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Doctrine of Insperation

July 18, 2010

DOCTRINE OF INSPIRATION

A.  Definition.
1.  God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture, that without waving their human intelligence, vocabulary, individuality, literary style, personality, personal feelings, or any other human factor, His complete and coherent message to mankind was recorded with perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship.
2.  This is called verbal plenary inspiration of the Scripture.
a.  Verbal means that the Bible in its original words, from first to last, is the exact record of the mind and will of God as He intended it to be.
b.  Plenary means the entire text is equally from God but not necessarily equally important or equally indispensable; for the Bible quotes human and satanic lies, and erroneous views of false prophets.  Therefore, inspiration guarantees the accuracy of what is there, but it does not condone or sponsor errors, evils, or falsehood; it merely explains them in detail.
c.  Man is the instrument, but not the author of the Word of God.  2 Pet 1:20-21, “Know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation; for no prophecy was ever made by the design [will or purpose] of mankind, but men communicated from God, being carried along by means of the Holy Spirit.”  The Bible is not for ministers only, but for the entire congregation.
3.  David’s testimony is found in Ps 138:2, “I myself will worship toward Your holy temple [the temple in heaven], and I will give thanks to Your person because of Your grace and because of Your doctrine; because You have magnified Your word together with Your person.”
a.  Most believers have very little capacity for thanksgiving because they know so little about God as the Scripture portrays Him.  God has placed the highest possible value on the Scripture.
b.  David was thankful for three things and this gave him capacity for life and happiness: because of Your grace, because of Your doctrine, and because God had magnified His word together with His person.  You cannot glorify the person of God apart from the word of God.
4.  The faithfulness of God and inspiration is seen in Rom 3:3-4, “What then?  If some did not believe, shall their unfaithfulness cancel the faithfulness of God?  Definitely not!  Rather, let God be found true though every person be found a liar.  Even as it stands written, ‘That You might become vindicated by means of Your doctrine, and that You might become victorious even when You are maligned.’”  It is the doctrine of the word of God that vindicates the policy of God and the grace of God toward each one of us.
5.  The biblical declaration of inspiration is found in 2 Tim 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for training in integrity, that the man of God may be capable [mature, equipped] for every good of intrinsic value work.”
a.  The inhale is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who communicates to the human author God’s complete and coherent message to that generation and all future generations of history.  While the writers of Scripture had other messages for their generations, only what God wanted and what was pertinent to all generations was actually recorded and preserved, 2 Sam 23:23; Isa 59:21; Jer 1:9; Mt 22:4243; Mk 12:36; Acts 4:2425, 28:25.
b.  The exhale is what the human writer wrote down in his own language and within the framework of his own personality, the divine message to man.  God used the writers’ vocabulary, intelligence, personality, feeling, and individuality.
6.  The Holy Spirit’s involvement in inspiration is very important, as taught in Acts 28:25, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, …”
a.  The Holy Spirit communicated to the human authors of Scripture God’s complete and coherent message for both that immediate generation and all generations to follow.  Inspiration guarantees that the Canon is accurate.  Variations are for believers in different ages; e.g., the ritual plan for Israel and the protocol plan with its mystery doctrine for the Church.  But inspiration guarantees that all believers in all dispensations will always have a clear revelation of the plan of God for their lives.  While the writers of Scripture had other messages for their own generation, which are not recorded in the Scripture, only what was pertinent to all generations of history was actually recorded in the Canon.
b.  Verbal inspiration applies only to the original languages of Scripture–Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and therefore, the human writers wrote down in their own language the divine message to mankind under the power of the Holy Spirit.  In so doing, the human authors did not wave their personality, their personal feelings, their literary style, their vocabulary, their intelligence, or any other human factor involved in communication.  As a result, God’s complete and coherent message to mankind is recorded in the canon of Scripture with perfect accuracy in the original languages, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship.
7.  The application of the doctrine of inspiration is found in Heb 10:35-36, “Therefore, do not throw away as worthless your confidence, which keeps on having rich distribution of blessing.  For you keep on having need of perseverance [persistence in perception, cognition, and inculcation of doctrine], in order that when you have accomplished the will of God, you may carry off for yourself the promise.”
a.  When you neglect Bible doctrine, you are throwing away the only true confidence related to the spiritual life.  Anything else is false confidence.  This confidence is the extrapolation of the ten problem solving devices in your stream of consciousness and their application in your daily experience.  This is confidence which avoids converting the outside pressures of adversity into the inside pressures of stress in the soul.
b.  Rich distribution of blessing comes only from Bible doctrine.  Your cognition of doctrine is the basis for the distribution of your escrow blessings for time and eternity.
c.  Perseverance means maximum metabolized doctrine, taken in on a consistent basis, located in your stream of consciousness and ready for application.  This is the basis for your capacity, the basis for understanding the person of God, the will of God, the grace of God–everything related to God.
d.  “Carrying off God’s promise” means receiving the escrow blessings for time and eternity which He has promised.  Therefore, the only issue for the believer is: Are you going to execute the plan of God or become a loser?

