â€œThat ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.â€ (2 Peter 3:2)
by Dr.Henry Morris, Ph.D.
There has long been a tendency for certain Bible teachers to water down the doctrine of verbal inspiration by arguing that it is the â€œthoughtsâ€ of Scripture that countâ€”not the precise words. They forget that the transmission of specific thoughts requires precise words. Ambiguous language is bound to produce fuzzy thinking and uncertain response.
Thus the apostle Peter, in his last chapter, urged his followers to heed the words written by the Old Testament prophets. And Paulâ€”in his final epistleâ€”stressed that â€œall Scripture is given by inspiration of Godâ€ (2 Timothy 3:16). That is, all the writings are â€œGod-breathed.â€ The â€œScripture,â€ of course, means the writings, the actual words written downâ€”they are â€œGod-inspired,â€ not just the concepts.
Similarly John, in his last chapter, warned of the grave danger incurred by anyone who would either â€œadd toâ€ or â€œtake away from,â€ not just the ideas, but â€œthe words of the book of this prophecyâ€ (Revelation 22:18-19). Actually, â€œhe which testifieth these thingsâ€ was not just John but the glorified Jesus Himself (see Revelation 22:16, 20).
In fact, Jesus frequently quoted passages from the Old Testament, sometimes basing His entire thrust on a single word (e.g., John 10:34, 37; arguing on the basis of the word â€œgodsâ€ in Psalm 82:6). In that connection, He stressed that â€œthe scripture cannot be brokenâ€ (John 10:35), referring to the actual words written by Moses and the prophets.
Near the end of His earthly ministry, He made a startling promise: â€œHeaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass awayâ€ (Mark 13:31). Thus the actual words of the Bible have come ultimately from God, and we do well to learn them and make them a part of our lives. HMM