Inspiration Contains Divine and Human Components

The inspiration of Scripture contains divine and human components.  This means that God utilizes the personalities and vocabularies of chosen men to reveal his will.  The best way to understand this is to consider the incarnation of Christ.  Jesus was both God and man.  Just because Jesus was human did not mean he was sinful.  Yet, in his humanity he was “tempted in every way that we are” (Hebrews 4:15).  Paul says Jesus “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7).  There were some Christians in the early church who believed Jesus did not come in the flesh.  John calls them false prophets, deceivers, and the antichrist (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7).  Perhaps these Christians believed the humanity of Jesus would have a corrupting effect on his person.  They did not understand that Jesus could be both human and divine and yet without sin.  To deny the humanity of Jesus, however, is to deny a fundamental aspect of the incarnation of Christ.

Jesus had a human and divine side at the same time, but the human component did not mean he was subject to deception, error, and sin.  In a similar way, the human component of Scripture does not mean the Bible contains errors.  To believe the Bible contains mistakes because of the human component is a rejection of biblical teaching about the inspiration of Scripture.  It also suggests God is not powerful enough to utilize the personalities and vocabularies of chosen men to deliver the very  words he wants written down.  Harold Lindsell’s explanation of this process  is good: “Just as Jesus had a human and a divine nature, one of which was truly human and the other truly divine, so the written word of God is a product that bears the marks of what is truly human and truly divine” (Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, p. 31).

J B Myers


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