What Does "Inspired" Mean, Relative to the Bible?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Archie the Preacher, Jan 18, 2014.

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  1. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher
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    I know someone is going to reply "...God breathed..." and that is the word for word translation. However, it really doesn't mean anything on its own. Not a small portion of the problem being, in the recorded statement of Jesus (John 4:24) "God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." Unless someone can show differently, a spirit does not have lungs and does not 'breathe' in the normal sense of Earthly living organisms. (Which is going to cause the literalist faction fits.)

    In English, we use the word 'inspire' to mean 'motivation'. As in, "My brother died of [hideous disease] and that inspired me to find a cure for [same hideous disease]."

    All of us who believe the Bible as the revelation of God to man believe God 'motivated' men to write the Bible. All of us who believe the Bible as the revelation of God to man believe the Bible is 'true'. (We may disagree over what a certain passage may say, but we all agree it's true.)

    But when Paul wrote, in 2 Timothy 3:16 "Every scripture is inspired by God..." was he just saying God motivated men to write, or all scripture is true, or something more?

    For instance, the phonebook is true - or we expect it to be correct, at least - but I doubt any of us think of it as 'inspired' in the same sense as the Bible.

    Or is 'inspired' a catch phrase to avoid understanding, but enabling one to deny what anyone else says?

    Oh, no one needs to blather on about how inspiration manifests - 'dictation' or 'laisses faire". Just what it means in terms of the Bible.

    One last thing. In this discussion, everyone use their own words. Don't bother cutting and pasting fourteen paragraphs from some obscure work written in German, Latin or Calamari that cannot be understood by a normal English speaker and reader.
     
  2. John of Japan

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    The Bible, being "God-breathed," is 100% the Word of God (and God does not make mistakes, so it is inerrant), and being written by men prepared by God, is 100% the word of Godly men, moved by the Holy Spirit (Who, being God, does not move men to error, so the Bible is inerrant).
     
  3. John of Japan

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    Surely you realize this is symbolic language, like "the hand of God"??
    The English word "inspired" is polysemous, with several other meanings, such as "That was an inspired performance." But that is immaterial. The NT was written in Greek, so obviously that is where we must look for the meaning of the Biblical word "inspired."
    The word "motivated" is an extremely weak word to describe inspiration. Warfield, Gaussen, Pache, Rice, Edward Young--none of the great evangelical writers about the inspiration of Scripture used the word "motivated" to describe the process of inspiration.
    You are actually comparing an errant human phonebook to the eternal Word of God?
    It's a Biblical term. What else does one need to know? How can a Biblical term be a "catchphrase"?
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    We take this in a figurative sense and that the Word of God is His message to us conveyed in Words He gave by His Spirit to His prophets, apostles &c. Theopnuestos is how God conveys His method to finite minds and specifically to those who understand Spiritual matters by the Spirit; 2 Corinthians 2:14ff, and to those whom Christ has chosen to reveal Himself; Matthew 11:27.

    'Motivation' isn't the meaning here. It is better to interpret Scripture with Scripture, not notions. God has revealed that He has breathed out His Word to His elect -- that explanation is Scripturally based and it is how God communicates to His people.

    Actually 2 Peter 1:16-21 gives a better description as to how the Word came to us. Paul is declaring that all Scripture is profitable for reproof, correction, instruction &c. I'd say it is all the above and more as we look through a glass darkly at this time; 1 Cor. 13:12.

    Someone here probably believes it is inspired as well. :thumbs: :type:

    But I would not minimize the teaching of doctrine and of how we got the Word as 'blathering on'. Again 2 Peter 1:16-21 is a great revelation of what you are asking here.

    Preaching on this exact Scripture and topic this morning and have been for the last couple of months. I prefer to use Scripture in explaining this rather than my own ideology as well as most others on BB.
     
  5. robycop3

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    I believe we sometimes sub "inspired" for "influenced". The original writers of Scripture had often heard God directly, or were copying someone else who had, and were sometimes commanded by God to write His words. OTOH, the makers of translations were given the desire to make the translations by God, and I believe He left the actual nutz-n-boltz of making the translation upta those whom he'd influenced to make them. Thus, we have differing translations by different translators.

    And, to some extent, God allowed some of the original Scripture penmen some of their own input in their writings. Thus, each of the four "Gospels" differs from its fellows, even though all are narrations of the same events.
     
    #5 robycop3, Jan 19, 2014
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  6. jbh28

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    It means that the words are directly from God, God breathed out the words.
    Different meaning to what's in the passage. The word "inspire" technically is backwards(breath in) but translators didn't want to talk about the expiration of the Bible. It was the best word we had other than the literal "breath out,"

    It doesn't mean in any way to motivate.

