BUFF SCOTT, JR.
Is Every Word In The Bible
A few years ago, shortly after I moved to Phoenix, I attended an adult Bible Class of a church where the Bible’s inspiration was being discussed. The leader was teaching that every word in the scriptures, both Old and New, is the Word of God and inspired by God. I asked him, “Do you believe Paul was divinely infused when he wrote to Timothy, ‘When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments’ ” [2 Tim. 4:13].
He answered, “Every word in the Bible is the word of God.”
I didn’t press the matter further. I wondered, however, if his answer entailed even mistranslated words. That God divinely infused the writers at different times as they wrote and spoke, no believer will deny. Paul noted more than once that what he was teaching/writing was revealed to him by the Lord. It is, however, questionable to contend that the Lord is the source of every
word inscribed by the writers.
Each writer had his own style. And most all, if not all, of the writers wrote about personal
matters, such as Paul who asked for his cloak, certain books, and his parchments. The Holy Spirit allowed the writers to be themselves, not programmed robots. When crucial topics were addressed, as well as many non-crucial matters, the Holy Spirit quickened or illuminated the writer or speaker.
This brother, and hundreds like him, have a lot of explaining to do when we consider the numerous errors found in the letters we call The New Testament.
For if God is the author of every word in our current versions of biblical documents, we have an erring God. God is not the author of mistakes, of course, but if every word is from God, as legalists claim, God made a number of mistakes.
As I view the matter, the exact
words of those biblical letters were not necessarily dictated by God, but are the product of holy men who received the messages. In other words, and read me carefully just here, God inspired the messages but left it up to holy messengers to deliver them in their own individual style or vocabulary.
Most of the errors alluded to came about largely by translating from one language to another. The doctrinal integrity of the letters is, for the most part, retained.
Another matter to consider is that the revelations
by God to holy men were not immediately
written down word-for-word. These holy men were earthen vessels into which the revelations were given, later to be decanted in the expressions, writing styles, and words chosen by the ones who wrote them.
The new covenant scriptures were written from memory by those who were participants of the events of which they wrote, or who simply wrote about the events as they were reported to them by others, such as Luke. Consequently, we are then able to see the likelihood of errors being made—unless we view God as having dictated every word exactly
In the latter case, we would be forced to concede that God is not errorless, a position not many of us are willing to adoptat least not me.
The bottom line is that in spite of the errors made by fallible men, the scheme of redemption through Messiah Jesus has not been altered. Because of God’s providence, we have in writing the greatest story ever told!