D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Verbal Inspiration

When we say that the Bible is divinely inspired, what exactly do we mean? Let us start again with a negative. We do not mean that certain portions of the Bible are inspired and that others are not. There are some people who think that. There are, they say, portions and particular statements and teachings, especially those concerned with the Lord Jesus Christ, that are inspired. But, they say, those historical books and various other sections are not inspired. Now, that is not what we mean when we say the Bible is divinely inspired.

Neither do we mean simply that the men who wrote were writing in an exalted or creative way. When a poet has produced a masterpiece, you have often heard people say that the poet was “inspired.” But we do not mean that the writers of the books of the Bible were inspired in that way when they came to write these books. Others say they regard inspiration as just meaning that the ideas that were given to the writers were inspired. That is true, of course, but we mean much more than that. Neither does it mean that the books—the writings as such are the product of human origin on to which the divine breath or afflatus has come.

So, what do we mean? We mean that the Scriptures are a divine product breathed out by God. Inspired really means “God-breathed.” We mean that God breathed these messages into men and through them, and these Scriptures are the result of that divine action. We believe that they were produced by the creative breath of the almighty God. Put in a simpler form, we mean that everything we have here has been given by God to man. And, of course, this obviously carries with it the idea that this is true of the particular words. So I shall try to demonstrate to you that the Bible claims for itself what is called verbal inspiration. It is not merely that the thoughts are inspired, not merely the ideas, but the actual record, down to the particular words. It is not merely that the statements are correct, but that every word is divinely inspired.

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