Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures

Prefaced by a Reply to a Statement by Matthew Arnold on Inspiration.

1917 228 "The mental habit of him who imagines that Balaam's ass spoke, in no respect differs from the mental habit of him who imagines that a Madonna of wood and stone winked; and the one, who says that God's Church makes him believe what he believes, and the other who says that God's Word makes him believe what he believes, are for the philosopher perfectly alike in not really and truly knowing, when they say God's Church and God's Word what it is they say, or whereof they affirm." — Extract from Matthew Arnold.

(Sent to L.H.H. with the question, "What think you?")

What think I? — that Matthew Arnold has betrayed himself badly by appealing to philosophy, and yet confounding two entirely different mental phases — superstition and faith. Superstition is "the subject of the mind of man, in the things of God, to that for subjection to which there is no warrant from divine testimony." Faith is the reception of a divine testimony into the soul. The object of our superstitious reverence gets between our souls and God: faith puts us into immediate connection with God.

If then faith is as above stated — the reception of divine testimony into the soul — what can he who has never experienced it know of such faith? He can, and does, know nothing, and herein lies the futility of reasoning on questions of faith. I have put down certain evidences of the inspiration of the Bible, but I say at the same time that we rely not on proofs such as these, but on the testimony within us which is the corollary to the "reception of divine testimony in the soul."  The major part of what I have written I knew nothing of before you challenged my belief, and yet knowing it now more fully, do I believe in the inspiration of the Bible more? No, my faith remains as before. It will not convince you; no reasoning can convince in matters of faith. Our Lord said, when: here on the earth, "O Father, … I thank thee that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Luke 10:21). Because even as a little child, receive the truth as a child, and then will come to you without any reasoning, knowledge of the truth of the Bible. We cannot explain this divine mystery, but it is none the less real.

Do not think from what I have said, that the proofs I have given are not cogent or adequate — they prove amply the inspiration of the Bible, but they are proofs which will not be received by a hostile critic, whose intention is to pick holes in the arguments.

What is the Bible?

The Bible consists of two parts, the Old Testament containing thirty-nine books, and the New Testament containing twenty-seven books. Now, the first criticism that is sure to be raised is, "Why do you select these sixty-six books, and declare them to be direct communications from God, and yet rej ect the other books having similar claims — the Apocrypha — as entirely man-made?

At first sight the selection certainly seems arbitrary. It is asserted that Jerome in the fourth century separated the books in two series, and that his judgment has been accepted as correct through all subsequent time. Now we have ample testimony to the fact that the early Christian fathers and the early Christian church did not receive the books, which were thus separated from the canon before the date of Jerome's translations, in the preface to which he states that they do not form part of the Bible. Athanasius, Origen, Eusebius, Rufinus and others bear similar testimony. The Apostolic Constitutions, and early Christian testimony, pronounced against them. Christ Himself never used or quoted from them, as He did so often from the Old Testament.

Now the Apocrypha, in some of its books at least, gives the later history of the Jews, and therefore the Jews, if any, would be the first to recognize them. On the contrary, they have not been found in the Hebrew tongue at all, and Josephus, the Jewish historian, definitely states that they were not recognized,

But apart from any external evidence at all, who, having read the Apocrypha, would be daring enough to uphold its claims to a place in Holy Writ? The following quotations from 2 Maccabees will suffice to show their trivial character: —

"All these things, I say, being declared by Jason the Cyrenian in five books, we have tried to abbreviate into one: for, considering the multitude of books, and the difficulty of those who wish to occupy themselves with historical accounts by reason of the multitude of events, we have taken care, for those who wish to read, that there should be pleasure for the mind; for the studious, that they commit it more easily to memory; for all who read, that profit may be conferred on them. And for ourselves, indeed, who have undertaken this work of abbreviating, we have taken on ourselves no light labour, but indeed a business full of vigils and toils" (2 Macc. 2:23-26).

"With these things I will make an end of the discourse, and if indeed well, and as suited the history, this I myself would wish: but if less worthily, it is to be pardoned me. For as drinking always wine or always water is unwholesome to us, but to use both alternately is delightful, so to those that read, if the discourse be always exact, it will not be pleasant. Here, therefore, it will be closed "(2 Macc. 15:37-39).

With this total absence of divine dignity in the contents of the Apocrypha, could you with any truth assert that the choice of books now included in the Bible was in any sense arbitrary? The Jews knew far more than we do of the Old Testament, and they had no doubt very good contemporary reasons for not accepting these books. But Christ did not recognise them: that is enough for me.

We may deal, then, with the Bible as a unique series of books, which have a place of their own alone amongst the books in the hands of man.

Believing and Reasoning

Let us return, for a moment to the question of reasoning and faith. You say, "I must know that the Bible is the Word of God before I believe it," and I say, "You cannot." When you have believed, you will know that the Bible is the word of God — that is, you receive faith. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). Human reason cannot pronounce on the authority of the word of God, but "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself" (1 John 5:10). Believing, you may examine the external evidences, and you will find them satisfactory; but this will not produce faith. It may be useful in answering the objections made by men who believe not; but the authority of God's word cannot be subject to human intelligence. "The law of Jehovah is perfect, converting the soul. The entrance of thy word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple" (Ps. 119:130).

Consider the word of God as light. I am asked to show that something is light. I cannot prove light. It requires eyes to see it.* If a man has no eyes, he cannot see it, or know what it is. Nor can anyone tell him what it is, or make himself understood in speaking of it. If you have eyes, you know that you see the light. So it is with the word of God: if you do not see it to be the word of God, it is a proof that you lack moral eyes, i.e., faith. If you had eyes, you would ask for no proof, for you would see that it is so. A blind man does not want proof of light before he has eyes to see it — it is impossible; he must have eyes first, and then he will enjoy light for himself. So that until a man has faith, we cannot prove to him that the Bible is the word of God; and when he has faith, then, as in the case of light, it is a self-evident fact, needing no proof. A man asks me how I can prove honey to be sweet. I say, If you cannot taste it, you must remain ignorant.

{*This is speaking loosely; of course, as light is wave-motion, it cannot be seen, but we need not heed the scientific sophistries.}

Have I then made my point clear? — that faith in Christ must come before believing the inspiration of the Scriptures. Without faith you cannot see the true beauty of the Scriptures any more than a blind man can see a beautiful view. Jesus says "Why do ye not understand my speech? Because ye cannot hear my word" (John 8:43); and Paul — "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit: they are foolishness to him" (1 Cor. 2:14).

Not only is it impossible to prove this question without faith, but the effect of reasoning on the subject is to destroy faith. If Scripture has to be proved by reason, God is not believed because He has spoken, i.e., there is no true faith. If I believe A because B has said that what A has said is true, I do not believe A at all. I come to a logical conclusion from other evidence that the statement is right I don't believe the person. Similarly, in reasoning about the Scriptures, I may come to the logical conclusion that it must be the word of God, but this is not faith, though faith is almost certain to follow from such a conclusion, but it must be realized that reasoning cannot give faith.

The Claim of Scripture to its own Inspiration

As we shall see later, the authority of Scriptural testimony is established firmly by the Scriptures themselves, the authority being independent of its reception by the hearer. "The words that I have spoken, they shall judge him in the last day" (John 10:11-48). These "words" are found in the Scriptures, and the Lord states hereby that they are endued with moral evidence, powerful enough to convict a man as guilty who does not receive the testimony, and who thereby treats God as a liar. Unbelief cannot destroy the authority of the Word.

NB. — "Inspiration," says Prof. Jowett (who wrote in the "Essays and Reviews" on this subject) "is the idea of Scripture which we gain from the knowledge of it." If this is indeed so, then our inquiry may well be at an end, for the Scripture teems with allusions to its own inspiration. Quotations without number could be given in support of this — many will be given later on. But it is only necessary to refer here to one, a very famous one, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16 mistranslated in the R.V.). Is not this sufficient evidence? To me it is ample.

Now, if there is no inspiration, the words spoken or written by the various writers must have had one meaning only, viz., that intended by the writer as he used it. So, indeed, says Prof. Jowett, has the Scripture only one meaning — "First, it may be laid down that scripture has one meaning — the meaning which it has to the mind of the prophet or evangelist who first uttered or wrote, and to the hearers or readers who first received it." Exactly two pages farther on he says, however, "All that the prophet meant may not have been consciously present to his mind: there were depths which to himself also were but half revealed." Apart from the absurd inconsistency, which shows that inwardly the man is not satisfied that all was clear to the prophet, it is important to note that the unbeliever in divine inspiration himself has to admit that all that the prophets wrote cannot have been understood by them. And if this is so, how then can he escape from saying that the prophet wrote under inspiration? Can you conceive the man concocting a sentence, not understanding what he means by it, and yet writing it down — unless guided by the hand of God? It is inconceivable, and the conclusion is forced upon us — that an external agency must have been at work — God guided the pen.

The Words Inspired

Prof. Jowett states that the language of the Bible is in no sense divine — words are used in their ordinary simple use according to men's ideas. It is not so. In divine things we must know the thing to understand the word. For example — "ye must be born again" John 3:7). If I take this in the "simple universal meaning," I shall stumble into Nicodemus' nonsense. The word Son applied to Jesus Christ — has it the simple universal sense? "The Word was with God, and the Word was God" John 1:1). What does logos mean here? "Reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin" (Rom. 6. 2 ); and "ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God"(Col. 3:3); — what absurdity to take "simple universal meanings" here! In everything referring to God, the words must have a meaning only to be known by those who have the divine key, for in the Bible we have human words to express divine things.

If the Lord's words had only a literal meaning, how then could the woman of Samaria have missed it in that beautiful conversation with the Lord? (John 4) If the words have an inner hidden meaning, to whom then shall we ascribe this meaning? To the writer? No, for in many cases the force of the writing was not seen until years after; besides there is the impossibility of man's mind being capable of writing thus. This inner meaning must be of Divine origin.

