It is a very popular notion in liberal theology that Inspiration is only partial. That is in contrast with plenary, which means full or complete. I contend that the Bible teaches it is the product of plenary Inspiration, and that in truth it is such. The argument for partial Inspiration is that God lead men to write, but only on the indispensably spiritual material. Things such as history and science in the narratives of Scripture are not necessary for salvation, so God did not lead anyone in writing these things. They are purely the product of human composition, which is subject to error and may therefore be incorrect.
When pressed, liberals do not even believe in any sort of Inspiration. That is because they do not hold the Bible to be all-authoritative. All they spout is love, but then they do not even follow what the Bible has to say about love. There is a cruelty in liberalism that screams hypocrisy. Don’t get me wrong, conservatives often have a mean streak in them as well. There are many modern-day Pharisees amongst us who are just as sociopathological as any TV or movie crime dramas. Hannibal Lecter has nothing on many of the pseudo-sound preachers today.
If partial Inspiration is true, then discerning what is Inspired and what is not becomes a subjective experience. In the end, we are left following our heart, the zenith of madness. Also, it wonders why if God could get the small stuff right, then why didn’t He? It seems partial Inspiration is a poor excuse to dismiss all of the Bible, the big stuff and the small stuff. And finally, if God couldn’t get the small stuff right, such as history and science, then why should He be trusted with the big stuff? Finding errors of any kind lowers the credibility of the whole thing, especially the spiritual matters.
The Word Of Truth
God does not lie (Titus 1:2). In fact, it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Jesus is the one and only source of truth (John 14:6), which could not be if He came to do the will of a God subject to falsities. It is the same with the Bible, it cannot contain lies if it is the word from a God who cannot lie.
- “In Him you also trusted,after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13).
- “because of the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5).
- “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (First Thessalonians 2:13-14).
- “This is He who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ. Not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (First John 5:6).
- “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant” (Second Samuel 7:28).
- “The judgments of the Lord aretrue and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9).
- “I have chosen the way of truth. Your judgments I have laid before me” (Psalm 119:30).
- “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I have hoped in Your ordinances” (Psalm 119:43).
- “Your righteousness isan everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth” (Psalm 119:142).
- “You arenear, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth” (Psalm 119:151).
- “The entirety of Your word istruth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18). The jot refers to the Hebrew letter yod, which is the smallest Hebrew letter. It looks like our English apostrophe. The tittle is a bit more interesting. There are two Hebrew letters that look almost identical, resh and daleth. A single penstroke makes the resh, whereas the daleth is made from two. Think of the Greek Gamma (G), but the mirror image of it. The pen starts in the top left, moves straight right and down in one stroke to form resh. With daleth, you start upper left and move right, but pick up the pen and make a single stroke down. The tiny bulb that inevitably sticks out of the top righthand of the daleth is the tittle.
The jot and tittle could not be removed unless they were added, or put another way, a part of the Inspiration itself. Jesus is saying that the smallest parts of the Hebrew alphabet in which the Law of Moses was written will not be removed until it is completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ, His cross and resurrection. If the jot and the tittle were a part of the Inspiration, then it is the highest of absurdities to claim that Inspiration was partial.
Weight Of Inspiration
Since the Bible is fully Inspired, it deserves to be treated with gravitas. Because of the Bible, everything we do as part of divine service is serious. When Peter tells the hundred and twenty that Judas should be replaced as apostle, he bases that on it being the fulfillment of prophecy. He adds, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled” (Acts 1:16). A brief time before this, Jesus also quotes prophecy and says, “The Scriptures cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
If God, Who cannot lie, predicts it in prophecy then it must come true. The exact day of Jesus Christ’s Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem is predicted to the very day in Daniel’s vision of the Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:25). On the day predicted, Jesus enters Jerusalem and is announced to be King. The Pharisees scolded Jesus and told Him that He should have commanded the people to be quiet. Jesus replies, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). Somehow, it was inevitable that Jesus would be declared King on that day because God by Inspiration had said it would happen on that day a bit more than 500 years prior.
That is why ignorance and misunderstanding of Scripture has always been the most hazardous place to be in. Jesus made it a point to fix the problem of misunderstanding the Bible.
- “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matthew 12:7).
- “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).
- “But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him” (Mark 9:13).
- “Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?” (Mark 12:10).
It is vital to learn once and for all that only the complete and total word of God should be considered the truth (Psalm 119:160). That is because every word of it is Inspired by God.