Why We Believe What We Believe: The Doctrine of Inspiration (Part 1)

Why we believe what we believe about Inspiration is not important to our faith, it is crucial, because if indeed this is God’s message to man, rooted from God to us in these forms we hold today, it is the message of hope, life, truth, and salvation to which we ascribe and which we hope to share with others.

Is the Bible the Word of God, or not?

Listen as Michael teaches part one of two on the Doctrine of Inspiration.

This series was originally given to students and faculty at Moody Bible Institute.

Show Notes


The doctrine of inspiration says that God gave the Bible to us through divine revelation. He inspired human writers to write words, but God is the divine Author. There’s a big “A” Author, God, and little “a” authors, humans.

Do you remember the first time you read the Bible on your own?

I vividly remember when I started reading the Bible on my own – I didn’t understand anything. It didn’t’ make much sense to me. I wanted to understand it, I was in a Sunday School class where the teacher was trying to explain it, but I had all kinds of questions.

I remember reading the gospel of John and when we came to the story of Nicodemus and that really struck a chord with me –but when I had questions about the Bible, I didn’t know where to get answers.

The more I asked, the more frustrated I became — and the most frustrating part was that if I came to a problem passage or a difficult passage and I asked four or five ministers about it, I’d get four or five different answers. Then what do you do?

It was a huge challenge all throughout high school and college. I wanted to read the Scripture and I wanted to understand it.

The Scriptures are a living document and too many people approach it academically. This is God’s revealed word to you and me. If anyone can learn to read, then we can read His word. God has revealed Himself through His word to us.

This isn’t a book about God, it’s a book from God.

“Miller Jackson has defined authority as the right to command belief and/or action. Christians rightly recognize there is no higher authority than God. His right to command belief and action is unique, after all – God is creator and, therefore, has the right of ownership over everything. His omnipotence gives him the sovereign power to support his right of ownership, and his unlimited power and wisdom render his judgments unquestionable. Indeed, all authority derives from Him. This is why discussions of biblical authority are never far removed from the question of the Bible’s divine status.”

To understand why we believe that this book is the word of God, and all that entails, is one of those key issues that really we have no room to negotiate in.

Inerrancy, divine inspiration, the transmission of the text, infallibility…

Is this the Word of God, or not?

The Bible is composed by men that God selected to pen the words that we hold in our hands.

If we look at this from a historical lens, we see that it was almost universally accepted by those who follow Jesus Christ that the Bible was inspired.

If we go back to Judaism, Genesis chapter 1: “God said, God said, God said, God spoke-” and they believed it!

Before the 19th century that was pretty well accepted. As times have changed, much of this has come under attack: e.g., maybe some of the concepts are inspired, maybe some of its inspired…

People say a number of things about the Bible…

Why we believe what we believe about Inspiration is not important to our faith, it is crucial, because if indeed this is God’s message to man, rooted from God to us in these forms we hold today, it is the message of hope, life, truth, and salvation to which we ascribe and which we hope to share with others.

“The Bible is without error in all that it affirms in the original autographs, and the only authoritative guide for faith in practice, and as such must not be supplanted by any other areas of learning”

2 Timothy 3:15-16 – The scriptures have the inspiration of God and they lead to wisdom so that a person can find salvation.

The Bible gives us enough information to know what we believe.

Context is crucial.

When you have a question about something, look at the context very carefully.

Paul reminds Timothy: You have learned these texts since your child and they have led you to the wisdom of your salvation.

All scripture – the whole thing, Old Testament and New Testament, is inspired:

Gk. theopneustos (θεόπνευστος, [theh-op’-nyoo-stos]), God-inspired, God-breathed, due to the inspiration of God. This word only occurs once in the Bible, and it’s here.

Why? What does it mean?

God, who can speak things into existence, breathes life into Adam (Genesis 2:7)

All scripture has the characteristic of God behind it.

  • For teaching – the instructing of believers
  • Reproof – a very unpopular concept today. Reproof or rebuke means to express strong disapproval of someone’s sin.
  • Correction – another word that only occurs here, likely meaning “setting them straight”
  • Training in righteousness – “training” goes back to the way you’d instruct a child, training in righteousness.



So the believer is changed and equipped to do the work that God has for us.

Put your confidence in the inspired, revealed word of God.

2 Peter 1:21

When we read today, we must read carefully – meditate, reflect, study.

This is the very word of God.

We brush up against it with things we dislike or don’t agree with and we make up our own theology. We say, “I don’t believe that part of the Bible, but this part is okay” etc.

When we open up the scripture, we can trust God at his word.

Some things are complicated, some things require great study in context to understand — some things we take out of context can get us into great trouble. Frankly, that’s where most of our trouble comes.

God has spoken and He did not stutter – Howard Hendricks.

When we summarize the Bible with grandiose statements and don’t take it as God’s word, we get in trouble.

We must study it, in context.

Have a Biblical or Theological question? Ask Dr. E! Call us at 615-281-9694 and leave a voicemail with your question or email us at [email protected] Michael will answer it on an upcoming Ask Dr. E episode!

Michael Easley

About Michael Easley

Michael is husband to one, dad to four, and host of Michael Easley inContext.

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