The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible

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  • The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible

    by B. B. Warfield

    HT: Pastor Lance Marshall for helping with the markup of this classic!

    If the Bible is written by fallible human beings, how can its words convey divine revelation? Perhaps the greatest challenge of Warfield’s lifetime was the modernist skepticism of biblical inspiration and authority. Modern biblical scholars showed that textual and linguistic analysis proved the human authorship of the Bible, and from there proceeded to strip miracles of their power, texts of their authenticity, and God of his historical intervention in the lives of individuals. Warfield responded to modernist and higher biblical critics by showing that intellect of the biblical authors not only remained fully operational and engaged, but that God also worked through human words and texts to convey divine revelation.

    B. B. Warfield’s volume on divine revelation and biblical inspiration defined the parameters of the twentieth century understanding of biblical infallibility, inerrancy, and the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture. He pioneered a view of biblical inspiration and authority which remains widely held today by many Reformed and evangelical Christians. Revelation and Inspiration contains ten of Warfield’s most influential articles on the subject, as well as two appendices—one on the divine origin of the Bible and the other on the canonicity of the New Testament

    “A collection of Warfield’s articles from the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries; perhaps the most important influential book written on the doctrine of Scripture in the past 150 years.”
    - Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, MI

    “These essays set the standard for virtually all evangelical views of Scripture in the 20th century.”
    - K. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

    “This book is the classic trenchant exegetical defense of inerrancy and inspiration. No one who is interested in this topic should leave this book unread.”
    - G. K. Beale, J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

    “Warfield is a humble genius. Though his opponents often caricature him, he shows remarkable depth, subtlety and fidelity.”
    - David Powlison, Executive Director and Faculty, CCEF; Senior Editor, Journal of Biblical Counseling



    Table of Contents

    I. The Biblical Idea of Revelation
    II. The Church Doctrine of Inspiration
    III. The Biblical Idea of Inspiration
    IV. The Real Problem of Inspiration
    V. The Terms "Scripture" and "The Scriptures," As Employed in The New Testament
    VI. "God-Inspired Scripture"
    VII. "It Says:" "Scripture Says:" "God Says"
    VIII. "The Oracles of God"
    Appendix I. The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament
    Appendix II. Inspiration and Criticism
    Attached Files

  • #2
    A Calvinist should presumably have little difficulty in squaring the circle. If God preordains whatsoever comes to pass, he presumably preordained the writing of the biblical texts in particular, without, in any way, nullifying the truth that those selfsame texts were also 100% the words of a human author.

    Of course, there is a sense in which that makes all texts divinely inspired, but that doesn't mean that God wants us to treat all of them as authoritative - least of all the productions of the new atheists.
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post
      Of course, there is a sense in which that makes all texts divinely inspired, but that doesn't mean that God wants us to treat all of them as authoritative - least of all the productions of the new atheists.
      I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this. For conservative Christians all 66 books of the Protestant Bibles are authoritative, hence called "the Word of God" (not the words of men). As to "new atheists" (or any atheists) since they reject the very existence of God, the Word of God has no significance for them.

      Warfield did an excellent job in presenting the doctrine of Divine inspiration. What he should have also included was the doctrine of Divine preservation, which brings us to the traditional Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible (as opposed to the critical texts which now predominate the scene).
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lucas View Post
        I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this.
        If God preordains whatsoever comes to pass, as according to the Westminster Confession he does, then it necessarily follows that he preordained every word in every book ever written. Therefore the question is less about inspiration than about which books God regards as authoritative.

        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post
          If God preordains whatsoever comes to pass, as according to the Westminster Confession he does, then it necessarily follows that he preordained every word in every book ever written. Therefore the question is less about inspiration than about which books God regards as authoritative.
          Either way, the Lord Jesus Christ regarded the 24 books of the Hebrew Tanakh (our Old Testament is split up into 39 books) as authoritative (Luke 24:25-27;44-47). Then Peter placed all of Paul's epistles (51% of the NT) alongside the Holy Scriptures as authoritative (2 Pet 3:15,16), and finally the Church accepted all 66 books as authoritative (meaning the Word of God). Even the Catholic scholar Jerome who translated the Latin Vulgate rejected the Apocrypha as being inspired, but was compelled to include it regardless. Then the Council of Trent made the Apocrypha equal to Scripture (even thou it is only the writings of men).
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post
            Therefore the question is less about inspiration than about which books God regards as authoritative.
            The only book God regards as authoritative is the one he wrote himself, the Bible.
            Clyde Herrin's Blog
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