The Bible

Peter, Paul, and the New Testament writers agree with Jesus: The Bible is the Word of God by virtue of His ministry through chosen vessels to reveal His intent. First, Peter says,

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

2 Peter 1:21 ESV

Then, Paul writes unequivocally:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

2 Timothy 3:16

What we know: Does inspired mean that God mechanically directed the hand of each biblical author to record God’s own voice? Absolutely not. What is so marvelous about the Bible is that God’s Word comes to us through the personalities, the circumstances, the challenges, the joys and sorrows with people just like us. The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.

It is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

English Standard Version. (2016). (Hebrew 6:18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

God is great:  God sent His only Son to live the life we could never live and die the death that should have been ours, who rose from the grave on the third day, so God wrote the Bible. He revealed His Word to us in a way that we could understand, in a way that is accessible, and the way that is both beautiful and unified.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” ~Jesus

English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 24:35). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

What it’s all about: It is important to say that there is a difference between inspiration and illumination. The word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit  —  God “breathed out” (2 Timothy 3:16) through the instrument of human beings. Illumination” is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that helps us to understand and apply God’s word. Faithful gospel preachers, therefore, were not inspired themselves or of their own accord.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 1:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

The bottom line: But it was the Holy Spirit illuminating their minds so that they could proclaim the inspired Word of God. Those of us who listen to the Word of God expounded also should pray for the illumination of the Holy Spirit: that we “may hear, receive, and inwardly digest the inspired word of the Master” (Collect [a gathering prayer] from the Book of Common Prayer).