WHO WROTE THE BIBLE: GOD OR MEN?BY Frank Harber<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The Bible guarantees its own truthfulness by deriving its origination from the inspiration of God. The term inspiration comes from 2 Timothy 3:16 which says that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." The word translated as inspiration means "God-breathed" as translated by the New International Version. The Greek word for inspiration is heopneustos which comes from the words "God" and "breath." Consequently, the biblical writers were not inspired in the same way a great composer writes a song. Biblical writers were instructed by God to communicate that which they had received from God (2 Pet. 1:21).
God chose to deliver His divine message through men. In doing so, God did not merely dictate His message, word for word, but used the personality and style of individuals to communicate His message. God did not use men as tape recorders making the Scriptures some kind of mechanical dictation. God did not place each writer in an unconscious trance, but used the personality of each writer to deliver His message. This may be readily observed in a careful reading of Luke's Book of Acts. Because Luke was a physician, he used medical terms which gave further insights into his message.
God's use of the personalities of people in no way diminishes the Bible as the Word of God. God guided the writers to write exactly what He wanted to be written. They did not leave out anything that God wanted to be recorded. In fact, Jesus said that every word is important (Matt. 4:4). To read the words of Scripture is not to read the words of men but the words of God. This is clearly taught by the Scriptures themselves. The prophets were conscious of this as they repeatedly uttered the phrase "thus says the Lord" and "the word of the Lord came to me." Writers of the New Testament believed the entire Old Testament to be the very Word of God (<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rom. 3:2). The New Testament writers often quoted an Old Testament author such as Moses using phrases such as "God said" (Gen. 2:24).
The New Testament writers recognized the authority of their message. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:37, "If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." Peter, in writing about the writings of Paul, puts them in the category of being the Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:15-16). The doctrine of inspiration is given by divine revelation. The material in the Bible comes directly from God. Moses was not present at the creation and had to be provided with the details of the creation in a supernatural way. In other cases, men were moved to record what they had witnessed, but both methods of revelation are inspired by God.
Some people teach that only some of the Bible is inspired, thus teaching that the Bible is not the Word of God but that it only contains the Word of God. This is inconsistent with 2 Timothy 3:16 which says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." Theologians refer to the entire Bible being inspired as "plenary verbal" inspiration of the Bible. Plenary means "all" and verbal means "word." Plenary verbal inspiration asserts that every word is God-breathed, nothing is missing, and nothing is uninspired.The Bible is far more than just the product of some very intelligent men. The Bible is God's method of communication to us. God's process of inspiration and supervision guarantees us that the message of the Scriptures is what God intended the writers to write. Therefore, when we read the Bible, we are reading the Word of God, and because we are reading the Word of God, we know that the Bible is true.

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