All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:--2 Timothy 3:16
-What is "Divine Inspiration"?
-What is "Divine Preservation"?
-Arguments Against Divine Preservation.
In Conclusion . . .
Here is where we look at Divine Inspiration. This is the very way that the Bible was placed in the hands of men and women. Now, this is generally believed among Christians, and yet at the same time, these very ones who say they believe in Divine Inspiration often unknowingly "sideswipe" the belief.
What is "Divine Inspiration"?
So, what exactly is Divine Inspiration?
Divine Inspiration is the belief that God gave the men who penned the Bible, the very words to write. Being penned by over 40 different authors from different walks of life, over an estimated period of 1,500 years, the only way the Bible can possibly make sense and fit so nicely together is Divine Inspiration. Over the generations and generations, there were many different people penning different parts of the Bible. However, these people were not the "authors" of the Bible so to speak; rather, there was One Author, telling each person what to write and even how to write it. God is that author. All scripture was given by inspiration, of God. This is evident by 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
Divine Inspiration becomes more and more obvious, as we study the Bible, the Word of God. Each verse, backs up another verse; each truth, is further explained by another truth. For the Bible to be penned by so many different people, from different walks of life, over such an expanse of time, and for it to happen that each part backs up another part, fitting together like puzzle pieces, is only possible through Divine Inspiration. The literally "God-breathed" Words of Scripture!
This is where there is a separation. Nearly every Christian believes in Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures. But when you mention Divine Preservation, this is when many pull away. Yet Divine Inspiration, relies also on Divine Preservation in order to even make sense for the reasoning behind it! Even 2 Timothy 3:16, the verse which backs the very Divine Inspiration believed, more rightly backs Divine Preservation as well (as seen below in the arguments against it)!
What is "Divine Preservation"?
So, we've covered Divine Inspiration, but now what is "Divine Preservation" exactly?
Divine Preservation, is just as it says, Divine Preservation. Just as Divine Inspiration is the belief that God authored the Bible, giving His Exact Words to be written on paper by men of all types, Divine Preservation is the belief that God did not stop there, but through His guiding hand and through His Divine Power, He preserved His Words. Divine Preservation is very important. Anyone can believe in Divine Inspiration of Scripture, but if one does not also believe in Divine Preservation, then Divine Inspiration is for nought--we haven't the Perfect Word of God with us now. Divine Preservation shows that God not only gave people His Perfect Word, but has protected and preserved it through the many, many generations!
Perhaps you've run across the statement, made by many ministries and people, something along the lines of "We believe in the Perfect inspired Word of God, in the Original Autographs/Manuscripts." Well, this is the belief that God did give us His Word, but only in the original writings, only when it was first given, written down, or spoken by God to the person who penned His Words, but then this was lost because of man's fallible copying. There are many reasons this is believed, and many variations of them. Let's look at a couple. . .
Arguments against Divine Preservation.
The most common reasoning behind a denial of Divine Preservation is that, though God is Perfect, Man is not. Over the years as the original manuscripts which contained the Words of God would age and deteriorate, man would have to copy them to other scripts. As this was done, little by little, changes were made, mistakes were made in the transition, and so forth. Thus, the Perfect Word of God is now lost to us. Apparently the Word of God, is available to us only through the Originals . . .
HOWEVER! There is a flaw in this. This is, as I and others call it, a "Dumb God Theory." Apparently, according to the argument that man has caused us to lose God's Word, God in His infinite wisdom and Power, gave us His Perfect Word, and then suddenly became dumb and lost power as He went ahead and let man loose His Words given! God went through the trouble of going passed man's sinful nature, to guide perfectly and give perfectly His Words to the one He chose to pen them, and then suddenly could no longer do this to preserve them, and so man lost His Words as he lost the originals. Truly, I serve a Mighty God, the Only Wise God to whom deserves all Glory! I serve no "dumb God."
Then there is another problem as we consider the fact that God did not Hand Man all of His Word at one Time. Rather, it was over such a long period of time! Therefore, with age the "first originals" would have been lost, before the arrival of the "last originals!" We would have lost Genesis, before we even received Revelation!
Another belief that denies Divine Preservation, is that those against it say the Word of God never tells us anything about God preserving His Words. Much used, is that the "scripture" spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:16, is speaking of the Original Manuscripts, or only those in the Original Hebrew and Greek and bits of Aramaic in which the originals were written. All these things, have no base of fact in the Bible, but rather are personal beliefs based on nothing but opinions (if there were truth, found within the Word of God, it would be another story). But let's look at the verse 2 Timothy 3:16. Look at the word "Scripture" in context, and we see in the verse before, another mention of it: 2 Timothy 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
For this one, I'll let William P. Grady explain (in the following lengthy quote, Please bear with it), as he explains it well:
In addition to taking our turn with the "argument of silence," we may dogmatically assert that the scripture of verse sixteen cannot possibly be limited to the autographs because of its providential usage in the preceding verse. . . .
