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Inspiration of Scripture

All Christian denominations make the claim that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. As such, Christians claim that the Biblical writers were inspired by God to write down what God wanted written, and nothing more. This does not mean that the Biblical writers put down on parchment word for word what God dictated. After all, we see in 1 Corinthians the following: "Thank God, I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius . . . Oh, and I baptized the household of Stephanas" (1 Cor. 14-15). Here, either we have to believe that God had a mental lapse, or, more likely, that God inspired the Biblical writers without dictating the exact words that He wanted them to put down in writing.

However, Protestants, who profess that the Bible is inspired, have difficulty in explaining how they know the Bible is inspired. Most do not give a second thought to the issue–they believe the Bible is inspired because Christians before them believed in its inspiration, and taught them the same. However, this is poor reasoning. After all, how did their teachers know it was inspired?

Some Protestants claim that the Bible is "inspirational"–it moves the believer in such a way that the believer knows it is inspired. However, the Mormons also make this claim–they say that one who reads the Book of Mormon will know it is inspired when they get the "burning in the bosom". Relying on one's feelings is misleading at best. It must also be remembered that believers can and are "moved" by other books–some religious, others not, more than they are by certain books of the Bible. If one feels "moved" by reading the Bible, it does not logically follow that the Bible is inspired. One may be moved by reading the Bible simply by the fact that he believes the Bible to be inspired, and that belief may be enough to evoke that feeling. Take the Muslims, for one. A Muslim would no doubt be moved by the Koran, more so than the Bible. But this is not enough to prove that the Koran is inspired.

Protestants usually point to the Scriptures: "All Scripture is inspired by God" (2 Tim. 3:16). Thus, say Protestants, the Bible itself says it is inspired, so it must be inspired. However, just because a book claims to be inspired, this does not mean it is inspired. Anyone can write a book and include the words, "this book is inspired." In fact, many other religious books claim inspiration. This, of course, does not prove their inspiration.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, can prove the Bible is inspired. How do they do this? First of all, they take various ancient documents, including the books of the Bible, and through a critical analysis of the texts, conclude that they are historically accurate documents. Once this is established, the Catholic Church examines the contents of these documents–including the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. From the life and miracles of Jesus, the Catholic Church concludes that Jesus must have been God, as He claimed. As God, the teachings of Jesus must have been true, and according to His teachings, He founded an infallible Church, which Biblically and historically can be identified as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, in turn, infallibly decided the canon of Scripture and infallibly declared that the Bible was inspired. Protestants are right when they say the Bible is inspired. The problem is, they cannot prove it is inspired.

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