MBS037 THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURES
Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.2 Timothy 3:16–17
This study deals with the relationship of the Bible to the concept of the inspiration of Scriptures. This subject can be divided into three main segments: the definition of inspiration, theories of inspiration, and proofs of inspiration.
Biblical inspiration can be defined as: “God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, by using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs.” This detailed definition can be broken down into five smaller components
A. God’s Superintendence
“God’s superintendence” means that God superintended, but He did not dictate the writings. Obviously, there are certain portions of the Scriptures that God did dictate, and these were written down word-for-word. For example, the Ten Commandments and many of the other commandments of the Law of Moses were dictated word-for-word from God’s mouth to Moses’ ears; Moses then recorded it on the parchments which he had in front of him. But most of the Bible was not dictated word-for-word. Instead, God chose to superintend the writers. By superintending the writers, He was able to carefully control what was being written without having to dictate. So the end product still turned out exactly the way He wanted it to.
B. Human Authors
God used human authors and their individual styles. Obviously, if God simply dictated the Scriptures word-for-word, the entire Bible would sound the same. Of course, if you go from author to author, it is not the same. Each of the forty authors of the sixty-six books of the Bible used his own individual style; for example, Paul wrote in a different style from Peter; Moses wrote in a different style from Joshua. But because of God’s superintendence and His control over these writers, He was able to allow them to use their own individual style of writing. And they still produced word-for-word exactly what God wanted them to produce.
Inerrancy means that, when these original writings were produced, they were without error. For example: when Moses finished writing his five books, they were totally inspired by God, and there was no error in any one of them, and when Joshua was inspired to write his book, he wrote it without error. So the inspiration of the Scriptures concerns only to the original autographs of the Scriptures.
1. Concerning Copies of the Scripture
This does not mean that the copies of Scripture were inspired. Today, there are more than one manuscript of the various books of the Bible. There are a number of Hebrew copies and even a greater number of Greek copies, and there are slight discrepancies in word order between one manuscript and another, because these manuscripts were only copies. Unfortunately, copies were subject to some degree of human error, but the verbally inspired originals were without error. So, it should be remembered that the copies were not inspired.
2. Concerning Transcriptions of the Scripture
Translations of Scripture are not inspired either. In translating from one language to another, every translation may have a point of error to some degree. The King James Version, the American Standard Version, and the New American Standard have errors. Fortunately, the errors are never that significant, and it is possible to clearly know what the original writings were trying to say. Thus, translations of the original writings were not inspired nor necessarily without error.
D. God’s Revelation
God so directed the human authors that, without destroying their own individuality, literary style, or personal interest, they produced His complete revelation to man. Although the actual writing was done by men, they were inspired by God. The Bible is God’s message to man. It does not merely contain the Word of God; it is the Word of God.
Of course, God used various ways of getting His inspiration across. But regardless of whether God dictated the exact words—as He sometimes did; or whether the authors were led by God to copy ancient literature—which they themselves tell us they did; or their writings were the results of research—as the case of Luke; in every particular way, God guided men so that they wrote exactly what He intended for them to write. The result was that the Bible is the Word of God.
E. Dual Authorship
God so directed the writers that, by using their individual styles in any way that seemed feasible to them, they produced His very words without error. However, the question now arises: How did God do it?
There are various theories of inspiration. The foundation of all these various theories is one key issue: the dual authorship of the Scriptures. On the one hand, God wrote it; on the other hand, man wrote it. For example, Exodus 20:12 reads: Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Jehovah your God gives you.
Who said that? According to Matthew 15:4, God said it; but according to Mark 7:10, Moses said it. Is this a contradiction? Not at all. God is the primary source, and man is the secondary source. God did say it, but He chose to say it through Moses. Moses did the actual writing under the inspiration of God, as He directed Moses. It is this concept of dual authorship—that both God and man produced the Scriptures—that has led to a number of theories of inspiration.
Another example of dual authorship is in Psalm 110:1: Jehovah said unto my Lord, Sit you at my right hand.
Who made that statement? According to Mark 12:36, the Holy Spirit said it, but according to verse 37, David said it. Did David say it, or did the Holy Spirit say it? The answer is: both.
