As we continue to look at the reliability of the bible, in addition to how Jesus respected the OT writings and how we have a profoundly accurate reproduction of the original, we now look at how the writers were led to formulate and then pen the revelation of scripture. Two important verses speak to this process which has come to be known as biblical inspiration. The bible authors were “inspired” to write how and what they wrote.
Biblical inspiration is different from other types of inspiration in that it originated from an external source, namely the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20 says, [scripture came from] men moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God. This type of inspiration is called “plenary” (or full/complete) inspiration. It is one thing for an artist like Vermeer to be inspired to create a beautiful work of art from himself. It is quite another for a biblical writer to be moved by the Holy Spirit of God to reveal His will to us.
Additionally 2 Timothy 3:16 defines plenary inspiration as “God breathed” (theopneustos). This means that while God directed the process of the ideation and writing of scripture, it was done through the complete humanity of the writer. God did not dictate to them or use them as automatonic scribes but as personable living and breathing people.
It is this inspiratory process then coupled with the sovereign protection of biblical manuscripts that give the people of the book, Christians, the confidence to base all that they are on the absolute authority of scripture. We agree with the psalmist who writes in Psalm 119:9-16:
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
[a]As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
And [b]regard Your ways.
16 I shall [c]delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.