Revelation and Inspiration – Bible 101

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Discussion:

When we really want to know God’s will, where should we spend most of our time and effort?

I presume the answer is “the Bible”, though I’m tempted to say more generally “in God’s presence.”

In practice, where do you?

Probably more in prayer than in the Bible, since I worry about proof-texting.

Are there times when the principles we see in Scripture seem to conflict with our feelings, our conscience, advice given to us by others, human reasoning or the common practices of the world?

Yes. Also, sometimes they seem to conflict with other parts of the Bible!

How should we seek to resolve the conflict?

The problem is that all human understanding — even of Scripture — is imperfect. I believe that our best approach is to seek what is sometimes called “reflective equilibrium” between the [Holy] Spirit, the Word [of God, the Bible], the Body [of Christ, the Church], and the Blood [our Conscience]. Sometimes, yes, when Scripture is clear we need to forsake all others; but sometimes, blindly following Scripture — like the Priests who refused to the help the Good Samaritan — leads us away from God’s will.

Journal:
Are there any passages of Scripture you are struggling to accept as the Word of God? Or, passages that you are struggling to respond to as God’s authoritative word to you? What will you do to resolve those struggles?

Not really; well, except perhaps the “to you” part. I accept that they are God’s word and authoritative, I’m just not sure how to interpret (and apply) them correctly, or which parts apply to me how.

Written work:
1. Write out 2 Tim 3:16,17 as it is written in three different translations.
2. Summarize the conclusions to the class discussion questions.

Bible 101: The Bible

Worksheet 2 – Revelation and Inspiration

A. Please answer these questions.
1. Was revelation constantly necessary as men authored the books of the Bible?

Define “constantly” (and “revelation” 🙂 Certainly God’s overall “superintention” was necessary at every step of the process, but “inspiration” may simply have been followed by “perspiration” much of the time.

2. Did inspiration communicate any information to these writers? Explain your answer.

Again, what is “information”? My assumption is that God’s inspiration works with the raw material of known facts and cultural context, providing insight and illumination. Certainly there is an informational aspect to God’s revelation, more so than inspiration but I believe both work alongside the things we already know.

3. Was writing the Bible a process of recording dictation?

No.

4. Which is better to say: “The Bible is God’s revelation” or “The Bible is the record of God’s revelation”? Explain your answer.

Mostly the former, though sometimes it is the latter as well. I’d prefer to say “The Bible we have is the result of God’s revelation.” Certainly, God’s revelation is the source and the mechanism of what was recorded in Scripture, but we shouldn’t eliminate the human factor in how it was transmitted.

B. Please choose the best wording for each of the following statements.

  • Inspiration [changed guided transformed] the author’s natural ways of expressing himself.
  • [Inspiration Revelation] brought new truth about God.

C. Please identify the supernatural processes that were involved as each of the following passages was written. If a supernatural or natural process is being discussed, identify it as well.

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