How could any thinking person suppose that Timothy ever saw the Old Testament originals, much less that his mother possessed them? Obviously, Timothy was reared on copies of copies.
After discovering that the Holy Spirit ignores the historic "militant," fundamentalist position by a contextual designation of copies as Scripture, we proceed to the all-important verse sixteen. The opening, three-letter adjective all clarifies how much Scripture is given by inspiration of God. This is precisely why Timothy's copies were described as "holy" Scriptures.
That this position of limiting the word scriptures to the originals is a private interpretation is also borne out by a 100 percent context check of the entire Bible. Not once in any of the fifty-three verses where the word scriptures is found is the object in question an original. (The indirect reference in II Peter 3:16 represents the only possible example). If the "Scripture" Jesus read in the Nazareth synagogue was Isaiah's original (Luke 4:16, 17, 21), we are forced to conclude that the Ethiopian eunuch must have broken in and stolen it on his way back to Egypt (Acts 8:29-30). . . .
Therefore, when the ramifications of verse fifteen begin to sink in, the scholar will inevitably submerge to the Greek in search of a way of escape. As there is pleasure in sin for a season, he is granted a momentary stay of execution by pointing out that the Greek word for scripture in verse fifteen (grammata [gramma]) differs from the Greek of verse sixteen (graphe).
This potential, quick fix remedy appealed so strongly to the American Standard Version committee of 1901 that they twisted verse sixteen into: "Every scripture inspired of God is profitable."
As a last resort against recognizing Timothy's Scriptures as possessing the breath of God, these scholars were willing to invent a new phenomena--two classes of Scriptures--one inspired and the other not. This fantasy, described by Dean Burgon as "the most astonishing as well as calamitous literary blunder of the age," possessed two serious flaws.
First, if Timothy's Scripture was separated from the all scripture of verse sixteen, what of the other fifty-one [sic- Fifty. The reference in Daniel 10:21, uses the Hebrew Word kâthâb. Though the same meaning, technically a different word] references where the Scripture is also an obvious reference to copies but employs the same Greek word as verse sixteen?
Second, in their desperation to display a superior scholarship to a supposedly shallow 1611 forerunner, the Nicolaitane priests [Grady here is referring to scholars who have a high-and-mighty mindset.] forgot to follow a basic law of Greek syntax:The disputed portion of the sentence is made up of a subject (all scripture) and two adjectives connected by the conjunction and (God-breathed and profitable). The verb is omitted as is often the case in Greek. The question is where to supply the understood verb. The A.V. supplies it between the two adjectives, making one a part of the subject and the other a predicate adjective. Sound grammar would demand that if one adjective is placed in the predicate, the other should be, since they agree in case, number and gender, and are connected by the simple conjunctive and.2
This quote was taken from a neo-evangelical publication and is indicative of the widespread repudiation heaped upon so depraved a rendering. The desperate interpretation was to be seen no more in any of the subsequent versions. . . .1(Emphasis is the author's. Bracketed words are my own comments)
In Conclusion . . .
We see how God gave us His exact Words in the Original Manuscripts, but didn't stop there. God continued to keep His Words, preserving them perfectly throughout the years. He did this, because He has loved us enough to let us know exactly what He says. God gave us His Perfect Word in the beginning. But we mustn't forget, that He also Preserved His Words divinely. The God of Creation would have wasted His time if He went through the trouble of getting passed the sinful nature of mankind, to first have His Words written down, only to let them fall under the folds of time and become lost to us! Yet God did not waste His time. Instead, He chose certain people to give His Word to, and then chose special divine means of preserving them, by the help chosen people at times.
These people chosen by God, took special care when penning and copying His Word. They took great care and provision to keep from mistakes. This included the destroying of the older manuscripts as they aged. This was done to ensure that the aged manuscripts, which would many times have indistinguishable words, would not be misunderstood or mistranslated at a later time.
With all this in mind, we can rest assured, that we have the Perfect Word of God today with us. God has not neglected us, nor left us, nor decided He doesn't care for us enough to give us His Word today. Praise God, Thank God, All Glory be to God Almighty!For these reasons, The Bible IS very special and very much important in our lives and in our knowing the Truth, from the Lie! The Bible is the very Word of God!!
Nought--Vain, nothing, equivalence of ZERO
Ramifications--A complicating Consequence, Loosely similar to a "Pandora's Box"
A.V.--Authorized Version, name given to the King James Version
1. Grady, William. Final Authority. Knoxville, TN: Grady Publications, 2002. 24-25
2. Unpublished Prepared Class Notes: Biblical Introduction Extension Class, "Inspiration," (Philadelphia, Pa.: Philadelphia College of the Bible, 1970,) 10.