The Incredible Bible Chapter 4 - Inspiration
Napoleon said: "The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that
oppose it." The subjects we have been studying so far about the historicity of
the Bible are very encouraging, but we can't stop there. If we did, we would
have just an honest ancient work on religious matters. Is there anything more we
can affirm from the Scriptures? Is the Bible really the truth? Is it really God's spoken Word, totally and in every part? Are we to consider the Scriptures as the absolute authority on this planet? I
would say, definitely yes, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about
it. But my testimony doesn't amount to much.So let's look at a few reasons why I
have come to that conclusion, and find out what the Bible says about itself.
(1) Related Terms
In order to define Inspiration we'll need to distinguish it from other related terms. We will be briefly
defining: Revelation , Infallibility , Inerrancy , and Illumination .
a. Revelation. God has revealed Himself. This is undeniably true, especially when we look
around us. Things like mountains, clouds, animals, color, taste, stars,
snowflakes, roses, etc; all reveal the touch of a master's hand.
Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Even within our own minds, we can detect an all-knowing person who listens and
watches, but this is not the type of revelation we are talking about here. The
Biblical definition for "Revelation" is the Greek word "apokalupsis" which means an uncovering or unveiling. Revelation is
the Spirit of God revealing to man that which is otherwise unknowable. He gives
to us the knowledge of God:
God can only be known if He chooses to reveal Himself. We could never know
Him, or who He is just by looking at what He has made. We could only know about
Him, or what He can do. When we read the Bible with total trust, it is God
talking to us and allowing us to partake of His very Life, who He is.
b. Infallibility. The Bible is the Word of God and, therefore, carries with it divine authority. It is binding upon every man, whether he admits it or not, and it is the
ultimate standard for our mind, conscience, will, and heart. The reason for this is
because it is truth, and it is God's Word, and it is right. That is exactly
what the Greek word for infallible means, "right", or "perfect". God is God, and
He Knows everything, and He has spoken, and it is right, and we must submit.
That is the essence of the word infallible.
Ps 19:7-11 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the
simple; 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment
of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also
than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.
c. Inerrancy. The word "inerrant" is very closely related to the word "infallible". The
Bible is infallible in total, and inerrant in every part. Inerrancy means that
not just all the truth in the Bible is God's word, but every scripture down to
the dotting of the "i" and the crossing of the "t" is the embodied Revelation of
Almighty God, and is entirely true and never false in all it affirms, whether
it be in doctrine, or ethics, or science, or history, or the future, or whatever
the case may be. Jesus said,
Matt 5:18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Jn 10:35 "...the Scripture cannot be broken.
d. Illumination. The Bible can be read by anyone, and its contents can be grasped
intellectually, but only when the Holy Spirit brings God's light into a man's darkened
mind and darkened heart can he receive of God's Revelation. This can only happen
through faith and trust in Jesus Christ and being born again. As I said before,
Revelation is the very knowledge of God Himself. God is not physical, not of
the 5 senses, He is Spirit, as Jesus said:
Jn 4:24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
According to the Bible, man was created in God's image. That image wasn't
anything physical but spiritual. When Adam sinned all died. This meant that Adam
died spiritually, and every child born after him would have a dead spirit, and
all of mankind was plunged into spiritual darkness. So God in His wisdom
established the sacrificial system, and called a sense ruled people, the Jews, to preserve it until the Lamb of God would come and rebuild a
broken relationship between God and man through the shedding of His own blood.
After Adam no one was born again until Jesus came. That is why Jesus said:
Jn 12:46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.
Jn 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and
they are life.
So illumination is when the Holy Spirit teaches us everything we need to know
about God and makes the Word "come alive" as we read it. A person who has not
accepted Jesus cannot comprehend spiritual things for the Bible says:
- Cor 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the
deep things of God.
But we have the promise of God that His Holy Spirit lives in us and will
illumine us and teach us all we need to know for Jesus said:
Jn 14:16-17 16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another
Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world
cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him,
for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Jn 14:26 "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 things that I said to you.
What does the word "inspiration" mean? According to Webster's dictionary it
means to "inhale". The Biblical definition is found in 2 Tim 3,
- Cor 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to
him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The word "inspiration" here is the Greek word "theopneustos" which literally
means "God-breathed." The Scriptures teach that when God created all things that He "breathed" the
universe into existence (Ps 33:6), and when He created man He "breathed" into
Adam the breath of life (Gen 2:7). So now we see that the Bible also was created
by the very breath of God. How much of the Bible did God breathe out? "All
Scripture". The Greek word "all" is "pasa" which means "all" or "every" and the
Greek word "scripture" is "graphe" which means "holy writing" or "scripture."
Therefore "pasa graphe theopneustos" means "every scripture is God-breathed."
b. The Writers
God breathed out His Words through divinely chosen men so that the writings of these men were actually the Word of God. Lets look at
2 Pet 1:20-21 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any
private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy
men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
It is not of "private interpretation" (not the writer's own thoughts), also it
did not come into being by "the will of man" (man did not intend to write it,
or get together to arrange it), but "holy men" (divinely selected) "spoke as
they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (the Spirit spoke through them and moved
them as wind pushes a sail).
