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The Bible: Inspiration and Inerrancy

What is theology, and why should we study it? Theology is the study of God, and as we learn more about His person and works we come to know God more, are able to grow closer to Him. Below you will find the lesson handout used in our recent Sunday School class, and you can download the PDF file to view the slideshow of the lesson.

Theology: The Study of God (based on Charles F. Baker, “A Dispensational Theology,” chapter 7 p.44-52)

If you want to know whether or not an article is reliable, you could ask the author “where did you get your information?”  If the sources are questionable, the whole article will be difficult to trust.  However, if the sources are sound, you will be more likely to place confidence in the information that is presented.  In a similar way, if we want to know whether or not the Bible is reliable, all we need to do is consider the source.  Ask: “where did the biblical authors get their information?”  If their message comes from God, we can trust everything the Bible affirms.

Inspiration:

1. The word “inspiration” is used to describe the origin of Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “…all Scripture is inspired by God…”

  • The Greek term theopneustos literally means “God-b______________________”
  • This means its more than an inspiring book, it is given by d_____________ authority
  • The h_______________ authors were guided by the Holy Spirit to record sacred text
  • Inspiration extends to e__________________ part of Bible, not just certain pages
  • The Bible does not merely contain God’s Word, it _________ God’s Word

2. Charles Baker offers the following definition of inspiration:

     The Scripture came into being by the breath of God. Just as God breathed into man’s nostrils and he became a living soul, so in like manner God breathed into the writers and brought into being His infallible Word… inspiration extends to the very words which the writers used in the original writings. This does not mean that God dictated the words, but that He so guided men to write in their own language, with their own words, and in their own style that when they had written they had said exactly what God wanted said. (A Dispensational Theology, p.45, 49)

 

What Inspiration Does NOT Mean:

  • Everything in the Bible is a record of…
  • The biblical authors were only…
  • The biblical authors were…
  • The biblical authors knew…
  • The biblical authors entered some kind of…

 

What Inspiration Does Mean:

  • 2 Peter 1:19-21, “…men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God…”
  • They penned the words, but the Lord carried them along to record His Word
  • They were not offering their own ideas or opinions, their words carried real weight
  • How does Peter tell us we ought to respond to the light of God’s Word?

 

3. We can also learn much by examining the way Jesus used the OT Scriptures:

  • The whole is inspired – “all that is written must be f________________” (Luke 24:44)
  • The parts are inspired – “…did you never read in the Scriptures…” (Matt. 21:42, 4:4)
  • The words are inspired – arguments hinged on individual words (Matt. 22:41-45)
  • The letters are inspired – “…not the smallest s_____________ shall pass…” (Mt. 5:18)
  • The New Testament which hadn’t yet been written is inspired – (John 14:26)
  • Conclusion >>>> Jesus had a very h______________ view of Scripture

 

Inerrancy:

4. Sadly, in this age which questions the very idea of truth, the doctrine of inerrancy has become unpopular with many. However, it is a vital doctrine to our Christian faith:

  • God is t___________ (2 Sam. 7:28; Titus 1:2)
  • The B____________ is God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16)
  • The B________ must be t________ (John 17:17)

 

5. One definition of inerrancy states: “Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.” (Moody handbook of Theology. p. 167.)

 

6. Some have claimed that the Bible is reliable in matters concerning “faith and practice,” but it may contain errors in less important details. What are the problems of denying inerrancy?

  • If we say the Bible contains errors, how can we t______________ anything it says?
  • If we say the Bible contains errors, we call into question the c________________ of God.
  • If we say the Bible contains errors, we make human reason a higher a_________________.
  • If we say the Bible contains errors, why should God’s people always tell the t__________?

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