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Inerrant Inspiration

Written by David Steltz

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Last Edited on June 27th, 2017

I firmly believe the Bible is inerrant, inspired, and authoritative. These concepts are closely correspondent and strengthen each other. There are several basic arguments for these properties, which I will briefly outline. It is more relevant to someone with a basic acceptance of the bible, as opposed to someone who rejects it completely.

To say that the Bible is authoritative is to claim its possession of certain objective attributes. Authority grants the bearer a certain power or credibility that is objective in some respect, however obligatory or not. Authority implies that the Bible is not merely a mortal product of religion. Its authority did not come from the church, a council, convention, or even those who originally penned the words. The Bible’s authority is divine and establishes itself as a measure of truth. It proclaims its own authority repeatedly and undeniably. As the word of God, it inherits His property of absolute truth. The authority of the Bible is derived directly from God himself, through the process of inspiration.

Biblical inspiration refers to the concept of “God-breathed” textual communication. Some would say that the bible is merely some inspired concepts, put in the words of the writers. Others that only part of the Bible was inspired. However, every word of the Bible, while maintaining the style of the writers, was “breathed” out by God. The word that has been translated as “inspired” literally means “breathed.” Scripture such as 2 Timothy 3:16, which states that “All Scripture is inspired by God…” declares that God breathed the scripture into the writers for the benefit of humanity. This establishes the Bible as the literal concepts, words and messages proceeding directly from God in the form of human symbols of language.

The result of inspiration is that the Bible is inerrant. There exists neither error nor fallibility within its texts. Each word is perfect and verified by God himself. It is completely and always true, when interpreted properly in context. The work as a whole is without contradiction or conflict. It declares itself as being inspired, as in 2 Tim 3:16. This implies inerrancy. It fits within the guidelines set forth before Israel (Deut 13:1-5, 18:20-22) to determine the validity of human communicators of God’s word, as with the prophets. Furthermore, Matthew 5:17-20 and John 10:34-35 affirm the authority of the Bible, and thus its inerrancy as well. Also, the precision of Scripture is a testament to its inerrancy. The very presence or the tense of certain words greatly impact the meaning of certain passages.

In addition to the Bible’s self-affirmation, this view has survived the test of time. The church all throughout history has believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. This fact alone does not prove anything, but it strengthens the premise in that it has yet to be positively rejected. From an epistemological standpoint, it can be argued that the Bible must be inerrant, or otherwise cannot be trusted at all. If some of the Bible might be false, how can we know what of it is true? Finally, there is a slippery slope that may present itself when inerrancy is rejected. It opens the door to rejection of other fundamentals of Christianity.

Because the words of scripture were “breathed” by God, they must be perfect. Because God is perfect and defines truth, what he says and does must be perfect and true. Thus, the Bible being a product of God, it inherits His inerrant nature.

Because I believe the Bible to be authoritative, inspired, and inerrant, its teachings greatly impact my life as a human. It presents God as my creator, and defines the concept of sin against Him, as well as the penalty of such. Because I have sinned and fall short of his glory (Romans 3:23) I am in need of his salvation and grace. The process by which the God sacrificed himself in his son for the sake of the world is clearly narrated in the New Testament, and explained by the Old Testament. Because I live redeemed, justified, and sanctified by that process and my belief in it, I must behave accordingly. I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord, and cede my life on earth to His glory. The life of Christ and the life of the church that followed serve as clarification and models for my life on earth.

The words of the Bible have been breathed into existence by God, providing inerrant authority. This is the only perfect government by which we can live. We should not take this for granted, but rather place Scripture at the utmost priority. How might our lives change if we truly let the Word of God govern our every thought?

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