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Our God-Breathed Bible

  • John MacArthur Grace to You
  • 2008 14 May


All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate , fully equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 The content of the Bible is revelation.  The process by which that content was written down is called inspiration.  And it wasn't a high level of human activity, it wasn't even a high level of religious human activity.  Men were in the process but it didn't originate with them and it didn't come from their desire and their will, they were used as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit and enabled to speak from God.  They spoke divine words.  God used them.  It was their personality.  It was their background, some of their insights, their experiences, their perceptions, but ever word was the word of God.  That's the miracle of inspiration.  Men...they were used...carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.  That's what the Scripture says. 

So, when you pick up your Bible, you're not reading the word of men, you're reading the Word of God that was written down by men who were moved along in the process by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Not apart from their personalities and not apart from their experiences and not apart from their vocabulary and not apart from their heart passion and compulsion, but integrating all of that into the power of the Spirit of God and never compromising the truth that every word came from God...a great and glorious miracle, so vital. 

So, God spoke in the Old Testament to the fathers by the prophets in many ways and in many portions.  And God has spoken in the New Testament by His Son in the gospels and then about His Son in the rest of the New Testament.  The process by which God gave us that revelation is inspiration and inspiration was God putting His revelation in, as it were, the hands of men to be written down first to be spoken and proclaimed and then written down as they were energized, carried along by the Holy Spirit.  Men were used and yet no word of God was ever violated.  The totality of Scripture, pasa graphe, all Scripture, every Scripture, is theopneustos, God breathed.  It is the breath of God, the writing of Scripture.  The totality of it, according to Romans 3:2 is called the oracles of God.  When Paul is talking about the benefit of Israel, what is it that they had that set them apart from other nations, he has reference to the Old Testament which he calls the oracles of God...the speeches of God...the words of God. 

This article was excerpted from “Our God Breathed Word,” originally appearing at Grace to You.
(Grace to You, © 2005-2007. All rights reserved.  Used by permission)