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Bibliology and Hermeneutics (Session 6)


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Inspiration of Scripture

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Bibliology and Hermeneutics (Session 6)

  1. 1. Session 6Inspiration of Scripture What is inspiration and how did it occur? Copyright © 2002-2005, The Theology Program
  2. 2. InspirationQuestions:• What does it mean that the Bible is inspired?• How did inspiration occur?• How does one’s view of inspiration affect their interpretation?
  3. 3. InspirationWhat is inspiration?
  4. 4. InspirationAmerican Heritage Dictionary:1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, which moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, which is inspired.
  5. 5. Inspiration4. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.5. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.6. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.
  6. 6. Inspiration Key TermsRevelation: The act whereby God reveals truth to mankind through both special revelation (Scripture, prophets, etc.) and natural revelation (nature, conscience, etc.)Inspiration: The act whereby God guided the writers of Scripture, giving them His words while fully utilizing the human element within man to produce the Scriptures.Illumination: The act whereby God enlightens people to understand His revelation and its relevance to their lives.
  7. 7. Illumination Inspiration Revelation
  8. 8. Inspiration “Sine qua non of evangelical theology” “The watershed issue ofcontemporary evangelicalism”
  9. 9. Inspiration2 Tim. 3:16–17“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitablefor teaching, for reproof, for correction, fortraining in righteousness; so that the man ofGod may be adequate, equipped for everygood work.”
  10. 10. Inspirationqeo,pneustoj =qeo,j (theos) pneustoj (pneustos)Lit. “God breathed”
  11. 11. Inspiration2 Pet. 1:20–21“But know this first of all, that no prophecy ofScripture is a matter of ones owninterpretation, for no prophecy was ever madeby an act of human will, but men moved bythe Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
  12. 12. Inspiration Wrong Correct Interpretation InterpretationRefers to the Refers to theinterpretation of the interpretation of therevelation to the revelation to thereaders so that they author so that hemight read the might write theScriptures correctly. Scriptures correctly.
  13. 13. Inspirationfero,menoi (pheromenoi)• Lit: “to carry,” “to bear,” “to guide,” or “to drive along.”• Used of a ship being carried by the wind (Acts 27:17).
  14. 14. InspirationTheories of inspiration:
  15. 15. InspirationNatural: Belief that certain people were extremely gifted through their natural God-given abilities to write Scripture. (100% man)Illumination: Belief that the Holy Spirit moved within certain individuals to write above their natural capacity. (90% man, 10% God)
  16. 16. InspirationPartial: Belief that some Scripture is inspired, namely, that which is profitable for doctrine, matters of “faith and practice,” but not all is inspired. Matters of history and science are not included because they are irrelevant to God’s purpose. (50% man, 50% God)Degree: Belief that all Scripture is inspired, but some passages are more inspired than others. The “days of creation” narrative, for example, was written in accommodating language, a sort of “baby-talk,” but was nonetheless inspired. (90 % God, 10% man)
  17. 17. InspirationMechanical Dictation: God simply used the hand of man to passively write His words. (100% God)Verbal Plenary: All Scripture is inspired by God who utilized the human element within man to accomplish this without error. (100% man, 100% God)
  18. 18. Man Man and God GodNatural Illumination Partial Degree Mechanical Dictation 100% Man %100 God Verbal, Plenary
  19. 19. InspirationWhere does inspiration lie? 1. Mind of God? 2. Mind of the Author? 3. Written Words? 4. Message Proclaimed? 5. Message Received?
  20. 20. Mind of God?
  21. 21. Revelation Mind of God?Illumination Inspiration
  22. 22. Inspiration Biblical Docetism“the evangelical heresy”
  23. 23. InspirationBiblical Docetism: A method of approaching the Scripture that completely neglects the human element in Scripture, emphasizing only the divine element. This approach is often influenced by a mechanical dictation theory of inspiration, but it is not necessarily limited to it.
  24. 24. InspirationHermeneutical Effects of Biblical Docetism:• Randomly opening the Bible and seeing what God has to say.• Thinking every Scripture applies to you (2 Chr. 7:14).• Believing that the chapter and verse numbers are inspired.• Believing that the canon order is inspired.• Neglecting the personality of the writer.• Neglecting the rules of interpretation demanded by the type of literature represented.• Believing that if it is in the Bible, it must be true.• Over literalization of Scripture.• Not taking into account the progress of revelation.
  25. 25. InspirationExamples of the Human Element withinScripture: 1. Emotion: Psalms, Romans 9 2. Grammatical Differences: Hebrews and John 3. Grammatical “Errors”: Romans 5 4. Phenomenological Language: Joshua 10:13 5. Use of round numbers
  26. 26. InspirationInspiration: The act whereby God guided the writers of Scripture, giving them His words while fully utilizing the human element within man to produce the Scriptures.
  27. 27. Inspiration Scripture100% human 100% God
  28. 28. InspirationInspiration is . . . Verbal: Extends to the very words of Scripture, not just teachings. Plenary: Extends to everything in the Bible, not just parts that speak on matters of faith and practice.
  29. 29. Discussion Groups Copyright © 2002-2005, The Theology Program