Skip to comments.Inspiration of the Bible
Posted on 05/14/2014 8:40:09 PM PDT by boatbums
Inspiration establishes that the Bible is a divine product. In other words, Scripture is divinely inspired in that God actively worked through the process and had his hand in the outcome of what Scripture would say. Inspired Scripture is simply written revelation. "Scripture is not only man's word, but also, and equally God's word, spoken through man's lips or written with man's pen" (J.I. Packer, The Origin of the Bible, p. 31).
The term comes from Latin and English translations of the Greek word theopneustos in 2 Timothy 3:16. The KJV renders it "inspiration", while the RSV uses "inspired of God". However, the word literally means "God-breathed".
2 Peter 1:19-21 (ESV)
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. - 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Views on the extent of inspiration
There are tyipcally four main views that are associated with the doctrine of Inspiration.
A common belief of neo-orthodoxy is its view of the utter transcendence of God. That is, God is so completely different and set apart from us that we cannot comprehend him apart from his revelation to us (this entails a rejection of natural theology). The issue appears when neo-orthodoxy is compared to Evangelicalism regarding what the title "Word of God" means. Proponents of neo-orthodoxy claimed the Word of God was God himself, and thus the Bible is a witness to the Word of God. As a witness, the Bible cannot be the Word of God (i.e. God is not the Bible), but the Bible still remains a mediator of the Word of God in some manner. Because the writers were finite and sinful, they were capable of error in their writings. Thus, while the writers of the Old and New Testament recorded their experiences and witness to revelation, their writings may contain errors. Problems with this account are raised when one understands that Scripture is God's Word (2 Tim 3:16) and that people were inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:20-21). They were not merely accounts of each person's experience with God.
Although not popular, the dictation theory is prevelant within some conservative Christian circles. This view expresses the belief that God simply dictated what he wanted to be written down. Therefore, all the author did was write down as he was told from God and the end product is the Word of God. Although Scripture does portray this idea (Jer 26:2; Rev 2:1,8), this is not the way all of it was written. At other times authors expressed their own personalities (Gal 1:6, 3:1; Phil 1:3, 4, 8) and the Holy Spirit still insured that the writings reflected God's desired outcome.
This view proposes that Scripture is inspired, yet it is limited to certain aspects. It affirms that God guided the writers, yet also allowed them the freedom to express their own thoughts regarding history and experiences they had. This allows the Bible to contain historical errors, yet, it is claimed that the Holy Spirit protected writers against any doctrinal error. Thus, the Bible may contain historical errors but it remains a reliable source of doctrine. Problems with this view appear in its rejection of the historical trustworthiness of Scripture. Archaeology has proven many biblical accounts (and even removed earlier difficulties) correct, and although the Bible is divinely inspired it also remains a historical document that contains accurate details. This view appears to easily conclude that errors may be possible within difficult passages whereas this is not the case.
Plenary verbal inspiration
The word plenary means "full" or "complete". Therefore, plenary verbal inspiration asserts that God inspired the complete text(s) of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, including both historical and doctrinal details. The word verbal affirms the idea that inspiration extends to the very words the writers chose. For example, in Acts 1:16 the Apostle Peter says "the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake" (KJV). Paul calls all scripture "God-breathed" in 2 Timothy 3:16 (referring to the Old Testament). Thus, the Holy Spirit guided the writers along (cf. 2 Peter 1:20-21) while allowing their own personalities and freedom to produce the Bible we have today. This view recognizes and asserts both the human and divine element within Scripture. This understanding has sometimes been compared and contrasted to the understanding of the two natures of Jesus.
Four things inspiration is not
In order to insure the clarity of what inspiration is and is not, the following four points should be helpful:
\1) The idea is not of mechanical dictation, or automatic writing, or any process which involved the suspending of the action of the human writer's mind. Such concepts of inspiration are found in the Talmud, Philo, and the Fathers, but not in the Bible. The divine direction and control under which the biblical authors wrote was not a physical or psychological force, and it did not detract from but rather heightened the freedom, spontaneity, and creativeness of their writing.
\2) The fact that in inspiration God did not obliterate the personality, style, outlook, and cultural conditioning of his penmen does not mean that his control of them was imperfect, or that they inevitably distorted the truth they had been given to convey in the process of writing it down. B.B. Warfield gently mocks the notion that, when God wanted Paul's letters written,
\3) Inspiredness is not a quality attaching to corruptions that intrude in the course of the transmission of the text, but only to the text as originally produced by the inspired writers. The acknowledgement of biblical inspiration thus makes more urgent the task of meticulous textual criticism, in order to eliminate such corruptions and ascertain what the original text was.
\4) The inspiredness of the biblical writing is not to be equated with the inspiredness of great literature, not even when (as is often true) the biblical writing is in fact great literature. The biblical idea of inspiration relates not to the literary quality of what is written, but to its character as divine revelation in writing.
