Inspiration of the Bible

What does “inspiration of the Bible” really mean?


The word inspiration literally means God-breathed. The Bible is “inspired” because the words have been breathed by God Himself. The Apostle Paul described the Scriptures like this:


“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).


Peter described the inspired prophets as “men [who] spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1: 21 NIV).


Sometimes God seems to have inspired prophets to write words that they did not fully understand, such as how and when would occur the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow (see 1 Peter 1: 10-12). At other times, the writer seems to have had more freedom of expression, although God inspired that writer’s thoughts. For example, the writings of Paul are distinctive in their style and language used, but were still inspired by God.


Inspiration does not mean the writers of Scripture were wired for mechanical dictation. God allowed them their individuality and style. They were chosen because God could work through them to bring the Bible into being.


(An extract from Getting to know the Bible Better)