"But," says Prof. Jowett, "if words have more than one meaning, they may have any meaning." An absurd statement on the face of it. If an old coin has more than its face-value, does it follow that it has infinite value? Besides, as we have already stated, the inner meaning is apparent only to him 'who had the divine key,' and with that he cannot err.

Let me take an example to show the existence of double meaning. When Christ died it is said that the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. If you assert that this statement has only one meaning — the history of the fact — you are utterly and entirely wrong. The rending is ascribed to Christ's death — the veil was the sign that God was hidden and could not be approached by man: now, by Christ's death, the way is open to all believers to come to Him. The whole mighty change in dispensation was marked in it, and the full power of redemption in Christ's death. These senses are indeed ascribed to it in Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews (Heb. 6:19; Heb. 10:20, etc.). Thus the "simple universal meaning" robs the Bible of half its beauty, but the existence of these hidden meanings is a sure sign of Divine origin.

Now those who do not believe in the inspiration of the Bible believe that the writers received revelations from God, but that they communicated them in their own way: there can thus be room for mistakes in writing. In other words, the apostles had divine testimony as a basis for their faith, but that since then, there has been nothing to rest on but human testimony! Now what does St. Paul say? "What man knoweth, the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are given to us of God" (1 Cor. 2:11-12). This is a clear statement of the fact that things were revealed by the Spirit to the apostles. Were the apostles mistaken? No, the apostle proves that he could know nothing apart from revelation. Revelation as a fact, therefore, must universally be admitted. But note another statement in the passage quoted, namely, that without divine communication there can be no faith. God alone knows divine things, and He alone can make them known; man must remain ignorant unless God reveals them, as He does by His Spirit, i.e., by revelation.

Now if there can be no faith without divine communication, then we can have no faith if we have no such divine testimony. If the Bible is not inspired, our only testimony is human, on which faith cannot rest. Where then is our faith? It cannot exist; and yet "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6). Is there not a fault in our reasoning? Yes there is; the fault lies in assuming the Bible is not inspired.

Continuing the passage above quoted, in which Paul states that divine matters have been revealed to him, he then states precisely that the Holy Ghost who revealed to him, also speaks through him — "which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth" (1 Cor. 2:13). Could the idea of inspiration be stated more definitely? We have shown that revelation without inspiration is absurd, and now we see a definite claim to inspiration, by one whom all admit to have had revelations from God. Of his competency and authority in speaking we shall say more later.

The Claims of the Old Testament

Turning now for a little to the Old Testament, those who believe in revelation without inspiration in the New Testament, here state that they believe as infallibly true what the prophets say after "Thus saith the Lord." Indeed, how could it be otherwise? Where the writers 'act as reporters' of God's statement, we have no alternative but to believe: but I wish to point out the absurdity in this belief in 'partial revelation.' Throughout the Pentateuch the historic narratives contain very commonly — "And the LORD spake unto Moses," adding, "Speak unto Aaron" or "to the children of Israel, and say unto them." Are these statements true? If we believe the prophets we must also believe here. So in Deuteronomy we find, "These be the words which Moses spake unto the children Of Israel" (Deut. 1:1), and then, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you" (Deut. 4:2). Is it true? If so, all the commandments, which are inseparable, in the last four books, from the history, and the history also with them, are the word of God. If not, there is no revelation in the Pentateuch at all. The whole must stand or fall together.

'No,' says the higher critic, 'I do not believe the literal truth of the Pentateuchal statements.' What, then, think you of a system which believes that the words of the prophets to the Jews in warning, and in statements occupied with their history and future as a nation to be a revelation from God, and yet rejects the account of the fall of man, the promises, the law, — the sacrificial ordinances, the judgment of the world (all of infinitely more importance to us) as no revelation — as a fiction of man's invention? It is absurd on the face of it.

But what again of the man who tries to steer a midway course by believing as revelations all those parts of the Old Testament which start with "Thus saith the LORD," or "The LORD spake unto Moses, saying," or "The word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying," or some similar phrases, and rejects the rest as doubtful — of human origin alone? Not only do the revelations from the Lord confirm the historical narrative, but the absurdity of the system must be self-evident. No, the theory of partial revelation will find many difficulties in its way both in the Old and the New Testaments.

Theories of Inspiration

Prof. Jowett objects that there are various views of inspiration, all contradictory, and therefore if even those who believe inspiration and teach it, do not really understand what they mean by it, are we not justified in saying it is an elusive — a non-existent phantasm? Now this argument has no force whatever. When we sit down to read the Bible, we believe it to be inspired. In what way it was inspired matters nothing. Faith accepts that it is inspired, and is satisfied with that.

Now the disputes of the doctors of theology on inspiration are futile. Some hold, says Prof. Jowett, an inspiration of superintendence, others an inspiration of suggestion. I believe both. When the apostles wrote as eye-witnesses of events, the Spirit directed, taking care that they wrote according to His mind, putting down what He saw fit, leaving out what He wished to be left out: it is the inspiration of superintendence. Then there is the inspiration of suggestion — the history of creation, or prophecy, the Revelation in part, for instance. Here the Spirit guides more directly by revelation, as the writers were writing of things of which in themselves they knew nothing. And Jesus Christ expressly promised both: "The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but what he shall hear that shall he speak, and he will show you the things to come" (John 16:13). Also in another place: "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance" (John 14:26). The views therefore are not contradictory but complementary.

The Unity of the Bible

One of the most striking proofs of inspiration is the fact that the Bible is a collection of books by different authors, written at different times, the first and last books differing by a period of many hundreds of years. And yet there is a perfect unity of design running right through the whole Bible, the separate parts being perfectly linked up with each other, so that it is evidently the work of one mind producing the harmonious whole — even the work of the Spirit of God. The various authors lived and died, and yet the true Author remains from the first book to the last, all being fitted in according to His mind. I hope to show later, more in detail, how the various parts fit in one with the other, each filling its place so naturally that, until removed, one is not aware how important it is. The existence of a Master Mind guiding the hand of the various writers must be admitted by all serious students of Scripture.

Verbal Inspiration

Now, not only do we hold the inspiration of the Bible, but also the verbal inspiration of it. If the words are not infallible — that is, the original Greek and Hebrew (in copying, mistakes doubtless have crept in) — then we cannot rest with security on the statements of the Bible. But if the Holy Spirit inspired the men to write what they did, surely we must believe that He inspired the words also: we have seen that the Lord promised that the Spirit should guide them into all truth: the inspiration of superintendence cannot allow verbal inaccuracies. But what has the Bible itself to say on this question? Paul, as we have seen, emphatically states that the words he uses are those given him by the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 2:13). Then again, the Lord Himself said, "When they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak" (Matt. 10:19). This is the promise of true verbal inspiration, and if in speech, how much more in writing! Again, on the day of Pentecost they "began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4) this is an example of the fulfilment of the promise quoted above.

We must believe in verbal inspiration, or no inspiration, but it is blasphemous to suppose the Spirit guiding the apostles and writers, and yet overlooking mistakes. Indeed, not only must we believe, on the Lord's testimony (and what testimony could be more sure?) that the apostles were given what to speak, but also that the Spirit Himself spoke and not the apostles. "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh through you" (Matt. 10:20). What a terrible thing, then, to believe verbal inaccuracies!

The Styles of the Various Writers

At first sight it may seem impossible to have verbal inspiration, and yet have, as is undoubtedly found, variety of style. But this may be made clear from a musical analogy. If I sit down to a piece of music and play it on a certain piano, not allowing a single discordant note to come in, the tone or — scientifically — timbre of the instrument remains unchanged. The tone was settled in the making of the instrument, and it remains passive so that, as I will, harmonious or discordant notes will be played, and the music will have a distinctive sound due to the tone of the instrument. Played on another piano, the tone being different, the music will have a different sound, although both pianos were tuned correctly. Similarly, the style of the writer remains distinctive whilst the choice of words remains entirely in the hands of the guiding Spirit.

The Bible and Science

It is stated that the Bible cannot be inspired, as the language is inconsistent with modern science. It cannot be too often stated that the Bible is not a scientific treatise, and since that is so, an inspired instructor will only speak in the common language of men. An inspired man would say the sun rises, like any other. It is the grossest and flattest stupidity to question this — to think that the Holy Ghost, speaking to immortal souls, would stop to explain astronomy, or to avoid current expressions: the whole effect of what He said would be destroyed. Apart from that, do men stare at you as ignorant if you speak of the rising of the sun, unless you are addressing an astronomical society?

But remember at the same time, the Lord would not sanction popular errors. For example, He would not use the phoenix, as Clement did, as a proof of the resurrection. Prof. Jowett says that chemistry and geology have proved the Bible wrong, but when the whole aspect of all the sciences changes so completely in so few years, who is to say what are scientific facts, and what will be contradicted in a few years' time? But even apart from that, I say, when God has spoken, let Him "be true, and every man a liar"(Rom. 3:4).

The Value of Scriptural Evidence of Inspiration

Now it is proposed to adduce certain internal evidences of inspiration from the Scriptures themselves, and in doing this it is necessary to make a few preliminary remarks. We may take it that if the writers declare themselves to be inspired, their evidence is sufficient: is this so? Ordinarily, it would not be — it would be merely begging the question: this case is certainly unique, but to be on the safe side, we may take up one position which is unassailable. That position is the authority of the Son of God, which none can consistently call in question. If we can show that He states that the Old Testament Scriptures are inspired, then it must be acknowledged to be unassailably true.

Our next inquiry must be whether the Lord states anything as to the power conferred on the apostles, and here we must take the Evangelists as historical writers, and they are as much to be believed as any biographers. If He shows that the apostles were endued with power by Him, then their own statements as to their infallibility must equally be accepted. With these few remarks it will be seen that our statements are perfectly logical when we adduce Scriptural evidence of its own inspiration.

Now it is also evident that inspiration of part involves the inspiration of the whole. In 1 Cor. 14:36-37, Paul definitely states that he is speaking "the commandments of God," as all acknowledge. "But," he says, if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." Will anyone say that the apostle, acting in the same character, and addressing himself in the same manner, in virtue of his apostolic authority to the Romans, is less inspired than when he addresses the Corinthians? Such argument deserves no other refutation than "if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." To say that God has willed that the faith of the Corinthians should rest on divine inspiration, and that of the Romans on a human basis, deserves no serious answer.

We will deal with the inspiration of the Old Testament and of the New Testament separately as far as possible, though many of the references are applicable to the whole Bible.

The inspiration of the Old Testament is more directly stated, for the prophets and writers constantly use the authoritative expression, "Thus saith Jehovah."

The inspiration of the New Testament is different: here the Holy Ghost dwells in the writers, who speak by Him, and do not therefore so often state their authority.

Finally, to those who would limit the truth and inspiration of the Bible to those passages which definitely state their inspiration, I say that I have nothing but contempt for those who would turn the Bible to a chequered patchwork of inspired and non-inspired portions, following one after the other. It is the foolish suggestion of those who unexpectedly find themselves in a wholly untenable position.

The Witness of Christ to the Inspiration of the Old Testament.

1917 265 Our first task must be, as we have stated above, to ascertain the teaching of the Son of God with regard to the Old Testament scriptures.

But let me first lay down this principle of faith, to which all true Christians will adhere with the utmost tenacity: that is, that Christ did not "succumb to popular opinion" in any question whatever. Our higher critic tells us that Moses did not write the Pentateuch: and to explain the fact that Christ speaks of Moses as the writer of those books, he makes the shameful suggestion that Christ allowed popular opinion to have its way with Him (though some would even go so far as to say, blasphemously, that He knew no better). Put bluntly, our higher critic states that Christ, not only once, but throughout His life, deliberately made false statements about the authorship of the Pentateuch. Such a suggestion needs no refutation to those who know anything of the character of Christ, as revealed in Scripture itself. Was He afraid of the popular opinion about the scribes and Pharisees? Did He not with all boldness pronounce most bitterly against them? Why, then, should He "succumb to popular opinion" on the question of authorship of the Pentateuch? And, finally, not only why should He, but could He?

Now we can divide the Lord's testimony to the Old Testament into four groups, or classes.

The Writers Named

(1) He mentions several of the writers by name, and ascribes to them in this capacity an authority which could only be conceded to one inspired. To the cleansed leper he says: "offer the gift that Moses commanded" (Matt. 8:4); and again, when asked about divorce, He says, "What did Moses command you?" (Mark 10:3); putting Moses into the place of authority, He speaks of Moses' seat in the tabernacle: "the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat" (Matt. 23:2). He speaks of Moses giving them the law: "Did not Moses give you the law?" (John 7:19). When quoting this book, He expressly speaks of Isaiah the prophet: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet." (Matt. 8:17). He also speaks of his prophesying, "Well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying (Matt. 15:7); and of his prophecy, "In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias" (Matt. 13:14). The Lord recognizes David as an inspired prophet "How then doth David in spirit call him Lord? (Matt. 22:43), and repeatedly quotes the Psalms as prophetic "… which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables" (Matt. 13:35; Ps. 78:2) and "Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone that the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (Matt. 21:42; Ps. 118:22)? He refers to Daniel and Jonah as prophets: "desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (Matt. 24:15) and "the sign of the prophet Jonah (Matt. 16:4). He speaks of the writing of Zechariah as authoritative: "All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd" (Matt. 26:31; Zech. 13:7). What then? Those whom the Son of God counts as authorities, shall we despise them? Shall we call the story of Jonah a myth, and the prophecy of Daniel the writing of an impostor? Shall we affirm that Moses was not the writer of the Pentateuch when the Lord asserts that he was?

The Scriptures were to be Read

(2) He refers to Old Testament Scriptures with the question, "Have ye not read?" — "Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female" (Matt. 19:4)? and "Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying: I am the God of Abraham …" (Matt. 22:31)? Christ thus intimated that if they had studied these scriptures, they would have ascertained the will of God on the subjects about which they had asked Him. If the Old Testament taught them on any subject, that was sufficient warrant for them to accept the teaching as that of God. Is it not also sufficient warrant for you?

The Standard of Truth

He refers to a definite collection of writings, knowledge of which protects against error in matters of religion. Thus He reproves the Sadducees for neglecting the Scriptures: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures (tas graphas), nor the power of God" (Matt. 22:29). Again, He commends the study of them as having the power of conveying eternal life. "Search the Scriptures, (ereunate tas graphas), for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Certain scholars would translate this: "Ye search the scriptures," and whether this be correct or not does not alter the sense that the practice was commended; for our Lord proceeds to declare that the Scriptures testify of Him as the Messiah, and if so, who can avoid the conclusion that they are inspired? The very numerous passages in the Psalms and Prophets referring to the Messiah cannot have been written by man, who then knew nothing of Him, and conceived of Him as a mighty King rather than the lowly Jesus. On another occasion, when convincing them of the guilt incurred by rejecting Him, He asks: "Did ye never read in the Scriptures (en tais graphais), the stone which the builders rejected (Matt. 21:42; Ps. 118:22)? implying that that passage was ample evidence of the folly of rejecting Him.

The Word of God

Our Lord speaks of the Old Testament in the singular as the Scripture, he graphe — "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said" (John 7:38), and "Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David?" John 7:42), and "that the scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:12). He vindicates its authority as the word of God: "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, say ye of him, etc." (John 10:34, 36). Here the Scripture is definitely called the word of God, and it is further stated that it cannot be broken (ou dunatai luthenai). Its authority cannot be called in question; it must be received and treated as coming from God.

From these and other passages which might be given, it is evident that our Lord fully admitted the inspired authority of the Old Testament. Inspiration is not taught in so many words — that would not be characteristic of His teaching, but it is implied clearly in many of His discourses. In many cases His appeals rest upon the Old Testament writings, and without them would lose all their force. In defence, the opponents of inspiration are compelled to adopt the abominable hypothesis of accommodation, spoken of previously as inconsistent with the integrity and derogatory to the dignity of our Redeemer.

Its Use Against Satan

Not only did our Lord use the Old Testament to refute His earthly adversaries, but we find that He quoted scripture, and effectively too, when tempted of Satan. "The devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written" (Luke 4:3-4), and again, "If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written (Luke 4:7-8), and thirdly, "Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Luke 4:12). The devil was unable to resist the word of God: if that which the Lord quoted were only the word of man, how would that have troubled Satan? Is he not greater than man? But, you will say, Satan himself quoted scripture. Yes, but he misquoted it. He quoted inappositely. Satan's quotation was a right one, that is, had the Lord cast Himself down, no harm would have befallen Him, but the quotation did not advise anyone to seek danger. That Satan was able to quote scripture ineffectively is no proof that it is uninspired. Even higher critics quote scripture ineffectively, but it does not alter the character of the scripture in the slightest degree.

Now if the use of scripture correctly was a safe shield from the wiles of Satan, can it not be used by you as a safe and infallible guide? Can you not admit that it is indeed the word of God — '"sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12)?

The Prophetic Scriptures

We will now consider the Lord's statements as to the truth of the prophets.

(1) The prophets spoke of Christ, and all that was written must be fulfilled. What could be more authoritative? Who could expect a clearer statement of the integrity of prophetic writings? — "All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44).

(2) "If ye believe not his [i.e. Moses'] writings, how shall ye believe my words" (John 5:47)? Here the Lord put the Old Testament scriptures on equal authority with His own words!

(3)"The law and the prophets were until John … and it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fall" (Luke 16:16-17). Note that an unwritten law is no law: if there is a secret law unknown to the public, who is to blame the public for ignorance and transgression of such a law? The law is written in the Bible, and here we have an emphatic statement of the importance of and truth of the law.

(4) "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:31). Moses and the prophets spoke with equal authority with one who had seen all and returned from the dead to tell man. Is not this another way of stating that their writings are absolutely and literally true?

Well, then, we must accept Moses and the prophets as true, this being taught by the Lord in the strongest possible language, and since they are so infallibly true, can we believe them to be human writers only? can anything human be infallible? No, never. But since they are infallible, let us see what they say themselves.

"Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken" (Jer. 13:15), says Jeremiah. He deliberately disclaims his statements as his own, saying that they are the Lord's.

"Balaam took up his parable, and said … He hath said which heard the words of God" (Num. 24:15-16): similar statements are found in Numbers 23, such as "The Lord met Balaam and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak and say thus" (Num. 23:16). Balaam then in both actions and speech claims the authority of God. If Balaam's ass never spoke, that chapter is a deliberate lie, and a lie recorded in the name of the Lord. You do not deny the sayings of the Lord recorded in these books, but you deny that Balaam's ass spoke, because physiologically it is impossible. If that chapter is a lie, what reason have we to believe the following chapters? If we do not believe these chapters, then we have no right to believe or anyhow to rest on the remainder of the book. All is by the same author, and one who is so daring a deceiver in one place will certainly not be infallible in other parts of his book. Take out Numbers from the Pentateuch, and the rest of the Pentateuch need not be believed: not only is the author the same, but the statements also to a large extent overlap.

What then? Our knowledge of the Law of God rests on a foundation in which innumerable holes can be picked — we need not believe all, some parts are certainly wrong, and others — well, possibly they are all right. How utterly absurd a conclusion we have come to by logical steps! I know that few will go as far as this, but logically, if the first step is taken, the others must follow. And, remember, all these results are because one cannot believe that Balaam's ass spoke! How futile

But to return. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other writers use repeatedly the expression "thus saith the Lord," "the word of the Lord concerning"; "the word of the Lord came unto me, saying," and similar phrases. Do you want examples? Jeremiah uses the expression, "saith the Lord" no less than 173 times, and Ezekiel, 206 times. So one might run through all the prophets (and the historical books too), and find almost everything based on the declarations of the Lord, and surely even the most searching of critics — apart from open infidels — will accept His statements as infallible.

