Inspiration Of The Bible
There is no doubt the Bible claims to be a supernatural, God-given, God-inspired book. It declares that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” (2 Tim. 3:16)
The expression “Inspiration of God” is the translation of a Greek word, theopneustos, meaning God-breathed; therefore, the claim of the Bible is, that all Scripture, the entire Bible, is God-breathed, or out breathed from God. The word inspiration occurs but twice in the King James Version. (Job 32:8 and 2 Tim. 3:16) The word Scripture is used about fifty times in the New Testament, and is in all these places applied to the writings of the Old and New Testaments, and to no others. The doctrine of The Inspiration is, as has been said, “The fundamental of fundamentals,” and is the divine foundation of all truth. We need, therefore, to have no hesitancy in accepting the whole content of The Book as the revelation of heaven to mankind. God wrought the seamless robe of Holy Scripture.
The writers of the Scriptures wrote not as man’s will dictated, but as they were moved, or borne along, by the Holy Spirit. The apostle Peter has stated, “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pet. 1:21)
The statements of Paul and Peter just quoted, are applicable to all the Scriptures. If we examine Peter’s words, we shall find that the Old Testament writings are under review In Hebrews 1:1, we read, “God spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets.” In Luke 1:70, a similar thought is expressed, “He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets.” Throughout the Old Testament, we find the often recurring expressions, “Thus saith the Lord,” and “The Lord spake.” There is no doubt, but that in every one of these references, God is referred to as the source of revelation. To Jeremiah the Lord says, “Behold I have put My words in thy mouth.” (1:9) Again we read, “The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest.”
The words of David in 2 Sam. 23:3 are very instructive, “God spake to me,” for they denote divine revelation. His language in verse 2 of the same chapter is likewise significant, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me,” for it suggests inspiration. Many other quotations might be given which emphasize the claim of the Bible to divine revelation and divine inspiration.
Now, that which is true of the Old Testament is also true of the New Testament. The apostle Peter classes the epistles of Paul along with the other Scriptures. (2 Pet. 3:15-16) The apostle Paul when writing to Timothy cites a quotation from Deut. 15:4 and another one from Lu. 10:7, and calls them both by the significant name of Scripture. “Thou shalt not nuzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” (1 Tim. 5:18)
In the production of this Divine Library man has had no choice; nevertheless, we can discern the human element throughout its every page. To the lover and the reader of this Book, the language of Jeremiah is distinctly different to that of Isaiah or of David, The same is true of the writings of Paul, of John, and of Peter, and of all the inspired writers. We, therefore, see God fitting human experience into the structure of this unique Book, for the same supreme authority is consistent in every part, “Line upon line, precept upon precept.” Here in a language we can understand, we find the very words of the very God.
Together with the words of holy men, we also find those of Satan and of wicked men. Now, we do not believe for one moment, that God inspired these to utter their blasphemies and threats, but it must be clearly understood that the record of what they did say is directed and preserved by divine inspiration.
Our Lord frequently appealed to the authority of the Scriptures during His entire ministry of more than three years, and after His resurrection on the way to Emmaus, He began at Moses, and the Psalms, and the Prophets, to unfold to His two disciples the things concerning Himself. It is also stated that He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. (Lu. 24:44-45) The Scriptures were supreme in the life and ministry of Jehovah’s perfect Servant.
The infallible proofs of Inspiration are too numerous to come within the scope of this short article, but perhaps a few may be mentioned: We might think first of all of the MARVELLOUS PRESERVATION of the canon of Holy Scriptures, for in spite of the unceasing attacks upon it by its enemies, it exists in its entirety to this day. Atheists, with their unwarranted assaults made throughout many generations, have passed away leaving this precious volume still intact and as inviolable as ever. We recall the words of the Lord Jesus, “My word shall not pass away.” (Lu. 2:33) as well as the bold statement of the apostle Peter, “The word of God liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Pet. 1:23)
Next, we shall think together of its MATCHLESS PRINCIPLES. There is nothing of a mediocre character here. Its standards are the very highest. Since the day that man became the happy recipient of its laws and precepts, the very best that has been seen in him has been produced by its influence. To this Book the mightiest intellects have turned doing homage to its sacred contents; in like manner, the humblest in the land have found solace and satisfaction in its pages. Sir Walter Scott when dying said, “Bring me the Book.” When asked, “What book?” He replied, “There is but one book, The Bible.” A remarkable statement from one who had himself written so many books. It was Sir Walter who wrote, “Within this wondrous volume lies the mystery of mysteries. Happiest they of human race to whom their God has given grace, to read, to tear, to hope, to pray, to lift the latch, to find the way, and better they had ne’er been born that read to doubt or read to scorn.”
In third place, let us consider its MANY PREDICTIONS that have been already fulfilled. An examination of these could fill many volumes. The land of Babylon, of Egypt, and of Palestine, abound with convincing proof of the accuracy of the prophetic pronouncement and the exact fulfilment of the same. Within the past few years, the archaeologist’s spade has unearthed further proofs of inspiration, yet there are many predictions still to be fulfilled, and all these will surely come to pass. Oh! those majestic mountains of prophesy, there is nothing like them in all the writings of men, but let us not compare the mighty Rockies with an anthill, or the light of the sun with the light of a candle. Let us bow adoringly before the great contrast that exists between the words of God and the words of men.
Finally and briefly, let us examine the MIGHTY POWER exhibited wherever this Inspired Book has gone. There is a supernatural fulness and wisdom displayed in its going forth. As the heavens and earth have been constituted by the word of God; (Heb. 11:3) even so, by the energy of the Holy Spirit this word brings about a new creation in the lives of men, and it is always effective in its operations. (1 Pet. 1:23).
No less than forty writers make up the sixty-six books, with fifteen centuries separating the first from the last. Some of these were fishermen herdsmen, statesmen, shepherds, scholars, and kings. From the region of Sinai, and the Isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, the River of Babylon, and the prison of Rome, came these living and dynamic words which together give us the revealed mind of God.
The authenticity of this book is unquestionable. The accuracy of its biographies is unchallengeable. The adequacy of its contents is unsurpassable, and it is adaptable to every human need and circumstance.
“Whence but from heaven could men unskilled in arts, in several ages born and several parts, weave such agreeing truths; and how or why should they conspire to cheat us with a lie?
Unasked their pains, unsought for their advice, starving their gains and martyrdom their price.”
“If there is anything in my thought or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love for the Scriptures.”