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Page 59

The following three explanations are believed today by different groups of people concerning the extent of divine inspiration in Scripture.

    1. Thought inspiration

    2. Partial inspiration

    3. Verbal-plenary inspiration

Thought inspiration is a belief that God only inspired the thoughts of the human writers of the biblical books. The words and expressions used to describe these thoughts were entirely the person's.

Partial inspiration is a teaching that only portions of the Bible are divinely inspired - not all.

Both of these views are incorrect. Both deny the truth that every word, expression, and portion of Scripture is divinely inspired.

Verbal-plenary inspiration proclaims the truth. "Verbal" means 4'word",- "plenary" refers to "fully" or "entirely." It means that the Bible is fully inspired by God; every word is God's. The entire Bible is infallible, for each word is a word of God.

The importance of each word can be illustrated with the following example:

    A man once purchased a large shipment of goods from a New York business firm, giving a signed promissory note for future payment. He listed a large dealer in Chicago as personal reference and a telegram was sent to the Chicago company to confirm the man's credit.

    A reply telegram was received which stated, "Note good for any amount." Based on this reply the New York Company delivered all the ordered goods. However, no payment was ever received and the firm lost thousands of dollars.

    Upon investigation it was discovered that an error of one letter was made in the reply telegram. It was meant to state, "Not good for any amount." This one letter made a significant and costly difference.

    When we speak of the Bible as being inspired by God, why is each sentence, word, and letter very important?

  • Verbal - Word
  • Plenary - Plenary - Fully; entirely; completely


    For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh in you that believe.

    - I Thessalonians 2:13

    For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

    And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    - Revelation 22:18-19


    Some "Christian" people deny the truth that every word in the Bible is divinely inspired. Some deny the first chapters of Genesis; others, some of the biblical miracles, and some other parts which they believe to be outdated. What great danger is there in believing parts of the Bible to be not inspired by God?

    What eternal strength and comfort is missed by those who deny the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture?

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