Inspiration of the Bible

I.                 Why teach on the inspiration of the Bible first?

II.             What defines Christianity? The Church? The Pope?What did the Reformers mean by Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)?

III.         What do we know about Jesus outside of the Bible? (Almost nothing of significance.[1]) Can we be conformed into His image without the Bible?

IV.            What was Satan�s earliest strategy with man?
�Has God indeed said...?� (Gen. 3:1)His primary weapon is fostering doubt regarding the Scriptures
frequently aided by well-educated scholars in seminaries.

V.                What does Camano Chapel believe about the Scriptures?

A.               �1. The supernatural and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures - that they are inerrant and that their teaching and authority are absolute, supreme, and final.�

B.                What does inspiration mean?

1.                All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (theopneustos), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2Ti. 3:16)

2.                Theopneustos = �God breathed.� Who is the source of the breath?

C.                How does supernatural revelation differ from natural inspiration? (It is not limited by natural abilities and insight.)

1.                Carried by the Spirit (2Pe. 1:19-21)

2.                What Scripture says, God says.[2]

3.                Regarding the gospels... arguing about who was there to witness and record? (Much of the Bible contains information which could not possibly be known by any human means!)

D.               What does inerrant mean? To what does it apply?How does it differ from infallible?

1.                Infallible - the view that Scripture contains error, but will not fail in its task of guiding believers.[3]

2.                If Scripture contains errors, how do we decide what is accurate, what is not?

a)                 Sinful man sits in judgment of Holy Writ!

b)                 IsGod condemning men to eternity in hell on the basis of faulty information?

3.                What version is inerrant? (Original manuscripts.)

a)                 Example of probably copyist error: age of Ahazia at ascension to throne. Is it 22 (2K. 8:26) or 42 (2Chr. 22:2)?

4.                How could something human be without error? Is there another Biblical example? (Parallel of Jesus as the Logos.)

E.                What does plenary mean?

1.                Plenary = complete, all parts

2.                The alternative: partial inspiration - only �matters of faith and practice.�

3.                What is a key problem with the idea of partial inspiration? (Who decides what is inspired and what isn�t?)

F.                Verbal = the very words

1.                �it is written...�[4]

2.                Jesus emphasized the written permanence of God�s Word (Mat. 5:18).

3.                The very words are those of God (1Cor. 2:13).[5]

4.                Some translations are thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word and are not suited for detailed Bible study. Popular examples include the New International Version (NIV), The Message.[6]

VI.            What view did Jesus have of Scripture? Are we guilty of having a lower view of Scripture than our Lord?

A.               Christ validated Old Testament passages often ridiculed today including: the creation of Adam and Eve (Mat. 17:26-32); the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:26-32); Noah�s global flood (Mat. 24:37); the brazen serpent (John 3:14 cf. Num. 21); death of Lot�s wife (Luke 17:32 cf. Gen. 19:26); Jonah in the great fish (Mat. 12:40); Daniel as a prophet (Mat. 24:15).

B.                Christ constantly appealed to the Scriptures - even when contending with the devil. �It is written...� [7]

C.                Jesus relies on a verb tense to teach the reality of life beyond the grave (Mat. 22:31).

D.               Jesus relies on the inspiration and details of a psalm to teach the Messiah as son of David (Mat. 110:1 cf. Ps. 110:1).

E.                Jesus emphasized the permanence of the details of Scripture (Mat. 16:17; Luke 16:17).

F.                Jesus said if we would not believe the writings of Moses, we would not believe His words. (John 5:46).

G.                Jesus said �scripture cannot be broken� (John 10:35).

H.               God has exalted His Word above His own name (Ps. 138:2)!

VII.        What happens when we have a low view of Scripture? (Obedience to God�s Word is thwarted without a high view of Scripture.)

A.               observation - we won�t painstakingly study a text we believe is faulty or irrelevant.

B.                interpretation - we won�t rightly divide Scripture because we don�t understand it as the product of a single Author (the Holy Spirit) Who does not contradict Himself.

C.                application - We will not bow in obedience to an errant and untrustworthy text. Especially in areas which conflict with our culturally-indoctrinated views (e.g. evolution, child raising, feminism, divorce, money, Israel, etc.). Instead, we will do �what is right in our own eyes� (Jer. 16:12).