The Character of Prophecy

Now, not only do the prophets state themselves to be inspired of God, but the very character of their prophecy shows it. They predict a time which has not come even yet, besides many things that have been fulfilled in the Messiah. Whence then, did they obtain this prophecy unless by inspiration?

The early prophecies declare that the order of the inhabited world was all arranged in respect of Israel: "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" (Deut. 32:8). Isaiah shows that Israel should be given up for a long period, yet preserved in a remnant: "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed. Then, said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate. And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return (Isa. 6:10-13)."

Isaiah also shows that the cause of their being laid aside is their rejection of Him, and promises fullest restoration. This is found in Isaiah 50, of which only a small part can be given: "Which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves. … Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer" (vers. 1, 2). Hosea declares that they shall remain many days desolate, without true God or false, but shall seek Jehovah in the end: "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim. Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king" (Hosea 3:4-5). Micah declares that they will insult the Judge of Israel, born in Bethlehem, and therefore be given up: "they shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek … therefore will he give them up" (Micah 5:1-3).

All this has been given to show that there is a great plan in God's mind respecting Israel settled beforehand, and revealed, in part at least, to the prophets. Can the student state seriously, then, that these writings are merely human? All the statements have been verified by the state of the Jews consequent on Christ's coming. To them beforehand all was inexplicable; now we can understand it better from the explanations given in the New Testament.

The Old Testament speaks of the coming of the Messiah and then judgment. But the blessings promised under the Messiah did not have their fulfilment at His coming as they rejected Him: they will be fulfilled at a later day at the introduction of the millennium, which is to be preceded by judgment. The New, in quoting the Old, quotes only that part relating to the day of grace, and stops short of the judgment. For example, in Matt. 21:5, the quotation: "Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek and sitting on an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass," leaves out references to judgment, and also the famous passage in Luke 4:19, where our Lord does not quote "And the day of vengeance of our God" (Isa. 61:2).

Now look for a moment at Daniel's prophecy of the "seventy weeks." At the end of the sixty-ninth week, we are told that Messiah is cut off, and takes nothing. Then we are told of war and desolation. "And after the threescore and two weeks, shall Messiah be cut off, and shall have nothing (marg.) … and until the end of the war desolations are determined" (Dan. 9:26). That is, the prophet speaks of a break at the end of the sixty-ninth week, when Messiah is cut off. At the end of the seventieth week (not yet come) God brings in righteousness and blessing. There is much more to learn from this marvellous prophecy, but I have said enough to show its character.

My assertion is that the prophets do speak of future blessing for the Jews, of their being laid aside by God for their rejection of the Messiah, together with an appearing of grace, teaching us to wait for the appearing of the glory later, and as the prophecies are distinct, inspiration is the only explanation of them. At the same time I am aware that the prophecies were occasioned by the circumstances of the moment, and contain warnings and consolations to that generation, but they also looked out further in their true scope. This is an example of the double meaning before spoken of which is characteristic of the Divine word. The clear existence of true prophecy is one of the strong st proofs of inspiration.

We may at this stage note that unless the prophets were inspired, they were simple impostors, for they give their burdens as the words God. We have also seen that the Lord did not treat them as impostors, but as true prophets of God, which leads us to the irresistible conclusion that the prophets were inspired.

Apostolic Witness to the Old Testament

1917 276 You will note that hitherto we have based our statements entirely on bases allowed us by the words of Christ concerning the Old Testament, claiming His authority as supreme. We now go on to find what authority He gives to His apostles in order that we may judge of their testimony to the Old Testament. That the apostles were to be the subjects of extraordinary divine assistance is amply shown by our Lord's discourses to them. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall send you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17). "These things have I spoken to you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:25-26). "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeded from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 15:26). "Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall redeive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine therefore, said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:12-15). The promise is thus emphatically repeated, and by it the apostles are assured that in one sense they should be gainers and not losers by the departure of their Master, and this sense is their illumination in all points of Divine truth. That this Person is the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Divine Trinity, is not necessary for me to dwell on: it is evident that a Person is meant here literally, and the promise is not used metaphorically to mean superior mental endowments.

The Office of the Holy Spirit

Let us now see what office the Holy Spirit was to hold, and what He was to do according to Christ's promise:

(1) He was to guide them into the whole system of truth, which should be communicated to men that they might enjoy fully the blessings of salvation: "He will guide you into all truth (16:13).

(2) He was to recall to their memories all the instructions which the Lord had given them during His sojourn here, many of which would be forgotten or recollected imperfectly. "He shall … bring ALL things to your remembrance" (14:26).

(3) He was to teach them the meaning of the doctrines given by the Master, but not rightly understood, and to complete all the teaching necessary for their work: "He shall teach you all things" (14:26).

(4) He was to endow them with a knowledge of future events, so that they should be qualified to instruct the church: "He will show you the things to come" (16:13).

(5) He was to reveal fully to them the dignity and excellence of their Redeemer, imparting to them an accurate knowledge of His Divine Person, and His Mediatorial undertakings with their glorious results in order that they might show others more effectively what He is, so that many might be brought to honour and acknowledge Him: "He shall glorify me" (16:14).

(6) He was to confirm all that He had enabled. them to teach, by affording sensible demonstrations of the truth of their divine commission by the miracles which they performed in the name of Jesus, and the supernatural gifts which should accompany their ministry: "He shall testify of me" (15:26).

(7) By means of this miraculous interposition He was to qualify the apostles to bear ample and infallible testimony to the things they had seen and heard from Jesus: "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning" (15:27).

(8) He was to effect all this in an invisible way, by means of a supernatural influence on their minds or in connection with their ministry, of which the world would have no perception: "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (14:17).

(9) He was to render supernatural assistance permanently, so that whatever the apostles required at any period of their life would assuredly be vouchsafed to them: "That he may abide with you for ever" (14:16) and "shall be in you" (ver. 17).

Looking now carefully at all these important offices which, since the Lord promised, were undoubtedly fulfilled, we must be impressed with the fact that all natural disadvantages were to be removed, and the apostles were qualified to become infallible interpreters of the will of God. Who is there, that places any reliance on the testimony of the Son of God, who can feel the smallest degree of hesitation in according to these divinely accredited messengers absolute submission to the doctrines they teach? Since the Holy Ghost was to remain for ever with them, it is obvious that, in whatever way their instructions were to be communicated, whether orally or by writing, they were equally to claim an unqualified reception on the part of all to whom they might be addressed.

We can now see what testimony these favoured men give to the Old Testament, but before doing so, I might point out that as they were promised the guidance of the Holy Ghost throughout life, that is only another way of saying that their writings were to be guided by Him, that is, inspired, One of the proofs of inspiration of the New Testament.

But now what have the apostles to say? Let me quote again a passage I have quoted before, but one of supreme importance "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, etc." (2 Tim. 3:16). Now many have tried to quibble with this sentence, and suggested that it means something entirely different, but the Greek is clear, and only those who try to find fault with the word of God are troubled at all about it. Prof. jowett admits this to be the translation, but tries to make out that it refers alone to the Old Testament. Does the New Testament come under the heading pasa graphe? undoubtedly (1 Tim. 5:18; 2 Peter 3:16, these speak of the Gospel and the Epistles as scripture); and the passage thus undoubtedly refers to the whole Bible — not more nor less. But even if you persist in confining it to the Old Testament, we have here a very clear proof of the subject of which we have been writing so long. Will you accept it, or will you persist in saying that the apostles knew no better?

We have now another striking testimony in Peter to the inspiration of prophecy: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture 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 Peter 1:19-21). Now the last verse shows as definitely as could be expected that all prophecy is inspired of God. Some would say that it applies to prophecy alone, but first of all notice that prophecies of the Messiah are spoken of, so that not only the prophetic books, but also writings of Moses, Samuel, David, etc., are included. And of these the whole books must be inspired, for, as above stated, patch-work is absurd. Also those who held a divine commission could not be expected to be inspired by the Holy Ghost in parts of their writings only: just as rejection of part of a book must mean rejection of all as infallible, so believing in the inspiration of part of a book necessarily means inspiration of all. But, apart from this, which many will not admit, we have here a striking testimony to the inspiration of prophetic scriptures.

We may now take two passages together: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning" (Rom. 15:4) and "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition (1 Cor. 10. 2 ). I hope to show this more clearly later, but if these things that were written were, in the early parts at any rate, only myths, what instruction do they afford? If true, then we may well take heed, but he who casts aspersions may gain no lessons from these happenings. Is not the incident of Balaam's ass a lesson to us? Assuredly so, if we believe its truth: but call it a fairy tale, and half its value is lost at once. But these passages teach us something more. If they were written with the purpose of teaching us, whose purpose was it? Do you credit the various writers with the forethought of knowing that the history would be of value to us as lessons? Why not admit Divine purpose, and so Divine over-ruling in the narration of these incidents?

In certain passages the Old Testament is definitely referred to as the "Oracles of God" "you again which be the first oracles of God" (Heb. 5:12) and "What advantage then hath the Jew? … Much every way; chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God" — ta logia tou theou (Rom. 3:1-2). Now "oracles," says Dr. Johnson, "are something delivered by supernatural wisdom," and this is the purport of this important phrase. "The utterances of God not this a synonym for inspiration? And the Jews are stated to be  privileged in being appointed the keepers of His oracles. "The utterances of God!" who dare question them? and they form the Old Testament. Have we not yet accumulated proof of Old Testament Inspiration?

The apostles repeatedly ascribe passages in the Old Testament to the Holy Ghost, implying their inspiration in this manner, e.g., "Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet, saying" (Acts 28:25): also "as the Holy Ghost saith, Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts)" (Heb. 3:7; Psalm 95:7); and, thirdly, "Wherefore the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, this is the covenant that I will make" (Heb. 10:15; Jer. 31:33).