B.  The Writers of Scripture and the Formation of the Canon.
1.  The Old Testament writers were all prophets.  There were three categories of prophets.
a.  The unique prophet, Moses.  He wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, called the TORAH.  He was unique because he had both the gift and office of prophet.  Moses received all his information by dialogue directly from God.
b.  Those with the office of prophet were called the NEBI’IM. These men include Joshua, Samuel (Judges and Samuel), Nathan and Gad (parts of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets:  Hosea, Habakkuk, Zechariah, Malachi, Amos, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, and Haggai.
c.  Those with the gift but not the office of prophecy (they did something else by profession), wrote the KETHUBIM, which means the writings.  They include David, Solomon, Job, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Chronicles.
2.  Every extant book of an acknowledged messenger of the Lord who was commissioned by God to make known His will was accepted immediately as the Word of God in the formation of the Old Testament Canon.
3.  The formation of the Old Testament was closed in the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus I (465425 B.C.).  Ezra came to Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes I; Nehemiah came in the twentieth year of his reign. These were the two last writers of the Old Testament.
4.  The New Testament was written primarily in Koine Greek.  Prior to Koine, there were three major branches of Greek language in classical times: Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic (Attic).  The conquest of Alexander led to the formation of a common Greek language, Koine, which became the lingua franca from around B.C. 300 until 500 A.D.
5.  New Testament writers were those with the gift of apostleship or closely associated with an apostle (Mark with Peter; Luke with Paul).
6.  Only Luke and Paul break out in Attic Greek at times, showing their higher classical education.  Most of the New Testament is in Koine Greek so that the Word of God could be understood by the common man.
7.  The word Canon comes from the Greek work KANON, meaning rule, standard, or measuring rod.

C.  The Problem of the PreCanon Revelation.  Before Bibles were written there was revelation by God the Holy Spirit, 2 Sam 23:2; Ezek 2:2, 8:3, 11:1, 24; Micah 3:8; Heb 3:7, by angels, through dreams, visions, trances, and the voice of God the Father.  No one has ever lacked for doctrine.  The Gospel has always been available to those with positive volition.

D.  Once the Canon began to be written, there were four categories of Old Testament revelation.
1.  God the Father spoke directly to men, Isa 6:910 cf. Acts 28:25.
2.  Dreams, which are revelations while the person is in a sleeping state.  Gen 15:12, 31:1013; Num 12:6; Dan 10:9.
3.  Visions, in which the person is wide awake and in an ecstatic state, Isa 1:1, 6:1; 1 Kings 22:19.
4.  Angelic teaching, Dt 33:2, Ps 68:17; Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19; Rev 1:1, 5:2, 8:3.
E.  Biblical Descriptions for the Canon of Scripture.
1.  Heb 4:12, “The Word of God.”
2.  1 Cor 2:16, “The mind of Christ.”
3.  Heb 3:7, “The voice of the Spirit.”
4.  Jer 1:9, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”
5.  Mk 12:36; Ps 51:4; Heb 10:3536.
6.  Acts 28:25, “The Holy Spirit rightfully spoke to Isaiah…”
7.  Ps 138:2, “I myself will worship toward the temple of Your holiness [the temple in heaven], and I will give thanks to Your name because of Your grace and because of Your doctrine; because You have magnified Your word together with Your person.”  God has placed the highest possible value on the Scripture.
8.  Ps 31:5 states our Lord’s last phrase on the cross, “In Your hands I have deposited My Spirit, for You have delivered Me, O Jehovah, God of doctrine.”
9.  Rom 3:34, “What then?  If some did not believe, shall their unfaithfulness cancel the faithfulness of God?  Definitely not!  Moreover, let God be truthful even though every person is a liar.  Even as it stands written, ‘That You might become vindicated by means of Your doctrine, and that You might become victorious when You are maligned.’”
10.  Rom 9:6, “However, this is not to imply that the word of God has failed.  For they are not all Israel who are {descended} from Israel.”  The failure of people does not mean that the Bible has failed or been cancelled.  People fail, but the Bible does not fail.
a.  Individual or collective failures of Israel does not cancel or hinder what the Bible has promised to Israel or the plan of God for Israel.  Israel’s failure does not cancel the plan, will, and the purpose of God for Israel.
b.  This applies to believers in the Church Age as well.  Since Israel is a photograph of the believer’s soul, the same principle applies to the Church.
c.  By application, the failure of the Church Age believer does not cancel or abrogate the divine plan, will, or purpose of God as revealed in the mystery doctrine of the New Testament epistles.  The word of God and the plan of God move on with or without you.  The word of God and the plan of God moves on for Israel whether in any given generation Jews fail or succeed, believe or reject Jesus Christ as Savior.
d.  Jewish failure in any dispensation does not change or hinder the plan of God for Israel.  The failure of the unbeliever or the believer does not imply any failure on the part of the word of God or the plan of God.

