The Inerrancy and Inspiration of The Bible


The Bible, Van Gogh, 1885

Upon sitting down to read and study the Bible, one needs to have several questions answered before they can begin to allow the Scripture to have an impact on their life. These questions should address the authority of the Bible (which will also address the author of the Bible), the inspiration of the Bible, and the inerrancy of the Bible.

The first question stated above is the most important question to answer before one can begin to take what the Bible says and try to live by it. When it is said that the Bible has authority, what is being said is: on any topic, issue, question, etc., that the Bible speaks to, one is to defer to what is says. In other words, the Bible is the authority on everything that it speaks to.

The answer above presupposes one very important belief, that God is the author of the

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Bible. Because of this, the authority that the Bible holds is much greater than if man were the author. The writer of a law must have the authority to enforce that law. The same principle applies to the authority of Scripture.

The main reason the Bible holds so much authority is because God is the author. One question off of this is how did God write it? The answer, He inspired man to do so. What is meant is that under guidance from the Holy Spirit, God gave the inspiration of what was to be written, to the human authors of the Bible. This does not mean that he dictated to them what He wanted written, he merely inspired them with what was to be written. They were free to use the language of their day, and write with their personalities intact.

This author bases his belief of inspiration on the following passage: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.[1]

A major component of the inspiration of Scripture is that it is also inerrant. This author subscribes to the inerrancy of Scripture and bases his belief on the first, and strongest of four arguments, which is the Biblical argument. This argument has five main points that support its views, but the most important is the first and last. The first point states that “the Bible teaches its own inspiration, and this requires inerrancy. The Scriptures are the breath of God (2. Tim. 3:16), which guarantees they are without error”.[2]  And the breath of God statement is addressed in the fifth point which says, “Repeatedly, the Scriptures teach that God cannot lie…If, then, the Bible is from God and his character is behind it, it must be inerrant and infallible”.[3]

A second popular argument for inerrancy is the Historical argument. This argument believes that the Bible is inerrant because from the Apostles all the way through Church history, the truths in the Bible were assumed, not defended.[4]  A third argument is the Epistemological argument, which says, “If the Bible is not inerrant, then any claim it makes may be false”.[5]  This holds that every statement made in Scripture must be true for the entire text to be inerrant. The fourth, and final argument for the inerrancy of Scripture, is the Slippery Slope argument. This belief is quite simple: if one gives up the inerrancy of scripture they also surrender other Christian doctrines as well.[6]

Of the last three arguments listed, the weakest argument is the Slippery Slope argument. While this argument may be true, that a “denial of inerrancy starts one down a slope that is slippery,”[7] it is by no means a substantial argument to base one’s belief of inerrancy upon. This author argues for inerrancy and bases his argument on the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate authority, as it was written by God, and as God cannot lie, because it is not in His character to do so, everything written through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit, by the human authors, is without error.

As stated in the paragraphs above, this author believes: 1) that the Bible holds the final authority on all topics contained within its text, 2) that God is the author of the Bible, 3) that the Bible was written by human authors under the inspired guidance of the Holy Spirit, and 4) that the Bible is inerrant. As a result of these beliefs, this author looks to God’s Word for guidance on how to live his life on a day to day basis. This author believes that as he gets into God’s Word, God’s Word will get into him.

Footnotes:

  • [1] 2 Timothy 3:16, NKJV.
  • [2] Feinberg, P.D. “Bible, Inerrancy and Infallibility of.” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell, A. Walter. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book house Company, 2001), 157.
  • [3] Ibid., 158.
  • [4] Ibid., 157.
  • [5] Ibid.
  • [6] Ibid., 158.
  • [7] Ibid.

Photo Credit:

Article header photo credit: The Bible by Vincent van Gogh (1885) http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Van_Gogh_Vincent-Still_Life_with_Bible

Bibliography Photo Credit: http://www.maicar.com/GML/Bibliography.html

Bibliography

Feinberg, P.D. “Bible, Inerrancy and Infallibility of.” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell, A. Walter. 156-159. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book house Company, 2001.

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Love Never Ends


This morning I had something happen to me that I have heard other people talk and write about. As I was praying this morning God opened my eyes to understand something more than I ever have in the past. This was not during meditation on a verse, or during the study of a verse or passage. This was through prayer. God opened my eyes to just how crazy in love he is with us.

