THE BIBLES CLAIM TO BE GOD’S INSPIRED WORD
In part 3 we determined the Scripture has been copied and re-copied accurately. WE know the Bible we have in our hands is the same as the scripture held in the hands, and studied by people of antiquity.
However, the real question, the acid test…. Was it inspired by God?
Part 4 introduces a new section on the Divine Inspiration of the Bible. As scientists attack the Bible teaching of God as Creator, so also many critical scholars oppose the Bible claim to be God’s inspired Word. In this lesson, we want to see what these critics say against the divine inspiration of the Bible and compare their claim with the Bible claim about its own inspiration. Then, in part 5 we will examine the marvelous evidence that confirms the Bible claim of being God’s inspired word.
- theories of Biblical inspiration by critical scholars.
- Biblical distinction between revelation and inspiration.
- the Bible claims all its contents (Old and New Testaments), not part of its contents, are Divinely inspired.
- the entire Bible claims to be God’s Words, not man’s words.
- the Bible’s claims to contain unerring Truth, the Bible teaching is error-free.
- the Bible claim that the Bible is complete and all-sufficient Truth regarding God’s will for man.
- the Bible warns against any alteration of its teaching.
- the Bible claim’s that His word brings precious blessings upon all who read it with the proper attitude.
THEORIES OF CRITICAL SCHOLARS ABOUT BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
- Claim: Deliberate Deception: The Old Testament prophets, Jesus and the apostles deliberately lied when they claimed their messages were from G-D.
Comment: Imposters and liars are not willing to die for their faith
- Claim: Self-Deluded Sincerity: These men sincerely believed their message was from G-D, but were self-deluded.
Comment: Self-deluded men are unable to predict accurately future history 100’s of years before it occurs.
- Claim: Evolution of Thought: The Bible records man’s continued development of thought from each preceding generation rather than G-D’s gradual revelation to man.
Comment: Paul claimed that his knowledge of Christ did not come from any man, but by a direct revelation of Christ himself (Galatians 1:12).
- Claim: Existential Inspiration: The Bible is a record of differing experiences of men of G-D who interpreted their experiences and G-D’s will in different ways.
Comment: The Bible teaches that G-D had different laws and covenants with man throughout past ages Jeremiah 31:31 predicted a new and better covenant, which Jesus, the Messiah fulfilled with His New Covenant (Hebrews 8:7-12). Jude 3 says this covenant represents not different faiths, but “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
- Claim: Genius Inspiration: Like Shakespeare, talented men wrote the Bible.
Comment: Uneducated shepherds, Galileans and fishermen joined their books with educated men like Moses, Isaiah, and Paul.
- Claim: Gradual Illumination: The Bible represents the gradual illumination of truth that occurs in the lives of all religious people.
Comment: Since the first century A.D. no Jew or Christian has written or received any illumination that is superior to the teaching found in the Bible.
- Claim: Partial Inspiration: The Penmen of the Bible were sometimes inspired with Divine ideas and at other times wrote errors that were not inspired by God. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:10, “not I, but the Lord” and in 7:12, “I, not the Lord” are cited in favor of the theory of Partial Inspiration.
- Comment: Jesus said in John 16:12-13 that He taught only part of His will to the apostles during His earthly ministry and the Holy Spirit would reveal additional teachings and guide them into “all the truth.”
- Comment: Paul’s statement, Not I, but the Lord,” refers to what Jesus taught on earth (1 Corinthians 7:10-11) and his statement, “I, not the Lord,” refers to additional revelation of the Holy Spirit which Jesus did not teach on earth.
- Comment: Paul said all he taught was from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14) and all his commands were “the Lord’s commands” (1 Corinthians 14:17).
- Claim: Embellished Truth: The core of history was embellished by alleged miracles, which are really myths.
Comment: These scholars are evolutionists and do not believe in the miracle of creation or in any other miracle and consider all the Bible’s miracles as myth.
- Claim: Thought Inspiration, But Not Verbal Inspiration: G-D inspired the thoughts, but the writers often made errors in attempting to express these thoughts into words.
- Comment: These scholars are honest enough to admit that the Bible does contain remarkable ideas and predictions that could only come from God.
- Comment: 1 Corinthians 2:13 says; Paul’s words, not just his thoughts, were inspired.
- Claim: Dictation Inspiration: Some ultra-conservative scholars believe that every single word was dictated by the Holy Spirit into the mind of the prophets as they wrote.
- Comment: At times revelation and inspiration occurred simultaneously in the form of dictation, as Jesus said in Matthew 10: 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
- Comment: In most cases G-D allows the author to do his own research, as Luke did (Luke 1: 1-4), and to express the ideas in his own unique style (Dr. Luke used the language of a physician), but guided the writing to guarantee its truth (John 16:13).
- Claim: Plenary Inspiration: Plenary means “complete.” Conservative Bible scholars believed the Bible is completely inspired without errors.
