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Many claim the Bible is a great book, but how can I know it’s inspired and what does that even mean?
Bible does indeed claim to be inspired – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Firstly what does inspiration even mean?
It’s the idea that God dictates in some way what the writers of the Bible wrote down.
There are 4 main theories of inspiration:
1. Neo-orthodox – Human documents, when read it’s a working of God (All God).
2. Dictation View – God told writers what to write (All God).
3. Limited Inspiration – God allowed human writers freedom express themselves (All man).
4. Plenary Verbal Inspiration – Every single word is God’s Word.
No. 4 is the one I subscribe to and is the one most other Christian Teachers would support.
The Bible also says that God used the Holy Spirit in order to carry the writers along (see 2 Peter below), ensuring every word was directly from him. As he used human writers he was also using their unique personalities and personal experiences to get his message across.
2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
The obvious question is, how can we know the Bible is inspired? Although there are many more, I will give 6 reasons to help us to trust in the inspiration of the scriptures.
1. Unity of Scripture – 66 books, multiple writers, yet agreement on all the major themes is incredible
2. Extra Biblical Support – Many non- Christian writers and historians support the details of the scriptures – see Josephus, Talmud, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Celsus
3. Archaeology – Many discoveries have been unearthed supporting Biblical details.
4. Science – Beginning of the Universe, shape of the earth, valley of the seas, hydrological cycle, infection and quarantine laws
5. Prophecy – Many details of Jesus’ life were written down before they happened
6. Put it to the test yourself – put it into practice and this will confirm it’s inspiration better than anything else can. As Jesus said, you will then know the truth and it will set you free.
Thanks for reading
Simon – TBG