SPECIAL TOPIC: INSPIRATION

This is the faith assertion that God was actively involved by His Spirit in recording His acts, promises, and will for mankind.  It is "the" divine self-disclosure!  This disclosure is called "revelation."  Its recording for future generations is called "inspiration."

The only use of the word "inspiration" in the Bible is in 2 Tim. 3:16 and is literally "God exhaled."  Notice "Scripture" in the NT always refers to the OT (i.e., 2 Tim. 2:15 refers to Timothy's Jewish upbringing).  Notice the purpose of Scripture is two fold.

1. wisdom that leads to salvation, 2 Tim. 2:15

2. training in righteousness, 2 Tim. 2:16

Notice how John 5:39; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; and 1 Pet. 1:10-12 see the OT as pointing toward Christ.  Jesus Himself asserts this in Luke 24:25-27!  The Spirit led OT writers (cf. 2 Pet. 1:20-21).  The church accepted the canon (see Special Topic: Canon) of the OT.  They saw it as fully inspired (cf. Matt. 5:17-19).  However, they also realized that the NT, which contains Jesus' words and deeds, was ultimate revelation (cf. Matt. 5:21-48; Heb. 1:1-2).  Jesus is the full, final, and complete revelation of YHWH (cf. John 1:1-5,14; Col. 1:15-16).  He fulfills the OT promise of Messiah (i.e., Matt. 26:31,56; 14:27,49; Luke 20:17; John 12:14-16; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24-36; Acts 1:16; 3:18,21-26; 4:25-28).

The Spirit must open the mind and heart before one can understand (cf. Acts 8:34-35; 13:27).  The Spirit led biblical writers to express in human words, idioms, and illustrations the truths of God's self-disclosure in Jesus (cf. John 14:26; 15:26-27; 1  Cor. 2:10-11,13-16).

A good brief discussion is in Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed., pp. 224-245.

Also a good discussion on the literary process from an "oral" based society to written documents is John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture (2013).

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