The Inspiration of Scripture (Pt.3)

Part Two

Let us reproduce the Pache definition:

Inspiration is the determining influence exercised by the Holy Spirit on the writers of the Old and New Testament in order that they might proclaim and set down in an exact and authentic way the message as received from God. – Rene Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture, 45

When one is dealing with Pache’s definition, it is vital to notice that he was speaking very much about the writers, so let’s get back to the writers.

Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:20-21

This passage is the most important text dealing with the writers of Scripture.  It refers to the origin of prophecy, which we take to include not just the predictions, but all the words of the true prophets.  The prophecy uttered by these men of God was not of any private interpretation, they did not think up their prophecies (unlike the false prophets that you read opining Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 13, or Micah 3), nor did they reinterpret or paraphrase what God had told them.  This is the first thing that Peter wants his reader to understand. We are to know this – the term is ginoskontai – in the sense of apprehending it.  These men were ‘moved’ or ‘born along’ (pheromenoi) by the Holy Spirit.  They were His human instruments, although in saying this we do not want to leave the impression that these men were entirely passive agents, they certainly were not; clearly they employed their own idioms and styles.  Nevertheless they spoke and later wrote under the supervision of the Blessed Spirit.  Maier is assuredly right when he observes:

None of them, curiously enough, spoke from the standpoint of men, but from God; that is ‘sent from him’, empowered, proceeding from his vantage point, and bringing across a message from him that is no less than a divine message. – Gerhard Maier, Biblical Hermeneutics, 102

What Maier has said is terribly important to grasp.  Truly Scripture is God’s Word.  It is God’s Scripture, it is then not a human word, other than the obvious fact that it is given through human instrumentality.  Men conveyed it, their personalities were not obstructed or overcome in order to bring it about.  Rather by what Warfield and others have called a ‘concursive’ working of the Holy Spirit with the personalities of the individual writers, what materialized was what the Holy Spirit Himself wanted written through them.  Because it was the Holy Spirit who was in control of the process what was created is an infallible Book.  In my opinion, we should look at the process of inspiration as just an intensification of the normal providential working of the Spirit in all the world.

The Word of God: A Designation used in the Bible to show Inspiration as its inherent Property

The most important term for our subject doctrinally speaking is undoubtedly ‘the Word of God’, which is used often, particularly in the New Testament.  Jesus objected to the religious leaders’ confusing tradition with inspiration.

Thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do. – Mark 7:13

Jesus upbraids the Jews when he says that they make the Word of God of no effect through their tradition which they have handed down.  The point is that if you nullify Scripture as the Word of God then its authority to speak for God is stifled.

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'” – Luke 4:4

Man needs a divine revelation, he needs a word from outside to sustain him and to guide him.  Any position on the Bible that does not recognize it as being that word from outside, that word from God, is a false and heretical position.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. – Luke 8:11

Then in the Parable of the Sower, the seed that is sown is the Word of God.

Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away. – John 8:18

This means that the way that we use the Word of God when we hear it, the way we respond to it, and the way that we do it, will have an effect on how we end up at the end of this life.

But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” – Luke 8:21

Because the connotation is that there are people, many people, most people in the world, who do not hear and do the Word of God; they hear and do the Word of man.

If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken. – John 10:35

Why? Because it’s not from man, it is from God! The Scripture is from God…the divine trumps the human.

And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. – Acts 6:2, 4, 7

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:17

It is hardly surprising therefore that we read that faith and the Word of God are connected; faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. That reminds us of what Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower.

Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known. – Colossians 1:25

Paul tells the Colossians that he is fulfilling the Word of God, what the Lord has told him to do in his ministry of the Word of God.

It is a strange thing indeed when a Christian says they believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and then they spend half their time talking about the humanity of Scripture. Yes, we understand the humanity of Scripture, but the most important thing to know about Scripture is that it is from God, the word of God, not the Word of man.

 

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