“For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
For prophecy [Scripture] never came by the will of man
Note that this verse begins with a word of explanation – “for.” The previous verse explained that the Scriptures did not come from a human source but from a divine source. The “for” means that the idea of the Bible did not come to by a human decision.
Scripture did not originate with man. The human author did not initiate the Bible. He received God’s assertions or propositions. Scripture comes from divine inspiration. The Bible is not man’s idea, for it originated from God’s initiative. Revelation comes from God to man.
On the other hand, religion is man’s ideas about God. That is why religion cannot authoritatively convey God’s thoughts.
but holy men of God
“But” implies strong contrast in Greek. In contrast to human beings originating Scripture, the Holy Spirit personally superintended the human authors writing of Scripture.
If the Bible did not come by man’s will, how did it come? By “holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit.” “Holy men of God” are Old and New Testament authors like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John, and Paul. Approximately thirty different men wrote the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. About eight human authors wrote the twenty-seven books of the New Testament under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God used holy (set apart) men to write Scripture. The Holy Spirit set apart particular human authors to put the Bible down on paper.
These men were not automatons or robots. They wrote Scripture using their personality, experiences, context, and vocabulary. The Holy Spirit, however, guarded them against error as they wrote Scripture. He superintended each word they wrote. Therefore, the human authors of Scripture made no mistakes. We have the Bible precisely as God intended for us to have it. We can place our confidence in Scripture.
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit
“Moved” means to carry. The book of Acts uses “moved” for wind carrying a ship (Acts 27:15, 17). The Holy Spirit carried along the human authors of Scripture as they wrote as people sailing in a ship. The Holy Spirit so guided the human author that he wrote without error. That is why Scripture is certain. Therefore, we can trust Scripture because it is the very words of God.
The word “moved” translates as both “upholding” and “bearing” in the book of Hebrews:
“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).
The idea of “moved” is to carry. The Holy Spirit upholds or bears the writers of Scripture as they write Scripture. The writers of Scripture wrote better than they knew. That is why the Bible is not full of fables.
The Holy Spirit governed the human author as he was in the process of writing Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). The human author was aware of the content he wrote, but the Holy Spirit “carried” him. The Holy Spirit thoroughly originates and superintends the writing of Scripture.
The Holy Spirit so supernaturally superintended Scripture writers that He enabled them to record Scripture with perfect accuracy without circumventing their intelligence, personal literary style, or personality. Human authors were not automatons or robots who acted like computers when they wrote Scripture.
We have a trustworthy Bible because the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of Scripture.
The Bible is the unabridged revelation of the thoughts of an omniscient God.
God put everything that we need to know about Him in writing. Scripture is the only inspired book on earth. Other books may be profound and insightful, but God did not inspire these writings. Only the Bible is inspired because the Holy Spirit wrote Scripture (2 Ti 3:16).
What does the Bible teach? We place our explicit faith in the Bible.