Paul wrote to Timothy: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). The Bible is the plenary, verbally inspired, infallible Word of God. What do these words mean? The word “inspired” means the Bible came from God, not man. The word “infallible” means the Bible cannot teach error. The word “plenary” means all parts of the Scriptures are inspired. The word “verbal” means the very words (not just the thoughts) were given by God to the writers.
The Bible came either from God or else from man. Peter wrote: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20, 21).
People of every age have agreed the Bible is the Word of God. Paul plainly said that the words he spoke and wrote were the commandments of God: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). He wrote to the Thessalonians: “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Paul also wrote to the church at Ephesus that “…by revelation He made known to me the mystery [as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ]” (Ephesians 3:3,4).
Our Lord Jesus Christ also testified that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. He believed the Old Testament came from God: “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me“‘ (Luke 24:44). Even before the New Testament was written, Jesus said its message would be from God. He told His apostles: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13).
Some people think the Bible is inspired in the same way that poetry is said to be inspired. They think the Bible writers were men of genius like Shakespeare or Confucius. If this is the case, then the Bible is just an ordinary book. But this is not the case! God not only gave the thoughts to the men who wrote the Bible, He also gave the words by which they expressed the thoughts: “Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth’” (Jeremiah 1:9).
“Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Exodus 4:12).
“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thessalonians 3:14).
Because the very words of the Bible are inspired, Paul was able to make an argument based on the singular (Seed) and the plural (seeds): “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
We must not add to, take away from, or change the Word of God in any way (Deuteronomy 4:2: Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18,19). When the Hebrew words in which the Old Testament was first written, and the Greek words in which the New Testament was first written, are translated correctly, we have the Word of God in the language into which the translation has been made.
The Bible is God’s inspired Book, which provides for all our spiritual needs: “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). The Bible is also the Book by which we will be judged at the Last Day. Jesus said: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).