If you don’t mind I am just going to write what I wrote in my prayer (I tend to write my prayers instead of speak them verbally):

Lord, you are a God who helps in times of need. You help those that you have called to yourself eternally and you also help us as we need it on this earth.

(even now, I need your help in this early hour to free my mind from all of its distractions).

You even help us when our love for you is not where is should be.

Your love compels you.

You love compels you so that even when we fight your call, you continue to pull us toward you.

If you were not compelled by your love, then whatever else compelled you would not be as great, as eternal.

“Love never ends.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Your love sent your Son.
Your love sustained Him.
Your love nailed Him to the Cross.
Your love allows us to participate.
Your love gives us the hope of nailing our sins to that cross.
Your love allows us to beat death with your Son.
Your love promises a future resurrection because of His.
Your love promises eternity with you, through your Son.

Words alone cannot adequately express the thankfulness in my heart.

“But be doers of the word.” – James 1:22a

Lord, I am beginning to understand.

Thank you for helping me to understand why you require and desire action from us. Thank you for sticking around while it took me a wile to see this truth.

God, please forgive me for a lifetime of not demonstrating love towards you!

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

God, help me to walk this way for you. Help me to not only demonstrate love for you through my thoughts and words, but also through my actions. Help me to be bold.

-Amen.

Jesus Did not Come in a UFO – Who is Christmas part 2


Last week I wrote about how human Christ was and how GOD He was and is. He had a family, brothers who mocked him, a sense of humor, became frustrated, ate, slept, cried, sweat, etc. He was human through and through during His time here on earth. How did he get here? How did He leave? Through these two questions one will discover just how much He was like you and I and just how much He is the GOD of you and I.

Not an Alien Invasion

Read Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel doesn’t tell Mary to look for a rope ladder to drop down from a UFO (this would not be a method our Humble Savior would have used), or that a stork is going to bring her a child since she is a virgin. No. He does the opposite. He says that she is going to give birth to Son. Give birth. Which meant that she would carry to term, as the saying goes, and a child would be born from her. She then asks a great question, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (v. 34). Gabriel’s answer:  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (v. 35). Wow. Christ’s literal father, through conception, is God. “Son of God” is not just a title that sounds cool, or does not apply just because the genealogy of Christ goes back to God (Luke 3:38). No, His literal father IS God. Crazy. So then in Chapter 2:1-7 Jesus is born. Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday, Jesus. Human through and through. Human in His birth, but also God in His birth.

He Does Not Disintegrate

So after His birth He lives a life just like you and I. Goes through the fun years as a child, probably spending time with his earthly father, Joseph, in his wood shop, and even had to go through those awkward years as a teenager. He went through his twenties and got his ministry here on earth started at age 30. Three years later he is hanging on a cross.

As humans, our bodies can only endure so much before it is over. As a human, Jesus was only physically able to endure so much torture before he, too, died (Luke 23:46), and was buried (Luke 23:50-56). He is so human in his death that he actually dies. And once he is dead his body hangs limp on that cross until it is removed. Then when it was removed it was buried. He did not disappear once dead, or disintegrate off of the cross. Angels didn’t come down and grab him from the cross, or anything awesome like that. He died, like I will and like you will. And then was buried.

He was fully human in his birth from a woman, in his life as a child, teenager, and twenty-something, and ultimately, He was fully human in his death.

Only God can Beat Death

Three days after being placed in that tomb Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and a few other women go to the tomb to finish preparing His body. Once they get there they are met with the stone rolled away and Jesus’ body missing. Then to make it even more crazy, two men, in “dazzling apparel” (Luke 24:4 – A.K.A. angles) ask them why they would be so crazy to look for the living among the dead (Luke 24:5-8).

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

He is risen. He is risen, indeed. Amen.

He died like we will but could not possibly stay dead. He is God. God does not die. God doesn’t have a beginning so how could He have an end? In verse 51 He is “carried up” into heaven and leaves the earth with the promise that He will return; a return that we eagerly await!

Give Him Your Life

This Saturday is the Birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He did not die, so he is still living. Since, then, that is the case, shouldn’t we all give him a gift? He has given us the gift of salvation, a free gift to all who will receive it and make Him Lord of their life, so shouldn’t we return the favor? Maybe you are not a Christian. Maybe you have never given your life to Christ. Do that this Christmas. He died for you. Loves you no matter what you have done or how terrible you think you are. He wants to save you from eternal death and give you eternal life.

