Net Bible Institute 1999
Was The Bible Dictated By God To Humanity?

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.

Different 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.


In addition, 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 stenographer.

Use Of Sources

The biblical 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);
* The Annals on the Book of Kings (2 Chronicles 24:27);
* The Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chronicles 9:29; 12:15).


Sometimes the words of the biblical writers resulted from their own careful investigation

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 Choices

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, the Bible.

Claims Of Scripture

The Bible speaks of itself as being inspired by God. The word
inspiration is derived from 2 Timothy 3:16.

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 Defined

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

God guided 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 1951).

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

The Bible itself, claims to be true regarding every thing that it records.

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 (Psalm 119:160).

Therefore everything written in Scripture is correct—there are no errors of any kind since the ultimate source is God.

4. In The Original

Inerrancy only extends to the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments—it does not extend to any translations or any manuscript copies.


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 following:

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.

2.Personal Feelings

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.


If one 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 wrong.

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.

Eastern Orthodoxy

Eastern 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.  


There 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.

So 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).
Now we 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 Thessalonians 3:6).

However, Jesus repeatedly chided the religious leaders for putting ungodly traditions over the Word of God.

Then 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.

Our Responsibility

Furthermore each individual is responsible for studying the Bible on their own.

Do 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.

5.The 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 person.


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 additional revelation.

6.Bible Authority Is Now Out-Of-Date

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.


This 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 include:

1. Those who make human reason as the final authority on all matters.

2. Others place their own feelings as the source of truth.

3. Neoorthodoxy, while acknowledging Christ, rejects the Scriptures as an infallible source.

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 humanity.

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 God.

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 Peter 1:10,11).

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 Inspiration

The Bible indicates how inspiration came about.

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).

Two Things

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 Scripture.

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).


Though the 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 True?

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 truthfulness.

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 (John 8:44).

Serpent Promised Eve

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).

The statement 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.

Human Misstatements

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 With

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).


Each statement 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 Scripture.

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).

Recognized But 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 11:49-51).

Inspiration deals with the words, not the men. It is not the people who were inspired, but rather their words were accurately recorded.

Is The Old Testament Inspired Of God?

Christianity 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 the Lord.

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).

Throughout the 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 Scripture:

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).


The Old 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 Testament?

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

The first 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.

A. Abraham  

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

The patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob, were real people according to Jesus.

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 8:11).

C. The Queen Of Sheba

The Queen 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).

D. Solomon

Solomon himself, the great king, was a historical person.

yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these (Matthew 6:29).

E. Elijah

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).

F. Elisha  

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).

G. Zechariah   

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).

H.Sodom And Gomorrah  

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 be factual.

A. Moses Given Circumcision  

Jesus stated that it was God who gave the people the rite of circumcision through Moses.

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 7:22).

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 Presentation  

The story of David and his men eating the bread of presentation was acknowledged by Jesus.

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 12:3,4).

D. David The Writer Of Certain Psalms  

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

According 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).

F. The Suffering  Of The Prophets

The fact 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 Lot's Wife

The story of Lot's wife, turning into a pillar of salt, was used by Jesus as an example of not looking back.

Remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:32).

3. He Confirmed Some Of The Most Controversial Stories

In addition,
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 Eve

Jesus believed in the Genesis account of creation - which includes the direct creation of Adam and Eve.

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 Abel  

The account of Cain killing Abel is rejected today in many circles, but Jesus believed it occurred.

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 Noah's Day

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 Coming.

D.Jonah And The Great Sea Creature

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 true prophet.

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

Jesus 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 (Luke 21:22).

Jesus 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.

Complete Testimony

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 Teaching?

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

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).

3. Statements Prefaced By Truly, Truly

Jesus 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 Words

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 7:24-26).

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' teaching.

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 13:23).

7. They Were Blessed To See And Hear Jesus

Jesus told His disciples that their eyes were blessed to see Him and their ears were blessed to hear His words.

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 Are True

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 11:25-27).

His true words are revealed to the humble, not the arrogant.

9. All Authority Has Been Given Unto Him  

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 5:24,25).

11. His Teaching Had Its Origination From Above

According 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 7:15-17).


From the 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, Truly, truly.

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.

He said eternal life depended upon how one responded to His words.

11.He said His teaching originated from heaven.

What Was Jesus' View Of The New Testament?

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.

Hand-Picked Disciples

Jesus 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.

Old Testament Precedent

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.

His Words

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.

Special Promises

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 Jesus saying:

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 (John 14:26).

Jesus promised 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 said.

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.

All Truth

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 16:13).

This has to do with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It will be into all truth that He will guide Jesus' disciples.

What He Promised

When we consider these verses, we have the following promises from Jesus:

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.

In addition. the Holy Spirit will guide these disciples into all truth when they preach the message about Jesus.

This will continue when their preaching and teaching is recorded in a more permanent form (the New Testament).

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 of Jesus.

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?

Believed His Message To Be Divine

The first 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 Corinthians 14:37).
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.

Paul Received Direct Revelation

The Bible teaches that Paul received direct revelation from God. Paul wrote,

Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? (1 Corinthians 9:1).

After an 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

The final 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 Inspired?

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.

Importance Of Every Word

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 3:16).

All Parts Inspired

The Scripture teaches that all parts are inspired by God.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome:

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.

Every Book Inspired

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 Of Inspiration?

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 inspiration.

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.

2. Natural Inspiration

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).

3.Divine Dictation

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 20:1).

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.


The Scripture 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 dictation.

Summary To Inspiration And Authority

1. Inspiration is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit where God guided the authors of Scripture to compose exactly what He wanted.

2. Inspiration was accomplished by the Spirit of God moving upon the authors of Scripture to compose what God wished them to write.

3. Jesus confirmed the inspiration of the Old Testament.

4. The writings of the Apostle Paul also give evidence of being inspired.

5. 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.