Another example of dual authorship is based on Isaiah 6:9–10. In John 12:39–41, the author states that Isaiah said these words, but Acts 28:25–27 says the Holy Spirit said these words. Sometimes both God and the prophet are in the same passage. For example, when Hosea 11:1 is quoted in Matthew 2:15, it is stated that both God and the prophet had said it.
The relationship is this: God is the source of the Scriptures, and man is the recorder; man is the instrument or the means by which God produced His Scriptures. On the one hand, one must not look at the Bible as being exclusively divine or exclusively human; but on the other hand, it should not be looked at as being partly human or partly divine. Inspiration in dual authorship is both divine and human, without impairment of one to the other; both are present in every word, from the beginning to the end.
Again, dual authorship has produced a number of theories of inspiration. The basis for all these theories is the knowledge that the Bible has dual authorship, that the Bible was written by both God and man. But God is the primary source, while man is the secondary source. Perhaps, a more correct way is to state this is: The relationship between the dual authorship of God and man is that God is the source, while man is merely the instrument or the means. But how did this occur?
There are a number of theories of inspiration and most of them, unfortunately, are clearly wrong and fail to give the high view of the Scriptures that the Bible demands.
A. False Theories on the Inspiration of Scripture
1. Natural Inspiration or Natural Intuition Theory
This false theory states that the Bible was written by men who possessed unusual religious insight; men who had superior insight on the part of natural man into moral and religious truth. The authors of Scripture simply had a higher development of natural insight. This theory says that the writers of Scripture were indeed inspired, but in the same way artists, poets, and musicians are inspired. Just as artists, poets, and musicians have produced masterpieces in art, poetry, and music, the writers of the Scriptures, having a higher level of inspiration, simply produced “masterpieces” in the area of religious thought.
The trouble with the theory of natural inspiration is that there is an overemphasis on the human side. Naturally, inspiration means only pure genius in this theory; there is nothing supernatural about it. Actually, it leads to self-contradiction, because, in this theory, one inspired writing can contradict another. That makes all the religious and spiritual thoughts of Scripture purely subjective. The natural inspiration or natural intuition theory does not adequately deal with the nature of the Bible.
2. Mystical or Illumination Theory
Basically, this theory is the same as the natural inspiration or natural intuition theory. The only difference between the two is that the first theory applies the concept of higher inspiration to all men in general, whereas this one limits it to believers and gives a bit more credit to the Holy Spirit. This theory allows for an intensification of religious perception on the part of some believers. This theory says that there was an intensification of the illumination of the Holy Spirit for some, and these are the ones who wrote the Scriptures. They go on to say that this is still possible today and believers, at any time, could write divine Scripture by divine energy.
The problem with this theory is the same as the previous one; there is an overemphasis on the human authorship of Scripture, and it allows for more Scripture to be written today. Biblically speaking, illumination does not reveal new truth, it only helps in comprehending truth which has already been revealed. In this theory, inspiration is the work of the Holy Spirit but only in a higher degree of inner illumination. Furthermore, this theory does not believe that the writers were free from error. So the second theory does not really adequately deal with the high view of inspiration that the Bible demands for itself.
3. Partial Inspiration Theory
This false theory means exactly what it says: The Bible was inspired only in certain areas of doctrine; such as, precepts, and spiritual truths knowable to the human authors. But it was not necessarily inspired in other areas; such as, science, biology, geology, geography, or archaeology. It goes on to say that the Bible does contain inspiration, but it is not without error.
The problem with this theory is that it separates dual authorship too far apart, and it leads to a clear subjectivity by the reader, who then decides what is inspired and what is not inspired.
4. Degrees Inspiration Theory
This false theory is a little bit different than the partial inspiration theory. The degrees inspiration theory says that the whole Bible is inspired, not just a part, but not every part has been inspired to the same degree. This concept is reflected in the red-letter editions of the Scriptures, where the words of Yeshua (Jesus) are printed in red. Some believers have actually taken this to mean that it implies that the words of Yeshua were more inspired than the rest of the Scriptures. But the words of Jesus were not written down by Him; they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The problem with this theory is that it claims that some parts are more inspired than others. There is always some inspiration, but at the same time, this theory allows for lesser and greater degrees of error. The problem with this theory, like the previous one, is that it allows too much separation between the human and the divine. Like the previous theory, it leads to both speculation and subjectivity.