VIII.    What do we do with Bible difficulties?

A.               Many passages which are difficult to accept turn out to contain significant typology (e.g. Num. 21). With God, believing is seeing.

B.                Some passages resolve after continued study and prayer.

C.                Understand the human aspect through which Scripture was recorded and that the purpose and focus of Scripture often differs from the service we press it to.

D.               Some difficulties will not be resolvable until we are glorified. This is where trust in God must prevail. (It is impossible to please God without faith.)

IX.           Resources for the Seeker

A.               The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

B.                The Inspiration & Authority of Scripture, Rene Pache

C.                Inerrancy , Norman Geisler, ed.

D.               Explaining Inerrancy: A Commentary, R.C. Sproul

[1] �� For an overview of extra-Biblical writings concerning Jesus see Jesus Outside the New Testament by Robert E. Van Voorst.

[2] �� Mat. 2:24 (cf. Gen. 2:24); Acts 4:24-25 (cf. Ps. 2:1); Acts 13:34 (cf. Isa. 55:3); Acts 13:35 (cf. Ps. 16:10); Rom. 9:17 (cf. Ex. 9:16); Gal. 3:8 (cf. Gen. 12:3); Heb. 1:5 (cf. Ps. 2:7); Heb. 1:6 (cf. Ps. 97:7); Heb. 1:7 (cf. Ps. 104:4); Heb. 3:7 (cf. Ps. 95:7)

[3] �� "...for a neo-evangelical the Bible is a religious book, a book of salvation. Its purpose is to save and it is infallible in accomplishing that purpose. But it is not inerrant in all its statements. Only the saving 'core' is true, not the cultural 'husk' in which it is presented. Inspiration is dynamic and 'organic.' It does not guarantee the inerrancy of all historical and scientific statements in Scripture but only the infallibility of the saving purpose of the Scripture." Geisler, Norman L. and Nix, William E. A General Introduction To The Bible Chicago: Moody Press, 1986

[4] �� Jos. 8:31; 2S. 1:18; 1K. 2:3; 2K. 23:21; 2Chr. 23:18; 2Chr. 25:4; 2Chr. 31:3; 2Chr. 35:12; Ezra 3:2; Ezra 3:4; Ezra 6:18; Ne. 8:15; Ne. 10:34; Ne. 10:36; Ps. 40:7; Isa. 65:6; Dan. 9:13; Mat. 2:5; Mat. 4:4-10; Mat. 11:10; Mat. 21:13; Mat. 26:24; Mat. 26:31; Mark 1:2; Mark 7:6; Mark 9:13; Mark 14:21; Mark 14:27; Luke 2:23; Luke 3:4; Luke 4:4; Luke 4:8; Luke 4:10; Luke 7:27; Luke 19:46; Luke 24:46; John 6:31; John 6:45; John 12:14; Acts 1:20; Acts 7:42; Acts 15:15; Acts 23:5; Rom. 1:17; Rom. 2:24; Rom. 3:4; Rom. 3:10; Rom. 4:17; Rom. 8:36; Rom. 9:13; Rom. 9:33; Rom. 10:15; Rom. 11:8; Rom. 11:26; Rom. 12:19; Rom. 14:11; Rom. 15:3; Rom. 15:9; Rom. 15:21; 1Cor. 1:19; 1Cor. 1:31; 1Cor. 2:9; 1Cor. 3:19; 1Cor. 9:9; 1Cor. 10:7; 1Cor. 14:21; 1Cor. 15:45; 2Cor. 8:15; 2Cor. 9:9; Gal. 3:10; Gal. 3:13; Gal. 4:22; Gal. 4:27; Heb. 10:7; 1Pe. 1:16

[5] �� Jer. 26:2; Mat. 5:18; Mat. 22:31; Mat. 22:43; Luke 16:17; Luke 24:25; John 5:46; John 10:35; John 17:8; Acts 24:14; Rom. 3:2; Rom. 16:26; 1Cor. 2:13; 1Cor. 14:37; 1Th. 2:13; Rev. 1:3; Rev. 22:7; Rev. 22:18-19

[6] �� For example, the NIV includes the phrase �with Israel� at Eph. 3:6 although the Greek word for Israel (israhl) is not contained in any Greek text for that verse.

[7] �� Mat. 4:4,7,10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24,31; Mark 7:6; 9:13; 14:21,27; Luke 4:4,8; 7:27; 19:46; 24:46; John 6:31,45