Frequency of Quotation

We could continue this testimony almost to an indefinite extent, but one more point I would make in speaking of the apostles' testimony to the Old Testament, namely, that the writers are so impressed with the importance of the Old Testament that in the Epistles and the Revelation they quote it more than 450 times. All of them refer to many of the Books in proof of statements, e.g., ames refers to Job, Kings, the Pentateuch, and Joshua, also Peter to Isaiah, Exodus, Hosea, Genesis, and Psalms. In the Acts we find the following references Psalms (10), Isaiah (5) and Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joel, Amos, Habakkuk, 1 Kings. Paul, in his writings, refers to the Old Testament in support of his claims in the following numbers of passages: Psalms (37), Genesis (15), Exodus (io), Numbers (1), Deuteronomy (13), Joshua (1), 2 Samuel (1), I Kings (2), Job (1), Proverbs (3), Isaiah (27), Jeremiah (3), Hosea (3), Habakkuk (3), Joel (1), Haggai (1), Malachi (1). If the apostles, then, attached such importance to the Old Testament as support for what they said, what right have we to regard it as only human?

So far, therefore, we have seen (1 ) that Christ attached much importance and authority to Old Testament writings; (2 ) that He promised the apostles extraordinary and constant Divine assistance, so that we may regard the apostles' writings as infallible; (3 ) that the apostles themselves regarded the Old Testament with the utmost reverence, and on more than one occasion definitely stated it to be inspired.

Further New Testament Evidence

We will now take briefly further New Testament proofs: the authority of the Old Testament is well-established by the Gospels and Epistles — "These things were done that the scripture might be fulfilled" (John 19:36): "Jesus, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst (John 19:28): "Promised aforetime by his prophets in the holy scriptures" (Rom. 1:2): "Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3): "And the scripture, fore-seeing that God would justify the heathen through faith" (Gal. 3:8): "And the scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35): "Give place unto wrath, for it is written" (Rom. 12:19): "that by patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4): "The scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation" (2 Tim. 3:15): "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition" (Mark 7:13): "Said unto them, Thus is it written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer" (Luke 24:46). There is no need to comment on these passages: any one reading them carefully cannot doubt that the writers believed fully the authority and inspiration of the scriptures. Let us consider a few New Testament passages in some detail.

(1) "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47). Here we have more than one point. Think what the higher critic would tell us not only that He was not the object of Moses' writings, but also that Moses did not even write them! Again, Christ puts Moses' writings on equal authority with His own. Now which will you believe? Christ or the higher critic? If you believe the higher critic — what think ye of Christ? — what foundation is left for Christianity as a revelation of God's mind? None.

(2) "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). Here no blasphemous pretext about Jewish prejudice is of any avail. Christ is here risen, and therefore freed from such "prejudices." This is but a reiteration of the passage quoted above, stating (a) that Moses was the author, (b) that he wrote of Christ.

(3) "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matt. 26:53-54). The scripture governs the Lord's own mind in the most solemn moment of His pathway up to that hour: when He was taken of man He could have saved Himself from them, but bows to the testimony of scripture. And yet all was a fable!

(4) "These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44). The Lord here sets His seal to the whole of the Old Testament as infallible — all things must be fulfilled. Here again note the Lord is risen, and He treats them as inspired and as prophecies of Himself, which the higher critic presumes to deny!

(5) "Unto Berea … these were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so" (Acts. 17:10-11). So the Bereans made a mistake in judging Paul's words by the Old Testament writings: they had nothing to do with Christianity! Prophecies are fables, history distorted! But nevertheless, they are commended for so doing. Accept the inevitable conclusion that the Old Testament writers taught of Christ, and if they did that, whence obtained they their knowledge of Him apart from inspiration?

(6) If the Old Testament be not literally and entirely true, what was the force of Stephen's defence? The Jews were not guilty of resisting the Holy Ghost, if He had no part in the writing of the Old Testament (Acts 7:51).

(7) Apollos "mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ" (Acts 18:28). Can one convince "mightily" by means of a pack of myths and writings of impostors?

(8) Paul in his defence before Agrippa declares all he taught was according to the writings of Moses and the prophets, and appeals "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest" (Acts 26:27). Was all this delusion and deceit? Unless you admit that the prophets were true prophets and not impostors, Paul was deceiving his hearers, for undoubtedly he knew, since the Lord "opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45). If the prophets were true they must have been inspired.

We have now reviewed the New Testament evidence to the inspiration of the Old. Is it not conclusive? At least, is it not evident that Christ and His apostles believed fully and absolutely in inspiration? So that this leaves us with the question, What think ye of Christ and the apostles?

Old Testament Witness to Itself

1917 296 We will now look at Old Testament proofs of its own inspiration.

First and foremost, as we have seen above, the writers constantly affirm the truth of their statements by saying "Thus saith the Lord" — there is no need to go all over this again, but I would remind you that Ezekiel uses this or similar expressions over 200 times.

David, in a Messianic Psalm, declares "In the volume of the book it is written of me" (Ps. 40:7), an Old Testament instance of the passages that speak of Christ.

Isaiah refers to the book of the Lord: "Seek ye out of the book of the Lord" (Isa. 34:16). If it is the Lord's book, who shall accuse it of inaccuracy?

Isaiah, Jeremiah and Habakkuk all speak of being charged by the Lord to commit their predictions to writings: "The Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen, concerning, etc." (Isa. 8:1). "Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book" (Jer. 30:2): "Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel … and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord" (Jer. 36:2-4): "Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon" (Jer. 51:60): "The Lord answered me, and said: Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it" (Hab. 2:2). These passages not only show the authority upon which the writers recorded their sayings, but also that they wrote what they were commanded of the Lord to write. But these statements are not confined to the prophets — David the psalmist claims that he wrote by the Spirit of Jehovah: "The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was upon my tongue" (2 Sam. 23:2).

Again, let us take an example from a book of very different character — Proverbs. Here the writer does not claim that his words are from Jehovah, but he speaks of a book: "the word of God," which he declares to be absolutely true in every particular — a striking statement of Old Testament inspiration: "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Prov. 30:5-6).

Most striking of all is the declaration of Jehovah concerning the writings of Old Testament. Hosea, as is well known, consists of "the word of the Lord that came unto Hosea," and in the midst we find the Lord's declaration: "I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing" (Hosea 8:12).

The Psalms of David contain many testimonies to the integrity of the scriptures, but reference may be first made to the fact that the Lord definitely stated that David in writing Psalms was guided by the Holy Ghost: "How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps. 110:1; Matt. 22:43-44). And not only have we the Lord's testimony, but we have the testimony of common-sense: what meaning had the above quotation to David as an ordinary human being? None whatever, but if inspired, the statement is but an ordinary one. Well, then, we see that the Psalms are stated to be inspired, and we may now listen to their testimony. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimonies of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple: the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb" (Ps. 19:7-8, 10): "Thy word is true from the beginning: every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever" (Ps. 119:160): "The words of the Lord are pure" (Ps. 12:6): "Thy testimonies are very sure" (Ps. 93:5): "All thy commandments are faithful" (Ps. 119:86): "The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting" (Ps. 119:144): "All thy commandments are truth" (Ps. 119:151): "He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children" (Ps. 78:5). Lastly, after speaking of the words of the Lord, the Psalmist says, "Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them is great reward" (Ps. 19:11). These examples of David's testimony must suffice, and comment on them is needless.

Quotation after quotation has already been given to show that, despite the higher critic, Moses did in reality write the Pentateuch. But all the testimony has been taken from the New Testament, such as "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:46-47); thus not only definitely ascribing the writings to Moses, but also putting Moses on equal authority with His words. Let us find, now, the Old Testament evidence to this disputed fact.

In the books themselves we find that the Lord commanded Moses to write an account of the doings of the children of Israel and the words of the Lord in a book: "And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book" (Ex. 17:14): "And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord" (Ex. 24:4): "And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words" (Ex. 34:27).

Then we get some references in the Old Testament outside the Pentateuch; in Isa. 63 the prophet speaks of "the right hand of Moses" (Isa. 63:2 , 12), and the indwelling of "the Holy Spirit within him" (Isa. 63:11-12). The prophet Malachi ascribes the law to Moses: "Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb, … with the statutes and judgments" (Mal. 4:4). Still more, remember the constant testimony of Him "in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9) to Moses. Were all deceived? On what grounds are we to believe that Samuel wrote one part and Jeremiah another? The surmises of some German and English critics! Do you believe them, or do you believe God, for He has spoken most clearly?

Messiah's Suffering

The allusions to the Old Testament at the time of the passion are very impressive. Every step seems here to be guided by Old Testament prophecy: "Ye know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified" (Matt. 26:2). He was the true passover, and the time of His sufferings must correspond with the sacrifices which prefigured it, "The Son of man goeth, as it is written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed" (Matt. 26:24). The easiest way to show this is by making a series of quotations from the Old Testament, and side by side the corresponding New Testament quotation recording its fulfilment.

Old Testament

1. "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed" (Ps. 2:2).

2. "Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Ps. 16:10).

3. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Ps. 22:1).

4. "All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head" (Ps. 22:7).

5. "He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him" (Ps. 22:8)

6. "They pierced my hands and my feet" (Ps. 22:16).

7. "They part my garment among them, and cast lots upon my vesture" (Ps. 22:18).

8. "False witnesses are risen up against me" (Ps. 27:12).

9. "Into thine hand I commend my spirit" (Ps. 31:5).

10. "My friends stand aloof from my sore: and my kinsmen stand afar off" (Ps. 38:11).

11. "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me" (Ps. 41:9).

12. "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Ps. 69:21).

13. "When they looked upon me they shaked their heads" (Ps. 109:25).

14. "I gave my back to the smiters … I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Isa. 50:6).

15. "He was oppressed … yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth" (Isa. 53:7).

16. "He made his grave with the wicked and the rich in his death" (Isa. 53:9).

17. "He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken" (Ps. 34:20).

18. "Thou hast put mine acquaintances far from me" (Ps. 88:8).

19. "I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day" (Amos 8:9).

20. "They shall look on me whom they have pierced" (Zech. 12:10).

21. "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered" (Zech. 13:7).

New Testament

1. Pilate "sent him to Herod" (Luke 23:7).

"And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him" (Luke 22:2)

2. "He is risen from the dead" (Matt. 28:7).