5. Conceptual Inspiration Theory
This false theory claims that only the thoughts of the Bible are inspired, but not the words. It teaches that God simply implanted ideas into the authors’ minds, and these ideas were indeed inspired. But the authors were left completely to themselves to express these ideas in their own words.
This theory also allows too much separation between the human and the divine. It should always be remembered that ideas have to be expressed in terms of words. Ideas are not transferable except in words. This is not a good theory, either.
6. Dynamic Inspiration Theory
This false theory means that the Bible is inspired only in those areas that concern the faith and life of a believer. There is an inerrancy in matters of faith and practice, inerrancy in the areas of spiritual truth and salvation. But it goes on to say that the Bible could have error in areas not related to faith and salvation. They believe in plenary inspiration, but they do not believe in verbal inspiration.
The problem with this theory is that it leads to both speculation and subjectivity. Who is going to decide what things are essential to faith and what things are not essential to faith? If the Bible cannot guarantee inerrancy in other parts of the Scriptures, there is no way it can guarantee inerrancy in the areas of faith and practice as well.
7. Mechanical or Dictation Inspiration Theory
The last false theory teaches that the whole Bible was dictated by God word-for-word, and the writers were merely secretaries or stenographers. In this theory, there is an overemphasis on the divine. If that were true, every part of the Bible would read exactly the same and have the same style. Yet the Bible as a whole does not have the same style; styles differ from author to author. Many of the authors expressed their own inner feelings, such as Paul did in Romans 9:1–3.
B. The True Theory on the Inspiration of Scripture
1. Plenary Verbal Inspiration Theory
The only valid way of seeing how inspiration occurred is by the true theory: plenary verbal inspiration.
Plenary verbal inspiration means that the Bible is completely inspired; it is at the same time the Word of God and the words of human authors. God is the source, but He used humans to write the words.
Plenary inspiration means that the inspiration of Scripture extends to every portion of the Scriptures. The word “plenary” means “full and complete.” The Bible is the final authority not only in matters of faith and practice, but it is authoritative on any subject to which the Bible addresses itself. Anything the Bible affirms to be true is true. It is not only true in matters of faith and practice, it is true on every issue to which it speaks. If it says something about science, it can be trusted. If it says something about geology, it can be trusted. If it says something about archaeology, it can be trusted. If it says something about sociology, it can be trusted. Every subject to which the Bible speaks and which it affirms as true, is true. Plenary inspiration is fully complete; it extends to every portion of the Scriptures; it is the final authority as to truth on all the subjects it addresses.
Verbal inspiration emphasizes the words themselves in that the Holy Spirit guided the words to be chosen and used. The human authors were respected by God to the extent that each writer’s style and characteristics were preserved. Out of the author’s vocabulary, it was God who chose which words that would be written down. The words which were chosen by the author were the very words that God wanted them to use. Verbal inspiration means that inspiration extended to the very words written by the writers. This does not mean dictation. The whole Bible was not dictated word-for-word; only parts of it were. Verbal inspiration simply means that God allowed the authors to use their own characteristics, style, and vocabulary. When they chose from the vocabulary they normally used, it was God who actually directed them in the choosing of those words.
Another important word to include in dealing with the true theory of inspiration is the word infallible. Infallibility means “unfailing accuracy.” The Bible is unfailingly accurate in every topic to which it speaks; this makes the Bible trustworthy. Another key word is inerrant. There is no false statement or fact in the original writings; this makes the Bible truthful. Plenary verbal inspiration means that the Bible is fully inspired in every part, down to the very words chosen. It is infallible with unfailing accuracy and therefore trustworthy; it is inerrant in that it contains no false statement, no error, and is therefore truthful.
b. Five Things Plenary Verbal Inspiration Did Not Do
First, it did not overwhelm the author’s personality. The personalities of the forty individual writers clearly show through their writings. One gets a different concept of Peter from what he wrote, as compared to Paul and what he wrote.
Secondly, plenary verbal inspiration did not render the author’s intelligence void of use. The author’s intelligence was used by God to produce these writings.
The third thing it did not do was to exempt them from personal research. For example, Luke 1:1–4 states that he carefully researched other writings and narrations before he sat down to write his own biography of the life of Christ. Even other writers, such as the author of the Book of Judges, mentioned other books that he resorted to in doing his research. While it did not exempt personal research, inspiration is seen in that God so directed these authors to other writings that, when they chose statements from those other writings, they chose only those statements which were true and only those statements which God wanted them to choose. God so directed them that they never chose a statement that was false.
