verbally inspired


#1

My parents go to a non-denominational church. In their statement of beliefs they say the following about the Bible:

THE BIBLE: The Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, verbally inspired in all parts and, therefore, wholly without error as originally given of God (II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:21).

I am wondering…what do you think they mean by VERBALLY inspired? And what is your opinion of this?


#2

[quote=bonica]My parents go to a non-denominational church. In their statement of beliefs they say the following about the Bible:

THE BIBLE: The Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, verbally inspired in all parts and, therefore, wholly without error as originally given of God (II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:21).

I am wondering…what do you think they mean by VERBALLY inspired? And what is your opinion of this?
[/quote]

It’s probably a shorthand reference to “verbal plenary inspiration”. That simply means that the words of scripture themselves, not just the concepts, are inspired.

ken


#3

An interesting fact that these folks are leaving out of their “creed” is the what is contained in the Bible can be TRUE withOUT verbal inspiration.

For instance: there are 2 different accounts of the teachings of Jesus we often refer to as the “Sermon on the Mount” (Beatitudes, etc). ONE account says Jesus went UP onto a mountain to do this teaching. The OTHER account says Jesus and his followers went DOWN to a level place. Now both things cannot be LITERALLY true, hence the literal verbal inspiration thing begins to circle the drain :slight_smile: BUT - does that mean what is contained in that teaching isn’t true? Of course not. What Jesus taught is what is important in that story, NOT where he stood.

Verbal inspiration and literalism are sure-fire ways to insure misinterpretation of the Bible (which, of course, is more than 66 books).


#4

So if I’m understanding it correctly, they believe that God more or less dictated every word to the writers? If so, this makes no sense because if God dictated each word then the writers’ individual personalities would not come out in their writing styles (which they do). If God dictated it the writing style would all be the same (ie. God’s writing style) throughout the whole Bible.


#5

[quote=bonica]So if I’m understanding it correctly, they believe that God more or less dictated every word to the writers? If so, this makes no sense because if God dictated each word then the writers’ individual personalities would not come out in their writing styles (which they do). If God dictated it the writing style would all be the same (ie. God’s writing style) throughout the whole Bible.
[/quote]

No, it does not mean that. The view is much more subtle in that every word is exactly as God intended it, yet God still uses the secondary agency of man to acheive this such that our personalities and so forth show through. You can study Aquinas ideas about primary and secondary agency if you’d like a pretty good Catholic explanation of that concept.

ken


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