If you have already given Him your life, what’s next? Give Him more. Give him your time, your talents, and your money. Live your life entirely for Him and constantly worship and glorify Him through your actions, words, and thoughts. This is the best gift you can give Him for His Birthday this Christmas.

Who is Christmas? – Part 1


Ah, Christmas is here. Well, the actual day is not but the season sure is. Ever since Black Friday it seems that traffic has been worse and stores have been incredibly crowded. ‘Tis the season, right? So why all of this shopping, why all the lights and obnoxious blow up things in your neighbor’s front yard, why are we singing Christmas songs in church, why is everything red and green? Who started all of this?

Who is Christmas - Part 1 "The Middle of the Story"This time of year is wonderful. For me it brings memories of reading Christmas stories while sitting on the couch in my parents family room. I can remember hearing the cold wind blowing outside and have fond memories of playing in the snow. Those were the days. Since then I have become smarter and stay inside when it snows outside. Nonetheless, this is a happy time of year filled with warm memories.

But why?

Well, the short answer, Jesus. Such a sunday school answer but it is so true. The reason for all of this hub-bub is Jesus. More accurately it is God coming to earth in human form (don’t just glaze over that…think about it). So who was Jesus that he has this day designated to himself thousands of years after he walked on our dusty planet?

Jesus was Human.

Flesh and bones. He had an actual stomach, heart, two kidneys, a brain, eyes, ears, etc. He had what we have, a human body. He had a family, just like you and I. His siblings mocked him (John 7:1-5), and at one point in his time on earth his family even thought he was going a little crazy in the head (Mark 3:20). Sound familiar? He also had a great sense of humor (look at Mark 6:45-51 and John 8:1-11), which is refreshing to see, and became frustrated one time or another (John 9:17-19). I have a sense of humor, become frustrated, have a family, my brother mocks me every once in a while (and I him), and I’m sure my family has scratched their heads while thinking of me a few times. What is great about all of this, Jesus had this too! He was human through and through. (More examples you can relate to: he became hungry (Matt. 4:2), slept (Luke 8:23), cried (John 11:35), and sweat (Luke 22:44)).

Jesus was God.

There is so much to that statement that your head just might implode if you think about it too long. So don’t. We can read it in the Bible and believe it, but to wrap out heads around it will take more than a simple reading of scripture. But, even though it is hard for our minds to comprehend how a human could also be God, it is true (take a look at John 1:1 and John 1:14). And what is great about Jesus is that he said so. One of my favorite statements Jesus made about his deity is found in John 8:58: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (italics and bold text added, ESV). Abraham is past tense, Jesus is present tense. I love that.

Again, there is so much to unpack with the humanity of Christ and his deity, but this introduction should be enough to remind you of why we celebrate Christmas and who is behind it. And his time on earth is just the middle of the story, just scratches the surface at how complex He is and was. Part 2 – “The Beginning and the End and the Beginning” will show you exactly HOW human he was and HOW God he was and is today.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Converse below in the comments.

Attaining Wisdom Requires Diligence


Credit - Alexander Heaton

Proverbs 8:17 – “I [Wisdom] love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.”

The entire book of Proverbs in and of itself is wise. Plain and simple. When I look at the book as a whole, I see nothing but wisdom, and it could not be any other way. King Solomon asked God for wisdom above riches, power, prestige, or any other thing he may have wanted, and God gave it to him and then some (the riches, power, and prestige he didn’t ask for).

For the past month I have been asking God for wisdom.  Wisdom for individual decisions that needed, and need to be made, and also for a well of wisdom in my heart. And right there, when I wrote that, I am reminded again that being in God’s Word constantly is crucial to my desire for wisdom.

If I don’t fill my heart with the Word of God, I will have nothing to pull out of when I lower the bucket into the well, so to speak.

“…those who seek me diligently will find me.”

To fully grasp this, I was curious what the definition of ‘diligence’ is: “…those who seek me [with careful and persistent work or effort] will find me.”

Seek wisdom, and continue to seek wisdom, even when there is difficulty or opposition in the path. It is hard, thus the work and effort part, but I can tell you with confidence that it will be worth it, and is worth it. (An analogy of climbing a mountain would be perfect here…)

I am wiser today than I was a month ago, and even just yesterday. And as each month passes where I am diligent with reading God’s Word (seeking His wisdom) and allowing his Word to fill my heart and mind I will only grow wiser.

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