Monday, May 23, 2016

The Bible: Why a Verbal Plenary Inspiration is Important to You

Never heard about a verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible? I had not either but it makes total sense to me. It is the understanding that the Bible was verbally inspired by God and it is the absolute authority (plenary) of His Word. From this view we can make the faith statement that, “The Bible is totally reliable.”

Imagine yourself a ten or twelve year old girl, having been told that your father loved you but never fully believing it or hearing it or even reading it. Daddy has been away for a very long time and never communicates directly. Mommy only tells you that your father loved you and still loves you. She tells you stories and may even write you notes, but they are not his words. You desperately want to hear it from the man who fathered you, a man you do not know.

This is what has happened to the Church. For well over one hundred years, theologians have audaciously presented to Bible students the thought that the Holy Scriptures have been modified by men. For example, they suggest that some man named Matthew took his portion of the ‘canon’ from either another man named Mark or some other manuscript called a Q or Quell.

These theologians are now our pastors, having been trained and are now teaching the people in our churches that the book of Matthew was passed on from someone else. To them, it is not authoritative. They present theories such as historical criticism and source criticism that report about God’s love. These words are not trustworthy because they do not directly come from the original source.

These theories are not just about Matthew, they involve every book of the Bible. These theories promote statements such as “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB) but they take away the Bible’s profound impact. They also promote the thought that some man (or men) called a redactor modified the text, placing it into the form we now have before us.

Dear ten-year-old girl, please know that when the Bible refers to God’s immense love for you, it is spoken through the Holy Spirit. He is the embodiment of God. He loves you, not some other man or some other deity saying this about God, but God himself.

For example, Daniel 9:4 records a portion of a prayer by Daniel:

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments … ”
There are two ways we can look at that single verse:
  • a man acting as a narrator who recorded that prayer, or
  • the Holy Spirit that took the words of prayer for all mankind.
I suggest to you that the Bible is much more than the words of some narrators which have been modified by men over the years. Instead, it is the Word given to you personally through the Holy Spirit so that you can know His character. This Daddy has not been away for a very long time. This Daddy communicates continuously, for the one who has an ear. He truly loves you.