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What does it mean that Scripture is "Inspired"


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#1
ConnorLiamBrown

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This question sprung from all the debates regarding the age of the earth.  Most of these debates involve scientific claims and their rebuttals.  I am convinced that "science" is not the issue.  The issue is the definition of "inspiration".   The only reason we care about the age of the earth is because Genesis represents its creation as a 6 day process and the numbers that follow add up to to a 6,000 year old universe: and many claims from the sciences suggest otherwise.  

 

So...what are people's "criterion" for inspiration?  What does it take for a book to be God-breathed?  What can and can't it do?

 

I anticipate that many will make replies to the effect "I don't have a criterion!  I let the Bible be its own criterion."  I admire your piety but I don't believe it, not for a second. I propose that everyone who has ever engaged in a debate regarding the age of the earth has a definition in mind for what it means to be inspired--a definition NOT given by Scripture; and that THAT is the sole question of ALL debates regarding the age of the earth.  IT WAS NEVER A SCIENTIFIC QUESTION FOR US.  ALL APPEALS MADE TO SCIENCE AND THEIR REBUTTAL'S ARE FUTILE.  Everything hinges on the definition of "inspired".

 

So, what are people's definitions?

 

I'll give a couple prompts which will indicate my intention for this thread (and my implicit position):  You need not read them all; they are only prompts.

 

In order to be inspired, can the author have made a grammatical mistake, or a spelling mistake?

 

In order to be "inspired" does any canonical author who describes the sun as moving have to know that, in fact, it doesn't move? That is, If he actually thought, at the time of writing, that the sun DID in fact move, would this mean that his production was NOT inspired? Again,  If we asked him, does the sun move, and he said yes, does that mean any writing he did (i.e. many of the psalms and Ecclesiastes) would be rendered "uninspired"?  This could be put the other way round: if we asked him, "does the sun actually move," and he said "No."  This would be evidence of inspiration. 

 

In order to be "inspired" does an author have to know that the world is round?  Could he think the world flat and still right inspired works that imply the world is flat (though his point has nothing to do with the shape of the earth)?

 

In order to be "inspired" does the author have to know the actual age of the earth?  i.e. The author of Genesis himself did all the math involved in Genesis, all the number crunching which we are so obsessed with?

 

In order to be "inspired", does the author of, say, the pentateuch have to know that "the other gods" don't in fact exist; or is it still "inspired" that, at the time of writing, he only thought that YHWH was superior to all of them?

 

In order to be inspired does an author have to have perfect geographical knowledge of any land he is describing geographically, even when the purpose of his work is something other than geographical exactitude--(i.e. some liberal scholars think Luke did not know the geography of Palestine; but then, Jesus' ministry, not the geography of palestine, was his chief interest).

 

And finally, If we could somehow (obviously theoretical) conjure up the author of  Genesis, what side of our debate (young vs. old) would he take, and why (if you appeal to science, I will gouge my eyes out :)

 

I have given numerous prompts to anticipate and hopefully stop the seemingly "pious" answers which would merely quote Scripture, like 2 Tim 3:16.......for of course that verse itself requires a definition for "teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness".  Merely quoting will get us nowhere.

 

clb

 

P.S. apologies to anyone who actually debates the age of the earth purely on scientific grounds.  Frankly, I didn't know you existed.  Sadly, this thread is not for you.



#2
shiloh357

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This question sprung from all the debates regarding the age of the earth.  Most of these debates involve scientific claims and their rebuttals.  I am convinced that "science" is not the issue.  The issue is the definition of "inspiration".  The only reason we care about the age of the earth is because Genesis represents its creation as a 6 day process and the numbers that follow add up to to a 6,000 year old universe: and many claims from the sciences suggest otherwise.  

 

From that perspective the issue is not really inspiration.  The issue is authority.  Is the Bible the standard by which science is measured, or is science the standard by which the Bible is measured??

 

So, what are people's definitions?

 

As far as inspiration goes, you should be asking what the Bible's criterion is.  The Bible defines it for us. The Bible's definition of  inspiration is found in two places.  The most well-known peraps is II Tim. 3:16 where Paul says that all Scripture is God-breathed.   The second place is II Peter 1 where Peter tells us that the prophets did not write out of their own personal impeteus, imagination, or impulse, but spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 

 

In order to be inspired, can the author have made a grammatical mistake, or a spelling mistake?

