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Don Stewart :: What Is the Partial Inspiration Theory? (The Bible Contains the Word of God)

Don Stewart

This view holds to the divine authority of Scripture, but it believes that some parts are not authoritative or God-breathed. According to this theory the Bible is not the Word of God - the Bible contains the Word of God.

We Can Still Hear God's Truth

Those who hold to a partial inspiration, or partial authority of Scripture, usually argue that God's truth still may be found among the writings even though there are parts that are contain contradictions and errors. It is not necessary to argue that all parts of Scripture are divinely authoritative or accurate.

How Do We Know?

The trouble with this view is how to determine which parts are divinely inspired and which are not. Who makes the call? Each person would end up making their own Bible to fit their own desires. In doing so they would be switching roles with God.

All Scripture Is Considered Authoritative

The position of Scripture is that all of it is God-breathed-not just some of it. Paul wrote.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

While some parts of Scripture may be more relevant than others, all Scripture is equally divinely inspired or God-breathed. Furthermore all parts are important in God's revelation of His overall plan for the world. Nowhere do we find Scripture even hinting that God divinely inspires some parts while other parts are not.

Should We Disbelieve God?

To disbelieve any part of the Scripture is to disbelieve God. On the day of His resurrection, Jesus rebuked two of His own disciples for not believing what He what all of the Old Testament had to say about Him.

And he said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!" (Luke 24:25).

The Possibility Is Ruled Out

The uniqueness of divine inspiration rules out the possibility of either a partial inspiration of Scripture or various degrees of inspiration. All of Scripture is equally divinely inspired by God the Holy Spirit.

Summary

The partial inspiration theory admits the Word of God is contained in Scripture but that it should not be equated with Scripture. There are portions of Scripture that contain God's Word while other portions do not. God's truth may still be found in the Bible despite errors and contradictions.

This theory, although popular in some circles, is meaningless. First, there is the problem of determining which parts of the Bible are authoritative and which are not. There is no divine standard to make this judgment. Also this theory is against the teaching of the Bible. Nowhere do we have the slightest hint that some parts of the Bible are authoritative while others are not. Consequently the theory of partial inspiration of Scripture is not really an option for those who take the Bible seriously.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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