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Some people doubt the verbal inspiration of the Bible. They are not convinced that every word in the Bible was infallibly given by God. Instead, for example they may believe that God gave ideas to the men who recorded the message, but the men expressed those ideas in words of their own choosing. Since this means that the men could make mistakes in their choice of words, it is possible that the Scriptures do not always say exactly what God wants them to say. What does the Bible itself say about this?
In 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 Paul claims the Holy Spirit gave him revelations from God. Then in verse 13 he says: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches.” So it is not just the ideas that Paul received from the Holy Spirit, but he also received the words in which he expressed the ideas. Had Paul himself chosen the words, then he would have done it according to man’s wisdom. But he said he did not speak in words which man’s wisdom taught, but in words which the Holy Spirit taught.
Consider an example of the exactness of the words in the Bible. In Matthew 22:31,32 Jesus spoke to the Sadducees who denied the resurrection of the dead because they did not believe that man has a spirit that continues to exist after his death. Jesus quoted the statement God made to Moses at the burning bush. God said, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Jesus then added, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
The power of the argument is that, when God spoke this, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had all physically died; but Jesus said God is the God of the living, not the dead. So these men continued to exist even after they had died. But the argument has power only if the original message was “I am the God,” rather than “I was the God.” Jesus believed that the original revelation was so precise that He could make a valid point that depended entirely on the tense of a verb.
The Bible is verbally and infallibly inspired. Every word in the original message was exactly what God wanted it to be, and God makes no mistakes.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2018
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.