Lesson 2 - The Inspiration of Scripture

August 5, 2017

     Major views of inspiration: 1) The dictation view which says the entire Bible was dictated directly from God to man.  2) The neo-orthodox view which teaches the Bible contains errors, but can still be used by God to reveal Himself and Jesus.  3) The concept theory which holds the concepts of the Bible are inspired but not the very words.  4) The partial inspiration view which argues that only parts of the Bible are inspired, but contains errors concerning history, geography and science.  5) The naturalistic inspiration view which says the Bible is just a human book with nothing divine in it.  6) The verbal plenary inspiration view which teaches every word of the Bible is divinely inspired and without error.

     Verbal plenary inspiration is the evangelical view.  Though the Bible was written by fallible men, each was superintended by God the Holy Spirit, Who guided them in such a way that what they wrote, without compromising their personal choices of words and literary style, penned God’s inerrant Word.  There is a parallel between the written Word and the Living Word.  Just as God took a sinful woman, Mary, and supernaturally produced a sinless and perfect Person, Jesus; so God took sinful men and used them to produce a perfect book that accurately reflects His thoughts and will for mankind.  The human authors—without forfeiting their personal literary style—wrote under the direction and superintending care of God the Holy Spirit (Ex. 17:14; 34:27; Isa. 30:8; Jer. 30:2; Luke 1:3; 1 Cor. 14:37; Rev. 1:11), so that what is written is the inerrant and infallible “word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13; cf. Ps. 12:6-7; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20).  Some of the various literary styles include historical narrative, law, poetry, psalms, proverbs, parables, and symbolism.  The Bible is a dual authorship.

  • "By the term Dual Authorship, two facts are indicated, namely, that, on the divine side, the Scriptures are the Word of God in the sense that they originate with Him and are the expression of His mind alone; and, on the human side, certain men have been chosen of God for the high honor and responsibility of receiving God’s Word and transcribing it into written form. Granting that it is God’s purpose to place His Word in written form into the hands of men, the method He has employed to do this is the natural way in which it would be done."[1]

     The Bible is God’s Word penned by men who wrote under the inspiration and superintending guidance of God the Holy Spirit.  The end result is that the Bible is perfect in all it reveals about God, nature, mankind, history, prophecy, and our most excellent salvation provided by our Lord Jesus Christ.


[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer, “Bibliology” Bibliotheca Sacra, 94 (1937): 398-399.