Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Did God Inspire the Bible?

Last month, I was leading a Bible study for my den of Cub Scouts and their parents and grandparents. While teaching about how we listen to God by reading the Bible, a question arose. How did God inspire the Bible?

Second Timothy 3:16 states, "All Scripture is breathed out by God." However, it does not mention the methodologies used by God.

 I gave the boys a list of a few different methods used by the Lord to inspire the Scriptures:

 1. Dictation Sometimes the Lord dictated his message word-for-word to the writers of the Bible. For example, God told Jeremiah exactly what to write. "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you'" (Jeremiah 30:2).

 2. Enhanced Memory Sometimes God enhanced the memories of the Bible's writers. Jesus promised his apostles that the Holy Spirit would help them to remember what he had said to them (John 14:25-26).

 3. Visions For example, as Jesus started sharing the visions of Revelation with John, he told John, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches" (Revelation 1:11).

 4. Research For example, the Gospel of Luke was based on extensive research. As Luke stated, "Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus" (Luke 1:3, NLT).

 This may not be an exhaustive list of the methodologies employed by God to inspire the Scriptures, but it helps to answer the question. However the Lord chose to inspire specific portions of the Scriptures, we can be assured that "those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God" (2 Peter 1:21, NLT).


Cristina said...

Thanks for this. My Sunday School students recently asked me how we got the Bible. "Did people write it, or was it from God?" I tried to explain the various methods, but in the end, they couldn't really grasp that it was both. Adults often have the same struggle.

Terry Laudett said...

You're welcome, Cristina. Thanks for the good comment! It can be a very difficult concept to grasp.