3. "Jesus cried with a loud voice saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, etc." (Matt. 27:46).

4. "Likewise the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders" (Matt. 27:41):

"They that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads" (Matt. 27:39).

5. "Saying: He trusted in God: let him deliver him now, if he will have him" (Matt. 27:43).

6. "And they crucified him" (Matt. 27:35).

7. "And parted his garments, casting lots" (Matt. 27:35). See also John 19:24.

8. "Many false witnesses came" (Matt. 26:60).

9. "Jesus cried with a loud voice, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).

10. "And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee stood afar off, beholding these things" (Luke 23:49).

11. "And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas. … He then … went immediately out … Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them" (John 13:26, 30; John 18:5)

12. "They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall" (Matt. 27:34).

Jesus … saith, I thirst. … When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar" (John 19:28, 30).

13. "They that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads" (Mark 15:29).

14. "When he had scourged Jesus … they bowed the knee and mocked him … and they spit upon him" (Matt. 27:26, 29, 30).

15. "And when he was accused of the chief priests and the elders, he answered nothing … And he answered him to never a word" (Matt. 27:12, 14).

16. "A rich man of Arimathea … laid it in his own new tomb" (Matt. 27:57, 60).

17. "When they came to Jesus … they brake not his legs" (John 19:33, 36).

18. "They all forsook him and fled" (Mark 14:50).

19. "And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour" (Luke 23:44).

20. "One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side" (John 19:34).

21. "And they all forsook him and fled" (Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:50).

Messiah's Suffering

1917 311 What can be more striking than this remarkable proof that all the details of the Lord's passion were fully foretold in the Old Testament! Many will tell us that the Old Testament references only happen to coincide with the incidents. No less than twenty-one coincidences (and I doubt whether this number is exhaustive) in the space of a few hours! The absurdity of it must be apparent. But if they did indeed refer to Christ, how can there be any doubt as to the inspiration of at least these passages?

The Bible is full both in the Old and New Testaments of incidents having no human eye-witnesses. How does the one who does not believe in inspiration explain the accounts of such incidents? Are they all myths? Unless inspired, they must be myths or else received by tradition. Did Adam preserve for the benefit of his posterity a record of his sin, disobedience, his expulsion from Eden, the curse upon the ground, and the barring of the way back to the tree of life? Similarly with other incidents recorded not as man would tell the story, making excuses and pointing out extenuating circumstances: were these received thus by tradition? It is impossible. Is the history of Christ's temptation in the wilderness a myth? I leave these questions with you.

Moral Purpose in the Old Testament

Now scripture consists, as we said above, not only of facts, but of facts arranged with a view to one over-ruling purpose, which the unassisted mind of man could never have proj ected or supplied, and while I hope to show this more fully in speaking of the New Testament, it is convenient here to show in support of this statement the purpose of the long series of histories of men seen in the Old Testament. As St. Paul says, "All these things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition" (1 Cor. 10:11). Human sinfulness is traced through its manifold disguises. Thus we find scoffing infidelity in the antediluvians (Jude 14, 15; Gen. 6:12); envy in Cain (Gen. 4:5) and Joseph's brethren (Gen. 37:11); malice in Saul (1 Sam. 18:28-29); slander in Doeg (1 Sam. 22:9) and Ziba (2 Sam. 16:1-3); contempt for Divine teaching in Korah (Num. 16:3) and Ahab (1 Kings 20:42); covetousness in Achan (Joshua 7:21), Balaam (Num. 22:7), Gehazi (2 Kings 5:20-27); ambition in Abimelech (Judges 9:1-5); pride in Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:13) and Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:30).

Again we find the inconsistency of human nature Ahithophel (Ps. 55:12-13), the friend and traitor; Joab (2 Sam. 12:28; 1 Kings 2:28), the faithful servant, yet "doer of evil"; Jehoram (2 Kings 3:1-3), who destroyed the images of Baal, but cleaved to the sin of Jeroboam.

We see the power of self-deceit in David (2 Sam. 12:5, 7) and Balaam (Num. 23:10); of prejudice in Naaman (2 Kings 5:11-12); of habit in Ahab (1 Kings 21:27; 1 Kings 21:26) who repented before Elijah, and yet returned to his idols.

We are shown the danger of ungodly connections in Solomon (Neh. 13:25-26); in Jehoshaphat's connection with Ahab (1 Kings 22:2-44), in Ahab's with Jezebel (1 Kings 21:5-14); of worldly prosperity in Rehoboam (2 Chron. 12:1) and Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:16).

We find moral excellences illustrated: faith in Abraham (Rom. 4:12); patience in Job (James 5:2 ); meekness in Moses (Num. 12:3); decision in Joshua (Joshua 24:15); patriotism in Nehemiah (Neh. 1:4; 5:14); friendship in Jonathan (1 Sam. 19:2-4)

Certain characters furnish us with patterns: Hannah (1 Sam. 1:27-28) to mothers; Samuel (1 Sam. 3:1-21) and Josiah (2 Chron. 34:3) to children; Joseph (Gen. 39:9) and Daniel (Dan. 1:8) to young men; Barzillai; (2 Sam. 19:34-35) to old men; Eliezer (Gen. 24) to servants: David (1 Sam. 24:6-10 etc.) to those under authority. And in these examples we must note the evidence of weakness: Abraham (Gen. 20:2) failed through fear; Job (Job 3:1) through impatience; Moses (Deut. 32:51) through irritability and presumption.

And all these things happened as ensamples to us: we have a complete portrait-gallery of man: was this divinely-perfect picture made by man alone? Surely not; we are told of the lives of certain men just sufficient to teach us a specific lesson: do you credit man with this foresight?

The Authors Writing beyond their own Ken

Now to conclude this section of the paper on the inspiration of the Old Testament, I would refer to the fact that both by their own declaration and by the declaration of the apostle Peter, the writers did not in every case understand the meaning of their writings.

First then, all the sacrifices set forth in such detail in Leviticus were types and Shadows of Christ — they prefigured every aspect of His work, and His perfection. Yet to the Jews they were mere ordinances, and the meaning of all the ritual was not, and could not be understood by them. The tabernacle itself in every detail figured some aspect of God and His Christ, but until Christ came, all was not understood. Were the sacrifices given by man or by God? If by God, is not Leviticus God's account of these sacrifices and the ordinances connected with them? The tabernacle, says the higher critic, was not erected in the wilderness, but was a copy of the temple at Jerusalem. What a wicked travesty of God's word!

As before stated, David's psalm, "The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps. 110:1) cannot have been understood by David, nor indeed, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." If all this was dark and mysterious to David, how can you avoid the conclusion that he was inspired when he wrote it? (Ps. 16:10).

Now look for a moment at another scripture "And I heard, but I understood not." We see that Daniel wrote what he understood not, and he was not allowed to have understanding as to what he did write, for the Lord said: "the words are closed up, and sealed till the time of the end" (Dan. 12:8-9).

Again, Peter testifies to the same thing: "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things" (1 Peter 1:10-12).

If the writers had to "search diligently" to find out the meaning of the prophecies, they cannot have written them by their own initiative. I have no need to labour the point. The word of God is sufficiently clear about it, so that I need only call your attention to so striking a passage.

What then? We have shown that Christ, the Son of God, taught the inspiration of Scripture, that He promised great assistance to His apostles, who taught inspiration, that the prophets constantly justify their writings with: "thus saith the Lord," that David ascribes purity and truth to the "law of the Lord," that the apostles appealed for support in their writings more than 450 times to the Old Testament, that the Passion was fully foretold by the Old Testament, that the purpose of the histories of men found in the Old Testament is manifold, that the Jew's greatest privilege was to be allowed to keep the "oracles of God," and lastly, that the writers in some cases at least definitely disclaim understanding what they wrote. Is not all this testimony a sure proof of the inspiration of the Old Testament?

3. The Inspiration of the New Testament

1917 330 Now the inspiration of the New Testament is different in character from the inspiration of the Old. Here the writers were indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and do not therefore so often proclaim their authority in speaking. Nevertheless, evidence is to be had for the seeking.

We may assume that the ground taken up in dealing with the Old Testament is safe again in this case that is, we may count the statements of the Son of God as infallible. Now He does not speak of the New Testament writings, for the very obvious reason that they were not written. But He does speak in anticipation of their being written when He promises the Holy Ghost, who shall "teach you all things" (John 14:26). We have already seen the high authority He gave to His apostles, and after reviewing a large amount of evidence, came to the conclusion that they may be regarded in their writings as infallible. I do not intend to repeat that evidence, but to add one or two considerations thereto.

The apostles were empowered to give irreversible decisions on all matters of the church "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:9). Since the majority of the apostles' writings concerned the doctrines and duties of the church, this power implies the truth of the writings: for we are told that it is not the apostles themselves that speak, but the Spirit of God, and He is infallible — "For it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak: for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father, which speaketh in you" (Matt. 10:20).

