WHAT DOES THE BIBLE MEAN BY INSPIRATION?
August 1, 1997 Issue
by Duane Permenter
Answering this question should come within the capability of every Christian. Regretfully, many disciples probably could not answer this serious question. Listen to Paul in Second Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."
In the above passage, the Bible refers to the concept of inspiration. Most of us have heard or used this word from time to time. For instance, sometimes a person will say, "The cheerleaders were an inspiration to the football team!" After an eloquent sermon is delivered the preacher be told, "That sermon was inspiring." What we obviously mean is that the sermon was motivating and greatly uplifting.
Is this how the Almighty used the word inspiration in the Bible? What did the scribes of the New Testament mean when they wrote the word inspiration? One way to decide what Bible writers mean is by using a Bible dictionary.
The apostles originally wrote the New Testament in Greek. Since most of us do not read Greek, it helps to go to a Greek dictionary to learn the meaning of a Bible word when it was first written. In Strongs Greek dictionary he defines inspiration as, "divinely breathed in." In other words, God literally breathed his thoughts into these men.
No wonder the record tells us in 2 Peter 1:21, "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried by the Holy Spirit."
When God said He inspired men, this was more than inciting one to higher levels of accomplishment or excitement. Our Lord literally guided these men writing the New Testament. The apostles were writing down what was in the mind of God.
Further, consider this question: "Were the writers guided only in the overall content, or is every word from God?"
Paul, the apostle, tells us in his letter to the Ephesian church that he received his spiritual knowledge by revelation (Ephesians 3:1-4).
His knowledge was directly from God. In other words, Jehovah God laid it upon his heart. He plainly says in the text that we can have the same knowledge simply by reading his words. So, we can understand the revelation of God by reading the words of the apostles.
Think about this as we read from the same author in 1 Corinthians 2:9-13. "But as it is written: Eye has not seen, or ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 10 God But has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which mans wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." Paul plainly tells us the Spirit of God supplied the words. Not only were the thoughts inspired, but Almighty God breathed the very words that men wrote in the Bible.
The revelation of God is found in the book we called the Bible. First the Lord gave it to the apostles, and they in turn wrote it down for us today. Not only were the thoughts inspired, but God supplied every word written by the apostles and prophets of the First Century church.
Peter also corroborates our conclusion in 2 Peter 1:3,4, "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 of by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Jehovah God has provided a means of knowing His will through the bible. He expects us to be as those of Berea and receive His word gladly. The people of this ancient city searched the scriptures daily to make sure what the apostles and prophets were teaching was Gods word (Acts 17:11).
Almighty God literally breathed into the writers of the Bible what he wanted them to write. We must diligently search the scriptures for within them are the words of life. God has given us a book that portrays His very mind, and that my friend is the Bible
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