The Doctrine of Scripture for Apologetics, Part 2
by Mark Farnham
The Bible did not fall from heaven as a finished product placed in the hands of men. Neither was it, like the claims of both Mormonism and Islam, translated from golden plates found in a hillside or cave. Rather, God communicated to human authors in various ways, and guided their writing so that what was written was what God wanted to reveal to them. While 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us what Scripture is, the clearest passage that describes this process is found in 2 Peter 1:16-21.
In this text we see that those human authors who wrote the books of the Bible did not do so on their own initiative (2 Pet. 1:19-21). They did not decide to sit down and write sacred texts. Rather, as the Holy Spirit moved in their hearts and minds they wrote divine thoughts, mediated through their personalities and styles. The end result is Scripture that accurately communicates what God wanted to say, with humans as the instruments of God’s revelation. The word translated “carried along” or “moved” is also used to describe the effect the wind has on sails. The wind blows into the sails, which moves the ship forward. Peter is saying that as the Holy Spirit initiated revelation to the authors of Scripture, they wrote under His influence and guidance.
One question often raised pertains to the reliability of the Bible after all these years. Many critics charge that we could not possibly know what the original words of Scripture were because of errors in the copies. Two examples help dispel that notion…