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All scripture inspired?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by ThisShouldMakeSense, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. ThisShouldMakeSense

    ThisShouldMakeSense Active Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    What did Paul mean in 2 Timothy 3:16 when he said ALL scripture is inspired? The rest of the Bible canon was complete and then there is the apocrypha...he also wrote that all scripture is inspired of God, not by God...so what is your understandidng of this verse?
  2. angellous_evangellous

    He was most likely referring to the LXX.
  3. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    How ironic, using uninspried scripture to say that it iself is inspired. Circular reasoning at its best.
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    May 15, 2004
    There is a good deal of scholarship suggesting that 2 Timothy was not written by Paul. So, for example, in the New American Bible of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Introduction to I Timothy states:
    From the late second century to the nineteenth, Pauline authorship of the three Pastoral Epistles went unchallenged. Since then, the attribution of these letters to Paul has been questioned. Most scholars are convinced that Paul could not have been responsible for the vocabulary and style, the concept of church organization, or the theological expressions found in these letters.​
    It is the height of irony that a claim of inerrancy is so often defended using as prooftext a single verse from a Pastoral of uncertain authorship.
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Well, here is a good analysis; a good 'non conclusion'

    From:- http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_insp.htm

    Did the Holy Spirit inspire​
    the authors of the Bible?

    "With regard to the Bible, inspiration denotes the doctrine that the human authors and editors of canonical scripture were led or influenced by the Deity with the result that their writings many be designated in some sense the word of God." 1

    Inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible are two closely related concepts:
    Historically, Christians have generally believed the entire Bible to be inerrant -- free of error -- in the books' original, autograph versions. However, the entire Bible was written by a group of very human authors. The only way in which fallible humans could have written so much inerrant text would have been for them to have been inspired by God. Given biblical inerrancy, one can assume that God must have overseen the creation of the Bible's text in some way, and pro-actively prevented the authors from committing any error.
    Fundamentalists and other Evangelicals Christians still follow the traditional belief. Liberal Christians have generally abandoned belief in both inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible. Instead, they analyze the Bible as a historical document using techniques of "higher criticism."​

    References to inspiration in the Bible:

    In the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as referring to scripture as being fixed -- presumably because it comes from God:

    John 10:35 "If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken..." (KJV)
    The Book of Acts refers to God speaking through the mouth of David:
    Acts 4:24-25: "...Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?"


    Paul describes the process of inspiration by the Holy Spirit in one of his Epistles:
    1 Corinthians 2:9-13: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: ...Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (KJV)
    Paul refers to the Hebrew Scriptures as the "word of God," not of men:
    1 Thesalonians 2:13: "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."


    A key proof text used by conservative Christians to support their belief in inspiration is in one of the Pastoral Epistles. It states that all of the Scriptures are "theopneustos" in the original Greek -- "breathed out by God:"
    2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (KJV).
    A second popular verse which supports the concept of inspiration is in one of the General Epistles:
    2 Peter 1:20-21: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (KJV)"
    The 2 Timothy verse was written circa 64 CE by Paul, according to most conservative Christians or circa 100 to 150 CE by an unknown author, according to most liberal theologians. The 2 Peter verse was written circa 67 CE by Peter, according to most conservative Christians or circa 125 to 150 CE by an unknown author, according to most liberal theologians. The remaining citations listed above were also composed in the first century or the first half of the second century. All were written centuries before the canon of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) was officially established. Still, the word "scripture" in these passages is now generally interpreted by conservative Christians to refer to the entire Bible -- Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures combined.
  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Sep 27, 2004

    Types of inspiration:

    Various Christian groups have different beliefs concerning the mechanism by which inspiration took place:
    "Automatic writing" theory: The Oxford Companion to the Bible states that Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE to 40 CE) "proposed what might be termed the 'mantic theory' of the inspiration of the scriptures, in which the human author becomes possessed by God and loses consciousness of self, surrendering to the divine spirit and its communicatory powers." 6 This is not a popular belief today. ​
    "Dictation theory:" This is the belief that the Holy Spirit pre-determined each word that the authors wrote. The "authors" were thus performing the function of a secretary. The words recorded are thus considered the actual, authoritative words of God. 1 The First Vatican Council of 1868-1870 reflects this point of view by stating: "they have God as their author."
    Texas Pastor, Johnny Ramsay, writes that the Scriptures "contain the very words (not ideas, notions, advice or concepts) that the Almighty wanted mankind to clearly know. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. It was truly not the word of men but the Word of God!" 4​
    This belief is difficult to support, because a close reading of the Bible shows many different writing styles. According to most mainline and liberal theologians: The book of Isaiah and the Gospel of John were clearly written by two authors.

