The 3 Corollaries of Biblical Inspiration

October 21, 2013 — 1 Comment

Following up from my recent post, 2 Reasons the Bible is Inspired and 3 Implications from It, I believe it is appropriate to further expand on the definition of inspiration. This expanded definition will include how the Bible is inspired based on its authority, sufficiency, and canonicity.

The 3 Corollaries of Biblical Inspiration

1. Authority

Authority is a corollary of inspiration that states that scripture is to be obeyed because it is from God. 1 This belief is based on the fact that God is the source of Scripture and the Spirit of God is the agent that gave Scripture, thus there is a divine authority attributed to Scripture. 2

2. Sufficiency

Sufficiency is a corollary of inspiration that states that Scripture is truth and because it is truth it is practical and useful in everyday life. 3 However, this means that Bible interpreters need to be humble to remember that their interpretation of the specific sufficiency of Scripture applicable to life is merely an interpretation, not doctrine.

3. Canonicity

Canonicity is a corollary of inspiration that states that the writings of both the Old and New Testaments were worth preservation. 4 During preservation the writings had to endure a “measuring” process by which they needed to adhere to a specific list of criteria. These are the three criteria that the New Testament writings had to endure:

  1. “The knowledge of a book evinced by a particular Father or source.
  2. The attitude towards such a book as an inspired Scripture on the part of the Father or source.
  3. The existence of the concept of a list or canon in which the quoted work figures.” 5

Meeting these criteria allowed them to be seen as authoritative, inspired, and accepted as God’s holy Scripture.

Question: What are some other reasons that you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God?

Notes:

  1. Glenn Kreider, “Views of Inspiration,” unpublished class notes for ST101 (Dallas Theological Seminary, Summer Semester, 2004), 1.
  2. Ibid., 7.
  3. Ibid., 9.
  4. Glenn Kreider, “The Collected Scriptures as a Canon of Revelation,” unpublished class notes for ST101 (Dallas Theological Seminary, Summer Semester, 2004), 1.
  5. J.D Douglas, “The Canon of the New Testament” in New Bible Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996).

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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