New Testament Evidence to Itself

We are fully justified therefore in regarding the testimony of the apostles with the utmost seriousness, seeing that they were such highly-favoured servants of God. Now what is their testimony?
(1) "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God" (1 Thess. 2:13). Need I comment on so clear and emphatic a statement?
(2) "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:36-37). As comment, I would add the next verse: "If any man be ignorant let him be ignorant." Notice that inspiration is taken as an axiom, not needing proof.
(3) "The things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth" (1 Cor. 2:11-13). Not only is this a statement that the apostles are inspired, but that verbally the Holy Ghost guided them what to write.
(4) "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not" (Rom. 9:1). Though he might well have claimed apostolic authority, as he does elsewhere, here he states that it is in Christ that he is speaking.
(5) "He that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 4:8). That is to say, the writings at which they scoffed were not the writings of men at all, but of God!
(6) Paul characterizes his epistles as "not the word of man, but the word of God" (1 Thess. 2:13).
(7) "For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Tim. 5:18). Now one of these quotations is from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy) and the second from the New Testament (Luke 10:7). Both are called by the name of Scripture, and appealed to as decisive authority. The Old Testament we have seen to be inspired, and the New is here stated to be of equal authority.
(8) "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:25). The words of the apostles are thus stated to be the "word of the Lord!"
(9) "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Saviour" (2 Peter 3:2). The words of the prophets are put on high authority (we have already seen them to be inspired) and the words of the apostles are put on equal authority.
(10) "Even as Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things: in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:15-16). What a striking testimony to the inspiration of Paul's Epistles, which, note, were written according to the wisdom given unto him! Incidentally, it is a proof of the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Epistles are stated as scriptures, which are, according to 2 Tim. 3:16, divinely inspired. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." The other scriptures would refer to the three Synoptic Gospels and the Acts (St. John's Gospel was not then written). Thus in this one passage we are told that almost the whole of the New Testament is inspired
(11) "But now is made manifest and by prophetic scriptures [literal translation] according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:26). This refers to the New Testament, for the secret was kept since the world began, but was made manifest at the beginning of the new dispensation. Here, then, the New Testament writings are declared to be scriptures, and as such, therefore, inspired.
(12) We may now quote a passage which is a remarkable one in many ways: "But I speak by permission, not of commandment." "Unto the married I command: yet not I, but the Lord." … "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord." "Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful." "But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment, and I think also that I have the Spirit of the Lord (1 Cor. 7:6, 10, 12, 25, 40). Now, as may well be supposed, many fault-finders quote this as a definite proof of non-inspiration. Of course, the apostle says nothing of the kind. Here he distinguishes between his judgment, as to which he could yet appeal to them as having the Spirit to form and guide his experience, and a revelation from the Lord which constituted a commandment. The Corinthians were not left the option of believing or not believing as they thought best by his disclaiming commandment from the Lord. In fact, he shows the indwelling of the Spirit by stating that he speaks "by permission" — of whom? — of the Spirit dwelling within him. He
distinguishes between his spiritual judgment as a matured believer, and the higher revelations from the Lord Himself.
Although this is clearly the meaning of the passages it may not be inapposite to observe that if Paul did intend to disclaim inspiration in these passages, it follows from the very circumstances of his making them exceptions, that all the other parts are inspired. And this is a contrary conclusion to the one the higher critic would lead us to, surely!
(13) I do not intend to dwell on this point, as one could write at great length on the question, but to anyone who has read The Revelation with any understanding and care, the question inevitably arises: "Could a simple fisherman write with such clarity on so difficult and weighty a subject?" Assuredly he could not, and even if he wrote unaided by the Spirit, of what value are his writings? None whatever, and the Bible is no longer complete. Passages in Daniel, the Gospels, and elsewhere remain inexplicable; but recognise it as the handiwork of the Spirit of God, and once more the dark passages become clear, and the Bible is complete, not ta biblia, but the Book, one harmonious whole.
(14) Although, as before stated, Jesus made no definite reference to the New Testament scriptures, there are two passages which may be quoted in this connection: "If ye continue in my word … ye shall know the truth" (John 8:31-32). And His word is contained in the New Testament. Let us take care, therefore, that we are not misled by the higher critic, who would tell us that much of the information contained in the Gospels is distorted by tradition, and, from imperfect remembrance; that miracles were never performed; and similar travesties of God's truth.
(15) Similarly the Lord tells us to "live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Where are these words to be found if the scriptures are not inspired? The scriptures undoubtedly form the mouth of God. for man, and these communications "the unlearned and unstable wrest." We could offer the wise counsel of Gamaliel "Refrain … lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:38-39).

The Unity of the New Testament

We have previously shown that there is purpose in the histories of men contained in the Old Testament, and that they form part of the divine plan running through the whole of Scripture. I want now to show that the New Testament in its entirety forms one harmonious whole, the Gospels and Epistles fitting in one with another to form one divinely perfect Book.

"Its author," says Mr. Darby, "is so much more evidently God, from the human instruments having been many and diverse. But its unity — and above all the intimate union of its different parts — demonstrates a complete and perfect body. If but one joint of a finger were wanting in a man he is not a man such as God made him: he may have life, but he is imperfect, and his imperfection is perceptible. So take away a book from the New Testament, the remainder is divine undoubtedly, but it is no longer the New Testament in its divine perfection. As in a noble tree, the inward energy, the freedom of the sovereign vital power, produces a variety Of forms, in which the details of human order may be wanting, but in which there is a beauty that no human art can imitate. Cut off one of its branches, and the void is obvious: the gap which is made in the intertwining of its tender leaves proves that the devastating hand of man has been there (Collected Writings, J.N.D. 23:42).

Now let us try to point out the divine perfection of these books: St. Matthew's Gospel, containing the genealogy of Christ from Abraham and David, treats of the Messiah, the relation of Christ to the Jews, the fulfilment of prophecy in Him, and also of His rejection as Messiah with the beginning of a new dispensation. St. Mark's Gospel tells us of Christ as the Servant made in the likeness of man, and as a prophet on the earth. St. Luke's tells us of the great grace brought by the "Second. man," and the great moral principles connected with it. Hence in this Gospel we have a moral and not a chronological order of events, even in the history of the temptation: we have also the genealogy to Adam. St. John's Gospel treats of the person of the Saviour, the Son of God. Thus the four Gospels show us the four aspects of Christ — the Son of David, the Servant, the Son of man, the Son of God, giving us a complete picture of Christ. And each Gospel is adapted to the purpose for which it was writ ten, e.g., in John we read of nothing of the agony in Gethsemane, or of the forsaking at the cross, because it is not the Holy Spirit's purpose to show us this in connection with Christ as the Son of God.

The Acts of the Apostles teaches us the foundation of the church by the power of the Holy Spirit the development Of the church in Jerusalem through the twelve: the ingrafting of the Gentiles by Peter: and lastly the church fully revealed and made known by Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles.

The Epistle to the Romans shows the eternal principle of God's relationship with man, the means by which the believer is established in blessing, and the reconciling of these things with the speciality of the promises made to the Jews.

The two Epistles to the Corinthians give us the details for regulating the church in all its experiences — its walk, its order, its restoration.

The Epistle to the Galatians gives the contrast between the Old and New dispensations, and the condemnation of Judaism.

Ephesians presents the relationship the believer bears to the Father and to Christ, the church's privileges as the body of Christ, and also "the mystery which has been hid from ages," in which all the counsels of God for His own glory are unfolded.

Colossians teaches the fulness and perfection a the Head of the church, and warns againsi separating from union with the Head.

Philippians shows us what Christ is to the Christian — His all-sufficiency in all circumstances, and also the walk of the church in unity maintained by grace when its human leaders are spiritually slack.

The two Epistles to the Thessalonians deal with the hope of the church, who looks for Christ, and the mystery of iniquity ending with the manifestation of the man of sin.

First and Second Timothy and Titus exhibit ecclesiastical care for the maintenance of truth and order — 1 Timothy, the normal order of the church: 2 Timothy, the path of the individual when it is in disorder.

The Epistle to the Hebrews, in contrast with the Ephesians which views the church as seated in the heavenly places, shows the faithful journeying in weakness on the earth, Christ being seen apart in the presence of God. This is contrasted with the earthly figures given to Israel, and is followed by an unfolding of the person of the Lord as God the Creator, as Son, and as High Priest, after the order of Melchisedec. Then follows the unfolding of the life of faith, and the final separation of believing Jews from the camp of earthly religion.

James sets before us the necessity of practical righteousness to accompany faith, which must be real or living, and also the last dealings Of God with the twelve tribes.

Peter deals with the government of God — in the First Epistle in blessings to saints; in the Second Epistle in reference to the wicked.

Jude unfolds all the moral features of the apostasy, recording Enoch's prophecy, which we should otherwise have lost.

First John presents us with all the features of the divine nature, and deals particularly with the love of God, which was manifested in Christ coming down here. This divine nature is exhibited first as manifested in Jesus, and then as characteristic of the whole family.

Philemon and Second and Third John show us that if the mystery of God is revealed by one apostle, and the nature of God by another; if they lift us to the heights of God's counsels, they are also interested in the welfare of a runaway slave, in the practical difficulties of a lady, and in a kind brother, who wants advice. They show that the great and manifold love of God does not disdain to provide for every little detail and trouble of His servants.

The Apocalypse gives the elements of a perfect judgment with respect to any state in which the professing church would be found, so as to guide any one connected with the church in those circumstances. At the same time it encourages the faithful, and declares the blessings for "him that overcometh." The Holy Ghost then reveals how, all will end the judgment of the world, the apostasy, the coming of the King of kings, followed by happiness (Satan being bound), and then a second apostasy, and the judgment of the great white throne, and lastly the eternal state when God will be "all in all." This is the complete development of what Jude, 2 Peter, and 2 Thessalonians had previously made known to the church in its moral elements.

"The New Testament, then, commencing with the manifestation of the man Christ in humiliation on the earth, and carrying us forward to the eternal state when God will be "all in all," presents us with the full development of all the ways of God, and of what He is in Himself, in order that man may joy in Him, know Him, and glorify Him — that the believer may be kept through all the difficulties and dangers of the way by the wisdom and admonitions of God and that He may understand His wisdom and His love. Man could not have composed this as a whole — cOuld not have foreseen the necessity of each part. One feels in it the energetic spontaneity of life, that is, of the Spirit of God. Take away one single part, now that we possess the whole, and the breach is immediately felt by one who has seen and appreciated its completeness."*

{*Collected Writings, J.N.D., 23:41.}

Varied Views in the Four Gospels

Now, much difficulty has arisen in some minds from the fact that the four Gospels do not appear to agree in every detail. With reference to this difficulty I would say that it would be surprising if they were all exactly similar, for, as we have seen, the four Gospels present Christ in four different lights. In recording the same event the different historians relate different circumstances, some giving more, some fewer than the rest: the fuller account in‘ eludes the shorter, and the shorter does not contradict the fuller. Take the case of the blind man at Jericho recorded in Matt. 20:30-34; Mark 10:46-50; Luke 18:35-43. Read the three narratives carefully and see how one adds to the other. Was it ignorance that caused Mark to write "a beggar" instead of "two beggars"? As we shall see, the apostles did not write according to their knowledge, but according to the guidance of the Spirit of God.

