Inspiration of the Bible- 3

26 Apr

Time to continue the series quoting J C Ryle. He says it so much better than I.

#1. The plain truth is that inspiration is a miracle, and, like all miracles, there is much about it which we cannot fully understand (pg. 24)

#2. Nor must we confound it with the gifts and graces bestowed upon the early Christians in the primitive Church. All apostles were enabled to preach and to work miracles, but not all were inspired to write. (pg. 25)

#3. The exact manner in which the minds of the inspired writers of scripture worked when they wrote, I do not pretend to explain…I do not admit for a moment that they were mere machines holding pens, and, like type-setters in a printing office, did not understand what they were doing. (pgs. 25-6)

#4. The result is the Bible is the written Word of god but I can no more explain the process than I can explain how the water became wine at Cana, or how five loaves fed five thousand men, or how a word raised Lazarus from the dead.  (pg. 26)

#5. When you are reading the Bible you are not reading the unaided, self-taught composition of erring men like ourselves, but the thoughts and words which were suggested by the eternal God. (pg. 27)

#6. Others hold that inspiration means nothing more than general superintendence and direction, and that, while the Bible writers were miraculously preserved from making mistakes in great things and matters necessary to salvation, in things indifferent they were left to their own unassisted faculties, like any other writers. (g. 28)

#7. For one thing I cannot see how the Bible can be a perfect rule of faith and practice if it is not fully inspired, and if it contains any flaws and imperfections. (pg. 31)

#8. For another thing, if the bible i snot fully inspired and contains imperfections, I cannot understand the langauge which is frequently used about its own pages. Such expressions as ‘The oracles of God’; ‘he saith’; ‘God saith’ ‘the Holy Ghost spake by Esias the Prophet’; ‘the Holy Ghost saith, ‘To-day if ye will hear his voice”‘, would appear to me inexplicable and extravagant if applied to a book containing occasional blemishes, defects and mistakes. (pg. 32)

#9. But if this is so, it is hard to see on what principle we can deny the inspiration of all words of Scripture. At any rate, those who deny verbal inspiration will find it difficult to show us which words are inspired and which are not. Who is to draw the line, and where is it to be drawn? (pg. 33)

#10. For another thing, if the words of Scripture are not all inspired, the value of the Bible as a weapon in controversy is greatly damaged, if not entirely taken away. (pg. 34)

#11. For another thing, to give up verbal inspiration appears to me to destroy the usefulness of the bible as an instrument of public preaching and instruction. (pg. 34)

#12. Last, but not least, the denial of verbal inspiration appears to me to destroy a great part of the usefulness of the Bible as a source of comfort and instruction in private reading. (pg. 35)

#6 is the only one that bothers me as although we know that Paul did say in 1 Corinthians the words, I speak but not the Lord (paraphrase), a couple of times but no other biblical author did so, we must be careful to attribute other passages to the individual biblical author’s personal opinion and not to God’s instruction.Those words in #6 can open a door to allow for some people to dismiss those passages inspired by God as subjective human and cultural direction instead of as the holy writ they actually are.

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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, leadership, theology


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