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I. Definition  

“That inexplicable power which the divine spirit put forth of old on the authors of holy scripture, in order to their guidance even in the employment of the words they used, and to preserve them alike from error and from all omission.” L. Gaussen

Difference between revelation and inspiration.

Revelation= The communication of truth that can’t otherwise be discovered.

Inspiration= The recording of truth.

II. Verbal – Plenary inspiration.


2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 3:15,16; 1 Tim. 5:18– (Lk. 10:7 and Dt. 25:5)


Gal. 3:16 (Singular and plural) 1 Cor. 2:13 (words)

Mt. 5:17,18 (letters)

Mt. 22:32 (tenses)

2 Tim. 3:16 (writings) Mt. 22 :44

Jn. 10:35

He. 8:13

III. False views:



Partial (Doctrine, not history)

Concept (de-emphasize words)

Plenary but not verbal.



IV.  Christ’s view of inspiration.

Not one jot or tittle of the law would be left unfulfilled, Mt. 5:18

Authoritative — Jn. 10:35

Quotations from the Old Testament extend to every important section (including books disputed by the critics).

Mt. 12:40 — Dt. 6:16

Mt. 24:15 — Da. 9:27; 12:11

In all three parts of the Old Testament (law; prophets; PSS) He found teachings about himself, Lk. 24:44.

Predicted the writing of the New Testament, Jn. 16:12-13


V. Proofs:

Character of God.

Claims of the Bible itself.

More than 3,800 times the phrases such as “thus says the Lord,” “the word of the Lord came to” are used in the Old Testament.

New Testament phrases

“the whole counsel of God”

“words which the Spirit teaches”

Lord’s view of scripture,  Jn 10:34f


VI. Key passages:

2 Timothy 3:16 (fact)

2 Peter 1:21 (method)


VII. Only the autographs, not the copies or translations, are inspired “virtual”


VIII. Inspiration implies inerrancy.


Major Premise = Whatever God utters is errorless.

Minor Premise = The words of the Bible are God’s utterances.

Conclusion = Therefore, the words of the Bible are errorless.

All scripture is inspired and trustworthy, not just things which relate to faith and practice.

Inspiration was given by superintendence of the Holy Spirit.

Variety of expression:

Mt. = “you are the Christ, the son of the living God,” 16:16 Mk.= “you are the Christ,” 8:29

Lk = “the Christ of God,” 9:20

Use of non-Biblical documents.

Lk. 1:1-4

Josh. 10:13

Use of nonscientific language “sun rising” – Josh. 1:16

Variety of literary devices.

Extent of inspiration:

Inspiration necessitates the truthfulness of only what the Bible teaches.

Inspiration necessitates inerrancy in historical and factual matters.

Inspiration does not include accommodation to error.

accommodation, not adaption

accommodation, not progressive revelation

accommodation destroys basis of objective meaning.