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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is the Bible inspired by God?

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.’” Exodus 34:27. From these words found in the book of Exodus, we first gain a hint that perhaps the words found in scripture actually originated from the Spirit of God. All throughout the Bible we find the words, “the Lord spoke”, or “God said”, and similar phrases. Research finds that these phrases occur over 2100 times. Of course, many more variations of these words and expressions occur all throughout scripture, advocating the assertion that the words we read came directly from the Lord Himself.  In summary, this sets forth the premise that scripture is inspired by God. The word “inspired” denotes the fact that Scripture, while written by men, was actually authored by God.


Does this mean that all scripture was written under the inspiration of God?  Let’s examine the evidence. In Paul’s charge to Timothy he writes, “… and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (emphasis my own) II Timothy 3:15-17.


Paul was not only referring to what we would call the Old Testament. He knew that God was still in the process of setting forth His words to the Church. This same Paul, once known as Saul, had been a persecutor of Christians. When struck blind by Christ, he was directed to the house of a believer named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias, saying, “Go! This man (Saul/Paul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (emphasis my own) Acts 9:15


Paul was not a man who merely developed a new religion. He was God’s chosen instrument to bring God’s message to us. Paul claimed the authority of Christ and warned against those who would bring “another gospel, another Christ, or another Spirit” (reference from 2 Corinthians 11:4).


Peter too claimed the authority of Christ in the words he wrote. In 2 Peter he reminds the converts that it is imperative that they remember the words being given to them. He says, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…” 2 Peter 1:16. He then goes on to state, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (emphasis my own) 2 Peter 1:20-21. Those who want to claim that scripture is merely the words of men will do well to heed this admonition.


The apostle John referred to Jesus as “the Word”. By this he was denoting the fact that Jesus Christ was the fullness of God’s Word. He is seen throughout all of scripture as to his coming, his birth, his mission, his message, his very being, and his death. 1 Colossians 1:15-19 in speaking of Jesus states, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (emphasis my own) 1 Col. 1:15-19. This is quite a claim but is essential towards establishing the truth and inspiration of Scripture. If Christ were not the “fullness of God”, and if his mission of salvation were not true then we would have good reason to question the authority and inspiration of scripture.


Jesus, in speaking to a large crowd of followers said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (emphasis my own) Matthew 5:17-18. Jesus himself was giving support to the authority and truth of scripture even to the smallest stroke of the pen.


Even more evidence can be provided to support the premise that “All scripture is God breathed…”  2 Timothy 3:15. What it all comes down to is a choice. Either God has left it up to us to try and figure out His truth by whatever means we can find or decide came from Him, or He has chosen to reveal his truth to us through the medium of his choice. That medium is His Word, the Bible.

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