The Inspiration of the Scriptures

John Macleod

John Macleod (1872-1948) was Principal of the Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh. This address was published in The Evangelical Quarterly (1935).

When we speak of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures we are dealing with one of the doctrines of the Christian faith. It is from the Scriptures themselves alone that we can learn at first hand what the claims are that they make in regard to their own origin and authority. It holds of any of the doctrines of the faith that if we would know it we are called upon to learn it on proper authority. That is to say it rests on the statements made in the Bible in regard to it by Prophets and Apostles. It may pass into acceptance in the Church in currently professed form as a creed, and as such men may know what it is and discuss it as the recognized teaching of the Church. But the formulation which it receives in this shape is not the ultimate basis on which Christian truth rests. It may come to be as familiar in Christian circles as is the doctrine of the Trinity, and it may be looked upon as the authentic statement of what the Church holds. There is, however, something that lies deeper than ecclesiastical formulation and profession and recognition. To these things no higher authority than that of the Church attaches. What really matters is that what the Church teaches should be a true exhibition and representation of what is taught in the Scriptures. The authority that belongs to the teaching of Scripture rests in turn on the fact that the supreme author of Scripture is none other than God Himself. In other words it is because it has been breathed by God and so given by Him that it is possessed of its rightful infallible and final authority.

Now, in respect to the distinctive quality of Holy Writ as the Word of God we can learn, as we have said, what it is only from its own statements. There is no serious question as to the attitude adopted toward the Old Testament by our Lord and His Apostles. What that was we learn from the New Testament as an authentic witness to their teaching. The Christian response to this is one of acceptance. It is because they recognize that our Lord spoke with authority that Christians are entitled to be called Christians. They acknowledge Him to be the Christ and as such they accord to Him the submission of their intellect as well as of their heart. Their acquaintance with Him and His teaching is derived from the witness of the New Testament Scriptures. These they proceed upon as trustworthy documents and as they acquaint themselves with their teaching they subject heart and conscience and understanding to the truth that they open up. So in regard to what their Lord taught about the Scriptures of which Israel were the custodians they accept His words as regulative for their thought as surely as for their faith. This determines the outlook on the Old Testament Scriptures that is characteristic of historical Christianity.

From these same Scriptures of the New Testament which tell them what Christ taught they learn on an authority which they recognize as sufficient what the endowment was which He bestowed upon His chosen representatives as well as the claims that He put forth on behalf of His own authority. It is as a matter of fact the Christ Who makes these claims that historical Christendom recognizes as the supreme authority in the department of Faith and Life; and recognizing Him to be the Christ, the Great Prophet of the Church, Christians are willing to learn what He had to teach. So they submit themselves to the authority of the Gospels and as they find in those documents the message that He delivered they receive it as they receive Him Who delivered it.

Thus they learn not only what our Lord had to say in respect of Moses and the Prophets, but also what was peculiar to His own teaching as an opening up of what had found place in the Old Testament only in cryptic or initial form. The advance of revelation was like the path of the just which shines more and more unto the perfect day. The bud hides in its bosom what the warmth of the summer sun brings to light. The full flower shows more than did the bud. Yet all the beauty of the full-blown rose was hid in the bosom of the rosebud. So the early revelation was brought to maturity in the ministry of our Lord. He brought out to its full development what the former revelation held only in seed or in germ. The first grey streak that tells of the dawn and that heralds the day is followed by increasing light until the sun rises and the day has come. So was it with the progress of gracious revelation. It was given by steps and stages. But no new step that was taken set aside what had been already given. The first promise was followed by many more. The Books of the Law were followed by the Prophets and the Psalms, so that when our Lord came Israel had in their hands the whole canon of Old Testament Scripture. What that embosomed by way of prophecy and promise found its fulfillment in His person and coming and work. He opened up the true sense, so that what many prophets and righteous men desired to hear and heard not was made known to the generation of Israel which had the benefit and privilege of His ministry.

Now the writers of the Gospels set down as witnesses credible and trustworthy the teaching that He delivered. God who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke unto the fathers through the prophets spoke in the fullness of time through His Son. The message which He proclaimed His disciples received and the record of that message we have in the four Gospels which proceeded from the circle that had heard for themselves and had seen for themselves what the Son of God did and taught. If from the Gospels we see what the character of our Lord’s ministry of teaching and working was we learn from them too what His followers experienced by way of training and equipment for the work that they were to do. They were to be His witnesses and that this might be the case they must be in a position to tell what they heard and saw for themselves. During His earthly ministry they were learners in their Lord’s School. But they were learners who had very much to unlearn and in the account that they give of the process of their education they are wonderfully candid as they let us see their own mistakes and how backward they were in taking in the real meaning of their Lord’s mission and work.

