Notes On The Inspiration Of Scripture
Most of the notes in this study were taken from the book, Many Infallible Proofs by Henry M. Morris, in particular, the chapter The Inspiration of Scripture. There is also on reference from The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, by Josh McDowell.
1. Claims of the writers
a. In the Old Testament the writers claimed to have written the words of God. An approximate figure from the Old Testament alone is 2,600 claims of inspiration. Some Examples:
1). Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
2). 1 Samuel 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3). Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
4). Jeremiah 26:18 Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
b. These claims are not found in every book of the Old Testament, for Esther has no mention of any claim of divine inspiration. Nevertheless they were accepted by the people of Israel as equal in divine inspiration and authority.
c. The New Testament writings were claimed by the Apostles as inspired by God and accepted by the early church as divinely inspired by God.
1). Galatians 1:11, 12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2). 1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
3). 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
4). 1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
5). Ephesians 3:4, 5 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
d. The canon of Scripture closes with a warning upon those who would take away or add to the words of God.
1). Revelation 22:18, 19 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:
22:19 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.
e. The Biblical godly attitude of a believer to the word of God is clearly shown in the Scriptures.
1). Psalm 119:128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
2. The Old Testament in the New
a. There are over 320 quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament, as well as over 1000 clear references to the Old Testament. In the context it indicates the belief of the writer or speaker that he was referring to the words of God.
1). Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. [From Deuteronomy 8:3]
2). Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. [From Deuteronomy 19:15]
3). Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. [From Exodus 33:19]
4). Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. [From Isaiah 60:20, 21]
b. The first 11 chapters of Genesis (Creation thru the Tower of Babel), is the most criticized of the Old Testament by liberals. Yet there are more than 80 quotes or clear allusions to this section in the New Testament. Every one of the N.T. writers refers at least once in his writings to something recorded in Genesis 1 thru Genesis 11.
1). Noah’s flood, 2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2). Creation of Man, 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
3). Enoch, Jude 14, 15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
c. The Apostles also accepted other parts of the New Testament as divinely inspired.
1). In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul quotes both Testaments as Scripture.
a). 1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
(1) Deuteronomy 25:4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
(2) Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
2). Peter compares the writings of Paul to “the other Scriptures”, thus placing them on the same level.
a). 2 Peter 3:15, 16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
3). Peter also places his own writings and the writings of the other Apostles on the same level as the writings of the prophets.
a). 2 Peter 3:1, 2 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
4). In Jude 17, 18 Jude quotes 2 Peter 3:3.
a). Jude 17, 18 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
b). 2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
3. The Testimony of Jesus Christ
a. As God manifested in the flesh there is no doubt that Jesus knew and understood the nature of Scripture.
1). John 5:46, 47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
b. What Jesus believed about Scripture was in agreement with traditional 2nd Temple Judaism.
1). Jesus believed in the three divisions of the Old Testament.
a). Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
2). 2nd Temple Judaism placed the bounds of the Old Testament to be from Genesis to Chronicles. In Matthew 23:34, 35 some traditional scholars believe Jesus was stating those bounds of the canon of the Old Testament.
a). Matthew 23:34, 35 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
(1) The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Josh McDowell. “With these words Jesus confirms his witness to the extent of the Old Testament canon. Abel was the first martyr recorded in Scripture (Genesis 4:8), and Zechariah the last martyr to be named in the Hebrew Old Testament order, having been stoned while prophesying to the people “in the court of the house of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 24:21). Genesis was the first book in the Hebrew canon, and Chronicles the last. So Jesus was basically saying “from Genesis to Chronicles,” or according to our order, “from Genesis to Malachi,” thereby confirming the divine authority and inspiration of the entire Hebrew canon.”
b). The Hebrew Bible has 24 books because some of the books are combined. 1 & 2 Samuel is one book, 1 & 2 Kings is one book. The 12 Minor Prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are listed as one book. Ezra and Nehemiah is one book and finally 1 & 2 Chronicles is one book for a total of 24 books.
c. Jesus believed and cited passages of Scripture which might seem particularly difficult for the natural man to believe.
1). He quoted the supposedly contradictory accounts [liberal and apostate viewpoint] of man’s creation in the same passage.
a). Matthew 19:4-6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
2). He believed and quoted about Noah’s flood.
a). Luke 17:26, 27 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
b). Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
3). He believed and quoted passages about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
a). Luke 17:28, 29 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
4). Jonah and the whale.
a). Matthew 12:39-41 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
12:41The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
5). He believed and accepted the prophecies of Daniel as true prophecies not yet fulfilled.
a). Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
6). Jesus believed and taught that Isaiah was the author of both parts of the book bearing his name. Isaiah is divided into two sections, 39 chapters in the first section and 27 in the second, corresponding to the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 of the New Testament. Liberal, apostate Christianity believe there are three sections of Isaiah and that Isaiah only wrote a portion of the book.
a). Mark 4:11, 12 [Quoted from Isaiah 6:9, 10] And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
b). Luke 4:16-21 [Quoted from Isaiah 61:1, 2]And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
7). Jesus believed Moses to be the author of the Pentateuch.
a). Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
b). John 5:46, 47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
8). Jesus accepted the writings of Moses and referred to some of the miracles.
a). The burning bush.
(1) Luke 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
b). The giving of manna.
(1) John 6:31, 32 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
c). The brazen serpent.
(1) John 3:14, 15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
9). Jesus condemned his contemporaries nowhere more harshly then when they had rejected or corrupted Scripture.
a). Matthew 15:1-9 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
b). John 5:42-47 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
10). Probably the most important passage of all regarding the reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures is how Jesus responded to two of his disciples after his resurrection for their doubt. He called them fools. Likewise if we as professing believers doubt or write off God’s word we are fools.
a). Luke 24:25-27 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.