Vol.VI No.II Pg.5
April 1969

"God Said . . ."

Robert F. Turner

We here present Five Basic Propositions which we believe to be true as regards Verbal Inspiration of the New Testament. Future articles will offer comments concerning translations and versions, in this setting.

I. Without Revelation, Man Walks in Awe-filled Darkness. The Heavens declare His glory (PSA.19:), all Creation demonstrates His Eternal Power and Deity (ROM.1:20), but God is not thereby identified, nor His will for man made known. We could sense our obligation to Him, but could not know how to please Him, nor accomplish His purpose in creating man (1CO.2:9-f).

II. Words of God Stand Between Man and God; as the medium for conveying His will. Meaningful faith and obedience, fair and equitable judgement, necessitate a presentation of the divine will in way suited to the nature and ability of man to understand. See EPH.3:2-6; ROM.10:14-f; JOH.1 2:46f.

III. Man Must Approach God's Words Objectively, As Manifestations of the Authority of God. It is not in man to direct his steps; the authority is external. I do not advocate Bibliolatry — a worship of the book itself -- but a worship of God that respects His medium of communication to man.

Invariably, the alternatives men have offered to verbal inspiration have swung around to some form of subjectivity. Man "feels" this is right; this is "truth to me" only when I can approve of it (thus making "truth"(?) relative to each individual); or the "words" make sense only to those who are "spiritually" endowed. (One knows he is "spiritually endowed" by appeal to internal, subjective, evidences. Ask him for external proof (HEB.2:4) and he will say your question proves you are not spiritually endowed.)

IV. Writers of the New Testament Delivered God's Own Words. This is the simple essence of verbal inspiration. They were "vessels" 2CO.4:7 "messengers" 2CO.5:18-f who "said" what they were given to say. Matthew records Jesus as saying, " — take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in You". MAT.10:19-20). Compare this with MAR.13:10-11; LUK.21:14-15; JOH.14:26. There can be no doubt about what these men wrote regarding direct verbal inspiration. Peter is clear on this subject (2PE.1:19-21; 3:15-16). Paul wrote: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spirtual" (1CO.2:13).

We therefore contend that the original manuscripts of the New Testament writers were God's own words, given through chosen messengers to posterity, framed in the language of the time and place, but intended as the inerrant basis from which all translations of the future were to be made.

V. Any philosophy, theory, or "feeling" that lessens respect for these words, is detrimental to true faith. Problems of preservation and translation of God's words will be discussed in coming articles.