Inspiration of the Bible (1)
Inspiration of the Bible 1
What does one mean when he claims that the Bible is inspired. Many people will admit that the Bible is inspiring, meaning “encouraging, or making you feel you want to do something.” While admitting that the Bible is inspiring, this is not what is meant by the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible. Edward J. Young defined the doctrine of inspiration as follows: “According to the Bible, inspiration is a superintendence of God the Holy Spirit over the writers of the Scriptures, as a result of which these Scriptures possess divine authority and trustworthiness and, possessing such Divine authority and trustworthiness, are free from error” (Edward J. Young, Thy Word is Truth, 27).
Is it possible for the Bible to be inspired? The fact that an all-powerful God exists makes anything a possibility. If one admits that God exists, he must necessarily admit the possibility of an inspired Bible (cf. Jer. 32:17, 27). But, not only is it possible for an inspired revelation to exist, it is also probable. If one grants that God exists and is the Creator of man, it would at least be probable that God would be interested in man whom He made in His own image.
Furthermore, revelation is a necessity. If man is going to know anything definite about God, he can only learn it through God revealing it to man. Man’s reason alone can never deduce the Christian God. Our arguments for the existence of God can neither tell us if there is one God or many gods. Man can learn nothing about the character of God through reason alone. Therefore, if man is going to positively know anything definite about God, the Lord must reveal Himself to man.
To attack the Bible doctrine of inspiration results in the following:
1. Declaring that the Bible is not an infallible guide in matters of doctrine. If the Bible is not accurate in its doctrine of inspiration, how can we be sure that it gives an accurate doctrine about God, Jesus Christ, the atonement, or salvation?
2. Declaring the Bible to be a book filled with lies and myth. The ones attacking the inspiration of the Scriptures are also denying the historicity of much of the Bible. To claim the Bible is uninspired makes one say that everywhere the Bible claims to be the Word of God, it claims for itself a falsehood.
3. Declaring the Bible is not authoritative. The only reason that the Bible is authoritative is because it is inspired. If Paul, Peter, James, and John were not inspired, their beliefs are no more authoritative than my own!
So, the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures is foundational to Christianity. In the articles that follow, I will be defending the biblical doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture.