How We Received God’s Word
The word “inspire” is not a foreign word to our common vocabulary. In fact, we use it quite often to refer to a song or a movie that was touching. We might say that it was inspirational and mean that is was full of things that motivated us to think or feel a certain way. There is another way in which the word is used, though not as often. It is used to communicate the process of breathing in. Typically, we say that we are inhaling. But, we would also be right to also say that we are inspiring.
Both of these concepts are accurate but they lead us to an inaccurate understanding of the Inspiration of Scripture. In this teaching, the word “inspire” actually means to breathe out, not in. It is to exhale. This idea comes from 2 Timothy 3:16 where the King James Version of the Bible reads, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” More recent word-for-word translations render this text as the English Standard Version does, “All Scripture is breathed out by God.”
Here, the Apostle Paul briefly describes the process by which God delivered His revelation to man. He says that God breathed it out, or spoke it Himself. The revelation of God was expelled from God’s mouth, so to speak. This is why we refer to the Scripture and the Bible as God’s Word.
The Bible does not disclose the full details about how this process happened, but we can be certain that God did not dictate his messages or control human beings like robots. Rather, He “carried” the writers along as Peter tells us (2 Peter 1:20-21). This suggests that God brought them along to be sure that they communicated exactly what God wanted communicated. His Spirit was the superintendent of the production of Scripture.
The doctrine settles two truths about Scripture that are necessary for us to know. First, it settles the matter of source. Again, Peter explains: “no prophecy of Scripture was ever produced by the will of man” (2 Peter 1:20-21). Scripture comes from God. He is its source, not man. Second, it settles the matter of purity. Since God super intended the writing, He made sure that the writings was completed as He desired. So we can be sure that it is accurate and true.
In summary, doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture tells us that God is the source and superintendent of the Bible. It allows to be sure that it can be trusted and obeyed.
2 Timothy 3:16
2 Peter 1:20-21