Preservation And Inspiration

The Bible is the word of God. It is perfect, infallible, flawless, and its accuracy has never been disproven by science, mathematics, translation, history, prophecy, and so on.

However, with over 200 English translations of the Bible that differ from each other hugely, God cannot be the author of all of them, so we have to compare the origins, manuscripts, translation and reading of the text to see which one is truly God’s word.

  • The Bible teaches that God’s book is to be studied and learnt.

2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”

  • The word of God is our sword and protection.

Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”

  • It gives us success and prosperity (in Godly things) to meditate on it continuously.

Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Psalm 1:2-3, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

  • It helps us cleanse our way and keeps us from sin.

Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

  • Loving it and keeping it with us makes us wise.

Psalm 119:97-100, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.”

  • It was written to give us hope.

Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

  • It helps us grow.

1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

  • It is more valuable than food.

Job 23:12, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”

Matthew 4:4, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

The Bible is inspired:

When we say the Bible is inspired, this means that God used men and spoke his words through them by the Holy Spirit. They wrote it down or spoke it to scribes who recorded it, but every word in the Bible was given and chosen by God.

There are a range of theories about how God inspired the Bible, for example:

  • Concept theory – God just inspired the ideas behind the Bible and man recorded them in his own words.
  • Degrees of inspiration – God directed the more philosophical and doctrinal parts of the Bible, whereas the more historical or factual areas were written by men.

However, the Bible said ALL the words given are from God himself. 2 Peter 3:15-16 says, “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.” Peter says Paul wrote with the “wisdom given unto him” and the apostles confirmed their epistles (letters) as scripture, scripture is inspired by God and not solely man’s work.

Therefore, concept theory and the degrees of inspiration view are not correct because of the teaching that only a fraction of the words classed as scripture are inspired.

  • Dictation theory – God dictated each and every word and man mechanically recorded it.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

2 Peter 1:21, “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.”

The Bible is clear that every word was inspired by God, and that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Some parts of the Bible explicitly claim to have been directly spoken by God, for example Exodus 20:1 says, “And God spake all these words, saying”.

On the other hand, many of the Psalms are written to God, for example Psalm 3:1, “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.”

Furthermore, there are even passages in the New Testament where Paul says he is writing of his own accord, for example in 1 Corinthians 7:12 he says “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.” and in verse 25 it reads, “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgement, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.”

Also, many of the books of the Bible read in different ways due to the style of the writers. For example, the gospel of Matthew places an emphasis on prophecy and the fulfilment of it, whereas John’s gospel contains a large amount of theology and doctrine about Christ.

At first glance we could say that this means these verses were not inspired by God as they had man’s ‘touch’, but that God just allowed them to be recorded in his Bible, but we know that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God”, so even in these passages God used the different styles, backgrounds and experiences of men to record different aspects of his nature, earthly ministry and teaching, but all of the words are still directed and carefully chosen by God.

In the New Testament, there are many references to Old Testament passages with clarification on the author of it. For example, Hebrews 3:7-11 quotes Psalm 95, but begins with, “as the Holy Ghost saith”, showing that the Holy Ghost directed the words written in the Psalm. Another example is in Hebrews 10:15 where it says, “Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,” and then quotes Jeremiah 31:33-34. Furthermore, Acts 1:16 says, “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”, and Acts 28:25 reads, “And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers”.

These passages show that God inspires and speaks the words of the Bible through the Holy Ghost, and men faithfully record it.

The Bible will be preserved:

Preservation of the Bible means that God will keep his word perfectly recorded since it was written, and there will always be a Bible we know we can trust as the inspired word of God.

Isaiah 40:8 reads, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Throughout the Bible, God often promises to preserve his word.

For example, Psalm 12:6-7 says, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” God will preserve his words and keep them from corruption or man’s influence.

1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” The word of God will live and abide for ever.

2 Kings 10:10, “Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD…”

Psalm 33:11, “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”

Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth unto all generations.”

Psalm 119:89, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”

Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” The Lord Jesus said heaven and earth shall pass away but his words shall not, the heavens and the earth still stand since he said this and Jesus Christ did not lie when he preached this, so his words will also stand and not pass away.

Isaiah 59:21, “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.” God’s words shall not depart from his messengers’ (the prophets/apostles) mouths, nor their descendants, from when it was given, for ever.

In conclusion, God has promised to inspire and preserve his words in the Bible, and he takes this promise seriously. Revelation 22:18-19 says, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

It is a waste of time and done in vain if God inspires his words to be preached or written down but they are lost, so they must be preserved.

If God is the divine author of every word in the Bible that claims to be perfect, we cannot have hundreds of contradictory, differing Bibles that make the claim to be God’s word. Since God is perfect, his word must be too, so by examining the range of English Bibles (please see the rest of the pages in this section) we can find God’s true word in the King James Bible.

See the links below for more information:

→ Next page: Manuscripts

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