A competent witness, it has been said, needs three things, capacity, opportunity, and veracity. All these three met in the witnesses that our Lord chose to testify in regard to Himself. In respect of their capacity they were plain men of common sense who would never be challenged as witnesses in any case or court on the ground that they were deficient in ordinary understanding. The fact that they were so long in their Lord’s company gave them the opportunity that was needed to fit them to be His witnesses. For in the years of their fellowship with Him as disciples they had every chance of seeing and of hearing for themselves. This fitted them to tell, as witnesses, of the facts about His works and His teaching both. The third requisite condition for a competent witness is to be found also in their case. They were men of character and on the score of veracity we cannot name any others whose word we should sooner take in regard to what had come within the sphere of their own cognisance.

With these three conditions meeting in them we should at once acknowledge how fit they were to fulfill the function of bearing witness to their Lord. When further we take note of the risk that they ran in bearing their witness and the many inducements that they had to be silent and not to provoke the anger of the men in power and yet they were not silent, this consideration shows how free they were from self-seeking in taking the course that they did. All ordinary prudential motives would tell in the direction of bidding them study their selfish interests and their ease. But in spite of this they could not hold their peace. In the face of persecution and danger and death they bore their witness. The facts that they attested we find on record and we may come in touch through the record of those facts in the Gospels with the Lord whom they learned to know, to follow and to serve.

The disciples who were thus meant to be witnesses and were trained for that work were meant also to be teachers. Now for their two-fold office of witnesses and teachers their Lord promised them that they should have special equipment. In the matter of the witness that they should bear to His Word He gave them the express promise that when they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost He would bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever He had said unto them and they should bear witness because they had been with Him from the beginning. Witness given under such special conditions should be the witness not only of the ordinary powers of human memory but also the witness of memory divinely reinforced. In that case their witness should be a positively trustworthy source of information in regard to what their Lord had done and taught. And such was the witness that was borne by the Apostles from the time that they received the endowment of Pentecost; and what held of their spoken word holds good of the permanent record of their ministry of witness as we have it in the four Gospels.

During the course of their Lord’s ministry on earth His disciples made it quite obvious that they had much yet to learn that they might understand the teaching which they heard from Him. It was only by slow degrees that they were set free from the mistaken ideas that they had learned, from their childhood, to cherish in regard to the work of the Christ for whose coming their fathers had looked and in whose coming they themselves as disciples had learned to rejoice. So long as they were held in the grip of such prejudice they neither entered into their Lord’s teaching as they should, nor were they in a position to teach their fellows the full truth that had fallen upon their ears. They were meant, however, to be teachers, and authoritative teachers, of the full Word of divine revelation. For this end they needed to have their understanding enlightened and their judgment cleared. Otherwise they could not be the authoritative expositors and preachers of a message which was to be proclaimed with great plainness of speech. If their hearers were to acquaint themselves with the fullness of Gospel truth it was plain that they as its teachers must know it for themselves. They must then be delivered from their mistaken thoughts of the truth made known by their Lord. They knew it as yet not as a whole but in parts. This knowledge was not enough to furnish them with equipment for their office. So their Lord’s promise was given them that when the Spirit of truth that He promised them should come He would lead them into all the truth. So much they knew already. So much more they failed to do justice to, and so much also was not as yet disclosed to them. The full discovery had not been given them for they were not ripe yet for it. So their Lord told them that He had many things to say unto them which they could not yet bear. These things they were to come to know when they should be led into the full truth. Once this should happen they were no longer to be mere babes in this knowledge. They were to be led into it and when this should come about they would know it in its true setting and they would know its parts in their true relations to one another and in their proper proportions. Thus their judgment should be matured.

But our Lord’s promises to the apostles went further. In them the Spirit of their Father was to speak even when they were only called upon to open their mouths in their own self-defence. If this was so might it not be reasoned a fortiori that the provision which should equip them for self-defence would assuredly be theirs when they spoke as the responsible and authoritative representatives of their Lord? We are not left to inference here or to our own reasonings from the fitness of things. So close was their relation to their Lord as His Apostles that those who should hear them should hear Him, and those who rejected them rejected Him. And again when we see the claims that an Apostle could make we learn what the endowment was that his brethren and he enjoyed for the discharge of the ministry of witness and teaching to which they were called.