 

That is not an issue pertaining to inspiration, but inerrancy.  Inerrancy simply means that if the Bible says it happened, it happened.  Inerrancy does not extend to copyist errors.  There are about 150,000 minor errors in the text of Scripture that amount to copyist errors, things like mispellings word reversals, and some translational issues in obscure locations in the Bible.   None of those variants have any effect on the accuracy or reliability of the text.   None of the copyist errors occur in doctrinal portions of the Scripture.  

 

Your questions demonstrate that you really don't understand that doctrine of inspiration.  Inspiration simply means that the text of Scripture is divine in origin.  You are asking a ton of questions that have nothing to do with inspration, but rather, they touch on inerrancy and authority.



#3
nebula

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From that perspective the issue is not really inspiration.  The issue is authority.  Is the Bible the standard by which science is measured, or is science the standard by which the Bible is measured??

 

Why do you believe the Bible is concerned at all about science and scientific interpretation?



#4
shiloh357

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From that perspective the issue is not really inspiration.  The issue is authority.  Is the Bible the standard by which science is measured, or is science the standard by which the Bible is measured??

 

Why do you believe the Bible is concerned at all about science and scientific interpretation?

 

I don't think it is.   But the Bible is about providing a true and accurate historical account.   One of the reasons we can testify to the world that the Bible is worth putting faith in is that it is impeccible where its historical records are concerned.

 

Suddenly with Genesis 1-11, that historical record is assaulted as, a "parable," "allegory," a "metaphor,"  "symbolism," a purely poetic "polemic" against Babylonian paganism, akin to "Aesops Fables"  etc.  It is accepted as ANYTHING but an accurate and truthfully recorded account of history.

 

Why would God go to such great pains in EVERY other part of the Bible to provide such stunningly accurate historical accounts that no historian can successfully discredit and demonstrate the amazing accuracy of the Bible's history through prophecies down through history that were fulfilled down to the strictest details, but provide a different standard in Genesis??  

 

It doesn't make sense that God would abandon historical accuracy in Genesis but then take such great pains to be accurate in the rest of the Bible.   Genesis 1-11 utilizes the same historical narrative patterns that you find in the rest of Genesis, in the books of I and II Samuel, I adn II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, the book of Acts, etc.  

 

I would argue that it is the OEC crowd that is concerned with interpretting the Bible scientifically and trying to fit 15 billion years into 6 days in any way they can. 



#5
jerryR34

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From that perspective the issue is not really inspiration.  The issue is authority.  Is the Bible the standard by which science is measured, or is science the standard by which the Bible is measured??

 

Why do you believe the Bible is concerned at all about science and scientific interpretation?

 

I don't think it is.  

So, you agree, creation should not be taught in school science classes?



#6
shiloh357

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From that perspective the issue is not really inspiration.  The issue is authority.  Is the Bible the standard by which science is measured, or is science the standard by which the Bible is measured??

 

Why do you believe the Bible is concerned at all about science and scientific interpretation?

 

I don't think it is.  

So, you agree, creation should not be taught in school science classes?

 

I think it should have an equal voice in the classroom, personally.  I don't think the Bibleis a science book, but I also don't think that the Bible disagrees with modern science.  It disagrees with things like the Big Bang and Evolution, but not real science.   God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.



#7
Enoch2021

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So, you agree, creation should not be taught in school science classes?

 

 

No, I don't Agree.   

 

I do think Evolution and Billions of Years should not be taught in school "science" classes because there is ZERO Scientific Evidence to support it.  Now, if they want to teach it in Fairytale Classes...then I have no issue.

 

Also, you asked some questions of me on the One Book Thread....to which I replied too, but you have not???



#8
kwikphilly

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Blessings Everyone.....

     As for my response to the OP I could not have said it any better than Shiloh did & I never quote anyone ,EVER....it tires me to read these quotes over & over & over But this one is well worth reading twice!