Now the question is, how did God do it? Did these writers have some superior
insight? Or were they inspired the way we are when we write a special song or
talk about the Lord to someone? Did God suggest thoughts to them and they put it
into their own words? Or did He just dictate to them everything He said
verbatim, word for word, as His secretaries, leaving out their own personalities? Is
there an answer for this?
It is obvious in the Scripture that we can see a a twofold nature. On one
hand, it has God's character. On the other hand, it has a human character. When we
read the books of the Bible, we find human personality. God used men. It's
true. He could have dictated everything, but He chose not to. He chose to let men
express their own personalities, emotions, style, vocabularies, etc; and under God's guidance, the words they chose were not only their words
but God's words. God was there forming their personalities, controlling their
heredity, environment, and lives, to make them into the men He wanted them to
be. Their lives had been so fashioned by God that the words they used out of
their own personalities and vocabularies were in reality God's Words.
The only real explanation is that it was a miracle. Who could ever explain the
miraculous nature of inspiration? Its never been seen. But we have its
results. We have the Word of God.
It is imortant to remember that "the writers" weren't inspired, and everything they spoke and wrote wasn't inspired, but only the
selected "words" at various times that God spoke through them and they recorded.
The next question is, what does the Bible say about its own inspiration, and
what did Jesus think about it?
c. Biblical Claims
The Bible claims to be the Word of God and if a man or book speaks truthfully
on all other matters, we should allow them also to speak for themselves. The
Bible makes claims for itself.
- Tim 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness,
Over 3800 times the Old Testament uses terms as "thus sayeth the Lord", "the Word of the Lord came to me", or "the Lord said". Lets examine a few verses' and let the Old Testament speak for itself:
Ex 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD.
Lev 26:46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the LORD made
between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of
- Old Testament
Is 34:16 "Search from the book of the LORD, and read: not one of these shall fail; not one shall lack her mate. For My
mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.
Jer 30:2 "Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: `Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Jer 36:1-2 1 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of
Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: 2 "Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel,
against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the
days of Josiah even to this day.
Ezek 11:25 So I spoke to those in captivity of all the things the LORD had
Zech 7:12 "Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law
and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
2) The New Testament
The New Testament makes reference to the inspiration of the Old Testament as
well as all of its sections, and almost every one of its books in particular.
Also, it affirms the literal historicity of great persons and events, such as Adam, Noah, the Flood, Moses, Elijah, Jonah, etc. It even affirms
the inspiration of the words of other New Testament writers, as well as the
possibility of a New Testament from God. Here are some good verses:
Rom 3:1-2 1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of
circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed
the oracles of God.
- Sam 23:1-2 1 Now these are the last words of David . Thus says David the son of Jesse; thus says the man raised up on high, the
anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.
- Cor 14:37 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.
Heb 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 3:7-8 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His
- Thes 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you
received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of
God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord
2 Pet 3:15-16 15 and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--
as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all
his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard
to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own
destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
Jesus and the Scriptures
Jesus Himself confirmed the literal historicity and inspiration of the entire
Bible. When He said "it is written," He meant that it stands written for all eternity. To Him the Bible was the
Word of God. He said:
Jn 10:35 "...the Scripture cannot be broken"
Matt 5:18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by
no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Lk 11:28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word
of God and keep it!"
Lk 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while
I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms
In fact Jesus put His stamp of approval on the entire Old Testament in one statement when He said:
Lk 11:51 "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be
required of this generation.
Abel was the first Old Testament martyr in Genesis (the first book), and
Zechariah was the last in 2 Chronicles (the last book).
Jesus made reference to or alluded to every book in the Old Testament. Here
are just a few examples of persons, events, and miracles quoted by Him:
Matt 19:4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who
made them at the beginning `made them male and female,'
Lk 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
Lk 17:29 "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Matt 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty
works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would
have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
Jn 7:22 "Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on
Jn 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why
do you seek to kill Me?"
Matt 19:8 He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts,
permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
Mk 12:26 "But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the
book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
Matt 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the
Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matt 12:42 "The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this
generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear
the wisdom of Solomon ; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
Matt 12:3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was
hungry, he and those who were with him:
Matt 12:5 "Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
Lk 4:25 "But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a
great famine throughout all the land;
Lk 4:27 "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."
Jn 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
Matt 24:15 "Therefore when you see the `abomination of desolation,' spoken of
by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place"
The Bible is the Word of God breathed out by Him for us. We can trust it;
Jesus did. May we search hard for the infinite treasures that are in this book. May
we come to God as children and just believe. And may we be daily assured that
... "all the promises in Him are yes, and amen!"
©1995 The Bible Knowledge Accelerator Created by Rusty Russell
- Pet 1:10-12 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched
carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 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. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves,
but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you
through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from
heaven-- things which angels desire to look into.
- Pet 3:2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by