In this connection it is of interest to take note of what the Apostle Paul has to say of himself and of his fellows. They spoke not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth but which the Holy Ghost teacheth. Not only did they receive the Spirit who is from God that they might know the things which are freely given us from God. They were to speak these things in Spirit-given words. Thus he claimed that not only the substance of their teaching was of authority but also its form. In this we read the recognized fulfillment in the Apostles of the promise that had been given to them. Their hearers who heard to profit received from them the word of God, and in so doing treated it not as the word of man but as it was in truth the Word of God which worketh effectually in them that believe. And when Paul used his authority as an Apostle in laying down the law for those in the Church of Corinth who were prophets or spiritual he made it plain that they were called upon to recognize that the things which he wrote to them were indeed the commandments of the Lord.

What Paul thus claimed for his written word held good of the word of his brother Apostles. Thus also we find John saying: “He that is of God heareth us”, while “he that is not of God heareth not us”. And it was thus that men were to know the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error. The very touchstone that told the difference lay in this fact, that the final authority of the Apostles should be recognized.

Such is the position that historical believing Christianity takes up. It accords to the Apostles what they claim as their own; and it recognizes in their writings the permanent and final form of the revelation that the Son of God came to make. He gave so much of it in the course of His ministry on earth and this we have in abiding shape in the four Gospels. These are the records of what Jesus began both to do and to teach until the day in which He was taken up. With this record in our hands we may see what the Apostles saw and we may hear what they heard. We are as it were looking through their eyes and we are listening as it were with their ears. They have left us the record of what they heard and saw to serve as the ground of Faith. They thought their witness worthy of credit and that it was a sufficient basis for a faith to build upon which receives their Lord as the Christ, the Son of God. When they indicate the end for which they wrote they but put on record what their Lord meant them to do. He also meant that their word of witness should be enough for the faith of His people in all ages to build upon. Their ministry was derived from Him. He called them; He trained them; He sent them. The equipment that He promised them He bestowed upon them. Thus it came about that after He was taken up He fulfilled to them His promise and in their witness and in their teaching He Himself continued to bear witness and to teach. What He did in His earthly ministry He continued in His heavenly. As the result of this continued ministry He enabled His Apostles to fulfill their oral and their active ministry on earth and to leave an abiding heritage to those who should believe in Him through their word. This was nothing less than the prolongation of their ministry of witness and of teaching. Its concrete embodied form is the Scriptures of the New Testament.

We may be tempted to wish that we had lived in the days in which our Lord was to be seen and heard, or His Apostles bore first-hand witness in regard to Him. These were days which many prophets and righteous men desired to see yet saw not. They were great days indeed. We should not, however, forget that the word of the Apostles preserves to us their witness, and though curiosity might be gratified if we could be transported back to the time and land of the New Testament facts yet we should see nothing but what the Apostles tell us and we should hear from their living voice no other message than we have in their written word. We need not then envy them the privilege that was theirs. The same Jesus of Whom they speak and Whom they knew is before us that we may believe in Him and know Him as our own. The greatest good that the Apostles themselves got of the Gospel is the good that is common to all the children of the new birth. They knew their Lord, and that is the very life of the soul and it is our life that we should know Him. And we are not to give place to the thought that He has withheld from us the means of truly acquainting ourselves with Him. Such is the privilege that the New Testament Church enjoys to the ends of the earth and to the end of time, when she has those Scriptures which enshrine the ministry of our Lord, as a personal and direct ministry on earth, and as a real and abiding and authoritative ministry which is His as the risen and exalted Christ. He continued to work and to teach through His Apostles and the record of it all is ours that we may acquaint ourselves with Him, and through a living faith get the good of the Gospel of His Grace.

Now this record is as authoritative as the spoken word of the Twelve. It shares with their oral witness and teaching in the quality of final authority. This was theirs because their Lord spoke through them. They spoke in the words that the Holy Ghost enabled them to employ. They were inspired men and their message was an inspired message. God breathed on them and He breathed through them so that their word was His Word in very deed. They were equally inspired when they wrote as when they spoke, and the same theopneust character that attached to their spoken word belongs to their written word also. Such is the claim that they made for themselves; and that is the claim which their writings still make.

Their word as His Apostles was their Lord’s word, and this is what is meant by the inspiration of the New Testament. From its pages we learn that our Lord and His Apostles too regarded the sacred deposit which was in the hands of Israel and which the New Testament Church as the legitimate successor to the Church of the Old Testament still holds in her hands as the Word of God given of old by Moses and the Prophets. It was not the word only of Moses or the word of Isaiah, or the word of David. It was their word indeed, for they spoke it and they wrote it. But the word of Moses was the Word of God. The word of Isaiah was the word of God. The word of David was the Word of God. So in the New Testament we have the Word of Paul and the Word of John and the Word of Luke. It was not only their Word, it was the Word of God. Now this brings before us the mysterious character of Holy Writ.

The written and the Incarnate Word are so alike the one to the other. The Incarnate Word was very God and very Man, and He was the sinless One. So too the written word is the very word of those who wrote it, and at the same time the very word of God Who made use of them. They were the penmen of scripture. They themselves were, to quote the word of Dr. John Duncan, the “men-pens” of the Holy Ghost. In the fullness of their individuality with all their gifts of style and expression He made use of them. There is mystery here without a doubt. It is not, however, a mystery that is unparalleled or unexampled. We have an illustration of it in the working of the efficacious grace in which we believe. The Lord, the Holy Ghost, works in the regenerate the faith of the Gospel and the repentance that is unto life. It is not the Spirit that believes or repents. It is the believer or the penitent. They exercise faith. It is the Spirit that works it. They exercise godly sorrow. It is the Spirit who is its author. He works all and they are the agents in it all. It is of His inworking and enabling that they repent and believe. But the faith that they exercise and the repentance by which they turn from sin to God are both the personal activity of the new-born soul. He worketh all their works in them and to Him belongs the undivided glory of them. Yet the works are theirs. His working does not overwhelm or obliterate their personality. It quickens the soul when dead in sin and it upholds the soul that it has brought alive. In the free exercise of a will that His grace has renewed they yield themselves in obedience of faith.

Now to those who hold with us this, the faith of the Reformed Churches, it sounds simply absurd to hear men describe the doctrine of inspiration as though it were an impossible thing for a transcendent sovereign God so to use a man in the full and free exercise of his faculties as an instrument of His own hand for making known His mind and will. Why, men who play well on an instrument may harp well or pipe well. The music of the pipe and of the harp may be in perfect harmony yet the hearer can tell the one from the other. They are both the music of the players who are pleased to make the one of them the pipe and the other of them the harp his instrument of music. A man’s writing varies with the pen that he employs. That pen may be hard or soft. It may be broad or fine and according to its make will the script be that it is employed to produce. Yet you find men object to the doctrine of inspiration that there can be nothing in it because we can tell the style or expression of John or Paul or Isaiah.

It is of the essence of stupidity not to see that God Almighty is not confined to a dead level of monotony when He is pleased to speak to His creatures in His written word. To say that inspiration of necessity suppresses the distinctive features of human expression when men are under its influence is to refuse to acknowledge that God is able to use men in the full and free exercise of their distinct individuality. It sets unwarrantable bounds to the power of Almighty God. Yet men maintain that the doctrine of inspiration which teaches that there is the concursus of the Divine and the human is an impossibility. They hold that if the written word is wholly of God it can be only by His express dictation that this can be secured, or that He brings it about by making the writers so many machines. They denounce it as mechanical inspiration. They evidently think that they can tell what God can and what He cannot do in these things. So they take upon themselves to say that in the case when the written product is wholly divine it must be the effect of mere mechanical activity of the human writer.

Now in these things it becomes men to be modest and not to claim to know more than they know indeed. We who hold to the pervasive Divine character of Holy Writ are not bound to say how otherwise than by mechanical control such a result is brought about. The mode of the divine activity may, nay must, be to us an inscrutable mystery. We are not to outstep our bounds and to lay limits on the free Sovereignty of the Lord God and say – “Thou must do this and Thou must not do that”. It is the bloated pride of an unhumbled heart that will utter words of such a kind. He gives no account of many of his matters and we dare not summon Him to our bar before whose bar we must ourselves stand. Men may press us to define what the inspiration is which brings it about that the words of men are at the same time, and fully, the words of God. We might answer that we are not minded to pry into the mysterious mode of the Divine co-agency and controlling agency in producing the Holy Scriptures: That operation of Divine power is one that results in a Book which on the one side is altogether the Word of the men who spoke and wrote it, while on the other side it is wholly the Word of the Living God Who made use of the writers as His instruments.

