Church Education Trust

Christian Belief



The proofs of Inspiration. 

The proofs of Inspiration must of necessity come from the claims of the Scriptures themselves in the comparison of these claims with the results of the circulation of the Scripture in the world.  The proofs would be considered under four headings.

a. The claims of the Old Testament for itself.

b.  The testimony of Jesus Christ.

c.  The testimony of the Apostles.

d.  The unique character of the Scriptures.

(a). The claims of the Old Testament for itself.

A great deal of the Old Testament consists of Divine utterances.  The first chapter of Genesis makes the repeated statement, "God said"......  other phrases you used are "the Lord said...... God spoke saying......". In the Pentateuch, the historical books and the prophets, this type of wording occurs up to 3500 times. 

The Old Testament clearly claims inspiration for its self.  It seems incredible to think of a literature as is found in the Old Testament being allowed to grow up during several centuries, amongst the people still characteristically religious and jealous of the purity of their religious literature, without challenge, if such phrases mean little or nothing. 

They also there is the prophetic element.  The prophets spoke as thus saith the Lord and their testimony has been confirmed by the fulfillment in many cases of their predictions.  Especially is this so in the case of Christ.  A T. Pierson says there are 333 distinct predictions relating to Christ and most of which have been fulfilled to the letter.  He also writes, "a peculiar and very significant fact about to hold prophetic element is that, when the fragmentary utterances are brought together, they are fighting to constitute one organic body."

(b). The Testimony of Jesus Christ.

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ considered the Jewish Scriptures as inspired and his testimony must be the final word for us. He regarded the Old Testament as a complete canon, and expressly declared that the least ordinance or commandment must have its perfect fulfillment. (Matthew 5:18)

Professor Orr, in a relevant passage, states the matter so," his appeal was always to Scripture of the Word of Scripture was final with him."  Have you not read". (Matthew 5:18). Ye do err not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God." ( Matt. 22:29).  This because God speaks in them (verse 31). " If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me." ( verses 46, 47, Luke 16:31). 

He draws the most pregnant principles and lessons from the sacred history-even from its various parts. No doctrine of inspiration, surely, to be more emphatic. It must also be remembered that Christ used the Scriptures when facing temptation and testified to their truth and importance even after his resurrection, there could be no possible suggestion of human limitation. (Luke 24:27). 

Professor Adam Smith summarizes the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning his attitude to the Old Testament. "It was a Bible of his education of the Bible of his Ministry.  He took for granted the fundamental doctrines about creation, about man and about righteousness; about providences in the world and his purposes of Grace through Israel. 

He accepted its history as the perparation for himself, and taught his disciples to find him.  He used it to justify his mission and to enlighten the mystery of the cross.  He drew from it many of the examples and most of the categories of his gospel.  He reinforced the essence of its law and restored many of its ideals.

But, above all sustained himself upon it as upon the living and sovereign word of god.  These are the highest external proofs...... for the abiding validity of the Old Testament in the life of the doctrine of Christ's Church.  What was indispensable to the Redeemer must always be indispensable to the redeemed. 

When we turn the New Testament we find that Christ prepared the way for the church to accept it as of equal authority with the Old Testament.  In his last discourse in the upper room he makes the statements which can hardly be interpreted in any other way than as a promise of divine inspiration when the Holy spirit had come. (See john 14;26,15:26,27,16:13,14).

(c).  The testimony of the Apostles. 

First , concerning the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter asserts that David spoke by the Holy Spirit.(Acts 1:6). Paul continually quotes the Old Testament and refers to it in various ways.(Romans 16: 26, 2 Timothy 2:14). He asserts it's unity, inspiration and validity. The whole argument of the epistle to the Hebrews depends upon the Old Testament, and in addition, in chapter 10:16,27, the apostle actually quotes Jeremiah as the Holy Spirit speaking. 

Secondly, concerning the New Testament Scriptures, the writers obviously believed that their messages were from god and the fact of inspiration is everywhere implied.  It is definitely stated by Peter, both of the apostles generally and of Paul (2 Peter 3:2,16), and in both cases the apostles are put on the same basis as the Old Testament.  Paul also claims that his commission and the gospel came by revelation.(Gal.1:16, 1 Corinthians 2:12,13).  John also claims inspiration to the book of Revelation. (Rev.1:10).

(d). The unique character of the Scriptures themselves. 

This is seen in their organic unity, the exceptional character of their contents, and their effects.

Their organic unity. 

They are one organic whole, in the structure,source, teaching, and effect.  It is beyond the realms of possibility that there should be such unity between so many different writers over us such a long period of time without divine inspiration. The exceptional character of their contents. 

McDonald Redwood reminds us, "it's transcendent morality, and moral precepts, its laws which consciously or unconsciously are the standard on which old beneficial laws of civilized nations are framed; its unflinching exposure of what sin and how humanity is steeped in it; it's all inspiring revelations of the holiness of the holy god; its unique scheme of redemption, in which all boasting on man`s part is excluded, and god alone is honored and yet in which sinful man is made a partaker of the divine nature; it's doctrine, is marvelous scheme of prophecy.... which in itself provide proofs of inspiration beyond all possibility of question or dispute; it's accurate historical records; and lastly though not least its beautiful and majestic style  unsurpassed in the whole of world literature or art; these characteristics, one and all, stamp it as I'll divine origin. 

Their effects. 

Their message has produced light giving effects whereever the word of truth is gone.  The Bible leads to god Christ it gives light on the deepest problems of life, death and eternity, it discovers the way of deliverance from sin; it makes menu creatures; it furnishes a man of god completely for every good work.

That it possesses these qualities history and experience through all the centuries have attested; it's saving, sanctifying and civilizing effects among all races of men in the world attest it still.  The word of god is a pure word; a word never found wanting by those who rest themselves upon it. The Bible that embodies this word will retain its distinction as the book of inspiration until the end of time.

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