All of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is thus without error. It is the very Word of God. It does not merely contain the Word of God, as if it contained the erroneous words of men mingled with the perfect words of God. The doctrine of inspiration is the first principle from which all biblical doctrines are derived. Its truth is revealed to man by God. [2Sa 7:28; 23:2; Psa 12:6; 25:5; 111:7-8; 119:43,89; 138:2; Dan 10:21; Joh 17:17; Act 3:18; 1Co 2:4,12-16; 2Ti 2:15; 3:15-17; Heb 1:1-2; 2Pe 1:20-21; 3:15] This is a typical doctrinal statement concerning the Bible. It makes several assertions and then lists several verses supposedly supporting the assertions. Now if we study this statement using the minimalist approach to deriving the intended message of the referenced passages, will we find that the doctrine is solidly supported or is partially not supported? Now another step would be if something is not supported by the referenced passages would be to cast a wider net and see if any passage of scripture supports or refutes the assertions. But lets simply take a look at the level of bible study in evidence in this doctrinal statement. 1. “All of the Bible” is not defined specifically and therefore should give one pause. The idea is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and therefore only the scriptures that were inspired, and not added by helpful uninspired scribes make up the Bible. To be specific, we could say that the “critical text” of the Old and New Testaments comprise the inspired text of the Bible. Now others might include some of the excluded scripture contained in earlier efforts to put forth the inspired word of God. Perhaps we should note that whatever underlying text those that endorsed this statement were basing it on should be included somewhere in the document. 2. “All of the Bible” in the original language is given by inspiration. This assertion is supported by 2 Samuel 7:28 which say God’s word is truth and this good thing, the Word of God, was promised (or spoken) to Samuel, His servant. 2 Samuel 23:2 says the Spirit of the Lord spoke to Samuel and His word was on Samuel’s tongue. 3. “It is the very Word of God. It does not merely contain the Word of God, as if it contained the erroneous words of men mingled with the perfect words of God.” In Psalm 12:6 scripture declares God’s word is pure, like refined silver, so whatever the original message was by the inspired author, it was true and did not have anything unreliable within the message. 4. So far so good, everything up to this point seems to me to be well founded. 5. “The doctrine of inspiration is the first principle from which all biblical doctrines are derived.” Now here we find an assertion as to what those who wrote the statement claimed they were doing. And it seems like a sound principle to me, but is not supported by scripture, except that we all should trust in the truth of scripture. 6. “Its truth is revealed to man by God.” This statement seems unlikely to be true in that many men have studied God’s word and come to differing conclusions, so if its truth is revealed by God, the revelation is not inspired and the errors of men are mingled with God’s truth in our various commentaries. Psalm 25:5 seems to be a typo, but Psalm 25:4 does express the prayer that God would make known to us God’s ways and teach us His path. So certainly God gives us the light we use to discern His truth from His inspired word, but the verse does not support that God causes us to discern the truth without error. As a side comment, other verses certainly indicate under the New Covenant, our indwelt Spirit does lead us and guide us into a greater understanding of God’s word, for without it, we cannot discern some spiritual things, 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:3. 7. From Psalm 111:7-8 we see that God’s word is part of “the works of God’s hands” and so His word is truth and is just (nothing unjust in God or His word) and His “precepts” are sure or trustworthy. Precepts or statues or commands refer to the guidance for walking in God’s righteous path given in God’s word and these requirements “quicken” us, which means to revive and sustain and provide our living walk with God. 8. From Psalm 119:43 we see a prayer that God not take the word of truth “utterly out of my mouth.” What goes into you mouth is in you, and what goes out of your mouth is no longer in you. So the prayer seems to be that God’s word provides us with hope, it sustains us and guides us, and without it, we would be hopeless, and therefore God, please allow me to have your word –in me – because it gives me hope. This verse demonstrates the other side of the coin, God can take away whatever understanding and support we derive from His word, but it does not support that God supernaturally puts God’s word in us, i.e. gives us supernaturally our understanding of all of God’s word. 9. In Psalm 119:89 we see that God’s word is “settled in heaven” forever. Thus we are to abide by it, and not seek to change it, or take away from it or add to it. If it does not fit with our understanding of other scriptures, we are not to nullify it, we are to change our understanding. 10. Every once in a while the NASB translation clouds the message and some other translation provides a far better reading, i.e. God’s truth just leaps off the page. Psalm 138:2 provides an example. Only the ESV seems to clearly present the message. “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Thus this verse tells us we should not nullify God’s word because it seems inconsistent with our understanding of God. You can get the same idea from the NASB translation, but you have to work for the understanding. 11. Daniel 10:21 provides an example of God using a messenger to reveal the truth inscribed in God’s word. So the mechanisms of His revelatory guidance includes visions, angels, prophets, apostles, evangelists, teachers, and ordinary believers who walk the talk, as well as the Holy Spirit speaking to us in our prayerful study of His word. None of this supports the idea that God’s word itself is not a lamp unto our feet, providing the milk of the gospel to the lost. 12. To be sanctified in the truth of God’s word is to be set apart from the falsehoods of false doctrine, and thus the message of the New Covenant is just as solid and as true as the scriptures of the Old Covenant, based on John 17:17. 13. Acts 3:18 tells us that what God announced in the Old Testament has been partially fulfilled in the New Testament, such as Christ suffering in accord with Isaiah 53. 14. The authority of New Testament scripture such as the writings of Paul, does not stem from persuasive arguments, but from the inspiration of God, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 12-14. 15. Study God’s inspired word such that you can apply it correctly to yourself and present its truth to others of the faith. Scripture is able to make you wise, for salvation through faith in Christ, and equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:15-17. 16. God speaks to us, not only through the Old Testament Prophets, but also through His Son, and through Him all things were made. The word of the Prophets made more certain, as the light shinning on a dark place. Hebrews 1:1-2, 2 Peter 1:20-21. The New Testament light also shown through the writings of Paul, 2 Peter 3:15. In summary, God’s truth is revealed to men in His inspired word, some of it understandable to men of flesh, but its spiritual meat can only be discerned with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Currently our best understanding of what is the inspired word is the critical text, but some of the apparent additions clarify rather than corrupt the inspired text, thus they are kept in modern translations, but bracketed to highlight the possibility they are more of a commentary on the inspired text.