We like to consider inspiration as that exercise and just that exercise of divine controlling and determining power which secures that those who are its instruments wrote the very Word of God. Men have spoken of guidance and control and direction and superintendence and suggestion as modes of inspiration. It may quite possibly be that these words may be competently applied to the character of its work. But when we go into these things we are going beyond our depth. We who cannot tell how soul and body co-exist and go to make up our full person are overstepping the bounds of our province when we speculate as to how God is working in bringing such a product as Holy Writ into being. Let it be enough for us to recognize what it is and what it claims to be and leave it with Him to bring His counsel to pass as seems best to His unsearchable wisdom.

A full inspiration extends not only to the substance but to the form, not only to the thought but to the expression of Holy Scripture. In other words the inspiration that is responsible for producing the written Word of God is at once full and verbal. In the Downgrade controversy in which Mr. Spurgeon took part in his later years, he said that the attacks that were then so common on verbal inspiration were but the verbal form of the attack on inspiration. In saying so he hit the nail on the head. Those who are content to learn their doctrine of inspiration from the statements, teaching, and phenomena of Scripture itself will not be slow to acknowledge that the very words, which are but the vesture of the thought, are God’s chosen Words. Thought and expression are interlinked and when Paul laid stress on the word “Seed” in his Epistle to the Galatians, or when our Lord quoted Psalm 110 to ask how Messiah could be David’s son when David in the Spirit spoke of Him as his Lord, or when he answered the Sadducees by referring them to the words spoken from the Burning Bush we are confronted with Scripture’s own use of Scripture. And this teaches us the stress which it lays upon the very words that it employs.

Again when men refer to Scripture quotations as not verbally accurate they forget that the Supreme Author of Scripture is surely free to express Himself as He pleases. He knows His own thought and how to utter it. May He alone not vary the expression of His thought, the thought remaining the same, as He sees right?

When we are told that our doctrine of inspiration can hold good only of the autographs of Holy Writ we might answer that it is the whole aim and endeavour of a reverent criticism, that is, of the study of Scriptures by believers, to attain to certainty as to the precise text and the exact meaning of the Word of God as it was at first given. And the more real our conviction of the truth of Divine Inspiration the more should be our zeal and diligence in this study.

It is boldly affirmed at other times that if it was the original text that was inspired we are not entitled to speak of any translation of Scripture, even the very best, as being the Word of God. The niggling spirit that carps at the acknowledgment of a good translation as the Word of God in another language comes in conflict with an obvious feature of Scripture usage; for we find that the New Testament makes use of a translation of the Old Testament. In this usage the translation is freely employed and no exception is taken to it as though the quality of Divine authorship and authority had evaporated in the process of translation.

When again the objection is raised that we are face to face with a large variety of readings in our oldest manuscripts and that it is inept for us to hold the inspiration of Scripture seeing that we cannot be sure as to the exact reading at some points of the original text. Men forget that by the time when our Lord was upon earth there is no doubt but there were already in existence a multitude of various readings in the Hebrew Text and the Greek translation of the Old Testament. There were undoubtedly various exhibitions of Scripture in the instances in which that translation diverged from a literal representation of the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament. Now of these things our Lord takes no notice. So also His apostles. The cardinal controlling consideration that the Scriptures as the people had them in their hands or had access to them, were the Word of God is what He and they lay stress upon. And this is ample warrant for us to follow in their steps.

But how often do we hear men daring to say that when our Lord emptied Himself in His humiliation He consented to such an abridgment of His knowledge as that He shared in the limitations and prejudices of His Galilean environment, and so took Old Testament Scripture at its current valuation? When they say this they think that they have got rid of His witness to the word which Israel had in their hands. They imagine that they have put Him out of action as an authoritative teacher in regard to such matters of criticism and that they have left the ground clear for exercising the utmost freedom in their handling of the Old Testament. Well, what have they succeeded in doing? For themselves they have got rid of the note of authority which sounds through His teaching and they have taken up the position that the Incarnate Son of God was the victim of nescience, ignorance and local and provincial prejudice. Would it not be more in keeping with the attitude that they have resolved to adopt that they should at once deny the truth of His Incarnation? Their profession of it when they strip His words of final authority is like the kiss of Judas when his Lord was to be taken and slain.