But let us first take one more case to show how scripture is amplified by taking the different narratives together. The inscription placed on the cross of Jesus is mentioned by all four Evangelists, but all give it differently. Can we say that they forgot this inscription? How unlikely! But compare the four narratives.
Matthew: "This is Jesus the King of the Jews" (27:37).
Mark: "The King of the Jews" (15:26).
Luke: "This is the King of the Jews" (23:38).
John: "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews" (19:19).
In full: "This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews."

Thus we see that all the writers were absolutely correct, each giving that part of the inscription which was necessary for the purpose of the Gospel.  Now John was one of the three witnesses in the Garden of Gethsemane, at the time of Christ's agony, yet he does not mention it. Nothing would be more affecting and more solemn. Can we say he forgot it? Mark was not present, yet he tells us. Matthew was there, and saw how those who came to take Jesus "went backward and fell to the ground" (John 18:6), and yet he does not mention it.

4. — The Inspiration of the New Testament

1917 343 John accompanied Jesus at the cross, and yet he does not record that bitter cry in the darkness, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani! while he mentions a number of other details. A mere man would never deliberately leave this out, but if we admit that John was inspired, the reason becomes clear at once. John's Gospel is the one inspired by the Spirit of God to present Christ as the Son of God, and the human traits in His character are not prominently given. He is presented to us as calm on the cross as He is in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He said "Whom seek ye?" (John 18:4).

If space had permitted I had intended to go through John's Gospel to show how the Spirit has worked through John to present Christ as the Son of God. But read it at your leisure, remembering that this is the key, and then you must admit that John was indeed inspired when he wrote.

Luke's Preface

A common objection raised by those who disbelieve inspiration is founded upon the introduction to Luke's Gospel, the writer of which, they say, takes the ground of an eyewitness alone. "Many," Luke says, "having taken in hand to set forth the things most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses of the word, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first (parekolouthekoti anothen) to write unto thee, in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of the things wherein thou hast been instructed" (Luke 1:2-3, 4). Now Luke does not say a word of setting forth in order what eyewitnesses have delivered: others, he said, had done that. But this was not sufficient, and he wrote his Gospel that Theophilus might have certainty from him, who had "perfect knowledge" of all things. A clear statement, surely, that his account was infallible, and if so, undoubtedly inspired, for no human account can be infallible.

We get a confirmation of the fact that St. Luke's gospel is scripture from the fact that it is called so in a quotation in 1 Tim. 5:18, which has already been quoted — "For the scripture saith … The labourer is worthy of his reward." This is a quotation from Luke 10:7, and is here called scripture, and appealed to as decisive authority. No fuller testimony could be given in a few words to the inspiration and authority of the third Gospel.

Many rationalists ridicule the application of the words of Hosea, "Out of Egypt have I called my Son" to Christ. But it is the system and plan of scripture to transfer passages from Israel, the provisional son, to Christ, the true Son. Matthew, therefore, uses the Old Testament scripture rightly according to the intended use of scripture: whether this plan be wise or foolish is not the question — I believe it assuredly to be divinely wise — but rationalists may not quarrel with Matthew for quoting the Old Testament thus. The substitution of the Messiah for Israel can be clearly seen in Isaiah 49, where we see the Messiah directly presented as taking the place of Israel.

Another point raised is that Paul was corrected by the course of events in his expectation of the coming of Christ. At the extreme close of his career, he urges Timothy to "keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate" (1 Tim. 6:14), that is, he uses exactly the same language then as in his earliest Epistle"ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God: and to wait for his Son from heaven" (1 Thess. 1:10), and "I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23), and similar passages. No man ever knew the time, which the Father had put in His own power — "Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32).

But on the other hand they were commanded to be expecting continually the return of their Master. This attitude made the difference between the faithful and unfaithful servant. Christ had marked the church's unfaithfulness by saying of the servants, "My lord delayeth his coming (Luke 12:45): into that error Paul did not fall.

At the extreme close of his career, however, he had a revelation from the Lord that he should. glorify Him in death — "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand (2 Tim. 4:6). Paul was marked as a faithful servant by expecting his Lord's return, not as an ignorant one.

The Natural Ignorance of the Apostles

Now inspiration was a necessity owing to the fact that the disciples were in every case ignorant of the meaning of the Lord in His speech and actions. For instance, when the Lord warns against the leaven of the Pharisees, they say it was because they brought no bread. After the conversion of the Samaritan woman, when He says: "I have meat to eat that ye know not of (John 4:32), they ask "Hath anyone brought him ought to eat?" When He tells them He should die and rise again, they say: "Be it far from thee, Lord" (Matt. 16:22). Even after His death, they say on the road to Emmaus with Him: "We trusted it had been he which should have redeemed Israel" (Luke 24:21), and many other instances could be adduced in support of my statement. Indeed John says: "These things the disciples understood not at the first: but when Jesus was glorified then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him" (John 12:16). How was it they remembered after? by the revelations of the Holy Spirit who came down to "teach them all things, and. bring all things to their remembrance."

We closed the section of this paper on the inspiration of the Old Testament with quotations declaring that the writers in some cases did not even understand what they wrote, implying unmistakably that they were inspired. Have we any such declaration in the New Testament? Should we expect it? No, because the character of New Testament inspiration is different: it is shown by the following words: "reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" (1 Peter 1:12). He it is that leads into all truth, and inspiration acts in and by the understanding: but it is not on that account the less inspiration.

Paul preferred the inspiration which acts by the understanding to that which is apparently more independent of it: "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. … In the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1 Cor. 14:14-19). Thus St. Paul knew of an inspiration by which he spoke "in an unknown tongue," but preferred the inspiration "with understanding," and this is the character of the inspiration found in the New Testament.


Recapitulating. We have seen that the inspiration of the New Testament is of a different order from that of the Old, that nevertheless the writers give ample testimony to their inspiration, that the whole of the New Testament books form one harmonious whole, each book fitting in one with the other so as to present a complete guide to the Christian in any circumstance in which he may be found, that the Gospels do not present the same view of Christ, and that therefore they do not all give the same incidents, or even the same details of the incidents they relate in common, that the introduction to Luke, the use of quotations from the Old Testament, and the alleged "change of views" of St. Paul do not in any way affect the claim to inspiration, and lastly that the disciples needed guidance from the Holy Ghost, since they did not understand the purport of the Lord's teaching, while He was here.


Many rationalists state that they cannot believe the Bible because of the numerous, difficulties in the word. On the contrary, I say that I should be very surprised indeed to find no difficulties the Author is divine, I am but human, and can I be expected to understand all? "The very difficulties of scripture, philological and historical, afford cogent internal proof of the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible," says Dr. Angus (Bible Handbook, p. 271). Let me say if I did not understand a passage that its meaning being doubtful to me, not that the meaning itself is doubtful, then let me wait on God to teach me its meaning.

Difficulties try our faith. Is not this again an evidence in their favour? What are all the dispensations of God but our discipline? What is life but a walking by faith — by habitual reliance on Him whom we cannot understand fully, and in circumstances that require such a trust?

But many difficulties melt away when we look at them at all closely, and it will be found useful to remember the following six statements: —
(1) We have an original text somewhat mutilated by copying and translation, but only to a very limited extent.
(2) The suggestion that inspiration is not verbal destroys the absolute authority of the Bible — "it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fail" (Luke 16:17).
(3) In any divergence between two accounts of an event only direct contradictions can afford any proof against inspiration (but see (1)).
(4) Silence is no proof of ignorance — see St. John's declaration, "There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they were written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25).
(5) The events narrated in the Gospels are not arranged in chronological order.
(6) Statements which are apparently contradictory may record different facts, e.g., the feeding of the five thousand, and again later of the four thousand, often confused as one.

Let us take two examples: Matthew 1:1-16 gives our Lord's genealogy, and another genealogy occurs in Luke 3:23-38. The two genealogies are different because the one in Matthew traces the descent through Joseph in the royal line (as son of David), and the one in Luke through Mary, in the natural descent from Adam (as son of man).

Again, John states that Christ was before Pilate's tribunal "about the sixth hour" (John 19:14). Matthew, Mark and Luke record the fact that He was on the cross "about the sixth hour" (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44). There is no real discrepancy here, for John calculated hours according to the Roman method, the "Synoptists" according to the Jewish method. The sixth hour was, therefore, with him 6 a.m.; with them it would be noon.

Finally, let no man attempt or expect the explanation of every difficulty. "The last step of reason," says Pascal, "is to know that there is an infinitude of things which surpass it." "After all difficulties have been solved, and every word of the Bible explained, the weightiest difficulties of all remain. The origin of evil, the mystery of Divine foreknowledge and free agency, and much of the scheme of redemption will still exercise our faith. We shall say even then, as it is our wisdom to say now, O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Rom. 11:33). Thus wrote Warburton.

We have come to the end, and in doing so, let me emphasize again the word with which we started: the christian does not rely on evidence such as this: he has within him inward testimony to the inspiration of the Bible, which is the natural consequence of faith, and nothing that man or devil can say can shake him in his firm belief. We believe God, and He has spoken to us — shall we disbelieve Him for the reasonings of man? Are we Christians surprised at the attacks on men on the scriptures? No, for St. Paul foretold it. "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God: having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. … Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. … Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:1-2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13). What in such case is the resource of the faithful? "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them: and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:14-16). Therefore, the resource in the last and evil days is reverence for the holy scriptures, and confidence in their divine inspiration.

What is the christian to do? Am I to believe or throw up the authority of Christ and His apostles? What is the authority of Christianity if I do? Am I the disciple of impostors or deceived men, or of the blessed Son of God? and am I receiving divine truth from His inspired servants? L.H.H.