F.  The Origin of Scripture.  All Scripture originates from God.  God the Father spoke to men in the Old Testament.  God the Son taught on earth.  God the Holy Spirit communicated to human writers.  No Scripture originates from human volition, design, or purpose.  2 Pet 1:20, “But understand this first, that all prophecy of Scripture does not originate from one’s own explanation.”  A perfect Source means a perfect book.
1.  If there is a conflict between Bible doctrine resident in your soul and empirical knowledge from experience and observation, the Bible is always right.
2.  Reality for the believer resides in the content of the Scripture, not in the way one feels or concludes in his mind from his finite knowledge.
3.  Inspiration is not one’s own personal interpretation of Scripture.
4.  Man is the instrument, but not the author of the infallible Word of God.  Therefore, the writers of Scripture are human authors under inspiration of God.
5.  The Bible is not the product of man’s literary production containing human viewpoint, human errors, human prejudice, or human finite limitations.
6.  The Bible quotes human and satanic lies, erroneous views of false doctrine, and other creatures errors.
7.  Inspiration only guarantees accuracy, but does not condone or sponsor evil, error, or falsehood.

G.  The Extent of Inspiration.  These are the seven areas in dispute regarding the extent of inspiration.
1.  The recording of false doctrine occurs with perfect accuracy, such as lies, untrue statements, blasphemies, and even false viewpoints.  While these are recorded as fact, the Bible guarantees their accuracy but never condones them.  It condemns rather than condones.
2.  The unknown past, which includes eternity past, the prehistoric angelic conflict, and unrecorded or partially recorded human history.  Ancient history is very sparse, being unconfirmed by records and documents.  Inspiration guarantees the accuracy and the details of the unknown past.  In all these areas, the Bible is accurate.
a.  Early civilizations before the flood, Gen 19.
b.  Problems of the post-diluvian civilization, Gen 1011.
c.  Gen 111 is the only accurate delineation of races and how they were combined.
3.  Historical content.  The Bible is not a historical textbook, but it is the only accurate book on ancient history.  The Bible’s historical references, used for background material, are always accurate.  The Bible contains many historical references related to God’s policy, plan, and provision for believers, as well as judgments, punishments, and disasters to mankind.  Inspiration guarantees that any historical reference is accurate and true regarding the interpretation of certain historical events.
a.  So accurate are historical facts in Daniel that many have assumed that Daniel was written after the fact rather than before the fact, as it was.
b.  The Bible correctly interprets history.
c.  The hermeneutical principle says that the Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written.
4.  The legal content of the Bible.  The Bible contains many laws and customs of both individuals and national life.  The Mosaic Law describes in detail what laws are necessary for freedom, privacy, owning property, and the function of human life.  The Bible also declares the validity of the execution of criminals.  The Bible teaches the true meaning of objective type law.  The jury system is not taught.  The Bible contains a complete and accurate definition of law.
a.  Laws given by God are condoned by God; this is not necessarily true of all human laws, unless they follow divine policy. So all human laws are not necessarily the will of God.
b.  The Mosaic Law said that first you must have an incorruptible judge.  Then there must be bonafide evidence, witnesses, etc.
c.  Law must deal with protection of life, privacy, and property of individuals.  Law is designed by God to make sure that the human race will survive.
d.  The Bible also mentions the systems of jurisprudence found in other countries at the time of writing.  The laws of other nations are man-made and not the will of God.
5.  Dictation.  Certain portions of Scripture are direct quotations from God.  The doctrine of inspiration guarantees that such quotations and mandates are properly recorded in the exact way that God spoke them or willed them to be recorded.  Inspiration also guarantees that the mandates of God are accurate and follow the will of God.  Dictation includes policy, plans, and other forms of revelation from God.  These forms of revelation reflect the exact will of God.
6.  Prophecy.  This includes both forth telling and foretelling.  Inspiration guarantees the accuracy of both categories.  Forth telling means preaching; foretelling includes predicting the future as well.  Some foretelling was not even understood by the prophet himself, but under inspiration all information was accurate.  Inspiration involves both the selection of prophetic materials and their complete accuracy, e.g. the First Advent, resurrection, ascension, and session of Christ.
7.  The plan of God for believers.  Modus operandi  literature such as Psalms, Esther, Job, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon are provided to teach man’s relationship to God, to other men, and to materialistic things.  God uses the relationships, the problems, the prosperity, the pressures, the failures, and the happiness of certain believers to reveal the principles, provisions, and blessings of His grace plan.  However, the modus operandi for Israel under the ritual plan of God is much different from the modus operandi of the Church under the protocol plan of God.  Contradiction between God’s plan for Israel in the Old Testament and God’s plan for the Church Age believer are matters of time and sequence.  Some things in Scripture are matters of time, others are a matter of sequence, and others are both.  The ritual plan of God for Israel has been superceded by the unique spiritual life plan of the Church Age.  Both are truly accurate in the time in which they occur.  Alleged contradiction is merely the variation of God’s plan for believers in various dispensations.
a.  Inspiration must be understood in every category of Bible subjects, from the ritual of the past to the protocol of the present.
b.  Inspiration must be understood from evil, sins, and lies in the past to dogmatic doctrine in the present.
c.  Inspiration must be understood from the unknown past to the historical present.
d.  Inspiration must be understood from the prehistoric angelic conflict to the true meaning of human history.
e.  Inspiration must be understood from the will of Satan and his cosmic system to the will of God and His unique plan.