Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 14, 1963
NUMBER 44, PAGE 1,12b

The Significance Of The Inspiration Of The Scriptures

Robert H. Farish

The Scriptures depend for their authority upon their inspiration. If the Scriptures are not inspired of God they cannot be received as "the word of God." Failure to realize the significance of the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures has been a powerful factor contributing to the neglect of this vital theme. There is not the interest in it that it deserves. Perhaps the attitude which prevails can be expressed by the question "what difference does it make?"

That the difference it makes is a vital difference is readily seen when one realizes that if inspired of God the Scriptures have all the weight of divine authority, but if not inspired of God they possess no greater authority than productions of human genius. If not inspired of God, there is no sure standard of authority in that area of man's being where a dependable guide is most desperately needed and desired.

As Robert J. Breckenridge said: "It is upon the ground of God's absolute authority, that we claim for this book the universal reception and obedience of mankind." (University of Virginia lectures) If the Scriptures are not inspired of God there is not proper ground upon which a claim for universal reception and obedience can be based.

"Life lies before you, young man, all gleaming and flashing in the light of your early hopes, like a summer sea. But bright though is seem in the silvery sheen of its far-off beauty, it is a place where many a sunken rock and many treacherous quicksand have made shipwreck of immortal hopes. And calm though its polished surface may sleep, without a ripple or a shade it shall yet be overhung to you by the darkness of the night, and the wildness of the tempest. And oh! if in these lonely and perilous scenes of your voyage, you were left without a landmark or beacon, how sad and fearful were your lot. But blessed God! you are not. Far up on the rock of ages, there streams a light from the Eternal Word, the light that David saw and rejoiced; the light that Paul saw and took courage; the light that has guided the ten thousand times ten thousand, that have already reached the happy isles of the blest. There it stands, the Pharos of this dark and stormy scene, with flame that was kindled in heaven, and that comes down to us reflected from many a glorious image of prophet, apostle and martyr. Many a rash and wicked spirit has sought to put out this light, and on the pinion of reckless daring, furiously dashed itself against it, but has only fallen stunned and blackened in the surf below. Many a storm of hate and fury has dashed wildly against it, covering it for a time with spray, but when the fiercest shock has spent its rage, and the proud waves rolled all shivered and sullenly back, the beacon has still gleamed on high and clear above the raging waters. Another storm is now dashing against it; and another cloud of mist is flung around it, but when these also have expended their might, the rock and the beacon shall be unharmed still. 'We have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day-star arise in your hearts." (Inspiration of the Scriptures — T. V. Moore)

Nineteen hundred years ago believers were comforted by these words assuring of the more sure word of prophecy. This same comfort has been experienced by believers of every generation until the present one and shall continue available till time shall be no more.

One hundred and thirteen years ago T. V. Moore and others of his day were faced with the opposition to the Bible claim of inspiration by such theories as that of Morell. Morell's theory held "that the only sufficient basis of certitude, is the dictates of the universal consciousness of the human race." This storm which was then "dashing against" the inspiration of the Scriptures failed to topple the Bible. Millions of copies continue to be published and thousands of people continue to search out the answers to their most momentous questions as those answers are found on the pages of the Revelation of the will of God.

How can we discover "the dictates of the universal consciousness of the human race?"

As Moore puts it: "In this chase of phantoms, what shall we believe? May not the next morning's newspaper that gives us the price of stocks and cotton, also inform us of the appearance of some new philosopher whose teachings shall supplant all his predecessors and leave us bankrupt in our faith? What shall we trust? Jesus we know, and Paul we know, and can discover the truth if they have taught it....If then the Bible be the standard of truth, we know what to believe; if not, we are launched on a shoreless and fathomless ocean, without landmark, or pilot, or compass, while the waters are covered with darkness."

"The dictates of the universal consciousness of the human race" is nothing more than public opinion. Public opinion is no set standard. It fluctuates as much as style in dress changes. A change in the head of state can change the moral standard of the nation. Public opinion will sanction the basest sort of conduct if those in authority in civil affairs set the example. Does public opinion hold liars in scorn? If yes, how are political campaigns to be explained? Public opinion may sanction lying today but condemn it tomorrow; not so with the Bible; it is from that one who "is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever." (Heb. 13:8) By the Scriptures, lying is always condemned as sin and the destiny of all liars is hell.

The pressing need which is realized in human experience for an unchangeable and wholly dependable standard of authority, argues convincingly for a revelation from God; such is "Scripture inspired of God." — 417 E. Groesbeck, Lufkin, Texas