Bible Dictionary: Dissertations.   1840

[CHM Note: We believe that God has both inspired and preserved His Word(s).   See Divine Preservation.

The below study starts out well (in green), but later shows some doubt (in purple) towards reliable Bible translation.
Source: A Key to the Bible by Thomas Timpson.]

   Divine Revelation must necessarily be the gift of inspiration.   Hence,
therefore, the apostle Paul declares, concerning the books of the Old
Testament, "All [S]cripture is given by inspiration of God," 2 Tim. 3:
16.   Peter also, in agreement with his apostolic brother, states, "[N]o
prophecy of the [S]cripture is of any private interpretation.   For the

prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
2 Pet. 1:20, 21.
   Divine inspiration signifies, therefore, being supernaturally influenced
by the Holy Spirit, and thus the prophets of God are said to have spoken
as they were moved or inspired.   This sacred influence, however, was
evidently enjoyed in different degrees, according to the duties or exigencies
of the several writers of the Scriptures.
   Dr. Henderson defines inspiration as the "direct internal suggestion
to the sacred writers, in which the recipients were wrought upon directly
and immediately by the Holy Spirit, who opened their minds to perceive
the things which they were to communicate to others; excited them
specially to attend to them; and supplied them, as the exigencies of the
cases required, with the ability suitably to give expression to the matters
with which they were inspired."

   Dr. Olinthus Gregory defines it more largely :--"While the authors
employed in the composition of the Bible exercised generally their own
reason and judgment, the Spirit of God effectually stirred them up to
write; appointed to each his proper portion and topic, corresponding
with his natural talents, and the necessities of the church in his time;
enlightened their minds and gave them a distinct view of the truths they
were to deliver; strengthened and refreshed their memories to recollect
whatever they had seen or heard, the insertion of which in their writings
would be beneficial; directed them to select from a multitude of facts
what was proper for the edification of the church, and neither more nor
less; excited afresh in their minds such images and ideas as had been
laid up in their memories, and directed them to other ends and purposes
than themselves would ever have done of their own accord; suggested
and imprinted upon their minds such matters, words, and order, especially
whenever they related to facts, discourses, or doctrines, the communication
of which is the great object of Scripture, thus rendering the whole canon,
at any given period, an infallible guide to true holiness and everlasting

   "Inspiration, according to the Bible," says Dr. Stowe, an eminent
American divine, "is just that measure of extraordinary Divine influence
afforded to the sacred speakers and writers, which was necessary to
secure the purpose intended and no more.   If the purpose were to excite
them to write that with which they are already well acquainted, just this
degree of influence was exerted.   If there were the additional purpose of
bringing fresh to their recollection things which had partly faded away,

so much additional influence was given.   If explanations and more full
developments of principles were needed, the Holy Spirit gave the
requisite illustrations.   If truths before unknown were to be communi-
cated the Holy Spirit revealed them: and if future events were to be
foretold, the knowledge of them was imparted by the same Divine Agent.
So far, also, as the mode of communication was necessary to the purpose
intended, this also was directed by the Holy Spirit."

   Dr. Robinson remarks, "Whenever, and as far as, divine assistance
was necessary, it was always afforded.   We perceive that in different
parts of Scripture were different degrees of inspiration.   God enabled
Moses to give an account of the creation of the world; Joshua to record
with exactness the settlement of the Israelites in the land of Canaan;
David to mingle prophetic information with the varied effusions of
gratitude, contrition, and piety; Solomon to deliver wise instructions for
the regulation of human life; Isaiah to deliver predictions concerning the
future Saviour of mankind; and Ezra to collect the sacred Scriptures
into one authentic volume: ‘But all these worketh that one and the
selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.’
1 Cor. 12:
[11].   In some cases, inspiration only produced correctness and accuracy in
relating occurrences, or in reciting the words of others; in other cases, it
communicated ideas not only new and unknown before, but infinitely
beyond the reach of unassisted human intellect; and, sometimes, inspired
prophets delivered, for the use of future ages, predictions which they did
not themselves comprehend, and which could not be fully understood till
they were accomplished.   In this restricted sense it may be asserted, that
the sacred writers always wrote under the influence, or guidance, or care,
of the Holy Spirit, which sufficiently established the truth and divine
authority of all Scripture.

   "Though it is evident that the sacred historians sometimes wrote under
the immediate operations of the Holy Spirit, it does not follow that they
derived from revelation the knowledge of those things which might be
collected from the common sources of human intelligence.   It is sufficient
to believe, that by the general superintendence of the Holy Spirit, they
were directed in the choice of their materials, enlightened to judge of the
truth and importance of those accounts from which they borrowed their
information, and prevented from recording any material error.--These
points being ascertained and allowed, it is of very little consequence
whether the knowledge of a particular fact was obtained by any of the
ordinary modes of information, or whether it was communicated by

immediate revelation from God: whether any particular passage was
written by the natural powers of the historian, or by the positive
suggestion of the Holy Spirit."

