Daily Devotional 8-24-18

Verbal Inspiration: The Only Right View of Scripture

It is claimed that modern scholarship has made it impossible for an intelligent, educated person to retain the old view of the Bible. This claim is simply false. It is not scholarship that has sabotaged faith in the Bible; rather, it is scholarship in the hands of unbelieving scholars who start out with a naturalistic philosophy of religion. Before they even look at the facts, they put on their amber-colored glasses, so everything they see is amber-colored. Scholars who start out by assuming that nature is all that exists, that God has no independent existence (apart from the world), that God never could or never did speak to any man, that miracles are impossible and never happened, and so forth–these unbelieving scholars will of course hold that the historic view of the Bible is incredible, and those who adhere to it are ignorant fools. But this is not scholarship–it is scholarship used and distorted by a philosophy that has no room for the living God.

Some people today say piously, “I believe in the inspiration of the Bible, but I do not believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible. This means that I believe that the general ideas of the Bible are from God, but the exact words are not from God and often are wrong.” But the person who says this is a destroyer of faith in the Bible because the Bible is a book made up of words. TAKE AWAY THE WORDS, AND YOU HAVE ONLY BLANK PAPER LEFT. CHANGE THE WORDS, AND YOU CHANGE THE MEANING. Exact thought can be expressed only in words. God could not give us an exact revelation of Himself and His will, except by controlling the exact words in which it is stated. Besides, how does anyone know what the “general ideas” of the Bible are except by a deduction from the actual words of the Bible?

So then, the much-maligned “verbal inspiration of the Bible” is the only kind of inspiration that really means anything. When it is abandoned, the Bible no longer conveys a definite and trustworthy message.

– J. G. Vos