“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
The Bible was written by ordinary men. These were real people: shepherds, soldiers, fishermen, and at least one tent maker. Some were elite: Solomon was a king, while others were outcasts. All lived in a world very different from ours. But all answered the calling they believed they had been given to communicate what was true, important, and worth recording for future generations. Their task, however, was made easier by a behind the scenes author. People of faith believe that God himself inspired men and women to put doubts and prayers, hopes and dreams into writing. Using ordinary people, He gave us an extraordinary message.
The apostle Paul declared, “All Scripture is inspired [literally, ‘God-breathed’] by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The term “inspiration” explains how God communicated His message through human beings into the written words found in the Bible. Throughout time, people have wondered “how imperfect men could be expected to produce a perfect Bible.” Peter answers that question: “…no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Dr. Charles Ryrie (the editor of The Ryrie Study Bible) offers a simple yet effective explanation of the process of inspiration that led to the Bible: “Inspiration is God’s superintending of human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error in the words of the original autographs His revelation to man.” In other words, inspiration means that the Holy Spirit of God superintended the human writers in the production of Scripture so that what they wrote was precisely what God wanted written. This does not mean that God dictated every word. Rather, his Spirit so pervaded the mind of the human writer that he chose out of his own vocabulary and experience precisely those words, thoughts and expressions that conveyed God’s message with precision.
There is no way to prove that the Bible is God’s inspired and inerrant Word, any more than we can prove that God exists. However, we can remove a few potholes in the road to belief. In the remainder of this week, we will look at some of the greatest evidences that the Bible is God’s inspired and exclusive message to us.
- What challenges have you heard people raise against the Bible? What do you think about the Bible’s reliability?
- What comes to your mind when you hear someone talking about the authority of the Bible? The inspiration?