   Dr. Gill, in referring to the sacred Scriptures containing various
passages or sentences, the sentiments of which are not inspired of God,
remarks, "The inspiration pleaded for extends to all books of the
sacred Scriptures, and to all the writers of them, and principal speakers
introduced in them; and though all that is contained in them is not of
God, or inspired by him, as the quotations from heathen writers, the
words of Satan, the speeches of bad men, and even of good men, in which
some things not right are said of God, as by Job and his three friends;
yet the writers of the books in which these sayings are, were under divine
impulse, inspiration, and direction, to commit these several things to
writing; partly for the truth of historical facts, and partly to show the
malice of devils and wicked men, as well as the weakness and frailty of
good men, and all for our caution and instruction."

   Most important is it, therefore, to discriminate between what the
inspired writers themselves teach, and what is contained in their books;
as the Hon. Robert Boyle remarks, "We must carefully distinguish
betwixt what the Scripture itself says, and what is only said in the
.   For we must not look on the Bible as an oration of God to
men, or as a body of laws, like our English statute-book, wherein it is
the legislator that all the way speaks to the people: but as a collection
of composures of very differing sorts, and written at very distant times;
and of such composures, that though the ‘holy men of God’ were acted
by the Holy Spirit, who both excited and assisted them in penning the
Scripture, yet there are many other, besides the Author and the penmen,
introduced speaking there.   For, besides the books of Joshua, Judges,
Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, the Four Evangelists, the Acts of the
Apostles, the other parts of Scripture that are evidently historical, and
wont to be so called, there are in the other books many passages that
deserve the same name; and many others, wherein, though they be not
mere narratives of things done, many sayings and expressions are
recorded that either belong not to the Author of the Scripture, or must
to be looked upon as such wherein his secretaries personate others."

   Divine inspiration is attributed to the whole of the collection of the
sacred Scriptures, as they were received by the Jews during the ministry
of Jesus Christ.   Dr. Doddridge therefore remarks, "The inspiration,
and consequently the genuineness and credibility, of the Old Testament,

may be certainly inferred from that of the New, because our Lord and
his apostles were so far from charging the scribes and Pharisees (who on
all proper occasions are freely censured) with having introduced into the
sacred volume any merely human composition; that, on the contrary,
they not only recommend a diligent and constant perusal of these
Scriptures as of the greatest importance to men's eternal happiness, but
speak of them as divine oracles, and as written by the extraordinary
influence of the Holy Spirit upon the minds of the authors."

   Admitting the books of the Old Testament, which relate chiefly to
the limited and temporary religion of the Israelites, to have been written
under Divine inspiration, we cannot but conclude the same of the
Scriptures of the New Testament; as these contain the sacred and
unchanging institutes for all nations of mankind down to the end of the
world.   Jesus Christ also promised the Holy Spirit to be the infallible
Teacher of His apostles; to guide them into all truth, to teach them all
things, to bring all things to their remembrance
, and to abide with them for
.   Their miraculous endowments qualifying them to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance
, to preach the gospel in all the
languages of the nations among whom they fulfilled their missionary
labours, confirmed the truth and divinity of the promises of Christ; and
while we reflect upon them as the commissioned instructors of all the
world, and on their perfect harmony in their saving doctrine, if we admit
the genuineness and authenticity of the books ascribed to them, we must
possess the strongest assurance that the writers of the New Testament
were directed by the inspiration of God.
   Dr. Gill judiciously remarks also, that "inspiration is to be under-
stood of the Scriptures as in the original languages in which they were
written, and not of translations; unless it could be thought that the
translators of the Bible into the several languages of the nations into
which it has been translated, were under the Divine inspiration also in
translating, and were directed of God to the use of words by which they
have rendered the original: but this is not reasonable to suppose.   The
books of the Old Testament were written chiefly in the Hebrew language,
unless some few passages in Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezra, and Esther, in the
Chaldee language, and the New Testament in Greek: in which languages
only they can be reckoned canonical and authentic: for this is like the
charters and diplomas of princes, the wills or testaments of men, or any
deed made by them; only the original exemplar is authentic, and not
translations, and transcriptions, and copies of them, though ever so

perfect: and to the Bible, in its original languages, is every translation
to be brought, and by it to be examined, tried, and judged, and to be
corrected and amended: and if this was not the case, we should have no
certain and infallible rule to go by; for it must be either all the trans-
lations together, or some one of them: not all of them, because they
agree not in all things; nor one, for then the contest would be between
one nation and another which it should be, whether English, Dutch,
French, &c.; and could one be agreed upon, it could not be read and
understood by all: so the Papists, they plead for their vulgate Latin
, which has been decreed authentic by the council of Trent,
though it abounds with innumerable errors and mistakes."

   Divine inspiration [can] be claimed for the transcribers of the original
Scriptures, and perfect accuracy in the numerous copies of them, taken
before the invention of printing, [could] have been expected, unless a
miraculous interposition had constantly attended every transcriber: but
so great is the agreement found among the existing manuscripts, in
relation to all the doctrines, precepts, and facts of the Bible, as to illus-
trate the admirable providence of God.

[CHM Note: We do not just believe in a Deistical type of inspiration that was accomplished with the "originals" and then these supposedly were "lost" later.   My friend, you should know better than this.

God is Omniscient: He knows everything about the originals.   Today, they are in His mind as well as in Heaven (Psalm 119:89; John 12:48).
They have also been preserved thru the Received Texts--Hebrew MT & Greek TR.
We accept this by faith because God is Omnipotent and is True to His promises.]

Go to index.htm