By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
“For prophecy never came by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to men. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).
The word inspiration means “an act of breathing in” and so, as the above Scriptures show, God breathed the words of Scripture into the men who wrote them. Webster’s dictionary also states “a supernatural influence which qualifies men to receive and communicate divine truth.” The Bible is not inspired only in the sense that it bears the marks of literary genius as do the writings of Shakespeare, Milton, and such other writers, but it is inspired in the sense that it was written by men under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God.
Verbal inspiration means that the Bible is an inbreathed, inspired, divine document, which as originally given, is absolutely inerrant, infallible, and therefore true. The Inspiration of the Bible refers to the influence God exercised through the Holy Spirit over the minds of those who wrote the Bible. This influence made them infallible in both the receiving and recording of God’s will.
Hundreds of times the Bible states that these men knew what they were writing came from God. We read statements such as, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2); “And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9); “I have given unto them the words which you gave to me” (John 17:8).
The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit gave the words to the writers of the Bible, “Not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches” (1 Corinthians 2:13).
We can be assured that our Bible is God’s word, and we should be thankful that it has been preserved through the years. We can study it and know God’s will for our lives in the salvation of our souls from sin and to receive the promise of an eternity in heaven.