Monday, July 02, 2007


“Revelation” is the theological word for God revealing Himself to mankind. According to Hebrews 1:1, in Bible times God spoke to mankind in a variety of ways. Sometimes it was through angelic messengers; sometimes through a loud voice; sometimes through a still, small voice; sometimes through dreams; sometimes through visions; and once, He even did so through a 4-legged donkey. Now that should not be too surprising because it seems to me that He still speaks through a few 2-legged donkeys even today.

There are two types of revelation. One is what we call “general revelation” and it includes things like nature (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-20); conscience (Romans 2:14-16); and history (I Corinthians 10:1-6). The other type is what we call “specific revelation” which includes the Bible, or Inspired Revelation (Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Peter 1:20-21) and Christ Himself, or what we call Incarnate Revelation (John 1:1, 14, 18).

Today it is the Bible which is the main way that God reveals Himself to man. But what exactly does it mean when we say that the Bible is “inspired”? 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches us that “all” Scripture is “inspired,” a term literally meaning “God-breathed.” 2 Peter 1:20-21 teaches that no Scripture was thought up by the Prophets but rather was given as the Spirit moved upon men. This was done in such a way that it was given exact in all details and strokes (Matthew 5:18).

There are many false theories about inspiration. Some say that the Bible is inspired like William Shakespeare is inspired. Some believe that God dictated the Bible to the writers word for word. Some believe that only the main thoughts of the Bible are inspired. Some believe that only certain parts of Scripture are inspired. Some believe that the Bible is infallible only in religious matters. Some believe that the Bible becomes inspired as we understand it. Others believe that only certain translations are inspired. The truth about inspiration of Scripture is that all (plenary) the very words (verbal) of the Bible are inspired. Inspiration involves the inspired guidance by the Holy Spirit using the inspired personality of the authors to produce inspired words.

Inspiration does not guarantee the inspiration of translations. Inspiration does not allow for any false teaching but it does on occasion record someone’s lie (Genesis 3:4). Inspiration does not permit historical, scientific, or prophetic error. Inspiration does not exclude the use of symbols or pictorial language (Psalm 91:4). Inspiration does not mean uniformity in all details (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19).

What inspiration does do, however, is to assure us that God included all the necessary things in Scripture that He wanted us to know and excluded everything else. According to 2 Timothy 3:15-17, inspiration means that in Scripture God gave to us everything we needed to be equipped to do every good work. Some believe that God is giving extra revelation and “words of knowledge” today. If that is true, then 2 Timothy 3:15-17 is wrong and the Bible isn’t enough. The Bible is enough. It is the inspired Word of God!

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