Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Inspiration & God-Breathed: Same Thing?

This is not going to be an in-depth study of the doctrine of inspiration; but just a quick analysis of basic and common sense information about how to use a dictionary.  First of all, let me be transparent: IF inspiration and God-breathed mean the same thing, it is my opinion that 'God-breathed' is a much easier term to grasp and understand mentally.  And IF inspiration and God-breathed mean the same thing, and IF 'God-breathed' is easier to understand, why didn't any other pre-modern version translation ever say 'God-breathed'?  Was Tyndale a fool? The answer is no.  Tyndale was not a fool; those who say the scripture is 'God-breathed' are the fools.

Let's be clear: people who say the scripture is 'God-breathed' mean that God breathed out the very words of scripture.  The key phrase here is 'breathed out' just as it says the Re-Revised RSV A.K.A ESV - "All scripture is breathed out by God..."  The problem with this definition and the translation is it is contradictory to what scripture teaches about the production of scripture AND it adds to just one more contradiction between the Authorized Bible and the non-authorized ones.  Keep in mind, you have been taught or heard that inspiration/God-breathed/breathed out by God all mean the same thing.  Here is the definition (as it relates to breathing) of inspiration: the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation.

Do you know anyone that believes God inhaled the words of scripture?  If all scripture is breathed out by God the AV1611 should say, "All scripture is given by expiration of God..." because expiration is the act of breathing out or exhaling.

What is interesting, is almost every secular dictionary includes the theological definition of words amongst their list of definitions where applicable.  So what do secular dictionaries say inspiration means in a theological context? From a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul & the divine quality of the writings or words of a person so influenced.  Notice there is nothing about breathing, breath, wind, or anything relating to the respiratory system.  Are these modern secular dictionaries wrong?  99% of modern Bible 'scholars' can't be wrong, can they?  Yes they can be, and they are.  Compare the theological definition with 2 Peter 1:21 - "...but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

Now maybe you're thinking this is just some modern redefining by  Well here is how Noah Webster defined the word in his 1828 dictionary: the infusion of ideas into the mind by the Holy Spirit; the conveying into the minds of men, ideas, notices or monitions by extraordinary or supernatural influence; or the communication of the divine will to the understanding by suggestions or impressions on the mind, which leave no room to doubt the reality of their supernatural origin. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. 2 Tim.3.

Again, nothing about breathing for breath is present.  But what about earlier translations and how they rendered it?  The old Syriac and Ethiopic scriptures render "given by inspiration of God" as "by the Spirit of God" and "written by the Spirit" respectively.

Now where did and Webster 1828 get this theological definition of inspiration?  Obviously, from the scripture itself; the same place you should get your theological definitions and not from the medical field.

Remember, 2 Peter 1:20 says: " prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."  "God-breathed" is a private interpretation. 


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