15 December 2017

Inspiration of the scriptures.

In the last issue of ‘Rejoice Always’ we looked at the meaning of the word ‘Inspiration’ in relation to the Bible. We continue this study by looking closely at what we mean when we describe the Scriptures as ‘”fully inspired”.

Part 2: Fully Inspired – What do we mean?

The question that we want to discuss here is, ‘in what way are the words we read in the Bible fully inspired?’ Is all of the Bible fully inspired, even the genealogical lists?

When we talk about “plenary inspiration” or “full inspiration” we are talking about an inspiration of the fullest kind, that all of the Bible is inspired, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. From cover to cover we believe the Bible to be inspired. Some even say the cover is inspired when it says ‘Holy Bible’.

We believe it is factual in its history.

We believe it is correct in all its statements.

There is No Variation of Inspiration.

All of the books are equally inspired. Some books may be easier to understand than others but no book is less inspired than another. They all form a complete unit. If one was missed out it would be like an engine with a component missing, or a jigsaw with a missing piece. The Bible is a fully inspired book made up of 66 equally inspired volumes.

There is No Variation in Accuracy of Subject.

Some people argue that the Bible is inspired and accurate in relation to spiritual issues but is not necessarily accurate when it is dealing with human or physical issues. For example, some would say that great spiritual benefit can be derived from reading the Psalms. The Psalmist knows what he is talking about in relation to spiritual and eternal issues. But when the Psalmist talks about the Creation, then his statements are not necessarily accurate or true. We believe that all of the Bible is accurate and profitable devotionally.

Proofs of Inspiration or Evidence of Inspiration.

We cannot go to the lab, and through formulae and calculations, present a conclusive proof of the inspiration of the Bible, but there are evidences that furnish the honest enquirer with ample proof.

1. The Claims of the Bible for Itself.

“The Bible itself claims a full, plenary inspiration for all its books.” (Tatford)

Moses said, “God spoke all these words.”

David said, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me.”

Ezekiel said, “The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel.”

The New Testament often quotes from the Old Testament and often declares, “it is written.”

2. The Testimony of Christ.

Jesus often quoted the Old Testament with the words, “It is written.”

Jesus declared that the “Scriptures cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)

Jesus said, “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me,” (Luke 24:44)

Jesus thus authenticated the whole of the Old Testament by authenticating its three major sections.

3. The Unique Character of the Bible.

It is composed of 66 books and written by about 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years in different languages and in different countries. The writers were varied in their ability and background. Yet the Book is dovetailed and harmonised into a single unit.

4. The Evidence of Fulfilled Prophecy.

Prophecies of huge magnitude are given, stretching out for thousands of years, and others are precise and relatively short in their period of fulfilment.

Hundreds have already been fulfilled, others are being fulfilled, and others will be in the future.

5. The Relevance of the Scriptures.

The Bible has been translated into nearly 2,000 languages and speaks to people in all cultures. It has been relevant throughout the centuries and millions read it daily throughout the world. Nomadic farmers in deserts read the Bible. Many of the world’s top scientists also read the Bible daily.

6. Its Accuracy and Inerrancy.

“Historical data, geographical details and scientific questions referred to in the Bible are, without a single exception, stated with infallible accuracy.” Tatford goes on to say, “there is not a single apparent mistake or inaccuracy in the whole Book which does not disappear on careful examination.

Conclusion.

To us, the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God.

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Rev. 20:12)

“Blessed is the one who reads the words … “ (Rev. 1:3)

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Rev 22:18-19)

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen”

John Matthews