Was All Scripture Given Through the Holy Spirit?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Authority of the Spirit, Part 7

by Erik Lutz on October 4, 2010

Erik Lutz discusses the Holy Spirit’s role in inspiring the writing of the Bible.

The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue. (2 Samuel 23:2)

Today’s big question: was all Scripture given through the Holy Spirit?

These words were spoken by David, whose writings and psalms are included in our Bible. But as we see in today’s verse, when David wrote Scripture, he didn’t just write whatever he thought or felt. David clearly spoke these Scriptures by the power the Holy Spirit and under His direction.

Jesus quoted David’s words as Scripture and added that he spoke by the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36). The Apostle Peter said, “this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David” (Acts 1:16).

But David wasn’t the only one who spoke by the Holy Spirit. For example, Zacharias said that God “spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70). Obviously, the word “prophet” does not only refer to what we have termed the “major” or “minor” prophets in the Old Testament, since the prophets of God “have been since the world began.” Instead, this refers to any man of God who was moved by the Holy Spirit to speak or write inspired words of truth from God:

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)

In fact, prophets are very often simply called “men of God” throughout Scripture (e.g., 1 Samuel 2:27; 1 Kings 17:24; 2 Kings 6:6), including Moses, who wrote several books of the Bible (Deuteronomy 33:1). So we can know that the Scriptures of the Old Testament were written through men by the Holy Spirit.

But what about the New Testament? Were the writers of the Gospels, Epistles, etc. also inspired by the Holy Spirit? Jesus gave the following answer to His disciples:

"These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things I said to you.” (John 14:26)

The Holy Spirit also inspired the writers of the New Testament. Therefore, like Paul, we can be confident that “All Scripture is God-breathed . . . so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, NIV, emphasis added). We can trust God’s written Word 100 percent!

Today’s big idea: all of Scripture was authored by God, written by men as they were led by the Holy Spirit.

What to pray: thank God for His fully inspired Word.


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