Last week we talked about the fact that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, timeless Word of God. This is a fundamental truth that needs to be the foundation of every Christian’s life.
However, as wonderful as all this sounds, it's natural for us, in our advanced scientific and technological age to ask “How?” when it comes to believing that every word in the Bible is God-breathed, inspired, inerrant, and infallible.
How could a book written over approximately 15,000 years by over forty different authors from various ways of life, professions, and educational abilities claim to be 100% inspired by God?
Well, for this answer we have to go to the theology books--namely, Stanley Horton's "Systemic Theology."
He says the answer is found in what is called the "verbal plenary" view of inspiration.
Verbal Plenary Inspiration is "the belief that the Bible is inspired even to the very words (verbal) that were chosen by the writers. Inspiration is a special superintending act of the Holy Spirit whereby the writers of the Scriptures were motivated to write, were guided in their writing even to their employment of words, and were kept from all error and omission." (Horton, Stanley M. Systematic Theology, pg 87)
"The whole of Scripture is inspired, as the writers wrote under the Holy Spirit's direction and guidance, while allowing for variety in literary style, grammar, vocabulary, and other human peculiarities….it maintains that the guidance of the Holy Spirit extended to every word of the original documents." (Horton, Stanley M. Systematic Theology, pg 99)
Still have questions???
I mean, seriously?? If this is true, then how come something written by the Apostle Paul reflects his tone and personality while a Psalm written by King David reflects his circumstances and personality?
Well, here are a couple of answers.
First, God chose the men who would write the books of the Bible.
In His providence, He allowed them to go through unique experiences and preparation so that they could accurately communicate His message.
Essentially, God chose the men who would write the Bible, knowing who they were, their unique life circumstances, personalities, and the times in which they lived. Whether they were eyewitnesses to an event, speaking prophetically, writing history, or teaching God's ways to His church, each one wrote what God told them to write through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Verbal plenary inspiration also teaches that the Spirit's guidance extended to even the words the writer chose to express his thoughts.
The Holy Spirit did not dictate the words but guided the writer so that he freely chose the words that expressed God's message.
(For example, the writer may have chosen the word "house" or building" but could not have chosen "field" because it would have changed the content of the message.).
This explains how every word they wrote is the word of God.
God chose the writers, He orchestrated their lives, and the Holy Spirit guided what they would say so that they would only say what God intended.
Because it is God's Word, it is literally God-breathed, it is inerrant, infallible, and timeless.
As Timothy said, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
That's how it works.
It is a magnificent work of God, His gift to guide us through life as we strive to know God better and develop a personal relationship with Him.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life. When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."