Comment: The rest of the lesson is devoted to what the Bible actually says about its own inspiration as being indeed complete, adequate and without error.
THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN REVELATION AND INSPIRATION
- Different Word Meanings
- Revelation means “uncovering” or “revelation” in both Hebrew (galah) and Greek (apocalupsis).
- Inspiration of GOD means: breathed into by GOD in both Hebrew (ruwach Shaddai) and Greek (theopneustos).
- Job 32:8 But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is GOD -breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
- Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD GOD formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
- G-D breathed into Scripture and it became the living word of GOD Hebrews 4:12 “The word of GOD is living and active.”
- Examples of Revelation
- Visions and Dreams: Numbers 12:6 he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.
- Face to Face speaking. numbers 12:7-8 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
- Taught directly by Christ: Galatians 1:11-12 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
- Angels: Revelation 1:1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which GOD gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
- How Inspiration Relates to Revelation
- When Moses wrote down the revelation GOD spoke, the Holy Spirit inspired him to remember and write accurately what GOD had said. Thus, Exodus 24:4 says, “Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.”
- Jesus promised in John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
- When Paul preached or wrote, the Holy Spirit inspired him to remember precisely what Jesus directly revealed to him, 1 Corinthians 2:13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
- When John wrote his gospel, the Holy Spirit reminded John of what he had heard Jesus say and what he had seen Jesus do, just as Jesus promised (14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.)
- When John wrote the book of Revelation, the Holy Spirit reminded John of what the angel had said and shown to him (The revelation from Jesus Christ, which G-D gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,)
GOD INSPIRES ALL SCRIPTURE, NOT PART OF THEM
- All Scripture is “G-D -breathed…is Inspired by G-D.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is G-D -breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of G-D may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- All Scripture Includes Old Testament Scripture. When Paul said, all Scripture is inspired, he specifically noted the Old Testament Scriptures.
- All Scripture Includes the New Testament Scripture
- Paul believed New Testament writing also is inspired Scripture, because Paul quoted Luke 10:7 as “Scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” The first verse is from Deuteronomy 25:4 and the 2nd verse contain the exact Greek words of Luke 10:7. Thus, Paul called both the Old Testament and the New Testament “Scripture.”
- G-D -breathed Scripture Includes Both Old and New Testament Writings.
THE INSPIRED BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE GOD’S WORDS, NOT MAN’S
- The Old Testament Claims 3,800 Times to Be GOD’s Word
- David in 2 Samuel 23:2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
- “This is what the Lord says” (Isiah 66:1).
- “The word of the Lord came to me saying” (Jeremiah 1:4).
- Ezekiel 1:1 “I saw visions of GOD,” 2:1 and 3:1 “And He said to me”
- “There is a GOD in heaven who reveals mysteries (Daniel 2:28).
- New Testament Scripture Claims to Be GOD’s Word
- Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. John 7:16
- Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:24
- If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 1 Corinthians 14:37
- And we also thank GOD continually because, when you received the word of GOD, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of GOD, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
- For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of GOD. 24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. 1 peter 1:23-25
- Peter quotes Isaiah 40: 6-8 as GOD’s word and then claims that his own writing is the same Word of GOD that Isiah taught.
- In 2 Peter 1: 20-21, Peter denied that Scripture is of Human Origin.
THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE UNERRING TRUTH (without errors)
- The Bible claims to Speak Only the Truth
- GOD is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
- Yet you are near, LORD, and all your commands are true. Psalm 119:151
- Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
- Jesus Claimed All Old Testament History to Be True (Matthew 23:35) that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Abel is in Genesis, the first Old Testament book and Zechariah is in 2 Chronicles, the last Old Testament book in the Hebrew Bible.
- Jesus Claimed the Old Testament Predictions as GOD’s Inspired Word.
- Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:25-27
- 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 concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Luke 24:44-45
- Jesus Claimed Old Testament Miracles Were GOD’s Inspired Truth.
- Creation of the universe (Mark 10:29; 13:19).
- Creation of all living creatures (Matthew 10:29-30)
- Creation of man (male and female) in His own image (Matthew 19: 4-6)
- The Flood, Noah, and the Ark (Matthew 24: 37-39; Luke 17:26-27).
- Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning Sulphur (Luke 17: 28-30).
- Lot’s wife turning to salt (Luke 17:32).
- GOD speaking to Moses out of the burning bush (Luke 20:37).
- GOD’s provision of manna from heaven (John 6:49-51).
- Elijah’s miraculous support of the widow in Zarephath (Luke 4:24-26)
- Elisha’s miraculous cleansing of the leprosy of Naaman (Luke 4:27).
- Jonah’s deliverance from the belly of the big fish (Matthew 12:40).
- Jesus Said, “Scripture Cannot Be Broken” (John 10: 34-35).