Ping for comments.
**plenary verbal inspiration **
New term for me. Does that apply to how Martin Luther changed the Bible too?
Martin Luther didn’t change the Bible. Even today, the Catholic Church has never resolved if the Apocrypha is good for doctrine, or only has value as moral stories. Since Protestants believe, IAW Paul, that all scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction”, we also believe good moral stories that are not suitable for doctrine are not scripture.
Martin Luther’s opinion of the value of the Apocrypha - which he translated into the vernacular - is in line with Jerome, and the Council of Trent did not try to decide if Augustine or Jerome was correct.
We could discuss how the Catholic church mistranslated into English the Latin Vulgate which was a translation from the original Greek.
Verses, for example, such as Genesis 3:15 where the Catholic church tries to deify Mary and use the pronoun *she* instead of *he* to imply that it was MARY instead of Jesus that the conflict with Satan occurred.
Or the verse in Acts 2:38 where the Catholic church mistranslates the word *repent* as *do penance*.
Catholics are in no position to criticize the quality of translations of Scripture into English with albatross named the Douay-Rheims Bible hanging around their necks. (Just for starters).
Martin Luther added the word “ONLY” to make faith only.
I’m not talking about the difference in the number of books.
Also Luther did some taking out of various verses, but I have not researched all that. The letter of James comes to mind. He almost didn’t let that get in his Bible.
I’m not talking about the English. Luther was working with the Vulgate.
Which part of the Bible did he write?
Doesn’t matter what the language. The Catholic church still mistranslated Scripture and it is still an authorized version of the Bible.
If they produced a Bible that they changed and authorized it, what’s it to them if someone else does the same?
And any Catholic on board here has yet to prove that Luther changed anything.
bb has provided over and over again, reams of evidence disproving and disqualifying that accusation about Luther made in the Catholic’s desperate attempt to vilify him and discredit any version but their own poor quality translations.
Show us what Catholics claim he changed and bb will show you that he didn’t. It’s been posted many times before so I know she can do it.
Too bad as 1st Maccabees would make a great text for establishing tyranny as an explicit divinely endorsed justification for revolt. We can use that sort of moral ammo for what is coming.
Which part of the Vulgate is inspired?
So you admit that you don't know. What are you repeating then? Hearsay?
The letter of James comes to mind. He almost didnt let that get in his Bible.
So Catholics get all bent out of shape because he ALMOST didn't include James? But by their own admission, they admit that he did after all. So what's the problem?
Y'all can't accuse him of changing the Bible based on an *almost* when y'all admit that he did include it after all and so didn't change the Bible in reality. So that accusation against him falls really flat.
*He changed the Bible by removing James, except that he didn't*????
Is that the best y'all can do?
“Martin Luther added the word ONLY to make faith only.”
That was a matter of translation, not doctrine:
“For you and our people, however, I shall show why I used the [German equivalent of the] word sola even though in Romans 3 it was not [the equivalent of] sola I used but solum or tantum. (5) That is how closely those donkeys have looked at my text! Nevertheless I have used sola fides elsewhere; I want to use both solum and sola. I have always tried to translate in a pure and clear German. It has often happened that for three or four weeks we have searched and inquired about a single word, and sometimes we have not found it even then. In translating the book of Job, Master Philip, Aurogallus (6) and I have taken such pains that we have sometimes scarcely translated three lines in four days. Now that it has been translated into German and completed, all can read and criticize it. The reader can now run his eyes over three or four pages without stumbling once, never knowing what rocks and clods had once lain where he now travels as over a smoothly-planed board. We had to sweat and toil there before we got those boulders and clods out of the way, so that one could go along so nicely. The plowing goes well in a field that has been cleared. But nobody wants the task of digging out the rocks and stumps. There is no such thing as earning the world’s thanks. Even God himself cannot earn thanks, not with the sun, nor with heaven and earth, nor even the death of his Son. The world simply is and remains as it is, in the devil’s name, because it will not be anything else.
I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text — if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation. But it is the nature of our language that in speaking about two things, one which is affirmed, the other denied, we use the word allein [only] along with the word nicht [not] or kein [no]. For example, we say “the farmer brings allein grain and kein money”; or “No, I really have nicht money, but allein grain”; I have allein eaten and nicht yet drunk”; “Did you write it allein and nicht read it over?” There are countless cases like this in daily usage.
In all these phrases, this is a German usage, even though it is not the Latin or Greek usage. It is the nature of the German language to add allein in order that nicht or kein may be clearer and more complete. To be sure, I can also say, “The farmer brings grain and kein money,” but the words “kein money” do not sound as full and clear as if I were to say, “the farmer brings allein grain and kein money.” Here the word allein helps the word kein so much that it becomes a completely clear German expression. We do not have to ask the literal Latin how we are to speak German, as these donkeys do. Rather we must ask the mother in the home, the children on the street, the common man in the marketplace. We must be guided by their language, by the way they speak, and do our translating accordingly. Then they will understand it and recognize that we are speaking German to them...
