Vol. 4, No. 8
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The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God ..." (2 Timothy 3:16). The Greek word that is translated into the English word "inspiration" is theopneustos. This word means, "God-breathed or breathed out of God!" From the definition of this word, one can only conclude that the writer is claiming to be inspired of God and, further, that "each" word that he recorded was given to him by God! The Greek word that is translated into the English word "Scripture" is graphe. This word means literally "writings," but, as used in this context, denotes "writings that are inspired."
Some would assert that God did not give the exact words to be recorded, but that he simply put a thought into the minds of the writers and then left the words to be used up to them. This false theory is called "thought inspiration." If the words that were to be recorded depended upon fallible men, then the words are fallible. If their words were fallible, then it would be the case that the Word of God is not inspired at all, but, rather, based on judgments made by man! However, it is the case that the Bible not only claims "inspiration," it claims "full, verbal inspiration," i.e., "word-for-word inspiration." The Old Testament claims such (2 Samuel 23:2) and the New Testament claims such (Matthew 10:19-20). First Corinthians 2:10-13 clearly teaches that revelation to man came from God through his Spirit that man might "know the things of God." Paul says in verse thirteen, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches ..." The things inspired and written, then, were not man's words, but God's words! This is full and verbal inspiration!
Full and verbal inspiration means that the Word of God is "truth." It does not mean that the Bible contains the Word of God. It means that it is the Word of God! It means that the Holy Scriptures are infallible, inerrant and non-contradictory. Thus, they are able to make us "wise unto salvation, complete, and thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
A person who fails to accept the clear teaching of the Bible about the truth of full and verbal inspiration from God through the Holy Spirit, in effect, rejects the totality of truth! If the Bible is not the actual "words" of God, then it must be the fallible words of fallible man! Infallible truth cannot come from that which is fallible! Therefore, if the words of the Bible came from fallible man, then it follows that the words of the Bible are also fallible. If this were the case (and it isn't), then it would be the case that we do not have truth! Therefore, we could not be sanctified (John 17:17)! The fact that we can be sanctified (John 8:32; 1 Corinthians 6:11) strongly attests to the fact of infallible words of truth given to us by the infallible God!
If one were to uphold the false theory of "thought inspiration" and also hold that God did not allow the writers of the Bible to use incorrect or wrong words, then it would be the case that they unknowingly attest to verbal inspiration. In this case, the selection of the words to be recorded would have been, in reality, at the direction of God!
Not only the truth of verbal inspiration, but also all biblical truths can be firmly established on a single basis. This basis is that a single Divine mind directed about forty men of varying backgrounds and education to write words, over a period of 1600 years, into a book that, from beginning to end, deals with a central theme (the scheme of redemption for man) without contradiction and without error. Hundreds of years separated the detailed prophetic Scriptures of old and their complete fulfillment in the coming of the Messiah of whom they testify (John 5:39)! God's Word is truth (John 17:17)! Truth demands verbal (word-for word) inspiration!