 

As far as inspiration goes, you should be asking what the Bible's criterion is.  The Bible defines it for us. The Bible's definition of  inspiration is found in two places.  The most well-known perhaps is II Tim. 3:16 where Paul says that all Scripture is God-breathed.   The second place is II Peter 1 where Peter tells us that the prophets did not write out of their own personal impeteous, imagination, or impulse, but spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.       written by Shiloh

And I must agree with you my brother Shiloh in every reply because for many years I tried very hard to refute the God Breathed Words that are written in the Bible having been a Science major & a History buff.....too my surprise I could only find historical accuracies,scientific explanations,amazing truths,& everything that proved to me this could only be Spoken by the Creator of the Universe,the Great I Am........my Loving Father,Glory to God!

    There was only one problem I kept running into,my intellect, academics & knowledge kept getting in the way of my receiving Wisdom-LOL    I did eventually surrender & cast aside pride......today,I could care less if anyone believes I had any education at all.................my little 2 cents again! :mgcheerful:

                                                                                                                 With love,in Christ-Kwik



#9
FresnoJoe

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So, you agree, creation should not be taught in school science classes?

 

~

 

Beloved, The Truth Be Told

 

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

 

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16-17

 

Science And Neither Scientism Nor Evolutionary Dogmas

 

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Isaiah 40:26

 

Should Be Taught In Taxpayer Funded Schools And Universities

 

But this is what the Lord says: I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky. 

 

I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 

Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them.” Jeremiah 33:25-26 (New Living Translation)

 

For The Day Is Fast Approaching When Scientism

 

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

 

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

 

And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

 

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:14-17

 

Will Become The Trash It Always Was

 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

 

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

 

You See

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

 

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

Love, Joe



#10
nebula

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From that perspective the issue is not really inspiration.  The issue is authority.  Is the Bible the standard by which science is measured, or is science the standard by which the Bible is measured??

 
Why do you believe the Bible is concerned at all about science and scientific interpretation?

 

I don't think it is.   But the Bible is about providing a true and accurate historical account.   One of the reasons we can testify to the world that the Bible is worth putting faith in is that it is impeccible where its historical records are concerned.

 


But why are you looking at the Bible's "historical accuracy" by modern, Western, Hellenistic standards?


 

Suddenly with Genesis 1-11, that historical record is assaulted as, a "parable," "allegory," a "metaphor,"  "symbolism," a purely poetic "polemic" against Babylonian paganism, akin to "Aesops Fables"  etc.  It is accepted as ANYTHING but an accurate and truthfully recorded account of history.


It is not meant to be an assault on the Bible's authority, only applying our modern usage of "historical record" on ancient texts.


 

Why would God go to such great pains in EVERY other part of the Bible to provide such stunningly accurate historical accounts that no historian can successfully discredit and demonstrate the amazing accuracy of the Bible's history through prophecies down through history that were fulfilled down to the strictest details, but provide a different standard in Genesis??


Explaining the Creation is nothing like describing a battle or recording conversations.

Why do you believe God was concerned with teaching man a history lesson with Genesis 1?

  

It doesn't make sense that God would abandon historical accuracy in Genesis but then take such great pains to be accurate in the rest of the Bible.   Genesis 1-11 utilizes the same historical narrative patterns that you find in the rest of Genesis, in the books of I and II Samuel, I adn II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, the book of Acts, etc.


Why do you keep bringing up Genesis 2-11 with me? What do they have to do with the age of the earth (beyond how long Gen. 2 lasted)?
 
 

I would argue that it is the OEC crowd that is concerned with interpretting the Bible scientifically and trying to fit 15 billion years into 6 days in any way they can.


YEC keeps trying to make a science account of a theological text. Why?



#11
jerryR34

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 I don't think the Bibleis a science book, but I also don't think that the Bible disagrees with modern science. 

"modern science" overwhelmingly espouses evolution, so I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion.



#12
shiloh357

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But why are you looking at the Bible's "historical accuracy" by modern, Western, Hellenistic standards?

 

I am looking at the Bible's historical accuracy based on its own claims and based on the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy.  I am looking at the Bible's historical accuracy through the lens of historical accuracy and the Bible's proven track record as a reliable historical source of information.

I think you are confusing things.  The whole "Hebraic vs. Hellenistic" issue deals with basic paradigms and theological worldviews.   You can't run to that kind of argument to claim that the biblical writers didn't view history in terms of an accurate and truthful record of events.

 

It is not meant to be an assault on the Bible's authority, only applying our modern usage of "historical record" on ancient texts.

 

I'm sorry, from where do you derive this notion that historical records are viewed differently today than they were during the biblical period?

