Summary: John assures us that much more could have been written, but these are written, “that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing we might have life through his name”
There are various views of inspiration. The Bible says and shows about itself, a definition of divine inspiration can be formulated. The ultimate source of divine inspired God Himself for the Scripture are God “breathed” (inspired) by Him (2 Tim. 3:16): “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (Matt. 4:4). Scripture did not originate from human impulse, “for prophecy never had it origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
The answer is best understood in terms of what is meant by inspiration, whatever the Bible affirms what is true. In this case, there can be no degrees of inspiration any more than there can be degrees of truth: Something is either true or false. This message will define, explain and weight prospective strengthens and weakness from various inspiration theories.
Natural inspiration is the understanding that writers of the Bible are individuals with exceptional insight were chosen by God to write the Bible. The biblical text represents the Scripture coming from God through men (2 Peter 1:20-21). This kind of inspiration can apply to books other than the Bible, “But the line of demarcation between Bible and other religious writings is not sharp and final as to establish a qualitative difference between all other writings and every part of the canonical Scriptures”
The strengths of this view suggest, those who are exceptional artists, musicians, and poets have produced masterpieces which have not been excelled. It is contended by spiritual insight because of their gifts, could write the Scriptures. Perhaps, the weakness of this view could prove to be true inspiration from men, then why cannot geniuses today write books that would be just as inspired as the books of the Bible. Such a view of inspiration does not, of course, include infallibility of the product. According to this theory, all direct and miraculous intervention of God in the affairs of the world is denied except in two cases.
The Creation of man, that is, of man the incarnation of Christ. Everything else, the Bible includes, is exclusively natural. Natural inspiration is the higher potency of what every man possesses in some degree. The overall view makes the Bible really no different from other inspirational religious of philosophical literature.
Barthians theories generally align themselves with the liberal school of biblical criticism. Yet they preach like evangelicals. Barthians embrace the strength that of liberalism regarding the Gospels, which teach that there are errors in those records. For, the Barthian, revelation is center in Jesus Christ. Perhaps, if He is the center of the circle of revelation, then the Bible stands on the periphery of that circle. Jesus is the word; however the Bible serves as a witness to the Word, Christ. Barthians charge evangelicals with holding a dictation view of inspiration.
The Bible’s witness to the Word is uneven; that is, some parts of it are more important in their witness about Christ. The weaknesses of this theory suggest Barthianism teaches that the Bible points to Christ the Word. However in reality they do not know anything about the Christ apart from the Bible. Actually the Bible is the painter of Christ; that is, what we know about Christ comes from the Bible. Therefore if the Bible has errors in it, the portrait of Christ is bogus.
Verbal Plenary Inspiration
Verbal inspiration is meant, that, in the original writings, the Spirit guided in the choice of the words used. However, the human authorship was respected to the extent that the writers’ characteristics are persevered and their style and vocabulary are employed, but without the intrusion of error.
Plenary inspiration is that the accuracy which verbal inspiration secures is extended to every portion of the Bible. Therefore all of its parts are both infallible as to truth and final as to divine authority. This is the traditional doctrine of the church and that set forth by Christ and the apostles. This teaching preserves the dual authorship in a perfect balance, ascribing to each that consideration which is accorded it in the Bible.
Mystical inspiration means the human authors who were enabled by God to write the Scriptures. It is the characteristic conception is the Christian man has something within himself, called enlighten reason, spiritual insight, and the Christian consciousness witness of the Spirit-to test of which every “external revelation.” It is strengthened by expressing that the Holy Spirit heightened their normal powers. The biblical teaching came through special divine communication, not through heightened capacities of men. The human authors expressed the very words of God, not of their own words.
The view point conceives of the writers as more than natural geniuses but they were Spirit-filled. However the inspiration of the books of the Bible does not suggest the view point that they were produced or written in any manner generically for other writers of the Bible. In fact there is a wide range of Christians literature which can propriety be described as inspired by the Holy Spirit in the same sense as were the books of the Bible. Therefore other Christian writings are as inspired as the Bible; secondly, the Bible books are not infallible, and they represent great religious literature that may even contain messages of God.