What does it mean to say that scripture is inspired?
The Greek work for God-breathed is theopneustos, it is often translated as inspired, but is actually “God breathed”. The writer is saying that the scripture is God speaking—of course God used human agents to write it is 100% a human document, but is also 100% inspired by God, (in much the same way as Jesus was 100% human and 100% God)
Being God-breathed does not mean that there are no difficulties in the Bible – most people have moral and historical difficulties with what they read, and find some apparent contradictions. Some of the difficulties that we might have can be explained by the different contexts in which the authors were writing. But some are harder to resolve, and it is important not to run away from the difficulties, but to seek to solve them to our satisfaction over the course of trying to follow Jesus.
People read the Bible every day of their lives, and even at 100 years old still find new ways that God is speaking to them, new questions and challenges to explore, new difficulties resolved, and new things to learn.
Now, a user manual is useless if it’s written by someone who doesn’t know anything about the product. In the same way, a manual for life is useless if it’s written by the wrong person. In this case, it’s written by the very creator of life – God. He knows how life is best used, and communicates it in this book. Of course, there are other ways to use the life we’ve been given, outside the scope of this book, but that is like jailbreaking an iPhone. You void the warranty, and if/when something goes wrong, you are on your own. As with all things, for best results, follow the maker’s instructions, not some guy on the Internet!
The Bible then has authority, as God lovingly speaking to us, and becomes our manual for life, written by the very creator of life.
Question: What doubts about the Bible’s authenticity do you have? Have you ever researched or discussed those doubts?