaches that all parts are inspired
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church
For whatever things were written before
were written for our learning, that we through patience and
comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).
Paul says the former writings, the
Old Testament, were written for our instruction. He does not
exclude anything from the Old Testament but rather includes
everything. There is no distinction between some parts of
Scripture that are true and others that are not. All of the
writings are assumed to be true.
We conclude therefore, that every
word of the sixty-six books of the Bible is inspired by God.
This means that the final record of Scripture says exactly
what God wanted it to say.
What Are Some Inadequate Views
We have seen that
the biblical doctrine of inspiration is that the Bible is
inspired in all parts and in every word. There are however,
many inadequate views of the inspiration of the Bible that
have been popular among Christians and non-Christians alike.
We will now examine some of these inadequate views of
1. Partial Inspiration
This view holds to the inspiration of Scripture,
but it believes that some parts are not inspired. The trouble
with this view is how to determine which parts are inspired
and which are not. The position of Scripture is that
all of it is God-breathed—not just some of
it. Though some parts of Scripture may be more relevant than
others, all Scripture is equally inspired or God-breathed.
Furthermore all parts are important in God's revelation of His
overall plan for the world.
Natural inspiration totally denies
the supernatural element in Scripture. It holds that the
writers of Scripture were simply men of religious genius who
possessed unique spiritual insight. Their writings on moral
and spiritual truth were ahead of their contemporaries.
Consequently, they wrote the books of the Bible in the same
way as any other book has been written. The ideas ultimately
came from their own religious insights, not from God Himself.
This view is in direct contradiction to what the
writers themselves testified. When Paul wrote to the church at
Thessalonica he said:
We also constantly give thanks to God
for this, that when you received the word of God that you
heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as
what it really is, God's word, which is also at work in you
believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
This view teaches that the entire Bible was
dictated word for word by God. The writers of Scripture would
have been stenographers or recorders of the divine dictation,
rather than being authors of the books. This view attempts to
stress the divine side of revelation. The Bible, therefore
would have been similar to what Muslims claim for the
Koran—their holy book. Supposedly it had been dictated from
heaven in the Arabic language to Muhammad.
It is true
that some parts of the Bible were recorded as dictated:
Then God spoke all these word(Exodus
However, as we have already observed,
the various books in the Bible reveal quite different styles
of writing. If the authors of the books of Scripture were mere
stenographers, then we would expect a similar style
throughout. However we find just the opposite. There is a
great difference between the elegant style of Luke and the
simple style of John. Since we find no uniformity of style in
the Scripture the dictation view does not fit the facts.
teaches that the Bible is inspired in all parts. However there
are many who have proposed other views to the Bible's
inspiration. All of these fall short. The Bible was not merely
inspired in some of its parts, it was not the product of
religious genius, neither was it given by mechanical
Summary To Inspiration And
Inspiration is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit where
God guided the authors of Scripture to compose exactly what He
Inspiration was accomplished by the Spirit of God moving upon
the authors of Scripture to compose what God wished them to
Jesus confirmed the inspiration of the Old Testament.
The writings of
the Apostle Paul also give evidence of being inspired.
Inspiration extends to all parts of Scripture. There are no
non-inspired parts of the Bible.
6. Inadequate views such as
partial inspiration, natural inspiration, and divine dictation
do not fit the facts.