But how does the case stand in regard to the words that our Lord spoke? Let us but listen to what He has Himself to say. “I have not spoken from Myself but the Father which sent Me; He gave me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His Commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak, therefore, even as the Father said unto Me so I speak.” The quarrel then of those who will not hear and rest in His words as final is with the Father, who, as He dwelt in His Son and did the works, gave to His Son in Whom He dwelt the words that He should speak. We should bear in mind that when the Son came as His Father’s Servant to do His will He was sent and thus had at once a mission and a commission. Within the bounds of that commission He kept Himself. When He was tempted by Satan to turn the stones into bread the tempter aimed at inducing Him to lay aside that form of a servant in which He had come. This the faithful Servant would not do. Throughout His ministry He kept a servant’s place and the Will of the Father was the rule of His service. This held in regard to the very words that He spoke. When then He spoke of the word which had already been given as a Scripture that could not be broken the witness which He bore to it is the very word which His Father gave Him to speak. So all who have recognized Him as a Son sent as a servant receive His word as final and rest in it.

Whatever endeavours the adversaries by their excursions in the department of criticism have made to set aside the authority and finality of His witness come to naught when we are face to face with the claim that He makes to speak the Father’s words. Let this claim be set aside and He is set aside. When this claim is acknowledged Christian Faith rests with security in the words that He has spoken.

It is the very Son of the Father that has spoken the very words which the Father gave Him to speak. And it is in keeping with the fitness of things in this situation that when the words of the Father are to be spoken they should be spoken by His everlasting Word. We see then how vain the attempt is to shake the authority of our Lord’s witness to Old Testament Scripture and at the same time we see how the truth that He spoke only the words which the Father gave Him to speak stamps His every Word with absolute authority. The promises that He gave to His Apostles were among those words. Those promises we recognize to have been fulfilled in the subsequent ministry of the Apostles and so the revelation given once for all in the fullness of the times is preserved in its written form for all time and is still and will be to the end the abiding possession of all to whom the New Testament Scriptures have come.

Modern Sadduceism in all its forms has a quarrel with the Divine authority of the written word. This is so because its animating principle is not the faith which takes its seat at the footstool of the Son of God, but the unbelief which carps and cavils at His message. It has made the most of its parade of objections and difficulties yet Christian believers who have heard the voice of the Son of God as He still speaks the words of everlasting life have not been greatly moved. Those of them who have enquired into these matters have learned to wait for further light to clear up the difficulties that are to be met with and they do this with all the more confidence and composure of mind because so many of the difficulties that were the stock in trade of unbelievers in former days have been already cleared up; and they cherish the confidence that there is still in store for the Church of God an experience of clearing up in regard to those difficulties on which unbelief still lays stress.

In this connection some writers on the subject of the Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures have put the cart before the horse. In seeking to state the doctrine of inspiration they begin at the wrong end. They start with the difficulties and having come to their conclusions in regard to these they employ those conclusions to modify and determine the sense in which the clear evidence of the statements of the Bible itself should be taken. This is not the course that men would take to arrive at the teaching of Scripture in regard to any other subject, say, sin or salvation. What is obviously the right course to take is that we should first see what the witness of the sacred Writings is and when we have taken a conjoint view of that witness as exhibited in various statements of the Word, then we should put objections and difficulties into their own subordinate place and not suffer the impression that they make upon us to override the plain statements on which the body of our doctrine rests.

As we indicated at the outset it is only when we are agreed as to the fact that Christian Truth is indeed a Divine Revelation that we come logically to discuss the doctrine of what Inspiration is. When we recognize the authentic character of our Scripture documents as an exhibition of the truth which our Lord and His Apostles proclaimed we are warranted in going further than stating that these documents are in a general sense authentic and trustworthy; we are warranted too, in holding that they are what they claim to be, not only a written embodiment of a real Divine Revelation, but a divinely given record of that Revelation, so that it is indeed God’s own Word which He has been pleased to commit to writing. In the everyday working of Christian Faith this is proceeded upon. And when questions are raised about it and we look into them we find that the working understanding of Christian Faith can be set aside only by refusing to accept the substantial truth of the claims that our Lord made for Himself and that His Apostles on His behalf continue to make. For they continue to make the same claims as He did and these we have in the Word that enshrines their ministry of teaching and witness. To refuse then to accept the teaching of Scripture in regard to the claims that it makes to be the Word of God is to meet its claims not with a loyalty of a Christian Faith, but with the unbelief that has not yet learned to bow to the authority of Christ, the Son of God.

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