Is Scripture the Words of God or Men?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Inspiration, Part 11

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Why are the writings of the 40 different authors of the various books of the Bible distinct in their style, approach, vocabulary, and perspective?

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 1:21)
In God We Trust

In God We Trust takes a deeper look at living a truly God-focused life. You’ll learn not only to defend your faith according to the authority of God’s Word, but also to live it out in every part of life.

Today’s big question: is Scripture the words of God or men?

As we’ve taken time to ponder concepts related to the inspiration of the Bible over the past 10 devotionals, we’ve gained a better understanding of the truth that the Bible clearly is God’s Word given to us. But you may wonder: if the Bible is made up of words that have come from God, then why are the writings of the 40 different authors of the various books of the Bible distinct in their style, approach, vocabulary, and perspective?

To give us a better understanding of this, I find it helpful to think of the writers of Scripture functioning as a sort of “box of crayons” with which God has “colored the pictures” of their own specific writings. God is the artist, but for each book, He is tapping into a specific “box of crayons” for that writer. This “box of crayons” represents the vocabulary, personality, experiences, memories, etc. of each writer.

Thinking in these terms, we should expect that various writers of the Bible would have different styles—like a different set of crayons. When we compare the writings of Peter and Paul, they indeed have distinguishing styles. This is likely due to their individual experiences, and how they were educated on the Old Testament and theology. For example, Paul learned as a Pharisee, while Peter learned directly under Christ.

When God wrote through the hand of Peter, He used the vocabulary, experiences, background, etc. of Peter to communicate His message. When He wrote through the hand of Paul, He used a different style and vocabulary based on Paul’s “box of crayons.”

In each case, God used the writers to draw from their own background and experiences. However, their writings are ultimately still the Word of God, because He selected precisely what to write from each person’s “box.”

With this in mind, let us marvel in the wonderful miracle of God in giving us the Scriptures, and let us strive to know His Word better each and every day!

Today’s big idea: God personally crafted the Holy Scriptures for us, so we must put great effort into studying them thoroughly and applying them to our lives.

What to pray: ask God to guide you through His Word and show you any changes in your life that you need to make for Him.

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