...Why should I even bother to talk about translating so much? If I were I to explain all the reasons and considerations behind my words, I would need an entire year. I have learned by experience what an art and what a task translating is, so I will not tolerate some papal donkey or mule acting as my judge or critic. They have not tried it. If anyone does not like my translations, he can ignore it; and may the devil repay him for it if he dislikes or criticizes my translations without my knowledge or permission. If it needs to be criticized, I will do it myself. If I do not do it, then let them leave my translations in peace. Each of them can do a translation for himself that suits him what do I care?”
The real objection to Luther was that he made a vernacular translation that ended up popular and widely published. It was the same objection Tyndale faced, and the main objection was that mere commoners could read scripture on their own.
In which verses did Luther make this change? Could you please give an example?
It would be wonderful if you would take the time to read this rebuttal of your errant assertion about Luther "adding the word alone to make faith alone", so I don't have to do it every time you seem to forget that I have:
If Luther was attempting to introduce a radical mistranslation into church history he likewise failed. Luther mentions others before him translated Romans 3:28 as he did (for example, Ambrose and Augustine). The Roman Catholic writer Joseph Fitzmyer verified Luthers claim, and also presented quite an extensive list of those previous to Luther doing likewise. Even some Catholic versions of the New Testament also translated Romans 3:28 as did Luther. The Nuremberg Bible (1483), allein durch den glauben and the Italian Bibles of Geneva (1476) and of Venice (1538) say per sola fede. It is entirely possible Luthers understanding of faith alone differs from those before him, but that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not the thrust of Romans 3:28 implies alone. Others previous to Luther may have differed in theological interpretation, yet saw the thrust of the words implied alone. Hence, as a translator, Luther holds company with others, and cannot be charged with a mistranslation. If hes guilty of such a charge, so are many before him. http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2008/07/debate-did-martin-luther-mistranslate.html
I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text -- if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation.
Luther continues to give multiple examples of the implied sense of meaning in translating words into German. He then offers an interpretive context of Romans:
So much for translating and the nature of language. However, I was not depending upon or following the nature of the languages alone when I inserted the word solum in Romans 3. The text itself, and Saint Paul's meaning, urgently require and demand it. For in that passage he is dealing with the main point of Christian doctrine, namely, that we are justified by faith in Christ without any works of the Law. Paul excludes all works so completely as to say that the works of the Law, though it is God's law and word, do not aid us in justification. Using Abraham as an example, he argues that Abraham was so justified without works that even the highest work, which had been commanded by God, over and above all others, namely circumcision, did not aid him in justification. Rather, Abraham was justified without circumcision and without any works, but by faith, as he says in Chapter 4: "If Abraham were justified by works, he may boast, but not before God." So, when all works are so completely rejected which must mean faith alone justifies whoever would speak plainly and clearly about this rejection of works will have to say "Faith alone justifies and not works." The matter itself and the nature of language requires it.
4. Previous translations of the word alone in Romans 3:28 Luther offers another line of reasoning in his Open Letter on Translating that many of the current Cyber-Catholics ignore, and most Protestants are not aware of:
Furthermore, I am not the only one, nor the first, to say that faith alone makes one righteous. There was Ambrose, Augustine and many others who said it before me.
Now here comes the fun part in this discussion.
The Roman Catholic writer Joseph A. Fitzmyer points out that Luther was not the only one to translate Romans 3:28 with the word alone.
At 3:28 Luther introduced the adv. only into his translation of Romans (1522), alleyn durch den Glauben (WAusg 7.38); cf. Aus der Bibel 1546, alleine durch den Glauben (WAusg, DB 7.39); also 7.3-27 (Pref. to the Epistle). See further his Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen, of 8 Sept. 1530 (WAusg 30.2 , 627-49; On Translating: An Open Letter [LuthW 35.175-202]). Although alleyn/alleine finds no corresponding adverb in the Greek text, two of the points that Luther made in his defense of the added adverb were that it was demanded by the context and that sola was used in the theological tradition before him.
Robert Bellarmine listed eight earlier authors who used sola (Disputatio de controversiis: De justificatione 1.25 [Naples: G. Giuliano, 1856], 4.501-3):
Origen, Commentarius in Ep. ad Romanos, cap. 3 (PG 14.952).
Hilary, Commentarius in Matthaeum 8:6 (PL 9.961).
Basil, Hom. de humilitate 20.3 (PG 31.529C).
Ambrosiaster, In Ep. ad Romanos 3.24 (CSEL 81.1.119): sola fide justificati sunt dono Dei, through faith alone they have been justified by a gift of God; 4.5 (CSEL 81.1.130).
