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Summary: This message summarizes the theology of the Bible.

Monthly Doctrinal Series -- Bibliology

Introduction

The first of each month we have dedicated to a particular aspect of what we believe. So far we have reviewed what we believe about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Man and our great Salvation.

The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice. (Official C&MA Statement of faith)

Man has the unique capacity to communicate by language; words. God made us that way so He would naturally use language to communicate His heart with us. The process God used to communicate His heart to our mind and heart can be summarized with some important concepts illustrated by this upside down pyramid. The further down the pyramid, the greater chance for misunderstanding, error and pollution from the original message. You will notice each step becomes cloudier. This is just an overview and not intended to cover this area of study in great detail.

I. REVELATION

The foundational concept of revelation has to do with “unveiling”.

It deals with God making Himself known to man. He is a self revealing God. He wants us to know Him.

There are three types of revelation.

• General revelation deals with what can be deducted about God from what He has created.

• Personal revelation deals with a God-consciousness imbedded in every human being.

• Special revelation deals with truth about God supernaturally communicated by the Spirit and through Jesus.

Since the beginning, God has revealed Himself His creatures. There are many things to be learned by observing what God has made. Only through special revelation can we lean of His specific nature.

II. INSPIRATION

Revelation relates to the content or act of revealing truth. Inspiration deals with the careful documentation or recording of that information. Strictly speaking, inspiration means to fill or breathe into. In 2 Timothy 3:16 the word translated “inspiration” is more accurately “inspiration,” that is, “God-breathed.” In other words, the verse simply says that Scripture is God-produced and it does not actually indicate any of the means that God may have used in producing it. God used human agents to record all of the information He deemed necessary to carry on dynamic relationship with Him.

Charles Ryrie has a very good section which illustrates the necessity of adding words to our statement to keep the focus clear.

Formerly all that was necessary to affirm one’s belief in full inspiration was the statement, “I believe in the inspiration of the Bible.” But when some did not extend inspiration to the words of the text it became necessary to say, “I believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible.” To counter the teaching that not all parts of the Bible were inspired, one had to say, “I believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible.” Then because some did not want to ascribe total accuracy to the Bible, it was necessary to way, “I believe in the verbal, plenary, infallible, inerrant inspiration of the Bible.” But then “infallible” and “inerrant” began to be limited to matters of faith only rather than also embracing all that the Bible records (including historical facts, genealogies, accounts of Creation, etc.), so it became necessary to add the concept of “unlimited inerrancy.” Each addition to the basic statement arose because of an erroneous teaching.”

A. Verbally Inspired

The concept of verbal inspiration refers to that fact that God revealed Himself to individuals who He used to record that revelation for others to hear and heed.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 2 Tim. 3:16

2PE 1:20-21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is {a matter} of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Somehow God so directed the writers of Scripture that what they wrote was exactly what God wanted yet accomplished using the style and personality of the original author.

God communicated in words.

which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Cor. 2:13

B. Inerrant / Infallible

Because God is God, what was written in the original manuscripts is completely without error of any kind even though a fallible language was employed to record it. Infallibility and inerrancy can only apply to the original manuscripts. Over the period of transmission and translation and so on, the occasion for error dramatically increases. We must conclude from the testimony of the Scriptures that what appeared on the pages of the original manuscripts was exactly what God wanted and is to be believed, obeyed, and not altered. The truth of inerrancy is vital to our faith. If we admit the possibility of error in one part, the possibility of error in other parts is also possible. Who then is to determine what part is true and what is not.

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