Elder Darrin Webb: “Studying In Preparation For Preaching”
Elder Jason Skipper
“What Is Expository Preaching, And Why Is It Necessary?”
It is said that the transcendental argument, which states that truth and meaning exist and therefore the God of the Bible exists, is circular reasoning. The claim is that we are using the Bible to prove that the Bible is true.
This argument fails to take into consideration the linear nature of the transcendental argument, which would say:
There is truth and meaning.
Therefore there is a standard of truth and meaning.
There is a standard of truth and meaning.
Therefore the God of the Bible exists.
There is a source and standard of truth and meaning.
Therefore the God of the Bible exists.
The God of the Bible exists.
Therefore the Bible is true.
Inerrancy: Why Is It Important?
Why is it important that we affirm and embrace the doctrine of the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture? This is a very important issue to me as a pastor. It is greatly relevant to my ministry and the people for whom I am responsible.
The first thing that we need to recognize is the relevance of the truthfulness of Scripture to the truthfulness of God. If Scripture is God’s Word, and we have seen that is what Scripture claims to be, either God has spoken truly or He has not spoken truly. Is God true? Does God speak the truth without error? If God speaks the truth, then we can have confidence that Scripture is true and without error. If not, how great are the implications for God’s people! To have a God who does not speak the truth, or is unable to communicate truth without error is certainly a diminishing of the person of God.
When we consider the fact that Scripture presents itself to us as sufficient for the growth of God’s people, we understand that God’s people need to read and understand the Scriptures. If, as some claim, Scripture presents us truth about God but not about other things such as history, we are left with a book that is somewhat confusing. Scriptures does not give us redemptive truth apart from a historical setting. Scripture was given in real life settings to real people. When God gave us Scripture, He spoke through men who were men of their times. They spoke about God as He interacted with them in their lives. They did not speak of God abstractly, as many theologians speak of Him. They spoke of God as acting in history and doing things that science often says cannot be done. If there are historical and scientific errors in the Scriptures, we must somehow find a way to sift through the error and get to the truth. That would be most discouraging to many people who have no training in history and science. It would create an intellectual priesthood of academics who would be necessary to explain the Scriptures to the common man. That was not, and is not, God’s intent for Scripture. God intends for the Scriptures to be understood by His people. God spoke through common men in a specific time to common men in all times in language that common men can understand. Though the understanding of the common man (And I should also say that of the academics.) is not full, it is sufficient for the purpose of God in Scripture to be fulfilled. God’s people will be transformed as they read, understand, and trust Him as He is revealed in Scripture. Only as we understand Scripture to be true and without error will we arrive at this conclusion.
Once we begin to assert that Scripture errs, we will also come to the point to assert that Jesus erred. There is an indissoluble connection between Christ and the Scriptures. Once admit error into Scripture, Jesus will be admitted as erring. Again, the implications are great. Though we admit the full humanity of Christ, we also embrace His Divinity. Jesus Christ is as truly God as He is human. God does not lie, does not err, and speaks truly in all things. What kind of Savior do we preach to the people? Because truth is more than an issue of correct facts, but is a moral issue as well, we must understand that the admission of error into Scripture will also admit the possibility that they are morally wrong. If we do that, we must also admit that Jesus may very well have been (or at the present, be) morally wrong. That may be very well for those who have so deeply compromised with a secular worldview, but for those of us whose presupposition is that of the truthfulness of Scripture, it will never work. Neither will we embrace a Savior who cannot save, because He is in the same predicament as we are. We embrace the truthfulness of Scripture and the perfection of Jesus our Savior, and we reject anything that compromises these things and diminishes the glory of Christ.
Because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17;2Timothy 3:14-15), we understand that we are to believe the Scriptures. An errant Bible is an untrustworthy Bible. An errant Scripture means that we have an untrustworthy God. An errant Bible means that we have a Christ who is not trustworthy. God is either not true, or unable to speak truth to us in a perfect manner. That means that we cannot trust God’s words and, logically, cannot trust Him. That means that we cannot trust Jesus to speak the complete truth without error and, logically, cannot trust Him. Though we trust men who often fail to speak the complete truth, God has told us that He does not err and does not lie. If we admit error into the Scriptures, we also admit that God errs and does not always speak truthfully. Truthfulness being a moral quality, we find that our ability to trust God, and God as revealed in His incarnate Son, is greatly diminished.
We must also consider the fact that Scripture is given to us for our holiness. We are sanctified by the work of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:25-28;2Timothy 3:16-17). I am not alone in being a pastor who ministers to sinful people on a regular basis. I am also a person who struggles with sin, because I am no different from any other person. What we need is something to change us. God’s Word promises to be used of God to be the instrument that changes us. If I am unsure of the truthfulness of God’s Word, I will not be very trusting of God’s Word and will not submit myself to the sanctifying power of God’s Word as I should. My people and I need a full faith in the Word of God so that our lives will be changed by God. We struggle with sinful habits, sinful thoughts, addictions, immorality, and ungodliness. We need to be able to trust God’s Word and His power to use the Scriptures to sanctify us.
Scripture is given to us for a very practical purpose. Scripture is given to us to lead us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and to guide us as we are being transformed into holy people who are pleasing to God. As a pastor, I have great faith that God will use His Word to accomplish His purposes. The reason that I have this faith is that I have faith in God’s trustworthy character, and I have faith in God’s speaking truthfully to us in His Word. As I stand in the pulpit, minister in homes, or wherever I may be, I am convinced that God’s Word is without error and will always direct us correctly. Though we may fail in our interpretations at times, God never fails to tell us exactly what we need in His Word. I am confident that the way of salvation is truthfully presented to us in Scripture. I am confident that the way of holiness is inerrantly presented to us in God’s Word. I am thankful that God’s Word can be trusted as the truth so that we can have confidence in God and His power to save and sanctify.
Scripture: God’s Inerrant Word Given Through Men
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:16–21, AV 1873)
In this final article on the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture I wish to address the role of man in the making of Scripture. There is much misunderstanding regarding this. It seems that some hold to a theory that has God dictating Scripture and the biblical writers taking it down word for word. Others hold to an idea that presents man as being of such a nature that he will always err, so that even Scripture has errors. In addressing this issue, I shall embrace neither position. The biblical presentation of how Scripture was given is a very different picture. Scripture presents God as using men, their personalities, their knowledge and backgrounds, and the result being His perfect Word.
God The Source of Scripture
First of all, we must affirm along with the Scriptures that God is the source of the Scriptures. As we have seen in previous articles, when Paul speaks of Scripture as being “given by inspiration of God,” (2Timothy 3:16) it means that God is the source of Scripture because He breathed it out. In our text above we see that Scripture did not originate with man, but with God.
Note that Peter stated that Scripture did not come because men simply willed to give it to us. Scripture came to us because men were carried along by the Holy Spirit. One commentator had this to say about the phrase “moved by the Holy Ghost:” “being borne along. It seems to be a favorite word with Peter, occurring six times in the two epistles.” In other words, the Spirit of God moved upon the men who were used to give us the Scriptures. They did not act of their own impulses, but the impulse came from God, and He carried them along as they spoke and wrote.
As we have seen in our other studies, Scripture has God for its source.
The Role Of Men In The Making Of Scripture
What role did men play in the making of Scripture? Is Scripture a Divine production, or a human production? The answer is that Scripture is both a Divine production and a human production.
It seems to be the idea of some that the Divine inspiration of Scriptures means that God somehow overrode the personalities and wills of the men He used when He gave Scripture to us. Is this so? I think not, and it seems to me that the Scriptures disagree with that assessment as well.
Notice that our text presents to us the understanding that men were intimately involved in the writing of Scriptures. In fact, we are told that Scripture came to us because men spoke and wrote. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21, AV 1873) Not only did God move men to speak and write, and then carry them along as they did so; men spoke and wrote. Peter does not speak of men overcome by God, but men moved by God and carried by God. My son is my son with all of his personality traits, whether he walks on his own or I carry him where he and I both choose to go. And so it is with the men who were used of God to give us the Scriptures: they were not suddenly rendered null and void of personality and will, but were just as human as they always were.
Though Scripture quotations could be multiplied regarding this issue, I shall give just a few passages the show us that men were still normal men when God used them to write His words.
- “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lordsaid unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matthew 22:41–45, AV 1873) Though Jesus presents to us the Psalms as being the Word of God, He also plainly states that it was David who spoke and called Christ his Lord. It is David who bows to the Lordship of Christ and spoke of Him as Lord.
- “Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision, not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers; and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.” (John 7:22, AV 1873) The first place that we read about circumcision is in Genesis, and Jesus attributes the composition/authorship of Genesis to Moses. Note that Jesus stated that Moses gave circumcision. While, as we have seen in other articles, Jesus understood the Old Testament Scriptures to be the Word of God, Jesus spoke of Moses as the one who was used of God when the Pentateuch was given.
- “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.” (Galatians 6:11, AV 1873) Whatever the reason Paul wrote with large letters, it is plain that it was Paul who wrote them.
- “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:” (2 Peter 3:1–2, AV 1873) “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15–16, AV 1873) Peter here writes of the words spoken by the prophets, the commandments of the apostles, his own writings, and the writings of Paul. He does not use a generic term to refer to these as the Word of God, but explicitly mentions the men or groups of men who wrote the words.
As one reads the Scriptures and becomes familiar with them, it is relatively certain that he will eventually become familiar enough to recognize the differences that exist between the various books. Not that the books themselves differ in the sense of contradicting one another, but there is a difference in style. Anyone who is familiar with the New Testament will not mistake the writings of John for the writings of Paul. There is a distinct difference of style as well as thought. Though they agree in their theology, the personalities and styles of John and Paul are obviously very different.
Why is this so? Because God, when He moved men to write and used them to give us His inspired Word, did not overrule the personalities of the men who wrote. God used their unique gifts and personalities to His glory as He used men to write the Scriptures.
This is certainly in harmony with the teaching of the Scriptures regarding the gifts of the Spirit and the unity of the body of Christ. God uses us with our personalities and our gifts to His glory, but it is still His Spirit at work within us. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1 Corinthians 12:4–7, AV 1873) And again, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12–13, AV 1873) “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27, AV 1873) These verses give us the understanding that God uses people with different personalities, gives them gifts, and uses them to His glory, but does not overrule their personalities while using them. So it was with the men God used in the making of the Scriptures.
God-Breathed + Man Written = God’s Inerrant Word
That’s a bit of a surprise, isn’t it? After all, we are often presented with something similar to the following:
Men make mistakes.
Men wrote the Bible.
Therefore the Bible has mistakes in it.
I’ll grant that will work as a syllogism. It is not correct, however, because its first premise does not lead to the conclusion. Sure, men make mistakes. The problem with that view is not that those who hold it think that men make mistakes. The problem is that they are asserting that men always make mistakes. That is a self-refuting statement, though, because if it were true it would at the same time be mistaken.
Men do not always make mistakes. The human element in Scripture does not mean that Scripture contains error. The fact that it is God-Breathed means that it is God’s Word and thus without mistakes.
Let us remember that the Scriptures are not only God-Breathed, but that those who were used in the making of the Scriptures were holy men and who had no intent to deceive. They were also carried along by the Holy Spirit so that the product was the very Word of God. There was a power guiding them and strengthening them for the task they performed and He enabled them to produce the Word of God free from error. This does not mean that the writers of Scripture were without error in everything that they said and did. It does mean that God enabled them to write His Word without erring.
Finally, let us consider two statements that were recorded by John:
- “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.” (John 21:24, AV 1873) John’s testimony of Christ was written that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (See John 20:30-31). If we admit error into the Scriptures, where does it end? Ultimately we are left doubting the very truthfulness of the accounts of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. After all, they were written by men. Many will speak disparagingly of this statement and call it a slippery slope argument. The reality is that some slopes are slippery and we should warn people so that they will not get on those slopes.
- “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:5, AV 1873) John declared that he wrote because He was commanded of God to do so. He was commanded to write words that were true and worthy of our believing them. Would those words be true and worthy of our confidence if they were in error?
We can safely conclude that God’s Word, though given to us through men, is without error.
Revelation- a disclosure of something that was before unknown; and
divine revelation is the direct communication of truths before unknown
from God to men. (McClintock & Strong Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature)
The doctrine of revelation is a doctrine that is very logical. God is an intelligent God. He has created intelligent creatures. This being so, it stands to reason that God would communicate to them His reason and will for their being. There are also things about life and about God that we would not otherwise know. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)(KJV) God has given us revelation that we can know His purpose for us and fulfill this purpose.
Revelation is necessary, because God is not known apart from His revelation.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom 11:33-34)(KJV) God is far beyond all human comprehension. The wisdom, ways, and mind of God are limitless. They are of a depth that cannot be fathomed (measured). In fact, the Bible tells us that there is much more of God than is revealed to us. Habakkuk said, when he saw a vision of God, “His brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.” (Hab 3:4)(KJV) God is so great that, when He reveals Himself, He is still hidden! Isn’t that amazing? God’s greatness is such that, when He manifests Himself to us, more is hidden of God than is made known of Him. This greatness makes revelation necessary.
Two Forms of Revelation
There are two forms of revelation: general revelation and supernatural revelation.
In general revelation God makes Himself known to all. This could also be called natural revelation. The Psalmist said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Ps 19:1-3)(KJV) All of creation testifies to the majesty of its Creator. The signature of God is seen upon the canvas of His world and works. Creation also testifies to the eternal nature and power of God. In fact, man is responsible to God because creation reveals to him that God is present. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”( Rom 1:18-20)(KJV) God has revealed himself in man by giving him an inherent knowledge of God. He has also revealed His eternal power and deity to man in nature.
God’s general revelation of Himself is also seen in history. As Paul stood before the people of Lystra, he told them that God had revealed Himself to them by providing for them throughout each year of their lives. “The living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:15-17)(KJV) In many other ways, and in many other times, God has revealed Himself throughout history. This could also be spoken of as providential revelation, or God’s revelation of Himself through intervening in the lives of His creatures.
In supernatural, or special revelation God works in ways that are above nature. Supernatural revelation is more specific than natural (or general) revelation. General revelation does not make known to us the truth of the triune nature of God. Supernatural revelation teaches us this. We do not learn of the person and work of the Holy Spirit from nature, but we do learn this great truth because of God’s supernatural revelation.
Supernatural revelation has two basic forms. The first is the incarnation and life of Jesus. Jesus came into the world to make God known unto man. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”( John 1:18)(KJV) There are many, many things about our great and wonderful God that we would never have known if Jesus had not come into the world. The unseen God was not seen in nature, but He is seen in the person and work of Jesus Christ. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”( Heb 1:1-2)(KJV)
The second form of supernatural revelation is the written word of God. This is called Biblical revelation. God has made His will and ways known to man through the truths He has revealed to us in His word. This word of God is revelation. This is not to be confused with inspiration which deals with the process by which we received the word. The word of God is God’s revelation of Himself and His will to us. Paul told the Galatian church that the law of God found in the Old Testament is a Divine revelation. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”( Gal 3:19)(KJV) God used angels and Moses to reveal Himself to us and give us the law. This is indeed supernatural, for we would not have known many of the things taught us in the Old Testament had God not chosen to tell us. . “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)(KJV) Peter also spoke of the word of God as being a supernatural revelation. “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”( 2 Peter 1:16-21)(KJV) Peter stated that he was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus. He was present when God the Father spoke from Heaven to testify of His pleasure in His Son. This was a supernatural revelation that would not/ could not occur naturally. Peter also stated that God has revealed Himself to us through the writings of the prophets, and that this was given supernaturally.
We also find that the New Testament scriptures are a supernatural revelation of God. Note Jesus’ promise concerning the coming of the Holy Ghost: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:12-15) (KJV) Today we are blessed to have the Word of God which has been revealed through the work of the Holy Ghost. This has happened just as Jesus promised it would.
Finally, we find supernatural revelation at the coming of Jesus. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev 1:7) (KJV) This revelation of Christ brings about eternal change for His children. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1Jn 3:2) KJV
The Apostolic View Of Scripture
Having examined the view of Jesus and the Evangelists, we now turn to the remainder of the
New Testament to learn of the Apostle’s view of the Scriptures. It will only be possible to highlight
this, due to space constraints. We shall see, however, that the Apostolic view of the Scriptures was a
high view that held the Scriptures to be God’s Word, authoritative, and true.
“Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of
David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered
with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of
iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was
known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue,
Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation
be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.” (Acts 1:16–20)
As Peter spoke to the Jerusalem church regarding the need to select a replacement for Judas, he
appealed to the Psalms. His appeal to the Psalms shows that he regarded them to be the very Word of
God, because the Holy Spirit spoke them by the mouth of David, though they were very obviously
written words. We should note, also, that this is the direct Word of God though it comes to us through
man. We do not need a text to be prefaced, “Thus saith the LORD,” for it to be the direct Word of God.
The Scriptures come to us by the Holy Spirit through men, and we can be content with that.
“And when they heard that, they lift up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art
God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy
servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of
the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For
of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with
the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy
counsel determined before to be done.” (Acts 4:24–28)
This is an important passage to consider as we examine the apostolic view of Scriptures. Here
we find that the early church viewed God as speaking by the mouth of David in the Psalms. What is
crucial is that we recognize that they are saying this in reference to the Scriptures. Though David wrote
the Psalm to which they refer, they consider it to be spoken by God through David. Thus it is the Word
Some seem to think that those who hold this view speak of God somehow dictating the words to
those who recorded Scripture. The truth is that there were a number of ways in which God
communicated truth to those who wrote Scripture. The final result was the Word of God, regardless of
how God gave the Word to those recording it. One thing is sure, however, and that is the fact that God
used men to give us His Word.
“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on
whom I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15)
“For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might
shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” (Romans 9:17)
“As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved,
which was not beloved.” (Romans 9:25)
For Paul, what Scripture says is what God says. Notice how he says, “he (God) saith, and then
said, “the Scripture saith”, and again says, “He saith also…” These statements show that Paul believed
that when Scripture speaks, God speaks.
“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:11)
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, A tried stone, a
precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isaiah 28:16)
Paul states here that the “Scripture saith” while quoting a passage that says “thus saith the Lord
God.” Paul’s quoting of the writing shows that he viewed the Scriptures words to be on the same level
as God’s words, because what Scripture says is what God says.
“But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no
people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them
that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All
day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (Romans 10:19–
Note the progression of “Moses saith,” then “Esaias…saith”, and then “he (God) saith.” What
Moses and Isaiah said in Scripture is what God said.
Scripture, then, is God’s Word.
“In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet
for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:21)
“For with stammering lips and another tongue Will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is
the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; And this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”
In this passage we find once more that Paul understood the words of Scripture to be the Words
of God. As Paul quotes his text, he shows that the Scripture is giving us God’s Word even though Isaiah
does not present his writing as directly quoting God.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean
thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; Go ye out of the midst of her; be
ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” (Isaiah 52:11)
Once again we find that Paul demonstrated that what Scripture says is what God says.
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the
gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)
Here Paul says that the Scripture preached the gospel to Abraham yet, when we turn to Genesis
12:1-3, we find that God Himself was speaking. Once again we find that Paul believed that Scripture is
God’s Word. What Scripture says is what God says.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he
saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians
“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; Yea, for
the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” (Psalm 68:18)
There are some who seek to declare that Scripture is not God’s Word. They use the Psalms as an
example, because they don’t understand how the praise, prayers, pleas, and poetry of men could be
God’s Word. Paul quotes Psalm 68:18, which is the word of David, and identifies it as the words of
Christ (Ephesians 4:7). If the he referred to in Ephesians 4:8 would have been David, I believe Paul
would have said so. Instead, the reference points us back to Ephesians 4:7 and Christ, who is mentioned
there as being the one giving gifts to the church.
“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And
again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Hebrews 1:5)
“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God
worship him.” (Hebrews 1:6)
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” (Hebrews
“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the
sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works
of thine hands:” (Hebrews 1:10)
In each of these quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures the writer to the Hebrews
demonstrates his belief that what Scripture says is what God says.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not
ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the
church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I, and the
children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 2:11–13)
“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” (Psalm
“And I will wait upon the LORD, That hideth his face from the house of Jacob, And I will look for him.”
We see once again that the writer to the Hebrews quotes Scripture as the Word of God. What
Scripture says is what God says.
We find other instances in Hebrews where the writer demonstrates his belief that Scripture is
the Word of God:
Hebrews 3:7 the Holy Spirit says
4:3 He spoke
4:8 He spoke
All of these demonstrate the writer’s belief that God speaks in and through the Scriptures, and that
Scripture is the Word of God.
This is followed up by more references in Hebrews 5:5,10;6:16-18;8:8-12;10:15-17,29;12:5.
There is abundant testimony to the fact that the writer to the Hebrews understood Scripture to
be the Word of God. It is worth our while to understand that he was writing to Jewish Christians who,
no doubt, agreed with him on the issue.
“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace
that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in
them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which
are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent
down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10–12)
Peter says that the Spirit of God was in the prophets who told us of the Christ’s suffering and
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this
first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in
old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2
Peter declares that the Scriptures came to us through men who were led by the Spirit of God. It
was not simply a man’s decision to write, but he wrote as he was directed by God’s Spirit.
What is the result? Would it not be the Word of God in written form?
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon
themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way
of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make
merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth
not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into
chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the
eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and
turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them
an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy
conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed
his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” (2 Peter 2:1–8)
“which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of
Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass
speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” (2 Peter 2:15–16)
It is very instructive to see that Peter viewed the Genesis historical narratives as being correct.
He also believed that the narrative about Balaam and his ass was correct. While many today question or
reinterpret various historical narratives in the Scriptures, Peter accepts them at face value and refers to
them as being trustworthy.
When we look at all of the passages mentioned (and there are many more that were not given
due to space constraints), we can see that the New Testament writers viewed the Scriptures as the Word
Let us take seriously the words of Charles Hodge:
“What does the Bible teach on the subject? If our Lord and his Apostles declare the Old Testament to
be the Word of God; that its authors spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; that what they said,
the Spirit said; if they refer to the facts and to the very words of Scripture as of divine authority; and if
the same infallible divine guidance was promised to the writers of the New Testament, and claimed by
themselves; and if their claim was authenticated by God himself; then there is no room for, as there is
no need of, these theories of partial inspiration. The whole Bible was written under such an influence as
preserved its human authors from all error, and makes it for the Church the infallible rule of faith and
1 Charles Hodge, vol. 1, Systematic Theology, 182 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems,