It is important to accept that the written words of scripture are inspired, or breathed from God, because if you simply accept that God’s inspiration reached only to the thoughts of the writers you could then assume that it was possible for them to fail to properly communicate those thoughts in words they spoke or wrote. If this concept is accepted, which regretfully it is, then we really do not know if we have an accurate recording of the revelation of God. We could believe that he inspired Paul, Peter, Isaiah, David, etc. in the past but the revelation they received could then be rejected based on the fact that they failed to accurately record it. The Bible teaches that God inspired the very words the prophets spoke and the very words the apostles recorded. Inspiration of Scripture extends to the words of Scripture.
Points of Doctrine Concerning Inspiration
1. All Scripture is inspired (2 Tim. 3:16)
2. Scripture comes from the mouth of God (2 Tim. 3:16)
3. Scripture reveals God’s plan and God’s ways to man (2 Tim. 3:16)
4. Scripture did not originate in the thoughts of man (2 Peter 1:20)
5. Scripture came through men who were carried along by the Holy Ghost in their thinking, speaking and writing (2 Peter 1:20)
6. The Words of Scripture were written through inspiration (1 Cor. 2:13)
7. The Words of Scripture continue to be inspired throughout all time (Mark 13:31)
Doctrinal Errors Concerning Inspiration
1. Natural Inspiration – erroneously sees the writers of the Bible as very great men who were geniuses. They came up with their own thoughts and wrote them down.
2. Mystical Inspiration - this incorrect perspective accepts the Bible to be the result of men who were assisted by the Holy Spirit to write good material that was “inspired” by God like many of today’s sermons, songs, books, conversations and actions as equally “inspired” by God.
3. Dynamic Inspiration – an errant opinion that presents biblical authors as having had a revelatory experience with God. Then they wrote down in their own words and abilities what happened.
4. Degree Inspiration – this view accepts the Bible as inspired but considers some parts to be more inspired than others.
5. Limited Inspiration – in this position some parts of the Bible are inspired and others are not inspired. Inspiration is accepted in the case of doctrinal teaching, but some of the historical accounts (creation, flood, Abraham, Job, even miracles) are fables, stories, inaccurate recordings, etc.
6. Concept Inspiration – an illogical proposal that believes that the ideas of scripture are inspired but that the words themselves are not. This is like saying I understood the novel but I could not understand any of the words.
7. Barthian Inspiration – Karl Barth held that Jesus was the Word and that the Bible revealed and testified about Jesus. In this view Jesus is revealed in the Bible but the Bible is not inspired, and worse, it contains errors.
8. Neo-orthodox Inspiration – this false doctrine teaches the Bible is the word of God but not the words of God. When you read the Bible it becomes the Word of God, or inspired, for the you.
9. Mechanical or Dictation Theory – this undeveloped position teaches that the writers of the Bible were used by God as human typewriters (or word processors). God dictated word for word, and the writer simply recorded it.