Bibliology - The Inspiration of God's Word

  1. THE DEFINITION OF INSPIRATION
    1. Biblical Usage
      1. The enlightenment of God which can give man understanding (Job 32:8)
      2. The method by which God gives Scripture to man (2 Timothy 3:16)
    2. Basic Meaning
      1. Inspiration means “a breathing in”  (cp. respiration )
      2. Greek word: Theopneustos means “God-breathed”
    3. Theological Definitions
      1. Common definition: the operation of the divine Spirit which renders a speaker or writer infallible in the communication of truth.  This definition is biblically incorrect.
      2. Definition for this course: the act of God by which He made every word of Scripture completely without error and completely what He wanted.
    4. Scriptural Principles of Inspiration
      1. The inspiration of scripture (2 Timothy 3:14-17; esp. verse 16)
        1. Inspiration refers to scripture; not men
        2. Inspiration refers to all scripture
        3. Inspiration makes all scripture profitable
      2. The moving of holy men (2 Peter 1:16-21)
        1. They spoke not of their own will
        2. They spoke by the moving of the Holy Ghost
        3. Inspiration and moving are not to be confused.  The scripture is inspired; the men were moved.  This means they had no ultimate control over what they wrote but were moved, manipulated and controlled by God.
      3. The words of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 2:7-16; esp. verse 13)
        1. Given in the words which the Holy Ghost taught
        2. NOTE: the medium of God’s message to mankind is words
        3. CONCLUSION: the authority for these words is the Holy Ghost
        4. This is verified throughout scripture (Mark 12:36; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25; Hebrews 3:7)
      4. The unity of the scripture
        1. The scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)
          1. No scripture can be discarded
          2. Every scripture is connected to every other scripture
        2. Scripture must be compared with scripture (1 Corinthians 2:13; Isaiah 28:10,13)
        3. NOTE: We cannot understand completely any single verse in the Bible unless we understand completely every other verse in the Bible.  This is why we find the riches of God’s word unfathomable.  Each new truth becomes the basis for several more truths.  This also helps to explain why it is so important that every verse of scripture be exactly what God wants it to be.
  2. THE METHOD OF INSPIRATION
    1. Human Theories
      1. The Intuition Theory – that inspiration sprang from a high level of natural insight into truth
      2. The Illumination Theory – that inspiration resulted from an intensifying of religious perception
      3. The Dynamic Theory – that God guided the authors of scripture so that they were inerrant in spiritual matters while using their own style
      4. The Dictation Theory – that God so controlled the writers of the scriptures that they were no more than passive instruments in the hand of God
    2. Scriptural Teaching
      1. Control over the words
        1. Words which the Holy Ghost teaches (1 Corinthians 2:13)
        2. What the Holy Ghost said (Mark 12:36; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25; Hebrews 3:7)
      2. Control over the human authors
        1. With the mouth (Exodus 4:10-12)
        2. Who wrote the words (Exodus 34:1,27-28)
        3. The Spirit speaking by man (2 Samuel 23:2)
        4. Putting words in the mouth (Jeremiah 1:6-9)
      3. NOTE: When God moved the men, He certainly used their special circumstances, knowledge and even style of writing.  He was not required to do so.  He certainly could have had the human author use a word which he did not understand but the evidence is that He did not significantly alter the individual author’s writing style or experience.  Why?  Perhaps the explanation is found in looking on the human authors as tools that God uses for His own purpose.  One could dig a hole in the ground with a mattock, a pick or a shovel.  Although the one digging the hole does the work and he chooses which tool he will use, the hole will bear some of the marks of that tool.  Or consider the game of chess.  The player chooses what piece he will move and where he will move it, yet he moves it according to the rules of the game for that piece.  Of course, God can change the rules if He wishes, yet His normal practice seems to be to move the pieces according to the given characteristics and limitations of that piece.
  3. THE EXTENT OF INSPIRATION
    1. The Word is Inspired
      1. Tried (Psalm 18:30)
      2. Settled (Psalm 119:89)
      3. Pure (Psalm 119:140)
      4. Inspired (2 Timothy 3:16)
    2. The Words are Inspired
      1. Every word is pure (Proverbs 30:4-6)
      2. The words are pure (Psalm 12:6-7)
        1. Pure
        2. Tried
        3. Preserved
      3. The words of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 2:13)
    3. The Letters are Inspired
      1. Seed and seeds (Galatians 3:16; Genesis 22:18)
      2. Book and books (Revelation 20:12-15)
    4. The Punctuation is Inspired (Matthew 5:18)
      1. Jot – the Hebrew Yod (Psalm 119:73)
      2. Tittle – a hornlike projection on some letters
        1. Compare verses 9 and 81 of Psalm 119
        2. Compare verses 25 and 153 of Psalm 119
      3. NOTE: Importance of punctuation to doctrine
        1. To teach the Second Coming (Hebrews 10:12) –“for ever, sat down”
        2. To oppose soul sleep (Luke 23:43) –“unto thee, To day”
    5. The Italicized Words are Inspired
      1. Italicized words are used when there is no equivalent Hebrew or Greek word in the text for the English word but the English word must be used in order to way the same thing which is said in the Hebrew of Greek.  Word for word translation is not possible because:
        1. Some Hebrew and Greek words must be translated with 2 or more English words
        2. Sometimes 2 or more Hebrew or Greek words may be correctly translated with only one English word
        3. Words may need to be included in order to maintain correct grammar
        4. Words or phrases may have an understood meaning in Hebrew or Greek which cannot be correctly understood in a word for word translation
        5. English idioms or phraseology may be required to correctly translate from Hebrew or Greek
        6. Syntax, grammatical structure and word order are often very different from one language to another
      2. A number of Old Testament italicized words are quoted in the New Testament without the italics
        1. Compare Exodus 3:6 ( am ) with Matthew 22:32
        2. Compare Deuteronomy 8:3 ( word ) with Matthew 4:4
        3. Compare Deuteronomy 30:14 ( is ) with Romans 10:8
        4. Compare Psalm 16:8 ( he is ) with Acts 2:25
        5. Compare Psalm 82:6 ( are ) with John 10:34
        6. Compare Psalm 118:22 ( which ) with Matthew 21:42
        7. Compare Psalm 118:23 ( is ) with Matthew 21:42
      3. Conclusions concerning italicized words
        1. They are absolutely necessary for proper understanding in the English text
        2. They are divinely placed and are therefore as much a part of the inspired text as the words which are not italicized
        3. Italicized words are quoted by Christ (Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:32; etc.), Peter (Acts 2:25) and Paul (Romans 10:8)
        4. Italicized words are sometimes critical to the correct doctrinal understanding of the passage (Matthew 4:4; Matthew 22:32)
        5. Italicized words demonstrate the following:
          1. The absolute honesty of the KJB translators
          2. The feel of the original languages
        6. Italicized words are also the inspired words of God
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:2

The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.