But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
THE HOLY BIBLE
THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD
“...Thus saith the LORD....” (Exodus 4:22)
“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying....” (Jeremiah 1:4)
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put MY WORDS in his MOUTH; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18) (Emphasis mine)
The Holy Bible claims to be the written Word of God. “Thus saith the LORD” and similar phrases, such as those quoted above, appear many, many times in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Thoughts and words are connected. Often, a change in words means a change in thought. Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) had a high regard for the Hebrew Scriptures. He quoted them as the Word of God.
Not only every word, but even the smallest Hebrew letter “yod” (“jot” in King James) and its decorative spur (tittle) had its exact place and meaning.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one JOT or one TITTLE shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18) (Emphasis mine)
MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
God has spoken to man by his prophets. Sometimes he dictated the message -- as with the Ten Commandments. More often, the Spirit moved (carried along) holy men of God, so that what they spoke or wrote was exactly what God wanted spoken or written.
These men of God remained thinking, willing people. Their different styles and mannerisms are clearly traceable in their writings.
The Spirit used each man's individual personality, talents, education and experience to speak and write the message God wanted him to give.
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were MOVED by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21) (Emphasis mine)
This moving (being born along) of the Spirit resulted in the words spoken being EXACTLY the words God wanted spoken. When we MOVE something, we carry it WHERE WE WANT IT TO GO.
So too, the Spirit MOVED these men to write WHAT HE WANTED WRITTEN.
INSPIRATION = GOD BREATHED
The Scriptures are INSPIRED. The Greek word for inspiration is transliterated “theopneustos” and means “God breathed.”
In the final analysis, God breathed out (spoke) the Bible. Thus the Bible is authoritative and reliable. It is the final appeal for all true believers.
“All scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16) (Emphasis mine)
The original Hebrew and Greek words written by the Prophets and Apostles should be understood in their intended sense. We need to distinguish between plain statements of fact, figures of speech, idioms and poetry. All can be found on the pages of Holy Writ.
Plenary, verbal inspiration extends to the very words used. “Plenary” means all. The Bible does not merely contain the Word of God. It is the Word of God -- ALL of it. This can be clearly seen in the statement of our Lord Jesus when quoting Genesis.
“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
AND SAID, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:4-6) (Emphasis mine)
Note carefully the words “AND SAID” at the beginning of verse 5. Messiah declares that God is the author of the words in Genesis 2:24 which he just quoted in Matthew 19:4-5. Yet when we read these words in Genesis, there is nothing to tell us that they are God's words.
In Genesis, they are presented as the words of Scripture, or that of Moses. Our Lord Jesus can assign them to God ONLY ON THE BASIS that ALL Scripture is the Word of God. Thus Christ teaches plenary, verbal inspiration of the Bible.
THE AUTHORITY OF MESSIAH
The authority of our Lord Jesus and the authority of the written Word of God stand or fall together. When we examine the statements of Christ and the Apostles, we find that they often quoted the Hebrew Scriptures. They claimed inspiration for the New Testament also.
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)
“He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47)
“... and the scripture cannot be broken;” (John 10:35)
NEW TESTAMENT INSPIRATION
Christ promised his Apostles that the Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13). They later claimed this guidance as they spoke and wrote the Word of God.
“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)
The Apostle Paul lumped together a Hebrew Bible verse (Deuteronomy 25:4) with a New Testament verse (Luke 10:7) under the general heading of SCRIPTURE:
“For the SCRIPTURE saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” (1 Timothy 5:18) (Emphasis mine)
The Bible is the infallible, Written Word of God. Therefore it can be trusted as our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. God has PRESERVED it from error in all ages.
“The WORDS of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt PRESERVE them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7) (Emphasis mine)
Satan has a vested interest in sowing seeds of confusion and doubt as to what God actually said. This was his method in the Garden with Eve.
He questioned God's Word (“Yea, hath God said?”) misquoted God's Word (“ye shall not eat of EVERY tree of the garden?”) then flatly contradicted God's Word (“ye shall NOT surely die”).
This is still his method today. He floods us with faulty versions of the Bible.
Which Bible can we trust? There is ample evidence that the King James Version (KJV) is the most accurate translation of the original manuscripts. The KJV is based on the “Received Text.” It is superior to the “Critical Text” on which most modern Bible versions are based.
For those interested in pursuing this further we highly recommend the following three (3) books:
Burton, Barry. LET'S WEIGH THE EVIDENCE (Chino, CA: Chick Publications, 1983.)
Fuller, David Otis et al., WHICH BIBLE? (Grand Rapids, MI: Grand Rapids International Publications, 5th Ed., 1975)
Riplinger, G.A. NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS (Ararat, VA: AV Publications Corp., 1993)
The first book above is the shortest and easiest to read. The last two are more exhaustive and in depth. There are also several good DVD's available on this subject:
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss