Don’t Abuse Inspiration

Posted: December 15, 2011 in bible, exegesis, theology

Affirming the Bible’s inspiration does not grant us license to read Scripture carelessly.  God’s Word is present before us when our Bibles are open, but that doesn’t mean we will hear Him speaking after a single shoddy skimming of the text.  The first thought that jumps into your head isn’t necessarily from God.

[B. B. Warfield] summarized the implications of Scripture as theopneustos [God-breathed, 2 Tim. 3:16-17] with the phrase ‘what Scripture says, God says’.”  Whenever a phrase like this is used, some will imagine that Warfield is representative of those who read Scripture without paying any heed to the literary, canonical and historical context in which a phrase occurs.  However, Warfield of course had a sophisticated approach to the interpretation of Scripture, and knew how to interpret it appropriately.  When he speaks of ‘what Scripture says’, he means ‘Scripture as properly interpreted’.

– Timothy Ward, Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009), 81.

The Bible is not a book of incantations.  Don’t treat it like one.


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