 

Explaining the Creation is nothing like describing a battle or recording conversations.

 

Evidently the biblical writers thought it was, because the same narrative patterns in Genesis 1 is used in other historical narratives in the Bible.

 

Why do you believe God was concerned with teaching man a history lesson with Genesis 1?

 

So that man would know where he came from, and that God made him in His image and that God exists.
 

YEC keeps trying to make a science account of a theological text. Why?

 

Then why is YEC always at odds with scientific claims?   It is OEC that is attempting to look at the creation story through the lens of scientific claims of an old earth, Big Bang, etc.



#13
shiloh357

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 I don't think the Bibleis a science book, but I also don't think that the Bible disagrees with modern science. 

"modern science" overwhelmingly espouses evolution, so I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion.

 

Evolution isn't science.  It is an untested hypothesis.  Modern science and evolution aren't the same thing.



#14
jerryR34

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So, you agree, creation should not be taught in school science classes?

 

 

No, I don't Agree.   

 

I do think Evolution and Billions of Years should not be taught in school "science" classes because there is ZERO Scientific Evidence to support it... 

That is a very intellectually dishonest statement.  There are mountains of evidence that support evolution and old earth.  You should just say that you disagree with the evidence rather than say it does not exist.

 

 

 

Also, you asked some questions of me on the One Book Thread....to which I replied too, but you have not???

 

Sorry, I'm not on here as often as I would like - I'll circle back and look at that thread.  thanks.



#15
jerryR34

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 deleted


Edited by jerryR34, 27 January 2014 - 02:37 PM.


#16
jerryR34

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 I don't think the Bibleis a science book, but I also don't think that the Bible disagrees with modern science. 

"modern science" overwhelmingly espouses evolution, so I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion.

 

Evolution isn't science.  It is an untested hypothesis.  Modern science and evolution aren't the same thing.

 

Creation is not science either given its super-natural aspect.  Should we leave both out?  Could you read a Biology text and redact any of it that relies on evolution without having the text be meaningless?



#17
Enoch2021

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No, I don't Agree.   

 

I do think Evolution and Billions of Years should not be taught in school "science" classes because there is ZERO Scientific Evidence to support it... 

That is a very intellectually dishonest statement.  There are mountains of evidence that support evolution and old earth.  You should just say that you disagree with the evidence rather than say it does not exist.

 

 

"That is a very intellectually dishonest statement.  There are mountains of evidence that support evolution and old earth.  You should just say that you disagree with the evidence rather than say it does not exist."

 

Well we're gonna see how Intellectually dishonest I am when you post this "Mountain" of evidence.

 

State ONE @ a Time so we can fully evaluate and scrutinize each for veracity and validity.  Do me a Favor, Please state whether this is Scientific Evidence or just Evidence with each one.

 

Also Define Evolution.

 

Thanks



#18
FresnoJoe

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Creation is not science either given its super-natural aspect.  Should we leave both out?  Could you read a Biology text and redact any of it that relies on evolution without having the text be meaningless?

 

~

 

Yes

 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

 

Scientifically, Kind Does Comes From Kind

 

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25

 

And Inserting Common Decent Into The Place Of Common Creator

 

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:9

 

Makes Super-Natural Evolution Neither A Science

 

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Isaiah 29:16

 

Nor The Truth

 

Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

 

If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

 

Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 31:35-27



#19
nebula

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Explaining the Creation is nothing like describing a battle or recording conversations.

Evidently the biblical writers thought it was, because the same narrative patterns in Genesis 1 is used in other historical narratives in the Bible.

 


If you want to read Genesis 1 like a newspaper report rather than an beautiful artistic expression, fine. Be that way.



#20
shiloh357

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Explaining the Creation is nothing like describing a battle or recording conversations.

Evidently the biblical writers thought it was, because the same narrative patterns in Genesis 1 is used in other historical narratives in the Bible.

 


If you want to read Genesis 1 like a newspaper report rather than an beautiful artistic expression, fine. Be that way.

 

Who said that a historical narrative is like a newspaper report.   You are mixing genres.   Historical narratives are not lacking in artistic expression.   You can read historical biographies written by people who have made written expression into an art form.  

 

Again, you have things rather confused in your mind.  You need to stop reacting emotionally, and respond with the kind of intellectual analytical qualities I grew so accustomed to in the past.






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