Bible And The Word


Bible And The Word “Inspire” Essay, Research Paper

The Bible and the Word “Inspire”

According to the Random House Dictionary, the word inspire means “to infuse an

animating, quickening, or exalting influence into, or to communicate or suggest

by a divine influence.” This definition indicates, when applied to the scripture,

that the stories and writings in the Bible did not come solely from the minds of

the respective authors, but rather from a divine source. This suggests that the

authors were scribes, reproducing what was instilled in them by God. This idea

is strengthened by looking at distinct examples from the scripture that show

that scripture is inspired, and not made up. By using the form of criticism

known as literary criticism, we can analyze certain installments of the

scripture and use them to prove that the scripture is, in fact, inspired, not a

collection of false statements.

There are times in the Bible and in Biblical history that the prophets

themselves are confronted with people doubting the validity of the scripture,

and trying to discredit it. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for

teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man

of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Here Timothy is

relating a charge given to him by Paul. As a story that is being told, it can be

easily inferred that Paul had confronted opposition to the belief that scripture

was in fact inspired by God, and therefore valid. Using literary criticism

allows us to stay on the surface of what is being said, and not necessarily have

to dig behind it to find the true meaning (we’ll leave that to historical

criticism) and therefore by looking at the phrase “scripture is God-breathed” we

can further say that God breathed His word into the authors, and they recorded

it. God can be viewed as an indirect author, and the inspiration for scripture.

“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the

power and the comings of our Lord Jesus Christ but we were eyewitnesses of His

majesty.” “Above all you must understand that no prophecy of scripture came

about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in

the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy

Spirit.” From the standpoint of a literary critic, these two passages represent

the question at hand as to whether or not scripture is inspired. Literary

criticism looks at the passage as a whole, and reads what it says, just as a

normal person would. Using this method, we see easily that scripture is in fact

inspired, because it states that there were no cleverly invented stories, but

rather God’s own words. God’s plans for his people are carefully laid out, and

there is much doubt that He would entrust average people to teach others about

His word without careful explanation as to exactly what it is, and how it came

to be. This is why much of the Bible, especially the Pentateuch, tells the

historical story of the Israelites and there great escape from Egypt. God needed

to be sure that exactly what He wanted to be in what was to be called His word

was there, and nothing was added or falsified. In this sense, God can be seen as

the editor of the Bible.

Historical criticism says that if only facts are reliable, than find

facts in the Bible. Historical critics are forced the differentiate between fact

and myth, leaving quite a bit of room for human error. Due to this weakness,

historical criticism is the least compatible method of proving that scripture is

inspired. Historical criticism seems to ignore the fact that scripture is also

literature, and to use their method of historical criticism, you must take apart

the Bible, thereby destroying the literary flow. Literary criticism looks at the

scripture in a way that is similar to how the average person reads it.

Historical criticism is traditionally elitist, and not available to anyone

except the academy. Also, is using historical criticism, complete objectivity is

never achieved, because one cannot observe without influencing the object being

observed. Many times when scholars are using historical criticism to try and

explain certain things about the Bible, the Bible becomes irrelevant to the

Church, therefore killing the entire reason for the Bible’s existence; the

teaching of God’s word. Lastly, the Bible itself says that none of its contents

are interpretations of God’s word, but rather an unadulterated version of the

truth; God’s word verbatim. Historical criticism uses a historical

interpretation to try and prove its point, thereby disproving its own validity.

If historical scholars use a method that does not apply to the Bible, then it

becomes irrelevant itself. This irrelevance is displayed using the Hermeneutical

circle, because the circle implies that there is a cycle and a relationship

between history and the content of the text, and while there may be in certain

parts, that does nothing to prove that scripture is inspired, and only says that

scripture has a possibly factual background.

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