The fourth thing that plenary verbal inspiration did not do is to prohibit the use of other materials. For instance, when Luke chose to write his Gospel, we know he used other sources, which perhaps included the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.
The fifth thing that plenary verbal inspiration did not do is it did not mean that the author always understood what he wrote. A good example of this is Daniel. Several times Daniel stated that, when he finished writing, he did not understand what he wrote. He knew that he used the words God wanted him to use, but he confessed that he did not clearly understand what he was writing. Verbal inspiration did not mean that the author always understood what he wrote, for quite often he did not.
c. Five Things Plenary Verbal Inspiration Did
First, it preserved the original authors from error. When the original writings were finally produced by each of the forty writers of Scripture, there was not a single mistake, not a single error, contained in any of the sixty-six books.
The second thing verbal inspiration did was to preserve the Scriptures from omissions. None of the authors left out anything God wanted them to include. Everything God wanted them to include was included.
The third thing it did was to preserve the authors from making inclusions of things God did not want in the Scriptures. For example, there might have been other true things—they may be very true—but God did not desire to have them included in His Word. So plenary verbal inspiration means that they were preserved from including what God did not want them to include. That is the other side of the coin: On one hand, they did not omit what God wanted included; on the other hand, they did not include that which God wanted omitted.
The fourth thing plenary verbal inspiration did was that it assured appropriate wording. God allowed the human authors to use their own style and vocabulary, but the words they chose out of their own vocabulary were the very words God wanted them to put down and in the very order that He wanted the words put down. Both Greek and Hebrew allow for different word orders, but God superintended in such a way that they had appropriate wordings; the authors wrote the very words in the order God wanted them written.
The fifth thing that plenary verbal inspiration did was that it meant a co-authorship of the divine and the human. Both God and man produced the Scriptures, but God was the source while man was the means or the instrument. Therefore, no part of Scripture is produced solely as the work of man, every word was superintended, directed by God.
2. Evidence for Plenary Verbal Inspiration
There are two key Scriptures that clearly spell out the fact that the Bible was plenarily and verbally inspired.
a. 2 Timothy 3:16–17
Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.
The emphasis in this passage is on plenary inspiration, meaning “full inspiration.” It states: Every scripture, meaning every written revelation is given by inspiration of God. The Greek word which is translated inspired of God means “God-breathed,” or more correctly, it is the “out-breathing of God.” In other words, the Scriptures were inspired by virtue of the fact that they were the very out-breathing of God. We speak about the inspiration of Scripture, however, the word itself does not emphasize in-spiration, but out-spiration. It is not so much the inspiring of the Scriptures but the out-spiring of the Scriptures, because the Scriptures are God breathed. More correctly, one should speak of the spiration of Scripture as the out-spiration of Scripture.
The result of this out breathing or out spiring of God is that all Scripture is profitable in four areas: first, teaching; secondly, reproof; thirdly, correction; and fourthly, instruction in righteousness.
b. 2 Peter 1:21
For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
The emphasis in this passage is on the means of inspiration. Peter made three points. First: no prophecy ever came by the will of man; the primary source of revelation was always God, while man was always merely a secondary source or the means of the writing of Scripture. Secondly: men spake from God; when the prophets spoke, they spoke the words of God. They were only the secondary sources; God was still the primary source. Thirdly, this verse states: being moved by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for moved means “to bear” or “to carry along.” It is the same word found in Acts 27:15, 17 that speaks of a ship at sea being “borne along” or being carried along by water. The picture here is that the prophets were borne along by the Holy Spirit as they wrote and what was out-breathed was transcribed by men. These men were transcribing as they were being borne along, moved along, carried along, by the Holy Spirit.
3. Objections to Plenary Verbal Inspiration
There are people who raise objections to the whole belief of plenary verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. These objections come from four different sources.
a. Science and History
Scientists say that the Scriptures contradict statements that are known to be true by scientists. Historians say that the Bible contains historical error. The answer is simple. First, while the Bible does contradict certain scientific theories, it has never yet contradicted a scientific fact. And secondly, where historical documents exist, they have shown the Bible to be absolutely accurate as far as history is concerned.
It should be remembered that the Bible does use phenomenological language or the language of appearance. The Bible speaks about the sun “rising” and “setting.” Of course, everyone knows that the sun does not “rise” and “set” in actuality; it only appears to rise and set. In reality, the earth is turning on its axis. That is the language of appearance, and even scientists who know better speak about sunrises and sunsets. When the Bible uses the language of appearance, it is not saying that the sun really does rise and really does set, but that is the way it appears; even scientists use this same language of appearance and should not resort to a double standard.
The Bible is not a textbook on science or history. But again, whenever it touches on science and whenever it touches on history, it has been shown to be absolutely accurate. Nothing in geology or anthropology has shown the Bible to be inaccurate. The field of archaeology has shown the Bible to be historically accurate; physical laws have shown the Bible to be scientifically accurate; and historical geography has shown the Bible to be geographically accurate. The objections coming from science and history have yet to provide clear evidence that the Bible contains one point of error.
b. Skepticism of Prophecy and Miracles
This objection presupposes that the supernatural does not exist. But if there were a God and all that the concept of God implies, then miracles and predictive prophecy are not problems. If God exists, then the supernatural exists. If what we mean by “God” really is so, then this means that miracles can exist and predictive prophecy can exist. In fact, fulfilled prophecy has proven the accuracy of the Scripture. Fulfilled prophecy is the evidence that unfulfilled prophecy will be fulfilled in the future.
c. Morals and Religions
The objector likes to point out how terrible some of the heroes of the Bible were. They point out such things as David’s adultery with Bath sheba and his murder of Uriah, or to Noah’s drunkenness. The fact that the Bible records the immorality and the lack of spirituality on the part of its biblical heroes shows that the Bible is accurate. There are other religious books that only emphasize the heroics of their leaders, but the Bible emphasizes both the strong and the weak points.
For example, the various sinful acts of biblical heroes are recorded, but they are not sanctioned. Noah’s drunkenness in Genesis 9 is recorded, but it is not sanctioned. Lot’s incest in Genesis 19 is recorded, but not sanctioned. Jacob’s lie in Genesis 27 is recorded, but not sanctioned. David’s adultery in 2 Samuel 11 is recorded, but not sanctioned. Solomon’s polygamy in 1 Kings 11 is recorded, but not sanctioned. The Bible does record the sinful acts of its human heroes, but to record these sinful acts does not mean to sanction them.
Furthermore, sometimes wrongful acts, immoral or sinful acts, may appear to be sanctioned, but it is the faith and the intent that is sanctioned, not the act itself. For example, when Rahab lied to her own king, it was not Rahab’s duplicity that was sanctioned, but Rahab’s faith (Heb. 11:31; Jas. 2:25); it is Jael’s faith and not her treachery that was sanctioned (Judg. 4–5); it was Samson’s actions, not his lusts, which were sanctioned (Judg. 14–16; Heb. 11:32).
Sometimes people point out the fact that certain heroes of Scripture clearly contradict a command of the Lord, and yet they are not taken to task for it. Sometimes, this is because of the difference of dispensations. Not every commandment applies to every dispensation. For example, God told Noah that he could eat anything that moved, but God told Moses that he could eat only certain things. Now, through Paul, God declared that man may again eat anything with thanksgiving. One should be careful not to assume that a command has been broken, because not every command applies to every dispensation.
These objections which come out of the areas of morals and religions are often a subjective judgment or simply a misunderstanding of what the Bible actually sanctions and what it does not sanction.
d. New Testament Quotations of the Old Testament
The fourth objection comes from the way the New Testament quotes the Old Testament. Sometimes, if you compare a New Testament quote with an Old Testament quote, it differs in wording. Actually, the difference in wording arises out of a translation situation, not a misquotation situation.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. When the Jewish writers of the New Testament were writing in Greek, they had to translate the Hebrew passages from the Old Testament into Greek. When translating from one language to another, it is impossible to go on the basis of a word-for-word order. It simply will not follow. What makes good Hebrew grammar does not make good Greek grammar, any more than what makes good Greek grammar makes good English grammar. The same problem exists with English translations. A verse in English will not be in the same word order as the Hebrew or Greek original. It would make terrible English to write it word-for-word, in the same word order, because rules of grammar differ from one language to another. What exists in New Testament quotations of the Old Testament are not misquotations, but rather, they are a change in word order when translating from the Hebrew originals into Greek.
III. PROOFS OF INSPIRATION
Saying that the Bible claims inspiration is one thing, but what are the proofs of inspiration? There are five different proofs of inspiration.
A. Character of God
If God revealed Himself in written form, would it not be an accurate revelation? That is the point of Romans 3:4. If God chose to reveal Himself, since God’s character is absolute truth, why would He give Scripture—His written revelation—containing error, thereby forcing man to decide what is true and what is false?
B. Claims of the Old Testament
For a total of 3,808 times, the Old Testament used such phrases as: thus saith the Lord; the Lord said; and the word of the Lord came unto me. There are specific commands by God to record His words, as in the case of Moses in Exodus 17:14; of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 30:2; and of Daniel in Daniel 12:4. Furthermore, God authenticated the Books of Moses through other writers such as in Joshua 1:7–8. The prophetic books were also authenticated in that one author authenticated another prophet. For example, Isaiah 34:16 calls his book: the book of Jehovah. Some Old Testament writers quote other Old Testament writers with full authority. For example, Joshua 8:30–35 quotes the Law of Moses; Joel 2:32 quotes Obadiah 17; Micah 4:1–4 quotes Isaiah 2:2–4; Jeremiah 26:17–19 quotes Micah 3:12; and Daniel 9:1–3 is based upon Jeremiah 25 and 29.
C. Witness of the New Testament
The New Testament contains three hundred quotations from the Old Testament; seventy of these came from the Law of Moses, one hundred seventy came from the Prophets, and sixty came from the Writings. Various quotations of the Old Testament often state that God was the speaker, such as in Matthew 15:4 and Acts 28:25. Of course, 2 Timothy 3:16–17 and 2 Peter 1:21 clearly have the Old Testament in mind. Besides three hundred direct quotations from the Old Testament, there are also 4,105 allusions to the Old Testament. The New Testament claims for a total of fifty six times that God was the author of the Old Testament.
D. Witness of the Messiah
The Messiah accepted the Old Testament in its entirety and made many references from the Old Testament and its three divisions: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, such as in Luke 24:44. In Matthew 5:17, He said He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. In John 10:35, Yeshua said the Scriptures could not be broken, meaning the Old Testament in that context. In Matthew 23:35, He mentioned Abel and Zechariah, referring to the first and last books in the Jewish order of the Old Testament. Clearly, Jesus and heavily used the Old Testament Himself: it was the basis of His teachings; the explanation of His own Person; and His final appeal in the debates He had with His own critics.
E. Pre-Authentication of the Messiah
The New Testament is a witness to itself. It was pre-authenticated by the Messiah Himself in John 16:12–14 and 14:26, where He told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring to remembrance all that He had taught them. Peter himself was conscious that he was writing the words of God in 1 Peter 1:11–12. Paul was conscious that he was writing the words of God in 1 Corinthians 2:13 and 14:37. Even Peter accepted the writings of Paul as Scripture in 2 Peter 3:15–16.
The conclusion to this study of the relationship of the Bible to the concept of the inspiration of Scripture can be stated in 13 points. First, all Scripture is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). Secondly, it is the Word of God to man (Jn. 10:35). Thirdly, it is infallible (Ps. 19:7). Fourthly, it is without error (Prov. 30:5–6). The fifth point is that it is as it was originally given (2 Pet. 1:21). Sixth, it is divine inspiration, and that divine inspiration is plenary (Rom. 15:4). Seventh, it is verbally inspired (Mat. 4:4). Eighth, it is confluent (2 Sam. 23:2). Ninth, it is the very words of God, possessing all of His authority (Is. 1:2). Tenth, it is sufficient to save sinners (2 Tim. 3:15). Eleventh, it has clarity for understanding (Ps. 119:105). Twelfth, it has the efficacy of convicting sinners (Heb. 4:12). Thirteenth, the central purpose of Scripture is to confess and witness to the Messiah (Lk. 24:44).
The Bible is the Word of God inspired plenarily, verbally, infallibly, and is without error. The Bible is an absolutely reliable source for exactly what God wants man to know, what God wants man to believe, and how God wants the believer to act in his spiritual life.
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