    Much of the Pentateuch is a combination of texts from authors who followed four different traditions.
    Paul wrote with "long, complicated sentences," in a highly educated Greek style. Mark used "short, action-packed sentences," in a common form of Greek. 2 This is not particularly obvious in most English Bibles because translators have often homogenized the writing styles. But the writing techniques of the different authors is clearly seen in the original Greek texts. ​

    "Negative assistance"
    theory: Jacques Bonfrère (1573-1642) suggested that the authors expressed their thoughts in their own style and words, while the Holy Spirit only intervened asn needed, in order to prevent them from making any mistakes. There are many variations of this belief, called by various names, such as: Concept Inspiration, Neo-orthodox Theory of Inspiration, Partial Inspiration, Verbal Plenary Inspiration, etc. 3
    Other theories of inspiration include: That the Holy Spirit provided the precise ideas, thoughts and concepts to the authors, who then wrote it down in their own words using their own writing style.
    That the authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit so that their normal powers of observation and writing were heightened. They were thus able to describe their religious thoughts with greater accuracy than normal, but not to the level of inerrancy. The term Inspiration as Illumination has been used to describe this concept.
    That God did not directly inspire the writers of the Bible. The texts are not inerrant, but were written by authors with a "high degree of religious insight." 3 They were inspired in the same way that great artists and musicians have been considered inspired.
    Beliefs of Jews concerning the Hebrew Scriptures:

    The famous Hellenistic Jewish theologian and philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, referred to the Hebrew Scriptures as: "sacred books", "sacred word", and of "most holy scripture." 5 Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37-95 CE) is believed to have been the first to use the word "inspiration" (in Greek: epipnoia) to refer to the Hebrew Scriptures. 7 "He speaks of twenty-two books which the Jews with good reason consider Divine...The belief of the Jews is the inspiration of the Scriptures did not diminish from the time in which they were dispersed throughout the world, without temple, without altar, without priests; on the contrary this faith increased so much that it took the place of everything else." 7

    Beliefs of liberal Christians:

    Liberal Christians generally reject the concepts of biblical inerrancy and inspiration. They view the Bible as a collection of books written by religious, military, and political leaders whose purpose was promote their own beliefs or the beliefs of their faith group. They see concepts in the Bible that violate contemporary religious and secular ethics. Examples are mass murders and genocides; oppression of women; acceptance of human slavery; torture of prisoners, murder of non-combatants, rape, execution of religious and sexual minorities; polygyny, owning of concubines, burning some prostitutes alive; executing brides who were not virgins, etc. They feel that there is so much material in the Bible that is obviously opposed to the will of God, that the concept of inspiration is untenable.

    Can the God's inspiration of the Bible be proven?

    At least three proofs have been offered to prove that the Bible could not have been written by humans without the direct inspiration of God. Needless to say, none have been accepted by religious liberals or secularists:
    Prophecy: Various modern-day writers have counted many hundreds of prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) alone. Conservative Christians generally state that all of the 200 or so prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that foretold the life of Jesus Christ came true; they had a 100% accuracy. Hundreds of other prophecies not related to Jesus have already come true. This could not have happened unless the authors of the Bible were inspired by God. But at lest one skeptic believes that not one "real" prediction has conclusively come true. He has very stringent rules for what defines a "real" prophecy. He points out that the Jesus life story was written after the Hebrew Scriptures were completed. Thus, the writers of the Christian Scriptures might have created non-existent events in Jesus' life to match the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. 11 ​
    Bible codes: A research team at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, headed by Eliyahu Rips used a Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS) analysis method to search for hidden Bible codes in the Book of Genesis. They found many names, birth dates and death dates imbedded in Genesis of famous Jews who lived millennia after the book was written. Other researchers examined the entire Pentateuch and found descriptions of recent world events and predictions in our future. At first, it appeared as if the codes were a positive proof of biblical inspiration. This data is still being circulated as such a "proof." 10 What isn't being reported widely is that other researchers have found similar secret hidden codes in Moby Dick and any long piece of text.
    Archeological data: In his book "The new evidence that demands a verdict," Josh McDowell quotes a number of archaeologists who maintain that biblical accounts are in total agreement with the archeological record: Nelson Glueck: "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference."
    F.F. Bruce: "...it may be legitimate to say that archaeology has confirmed the New Testament record."
    McDowell and others make that point that it is inconceivable that a book covering thousands of years of history could be this free of error unless it was written under the inspiration of God. However, religious liberals and secularists probably agree with the opposite conclusions of a growing group of biblical archaeologists like Philip Davies who wrote: "The gap between the Biblical Israel and the historical Israel as we derive it from archaeology is huge. We have almost two entirely different societies. Beyond the name 'Israel' and the same geographical location, they have almost nothing in common." 9

