The term “inspiration” is found but once in the New Testament. This occurs in 2 Timothy 3:16. Here Paul says All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…The Greek word is theopneustos, and literally means, “God-breathed.” The plenary-verbal view states that all (plenary) the words (verbal) of the Bible are inspired by God. This view is correct according to Scripture itself. (See Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 6:63, and 17:8.)

Seven conclusions from Scripture regarding inspiration:

1. That no Old Testament Scripture was thought up by the prophet himself (II Peter 1:20).

2. That all Old Testament Scriptures were given by the Holy Spirit as He moved upon men (II Peter 1:21).

3. That this Spirit-breathed inspiration was given in many ways (Hebrews 1: 1).

4. That once it was given, this inspired writing:

  • Could not be broken or shaken down (John 10:35).
  • Is exact in all details, down to the smallest stroke and letter (Matthew 5:18).
  • Would abide forever (Matthew 5:18; I Peter 1:25).

5. That the Old Testament writers did not always understand the nature of everything they wrote about (I Peter 1:10-12; Luke 10:23-24).

6. That the four Gospels were given by inspiration of God (Hebrews 1:1; 11 Peter 3:2).

7. That Paul believed his writings were inspired by God (I Corinthians 2:4, 15:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 4:15).

It should be noted that plenary-verbal inspiration does not guarantee the inspiration of any modern or ancient translation of the Bible, but deals only with the original Hebrew and Greek languages. We believe the Bible alone is the illuminated inspired Revelation of God and is therefore the sole ground of authority for believers … Whenever there is a clear contradiction between the Bible and any assumed “fact” of history or science, it is those subjects which must give way to the Bible, and not the opposite.

The view of Jesus Christ concerning biblical inspiration:

I. Our Lord began His ministry by quoting from the Old Testament.
Compare Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 with Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16; 13.

2. Our Lord ended his ministry by quoting from the Old Testament. Five of His last seven statements on the cross were lifted from the pages of the Old Testament. Compare:

  • Luke 23:34 with Isaiah 53:12
  • Luke 23:43 with Isaiah 53:10, 11
  • Matthew 27:46 with Psalm 22:1
  • John 19:28 with Psalm 69:21
  • Luke 23:46 with Psalm 31:5

3. Our Lord preached one of His first public messages from an Old Testament text. Compare Luke 4:16-19 with Isaiah 61:1-2.

4. Our Lord informed the Pharisees they erred, not knowing the scriptures … (Matthew 22:29).

5. Our Lord justified His own actions by referring to the Old Testament. (See Matthew 12:1-8; 12:10-21; 21:13; and 21:16.)

6. Our Lord believed in the history of the Old Testament. He referred to:

  • Creation – Mark 10:6
  • Noah’s Ark – Matthew 24:38
  • Lot’s wife – Luke 17:32
  • Destruction of Sodom – Luke 17:29
  • Jonah and the fish – Matthew 12:40
  • The Queen of Sheba and Solomon – Matthew 12:42
  • The repentance of Nineveh – Matthew 12:41
  •  Naaman the leper – Luke 4:27
  • Elijah and the widow- Luke 4:25, 26
  • Moses and the serpent- John 3:14
  •  The first marriage- Matthew 19:5-7
  • The blood of Abel- Luke 11:51
  • Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Matthew 22:31, 32
  • The burning bush – Luke 20:37
  • The wilderness manna – John 6:31
  • The murder of Zacharias – Matthew 23:35

7. Our Lord said the law would be fulfilled (Matthew 5:18) and the Scriptures would not be broken (John 10:35).

It has been estimated that over one-tenth of Jesus’ recorded New Testament words were taken from the Old Testament. In the four Gospels, 180 of the 1800 verses, which report His discourses, are either Old Testament quotes or Old Testament allusions.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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