THE BIBLE CLAIMS COMPLETE AND ALL SUFFICIENT TRUTH
- The Bible Claims to Reveal ALL the Truth That G-D Wants Man to Have
- Old Testament Covenant
- “The secret things belong to the Lord our G-D, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29
- and he said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. 47 For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32: 46-47
- Isaiah predicted a coming King who would make a new covenant with a people of G-D who would include the Gentiles (non-Jewish nations). Luke 4:18 Jesus quotes Isaiah 42 and refers this promise to Himself (Isaiah 42: 1-7).
- Jeremiah predicted that GOD would one day make a new covenant with His people, that would be different than Moses’ Law (Jeremiah 31:31).
- The Hebrew writer explains that this covenant is the New Testament of Jesus.
- New Testament Covenant
- Jesus Christ charged His apostles to teach all of His truth to the whole world (Matthew 28: 18-20).
- Jesus has all authority as Lord and King.
- GOD’s people are to include all nations.
- The apostles were to teach “everything” Christ commanded.
- The Holy Spirit would remind the apostles of all He taught (John 14:26)
- “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:12-13
- Toward the end of Paul’s life, he told the Ephesian elders, Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of G-D. Acts 20:26-27
- as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:3
- Jude 3 urges Christians to contend for “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints”
- All Scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of GOD may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17
- There is not truth GOD wants us to teach or believe that is not revealed in Scripture.
- There is no work or act of worship that GOD commands us to perform that is not recorded and authorized in Scripture.
- Through the knowledge of Scripture, the man of GOD can be completely adequate to serve, obey, and please GOD.
- Jesus Christ charged His apostles to teach all of His truth to the whole world (Matthew 28: 18-20).
BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE INALTERABLE TRUTH (cannot be changed)
- Old Testament Commands Could Not Be Deleted or Changed
- You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your GOD which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2
- Jesus condemned the Jews who followed religious tradition rather than GOD’s word in the Old Testament, He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of GOD because of your tradition? Matthew 15:3
- Jesus considered religious tradition as a dangerous addition to GOD’s word.
- The New Testament Covenant: Complete and Adequate
- Paul said that he was a minister of the New Testament, not the old Testament (2 Corinthians 3:6-18)
- Paul said that Christian Jews die to the Old Law when they are baptized into Christ and come under the Covenant of Christ (Romans 7:1-6).
- Paul prohibited Christians from practicing or teaching anything that went beyond the teaching of the Scriptures: Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 1 Corinthians 4:6
- In the context, the Corinthians were calling themselves by the names of men, not by the name of Christ (1 Corinthians 1-4)
- Paul had taught that Christians should do everything in the name of Christ, not the name of man (Colossians 3:17).
- Paul commanded them not to go beyond Scripture by exalting men in the place of Christ.
- Thus, Paul prohibited the church from appointing any man in the place of Jesus Christ.
- Paul condemned any modification of the gospel of Christ: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1: 8-9).
- Paul the apostle did not have the right to change the gospel.
- An angel does not have the right to change the gospel. Neither does the Pope!
- Man, cannot change the gospel without incurring the condemnation of eternal damnation.
- The last book of the New Testament gives a solemn warning not to add or take away from Scripture (Revelation 22: 18-19)
BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE COMPLETELY PRESERVED TRUTH
- The Old Testament is Preserved. Jesus taught that every word and letter of the Old Testament would be preserved until every prophecy is fulfilled (Matthew 5: 17-20).
- The Bible Endures. Isaiah 40: 6-8 said that GOD’s word (Old Testament) endures forever.
- Jesus said, “My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
- Peter said the Word of G-D he taught would “endure forever” (1 Peter 1:22-25).
BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE PRECIOUS AND PRACTICAL TRUTH
- What Men of God Think about this Book
- Book of Wisdom (Deuteronomy 4:6; Ephesians 3: 3-5).
- Book of Life (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).
- Book of eternity (John 6:68; Ephesians 3:9-11).
- Book of Love (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 3:9).
- Book of light (Proverbs 6:23; John 8:12; Psalms 119:1-5).
- Book of strength and power (Psalms 119:50; Acts 20:32).
- Book of Hope (Romans 15:4; Psalms 119:81).
- Book of God’s word and GOD’s truth (Psalms 119:142; 160; John 8:32).
- Above all, it is a book of GOD’s Son and God’s people (John 20:30-31).
- What Modern Man’s Attitude Should Be Toward this Book.
- Study it and mediate on it as GOD’s Word (Psalm 1:2).
- Believe it as GOD’s Word (Mark 16: 15-16).
- Obey it is as GOD’s Word (Acts 2:36-39).
- Share it as GOD’s Word (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
- Defend it as GOD’s Word (1 Peter 3:15).
SUMMARY: The Bible clearly claims to be GOD’s Inspired and Inerrant Word. Since Jesus and the apostles believed the Bible is GOD’s Inspired and Inerrant Word, how can any true Christian believe less? Do we know more than Jesus?