    It is doubtful that the discrepancies between religious conservatives and liberals over the inspiration of the Bible will be harmonized soon.

    References used:​
    B.M. Metzger & M.D. Coogan, "The Oxford Companion to the Bible," Oxford University Press, New York, NY, (1993), Pages 302 to 304
    "Is the Bible inspired? And what does that mean?," International Bible Society, at: http://www.gospelcom.net/
    M. J. Sawyer, "Theories of Inspiration" at: http://www.bible.org/
    Johnny Ramsey, "Precious Bible - Inspired, inerrant, infallible," Brown Trail Church of Christ, at: http://www.btcoc.com/
    Philo of Alexandria, "De vita Moysis," iii, no. 23.
    Op Cit., B.M. Metzger & M.D. Coogan, Page 304.
    "Inspiration of the Bible," http://www.newadvent.org/ Replicated at: http://www.madrosc.com
    Josh McDowell, "The new evidence that demands a verdict," Nelson, (1999), Pages 61 & 62. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
    Philip Davies, "What separates a Minimalist from a Maximalist? Not much," Bible Archeology Review, 2000-MAR/APR Vol. 26, #2, Pages 24 to 27; 72 & 73.
    F.L. Walker, "A whisper of thunder," at: http://www.godsbook.com/
    Tim Callahan, "Bible prophecy: Failure or fulfillment?," Millennium Press, (1997). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  7. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

    Jun 1, 2005
    Spot on.

  8. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

    Sep 23, 2004
    “Every word that was ever written in its own right should BE called a Bible. The only constraint human society has ever put on literature is its binding.”

    HELLO IT’S ME: An Interview With GOD

    Chapter: The Bible

    Pg. 38

    I believe what GOD is referring to is that all literature (fiction and non-fiction) has a GODly source and can be very timely. Authors often refer to their works as sacred or inspired and offer not only a bit of their personality but a reflective creative side that in its own right seems to imitate the universe creating ability of GOD. Whether it is an imaginative book of science fiction, children’s literature, novels or the inspired books of biographies, history or science fact, GOD believes that if we enjoy these works and if we find meaning within them then there is no reason why we cannot include them in our own “bibles”.
  9. Yasin

    Yasin Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    If you read the Gospel According to Luke:

    Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surly believed among us.
    (Luke 1:1)

    It seemed Good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus.
    (Luke 1:3)

    Luke gives his reason for writing, not beause he was inspired, but because he had "perfect understanding".

    And again if you turn to 1 Corinthians:

    But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.......
    (1 Corinthians 7:12)

    Seems like Pual has the say and not God.

    Respectively to all, Yasin:bounce
  10. angellous_evangellous

    "Bible" simply means "book," and "Scripture" simply means "writing." There are some writings in many cultures that are considered sacred or holy, which is why we call our religious collection the "Holy Bible," and many other religions designate a group of works to expecially communicate their religious perspectives.
  11. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

    Aug 30, 2005
    A more complete excerpt:
    Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    In other words, you should not be led astray by people who teach things contrary to what I have taught. You know me, you know my way of life, and you know the scriptures, and so you shouldn't be led astray.

    Had Paul written 2 Timothy, he would undoubtedly have been referring to the Jewish scriptures -- what Christians call the Old Testament. But it's not likely that Paul wrote it.

    "Inspired of God" means the same thing as "inspired by God."