Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 5, 1957
NUMBER 31, PAGE 12b,15c

Divine Authorship Of The Bible

George P. Estes, Kirkwood, Missouri

Revelation discovers new truth to men unknown before revealed. "God hath revealed them to us by the Spirit." (1 Cor. 2:10). Inspiration guides and controls the giving out of this truth: "Which the Holy Spirit teacheth." (1 Cor. 2:13). The word of God is revealed; it is inspired.

Prophecy is the message from God through a prophet. It does not primarily imply prediction; in fact none of the Hebrew words for "prophecy" mean prediction.

A prophet was a person who spoke for God; he was a forthteller and some of them were foretellers. He had insight as well as foresight. He was an inspired, infallible and authoritative teacher of God's will. He was essentially a preacher and a teacher. His words were not his own but came from a higher source. He is at the same time a seer, who sees things that do not lie within the domain of human or natural sight. In 1 Samuel 9:9, "speaker" and "seer" occur as synonyms. The word "prophet" means simply a spokesman for God who is moved by the Spirit. He solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially future things and especially what relates to the kingdom of God and the salvation of man. He is one who speaks forth, he speaks the word of God that is given him. When he predicts he speaks forth future verities which would otherwise remain unknown. When he speaks for God he sets forth that which is committed to him which would otherwise remain concealed. The prophet must speak God's message faithfully, regardless of the consequences. "And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are most rebellious." Ezek. 2:7.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Bible used by Christ and His apostles, the Old Testament begins with Genesis and ends with Second Chronicles. It contains the same books as the English Bibles we use but some books are put together so that it has 24 books instead of 39. A knowledge of this is necessary in order to understand the references to the Old Testament in the New, and the teaching in the New Testament concerning the inspiration ad authority of the Old. Thus Jesus accuses the Jews of shedding righteous blood upon the earth, that is, those who were righteous in His eyes. In Matt. 23:35 He says this extended from Abel to Barachias. The record of Barachias' death is found in 2 Chron. 23:20-1 and that of Abel's death in Gen. 4:8. He meant the Jews had been guilty of killing the righteous through-out the entire record of man, from the first book (Genesis) to the last (2 Chronicle). "Now these are the last words of David. David, the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high. the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist said, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue." (2 Sam. 23:1.2). Here is an Old Testament statement on the subject of inspiration, a direct testimony of one of the inspired writers. Nothing could be stronger than David's deathbed testimony as to the manner in which he received his messages. David's writings were God speaking through His Spirit through David. "His word was in my tongue," not, His thoughts were in my head. Here is a divine product produced through human instrumentality. This testimony would cover his messages in 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, as well as the Psalms. "For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool." Mk. 12:36. "Men and brethren this scripture must be fulfilled. which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, who was to guide them that took Jesus." (Acts 1:16.) See also Acts 4:24-26.