Verbal inspiration means that God inspired the authors of the books of the Bible to record not just the thoughts but also the very words God wanted recorded. First Corinthians 2:13 says, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” These are God’s inerrant words!
However, many critics challenge the inerrancy of Scripture.
Read 2 Peter 1:21 and 2 Timothy 3:15-17.
Answer the following challenges, in light of these passages:
Challenge 1: The writers are human and since “to err is human” is a correct assessment of our imperfection, then we cannot claim their writings are inerrant.
Challenge 2: The Bible is inerrant only in the sense that it accomplishes its purpose, not that it is actually without error.
Challenge 3: The Bible is infallible only in the sense that the writers were trying to be truthful.
God’s methods of inspiration
Have you ever wondered how God inspired the authors? Did they actually hear God’s voice or was it evident that God was guiding them as they wrote?
We have glimpses in some cases. Moses spoke face-to-face with God as a man speaks with his friend (Exodus 33:11). The apostle John was given a vision in the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:1). No matter what method God chose to give the information to the authors, we need to remember that “prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
What are the ways God gave information to the following people?
- John at the crucifixion (John 19:26,27).
- Luke’s gospel account (Luke 1:1-4).
Think about it! God used dozens of authors over 1,500 years to give us his Word. What truths does this teach us about God?
God’s words of inspiration
Jesus said, “Not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18). Not only the thoughts but also the very words and even the very letters of the words of Scripture are inspired.
Read Matthew 22:41-45.
Jesus claims that the Messiah is more than the son of David. Who does he claim he is, and what one word proves his point?
Read Galatians 3:15-18.
The apostle Paul claims the promise of God has always meant one person. How does he prove his point?
Author: David Scharf
Volume 108, Number 2
Issue: February 2021
- Psalm 103: When you count your blessings
- Psalm 91: When God lifts you up on his lap
- Psalm 4: When you draw nearer to the end
- Psalm 42: When you ask, “Where is God when I’m hurting?”
- Psalm 32: When you need forgiveness
- Psalm 130: When rocks fall
- Bible study: Freedom in service
- What does this mean for me? Article 6
- Bible study: Spiritual gifts
- What does this mean for me? Article 5
- What does this mean for me? Article 4
- Bible study: Rejoice in your status!
- Bible study: Baptismal blessings
- What does this mean for me? Article 3
- What does this mean for me? Article 2
- Bible study: Gifts of tongues and miraculous healing
- What does this mean for me? Article 1
- Bible study: Jesus is everyone’s Savior
- Bible study: Love one another
- Bible study: Above all things!
- Bible study: The comfort of God’s providence
- The book of James: Waiting for Christ’s return
- Bible study: Precious grace
- The book of James: Active in using prayer
- Bible study: Rewards of grace
- The book of James: Active in showing love
- The book of James: Correctly evaluating riches
- Bible study: What’s going to happen on the Last Day?
- The book of James: Avoiding loveless judging
- Bible study: Interpretation practice
- The book of James: Taming the tongue
- Bible study: The Bible’s attributes
- Bible study: The importance of the family altar
- Bible study: God’s attitude is grace
- Bible study: The Bible’s account of Easter morning
- Bible study: Different types of sin
- Bible study: God’s inspiration
- Bible study: Giving God glory
- Bible study: Judge for yourself
- The book of James: Using the Word of Truth
- Bible study: The need for the Bible and worship
- Bible study: Citizens of two kingdoms
- The book of James: Active in good works
- The book of James: When battling temptation
- Bible study: God cares
- Bible study: God made the world
- The book of James: When facing trials
- Bible study: A loving God saved people from hell
- The book of James: A blueprint for living out our life of faith
- A Bible story just for me: Guilt
- Bible study: God provides victory over death!
- A Bible story just for me: Anxiety
- Bible study: God forgives and refuses to remember our sins
- A Bible story just for me: Grief
- Bible study: God helps those who cannot help themselves
- A Bible story just for me: Depression
- Bible study: God has not grown soft on sin
- Bible study: Only one path leads to God’s presence
- A Bible story just for me: Trauma
- A Bible story just for me
- Bible study: God wants me in heaven
- Bible study: The incarnation of our Lord