claims to be and proves to be the Word of God. It was written by
prophets of God, under the inspiration of God.
Prophets of God
authors were prophets and apostles of God. There are many designations
for a prophet, and these are informative about their role in producing
Scripture. They are called:
man of God (1 Kings 12:22), meaning chosenness.
servant of the Lord (1 Kings 14:18), indicating faithfulness.
messenger of the Lord (Isa. 42:19), showing mission.
seer (ro’eh), or beholder (hozeh) (Isa. 30:9-10),
revealing insight from God.
man of the Spirit (Hosea 9:7 KJV; cf. Micah 3:8), noting
watchman (Ezek. 3:17), relating alertness for God.
prophet (most frequently), marking a spokesman for God.
The work of
a biblical prophet is described in vivid terms: "The Lord has spoken;
who can but prophesy" (Amos 3:8). He is the one who speaks "all the
words which the Lord has spoken" (Exod. 4:30). God said to Moses of a
prophet, "I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them
all that I command him" (Deut. 18:18). He added, "You shall not add to
the word which I command you, nor take away from it" (Deut. 4:2).
Jeremiah was commanded: "This is what the Lord says: Stand in the
courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people…. Tell them
everything I command you; do not omit a word" (Jer. 26:2).
was someone who said what God told him to say, no more and no less.
Moved by the
Spirit of God
Scripture, the authors claimed to be under the direction of the Holy
Spirit. David said, "The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word
was on my tongue" (2 Sam. 23:2). Peter, speaking of the whole Old
Testament, added, "Prophecy never had its origin in the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit"
(2 Peter 1:21).
prophets were known by that term. David and Solomon were kings. But
they were mouthpieces of God, and David is called a "prophet" in Acts
2:29-39. Moses was a lawgiver. He too was a prophet or spokesman for
God (Deut. 18:18). Amos disclaimed the term "prophet," in that he was
not a professional prophet, like Samuel and his "school of the
prophets" (1 Sam. 19:20). Even if Amos was not a prophet by office, he
was one by gift (cf. Amos 7:14). God used him to speak. Nor did all
prophets speak in an explicit "Thus says the Lord" first-person style.
Those who wrote historical narrative spoke in an implied "Thus did
the Lord" approach. Their message was about the acts of God in
relation to the people and their sins. In each case God made the
prophet a channel through which to convey his message to us.
about the entire Old Testament canon, the apostle Paul declared: "All
Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may
be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Jesus
described the Scriptures as the very "word that comes out of the mouth
of God" (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). They were written by men who spoke
from God. Paul said his writings were "words… which the Holy
Spirit teaches" (1 Cor. 2:13). As Jesus said to the Pharisees, "How is
it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’?"
(Matt. 22:43, emphasis added).
logic of the inerrancy of Scripture is offered in the articles
Alleged Errors in the Bible (ATRI Journal, September,
October 2000, Theological Dictionary). That the Bible is God’s
inerrant Word is expressed in several ways in Scripture. One is
the formula, "What the Bible says, God says." An Old Testament passage
claims God said something, yet when this text is cited in the New
Testament, the text tells us that the Scriptures said it.
Sometimes the reverse is true. In the Old Testament it is said that
the Bible records something. The New Testament declares that God said
it. Consider this comparison:
What God Says… The Bible Says
Genesis 12:3… Galatians 3:8
Exodus 9:16… Romans 9:17
What the Bible Says… God Says
Genesis 2:24… Matthew 19:4, 5
Psalm 2:1… Acts 4:24, 25
Psalm 2:7… Hebrews 3:7
Psalm 16:10… Acts 13:35
Psalm 95:7… Hebrews 3:7
Psalm 97:7… Hebrews 3:7
Psalm 104:4… Hebrews 3:7
Isaiah 55:3… Acts 13:34
as "thus says the Lord" (for example, Isa. 1:11, 18; Jer. 2:3. 5),
"God said" (Gen. 1:3), and "the Word of the Lord came" (Jer. 34:1;
Ezek. 30:1) are used hundreds of times in Scripture to stress God’s
direct, verbal inspiration of what was written.
"The Word of
points the Bible claims, forthrightly and unequivocally, to be "the
Word of God." Referring to Old Testament commands, Jesus told the Jews
of his day, "Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your
tradition" (Matt. 15:6). Paul speaks of the Scriptures as "the oracles
of God" (Rom. 3:2). Peter declares, "For you have been born again, not
of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and
enduring word of God" (1 Peter 1:23). The writer of Hebrews affirms,
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any
double-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12).
The Claim of
or phrases used in Scripture entail the claim of God’s authority.
Jesus said the Bible will never pass away and is sufficient for faith
and life (Luke 16:31; cf. 2 Tim, 3:16-17). He proclaimed that the
Bible possesses divine inspiration (Matt. 22:43) and authority (Matt.
4:4, 7, 10). It has unity (Luke 24:27; John 5:39) and spiritual
clarity (Luke 24:25).
of Its Biblical Authority
of divine authority in Scripture includes:
that is written—2 Timothy 3:16;
the very words—Matthew 22:43; 1 Corinthians 2:13;
tenses of verbs—Matthew 22:32; Galatians 3:16;
including even the smallest parts of words—Matthew 5:17, 18.
the Bible was not verbally dictated by God, the result is as perfectly
God’s thoughts as if it had been. The Bible’s authors claimed that God
is the source of the very words, since he supernaturally superintended
the process by which each human wrote, using their vocabulary and
style to record his message (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Bible claims to be the Word of God, it is also the words of human
beings. It claims to be God’s communication to people, in their own
language and expressions.
book in the Bible was the composition of
Bible manifests different human literary styles, from the
mournful meter of lamentations to the exalted poetry of Isaiah, from
the simple grammar of John to the complex Greek of Hebrews.
Their choices of metaphors show that different writers used their own
background and interests. James is interested in nature. Jesus uses
urban metaphors, and Hosea those of rural life.
Bible manifests human perspectives and emotions; David spoke in
Psalm 23 from a shepherd’s perspective; Kings is written from a
prophetic vantage point, and Chronicles from a priestly point of view;
Acts manifests a historical interest and 2 Timothy a pastor’s heart.
Paul expressed grief over the Israelites who had rejected God (Rom.
Bible reveals human thought patterns and processes, including
reasoning (Romans) and memory (1 Cor. 1:14-16).
writers of the Bible used human sources for information,
including historical research (Luke 1:1-4) and noncanonical writings
(Josh. 10:13; Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus l:12; Jude 9, 14).