John Chrysostom, Hom. in Ep. ad Titum 3.3 (PG 62.679 [not in Greek text]).
Cyril of Alexandria, In Joannis Evangelium 10.15.7 (PG 74.368 [but alludes to Jas 2:19]).
Bernard, In Canticum serm. 22.8 (PL 183.881): solam justificatur per fidem, is justified by faith alone.
Theophylact, Expositio in ep. ad Galatas 3.12-13 (PG 124.988).
To these eight Lyonnet added two others (Quaestiones, 114-18):
Theodoret, Affectionum curatio 7 (PG 93.100; ed. J. Raeder [Teubner], 189.20-24).
Thomas Aquinas, Expositio in Ep. I ad Timotheum cap. 1, lect. 3 (Parma ed., 13.588): Non est ergo in eis [moralibus et caeremonialibus legis] spes iustificationis, sed in sola fide, Rom. 3:28: Arbitramur justificari hominem per fidem, sine operibus legis (Therefore the hope of justification is not found in them [the moral and ceremonial requirements of the law], but in faith alone, Rom 3:28: We consider a human being to be justified by faith, without the works of the law). Cf. In ep. ad Romanos 4.1 (Parma ed., 13.42a): reputabitur fides eius, scilicet sola sine operibus exterioribus, ad iustitiam; In ep. ad Galatas 2.4 (Parma ed., 13.397b): solum ex fide Christi [Opera 20.437, b41]).
Theodore of Mopsuestia, In ep. ad Galatas (ed. H. B. Swete), 1.31.15.
Marius Victorinus (ep. Pauli ad Galatas (ed. A. Locher), ad 2.15-16: Ipsa enim fides sola iustificationem dat-et sanctificationem (For faith itself alone gives justification and sanctification); In ep. Pauli Ephesios (ed. A. Locher), ad 2.15: Sed sola fides in Christum nobis salus est (But only faith in Christ is salvation for us).
Augustine, De fide et operibus, 22.40 (CSEL 41.84-85): licet recte dici possit ad solam fidem pertinere dei mandata, si non mortua, sed viva illa intellegatur fides, quae per dilectionem operatur (Although it can be said that Gods commandments pertain to faith alone, if it is not dead [faith], but rather understood as that live faith, which works through love). Migne Latin Text: Venire quippe debet etiam illud in mentem, quod scriptum est, In hoc cognoscimus eum, si mandata ejus servemus. Qui dicit, Quia cognovi eum, et mandata ejus non servat, mendax est, et in hoc veritas non est (I Joan. II, 3, 4). Et ne quisquam existimet mandata ejus ad solam fidem pertinere: quanquam dicere hoc nullus est ausus, praesertim quia mandata dixit, quae ne multitudine cogitationem spargerent [Note: [Col. 0223] Sic Mss. Editi vero, cogitationes parerent.], In illis duobus tota Lex pendet et Prophetae (Matth. XXII, 40): licet recte dici possit ad solam fidem pertinere Dei mandata, si non mortua, sed viva illa intelligatur fides, quae per dilectionem operatur; tamen postea Joannes ipse aperuit quid diceret, cum ait: Hoc est mandatum ejus, ut credamus nomini Filii ejus Jesu Christi, et diligamns invicem (I Joan. III, 23) See De fide et operibus, Cap. XXII, §40, PL 40:223.
Source: Joseph A. Fitzmyer Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993) 360-361.
Even some Catholic versions of the New Testament also translated Romans 3:28 as did Luther. The Nuremberg Bible (1483), allein durch den glauben and the Italian Bibles of Geneva (1476) and of Venice (1538) say per sola fede. http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/02/luther-added-word-alone-to-romans-328.html
And that broke the stranglehold the Catholic church had on the spiritual lives of people, ending forever, their spiritual tyranny.
Martin Luther was a heretic that actually thought he could change the word of God. Martin Luther should have been given the same fate that all other heretics were given in his time, the death penalty. The Reformation was the absolute worst thing that ever happened to Christianity. This drunkard German monk didn’t have any more authority than a peasant had. And the same goes for anyone that follows any faith that this rum-head started.
It should have said that he added the word “ALOME.”
My mistake on words.
Keep researching. But I'll save you the time. Luther didn't "take out" any verses from the Bible. He NEVER "almost didn't let" James "get in his Bible", either. He had doubts of its inspiration at first but changed his mind later in his ministry though he did not ever remove it from his German translation of the Bible.
I hope you can remember this and will avoid arguing as if it was true. I hope that you will be able to recognize the sophistry the next time if some Catholic writer repeats it.
One last thought...why did you bring up Martin Luther anyway on a thread that is discussing the inspiration of the Bible? How is that relevant?
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