    It means to breath out. The words of God are directly from him. We therefore know that these words are pure words and thus without error.
     
  7. Archie the Preacher

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    Hmmmm

    So far:

    JoJ used a fair amount of words to say nothing. It is clear he has no clear idea of the subject. Thanks anyway.

    Preacher, thanks; I appreciate your thoughts. Whereas God clearly 'motivated' all the texts - some by direct order ["Moses. Write the Torah!" (Loosely translated, of course)] - and some by unfelt influence as when David wrote some of his psalms - I agree that motivation is a only a part, perhaps minor part, of 'inspiration'.

    This is without question correct, but you have merely used the question as the answer. "Inspiration is inspiration"; if you see what I mean. I'm not arguing your point, just the answer you provide - so far - isn't very useful.

    RobyCop; Thank you. I understand what you are saying. In all cases, the writers of the various sections of the Bible were influenced - 'made' ? - to write what God wanted written. Sometimes verbatim and sometimes not. (I personally don't think Paul when writing his 'epistles' knew that he was composing the SOP for the New Testament Church. But he was.) That is obviously a part of 'inspired'.

    jhb28
    You're not claiming God has lungs, are you?
    Okay, no lungs. So inspiration by God means the words are without error? I obviously cannot find fault with that. But, 'words' in what sense?
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Oh, wow, I'm just floored by your graciousness.

    On the other thread you also dismissed me and failed to answer me, snarking that I was afraid of the truth, even though I did my best to answer you and even gave you carte blanche to ask me anything. Looks to me like you're afraid of me. :laugh: Whatever floats your boat.

    Yeah, you're the expert, right? On the other thread you didn't even know that the proper term was verbal-plenary inspiration and not "verbal literal," and you thought the originals had punctuation and spelling problems. :type:
     
    #8 John of Japan, Jan 20, 2014
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  9. Archie the Preacher

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    JoJ, you said absolutely nothing. Perhaps you think you did, but you didn't. You just wasted a few inches of thread space and inconvenienced a large number of electrons. And in so doing, said not a cotton picking thing.

    Either speak to the question, or annoy someone else.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    ...........................................
     
    #10 Revmitchell, Jan 20, 2014
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  11. Revmitchell

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    His sophomoric attempt on this is not worth the band width to respond too.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    In posts #2 and 3 I clearly and plainly disagreed with your position. On the BB (Baptist Board) it is common practice for the writer of the OP (Opening Post) to then defend the OP and his position. You choose not to do so, but instead to be insulting. This means around here that you lose the debate.

    That's a first. I've never before on the BB had to tell someone how to debate. :tongue3:
     
  13. John of Japan

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    I agree. :type:
     
  14. Sapper Woody

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    By debate, you mean start with question begging, and the proceed to ad hominem, personal attacks, straw men, and misrepresentation of a position, right? That's what I get from reading the threads here, lol.

    On topic, "motivated" is accurate, but it's much deeper than that. God didn't just move them to write anything. He moved them at a minimum to write ideas using their own words, at a maximum moved them to write what He wanted verbatim (depending on what you believe.)

    "God-breathed" is used in the same sense that God breathed life into Adam. God didn't literally speak the words out loud to them. But He moved them to write what He wanted written.

    In effect, inspiration is only an inadequate English word to describe a miraculous process.
     
  15. jbh28

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    Yes because inspiration means to breath in, not breath out.
    No, not accurate. Inspiration has 2 definitions. One is in the sense of motivation, but that's not the definition of the word here. The word here is the meaning of breathe in(since we use expiration to mean to breath out for the last time).
    The Greek word there doesn't mean motivated, so we can't use that definition of the term "inspiration" here.
     
  16. Sapper Woody

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    I was explaining the word inspired in the context of the discussion. I know that scripture never uses it as "motivated". I was merely affirming that God did indeed motivate them, but He did so much more than just motivate them.
     
  17. Greektim

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    I prefer JoJ to you any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Que basura!
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    Yes. Persons are intermixing 2 Tim. 3:16 & 2 Peter 1:16-21. The former deals with its source, being breathed out from God, the latter shows that the Spirit directed those who wrote the Scriptures. I'd guess this is where they are getting this idea of 'motivation'.
     
  19. Archie the Preacher

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    Does anyone disagree so far?
    * God motivated the writers for His purpose, AND,
    * 'Inspiration' was not specifically or merely physical, AND,
    * 'Inspiration' is a miraculous process, AND,
    * The words in the inspired writing is 'pure and without error', AND,
    * discussion not ended, more to come...
     
    #19 Archie the Preacher, Jan 20, 2014
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  20. Sapper Woody

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    This post has the makings of a KJVo rant. I hope that's not where it's headed.
     
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