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Don Stewart :: What Conclusions Can We Make about the Bible's Authority?

Don Stewart

Having looked at what the Bible says about the subject of divine inspiration, as well as some inadequate theories that have been proposed, we can make the following conclusions.

1. The Bible Is Both A Divine And Human Book

The Bible is not merely a human book but rather a divine book written by human authors. These authors were supernaturally guided by God to record His truth to humanity. The words were the words of the authors but the truth they recorded was God's Word to humankind.

2. The Bible Is A Unique Book

The Bible is unique - it is different from all other books having no like or equal. Scripture, therefore, should never be compared to other human writings that show spiritual insight and wisdom. The Bible is not merely an insightful book - it is the Word of God.

3. The Process Of Writing Scripture Was Living, Not Mechanical

Divine inspiration occurred using the writer's personality and vocabulary. The writers were not merely passive stenographers recording what was dictated to them by God. Exactly how this process occurred is a mystery that God does not reveal.

4. Scripture Is Fully Authoritative, Not Partial

Divine inspiration covers every part of the Bible. There are not some parts that are more divinely inspired than others. Neither are there divinely uninspired parts of Scripture. The Bible does not contain the Word of God - it is the Word of God. If someone argued the Bible merely contains God's Word, then it would cause uncertainty to everyone. Who determines what is divinely inspired and what is not? How could anyone be confident the portion they were reading was actually the divinely inspired part? Scripture is clear. The Bible, is, in all parts, divinely inspired.

5. God's Authority Concerns The Wording Of Scripture, Not Merely The Concepts

Not merely are the concepts found in the Bible divinely inspired, but the way the actual words are used to relate the concepts are also divinely inspired. Thoughts are expressed in words. Words make up sentences. It is the way these words were used in the phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that are divinely inspired.

6. The Writing Of Scripture Was Unique - It Is Not The Same Thing As Illumination

Scripture makes the distinction between God filling a person with His Holy Spirit to supernaturally write divinely authoritative Scripture, and illumination, the ability to understand the things that are already written.

Summary

The Bible is a book that is both divine and human. It is God's revelation to humanity written by human beings who were led by the Spirit of God. Scripture is unique in the fact that it is the only divine revelation that humanity has been given. The Bible is on a different level than every other book - it has no equal. The divine inspiration of Scripture occurred by God using the authors' own personality and vocabulary. There is no idea of the entire Scripture being the result of some sort of divine dictation. In addition, divine inspiration is complete - covering all parts of Scripture. Finally, divinely inspiration concerns the very words used by the writers, as well as the concepts they recorded.

The Bible has both infallible truth and divine authority in everything that it teaches. The Bible is also the product of human beings. It has all the evidences of human authorship as clearly as any other book that was ever written. This human/divine authorship extends to every part of Scripture.

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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