The Holy Spirit initiated and controlled the
process of giving us the written revelation of God.
The Scriptures were not merely man’s own thoughts,
nor divine thoughts in their own words, but “the words of God,” as the
writers were impelled or “born along” by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit enlightened the mind and superintended for both the
spoken and the written word (2 Peter 3:15; 1 Peter 1:3-25). Even the very language is
God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). It breathes out the Spirit. It is the
product of Gods creative breath. God breathed through man the words that make up the
The word “plenary” means “full, entire, complete.”
It is the way theologians speak of the fully or completely inspired
Bible. It is God-breathed in all of its parts. It is also “verbal,”
i.e., it applies to the words. God-breathed Scriptures consists of
God-given words. It was not dictated to the witnesses (1
Kings 22:8-16; Neh. 8; Psalm 119; Jer. 25:1-13; Rom. 1:2; 3:2, 21; 16:26).
The authors did not write like robots. Verbal
inspiration does not imply
mechanical or dictational inspiration. It does not efface the writer’s
own personality. The human writers were not passive in the process. They
were God’s penmen, not merely His pens. They used their minds,
personalities, individual characteristics and expressions as they wrote.
The language of the Scriptures is human. They wrote
in the language of the people. Some wrote in Aramaic, others Hebrew and
However, the message these men wrote down came from
God. God is the true author of the Scriptures. That is why we understand
the Bible to be the Word of God.
When we say we believe in the verbal inspiration of the
Scriptures we mean that the very words the authors used were inspired, not the thoughts
only. The Holy Spirit guided the writer in the choice of words he chose from his
vocabulary. God enabled them to choose the very words they used in the
If there was not this governing by the Holy Spirit
the Bible would be less inspired. We believe in the “full, complete”
inspiration of the Bible and therefore no part of the Bible is omitted.
The words are the words God wanted in the text. It is the verbal,
plenary, infallible and unlimited inerrancy of the Bible that I trust to
be the Word of God for me today. The authority of the message is
guaranteed in the accuracy of the words. You cannot have errors in the
Bible and authority too.
The Holy Spirit influenced control over the sacred writers as they
wrote, including their expression of thoughts in language, as well as the thoughts
themselves, and the choice of words they wrote. What God had to say is conveyed with
infallible accuracy. The words and the thoughts they convey are Gods revelation to
us (1 Cor. 2:13; 1 Thess. 2:13; Jn. 14:26; 16:13).
When plenary inspiration is denied all Christian faith is undermined.
God revealed truth to the Bible writers by means of the Holy Spirit
uncovering it to them, but they were not left to make a permanent record of it by themselves. It is
one thing to know a certain fact, and quite another to find the exact words in your
vocabulary to give an accurate understanding of that truth. The words they used were not
dictated by their human reason or wisdom, but in the words taught by the
Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13). The Holy Spirit taught them the words
because He revealed the truth behind the words. Thus we have in the
original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Biblical manuscripts the very
words that God taught the writers to use as they recorded the truth
which they had received by revelation. This is what is meant by verbal
By divine revelation the Holy Spirit unveiled or
revealed the spiritual truth to the writers. Moreover, He also led them
to choose the right word out of their own vocabulary to communicate the
exact truth God wanted them to understand.
Spirit took those writers as he found them and used them infallibly. Lukes Greek is
the purest and most beautiful. Pauls Greek was far more involved and difficult
than Johns. John often uses words with double meaning to draw out
contrasts, and his thoughts soar to the windows of heaven. Mark races
through his gospel with words of action. There was a difference in their
education and this is often seen in their writings.
The authors of the Scriptures were led by the Holy Spirit
as they searched
their vocabularies for the exact words which would accurately express the truth they wished
They compared the word in their vocabulary with the truth they wished to write down.
They did not choose to use the words which the Holy Spirit showed them would not correctly
express the thought. The words they used were those which the Spirit led
them to use as they wrote.
The Holy Spirit freed them up to express their own
individual personalities, vocabulary, and education while at the
same time guiding them to make an "infallible record of truth infallibly
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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