The word “inspired” is found but once in the New Testament in reference to God’s Holy Word – 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God,” literally “God-breathed.”
Divine inspiration naturally follows divine revelation. In revelation God speaks to man’s ear while by inspiration He guides the pen to ensure that the imparted message is correctly written down.
2 Peter 1:20-21: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
In other words, God has chosen to communicate His Word and will to us through the human personalities, vocabularies, and everyday life experiences of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
There are several ideas about the process of this inspiration. Some would say that the Biblical authors were “inspired” much like William Shakespeare was inspired. Others would suggest that God merely gave the writer the main content or idea, thus allowing the writer to choose his or her own words to express the biblical concepts.
However, in contrast, Jesus Himself believed and taught that God’s Holy Words were divinely inspired down to the very letters themselves – ”For truly I say to you,” says Jesus, “until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke (part of a letter) shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt. 5:18).
Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.