I am currently teaching through Grudem's Systematic theology at our church. Here are some notes on the inspiration of Scripture if anyone is interested and if they make any sense to you.
Authority and Inspiration - Directly related, Authority is based on inspiration
What is your authority on matters of truth? (Positive test for truth)
Evangelicalism is set apart by it’s use of scripture as its foundation.
The entire Christian system is based on the authority of Scripture. If it is not inspired then it is not our final authority, because we will have to judge it with something else.
What will be our judge if scripture is not? What will we use to test and see which scriptures are true and which ones are in error. Science, Reason, Look within ourselves.
Verbal and Plenary Inspiration.
Verbal – Word for word. Not basic ideas
Use the analogy of the secretary
Plenary-full; complete; entire; absolute; unqualified
We believe in the Verbal Plenary understanding of Scripture because
1.) It’s what the Bible claims for itself.
2.) We are convinced by the internal witness of the Spirit.
3.) Other evidence which is useful
4.) The words of Scripture are self-attesting
Objection, this is a circular argument
Objection, this theory implies dictation.
It is what the Bible claims for itself
1. Thus saith the Lord is all throughout scripture
2. God spoke through the prophets, (p. 74)
3. II Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God Breathed”
a. Theopneutos – “breathed out by God”
b. Not one section or word is not breathed by God
c. Breathed out is metaphor for “speaking the words of scripture
d. 2 Pet. 1:21 not by the will of man
4. This covers Old and New testament
a. 2 Pet. 3:16 N.T. writings are called “graphe”
1Co 14:37 If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.
We are convinced by the internal witness of the Father
1Co 2:14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.
This does not mean that the natural man cannot understand the words of scripture, but that he cannot receive them. (Rom. 1)
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.
Does this mean that the other men could audibly hear his voice?
This isn’t audible hearing it’s internal
This conviction though, never comes apart from the scripture but always through it..
This is not a Gnostic Gospel nor is it private.
2Pe 1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.
Other Evidence is useful but not finally convincing
-24000 Manuscripts of the New Testament alone
-Internal Evidence, 66 books by 40 authors over 2000 years and they give one perfect non-confliction message
-when something is true there tends to be evidence, but some blinded eyes will not see it.
1:5 We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture (1Ti_3:15). And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts(Isa_59:21; Joh_16:13, Joh_16:14;1Co_2:10-12; 1Jo_2:20, 1Jo_2:27).
The words of Scripture are self-attesting
This means the words of Scripture judge everything else, nothing judges it.
-There is not higher authority? Where will you go to prove the Bible but the Bible itself. Man’s reason (those scripture never violate true reason) Science. Internal feelings.
Objection, this is circular argument.
How do we know the Bible is the true authority?
Because it says it is the true authority
How do we know that that is a true statement.
Because the Bible is the true authority
Axiom- That foundational belief with cannot be proven by any other foundation. If is proven by something else then what it is proven by is truly your axiom.
Every belief system has an axiom that cannot be proven.
We cannot know anything as true unless it is proven by science.
Then this statement cannot be true because it has not been proven by science.
Transcendental argument- It is the only belief system that makes sense of the world as it really is.
Objection, The verbal and plenary understanding implies dictation
Dual authorship – We can tell what was written by Paul and what was written by John because of different styles.
How can we have this if we have verbal inspiration?
A. Because of this to disobey or to disbelieve any word of Scripture is to disbelieve God Himself.
Truthfulness of Scripture
God cannot lie
Therefore the word of God contains nothing that is not true
God’s words are the standard for truth
i. “your word is truth”
ii. Not your word is the truth as if the word lines us to some external standard
No fact will ever contradict the Bible, if there is a fact that contradicts the Bible it is a misinterpreted fact or misinterpreted scripture.
Boettner P. 35