Inspiration: The Oracles Of God -- By: Erich D. Schwartz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 23:1 (Winter 2010)
Article: Inspiration: The Oracles Of God
Author: Erich D. Schwartz

Inspiration: The Oracles Of God

Erich D. Schwartz

The Oracles

“To them were entrusted the oracles of God” (Rom 3:2, author’s translation, as are all Scripture quotations henceforth).

Paul considered the OT Scriptures to be not impressions various writers had about God, nor simply an account quoting God. Rather, the Scriptures were the oracles1 of God—they were His speech. God committed to the Jews His oracles, and they thus carried in the Scriptures His original and continuing speech, so that the immediate presence of God accompanied Holy Writ. Thus, Stephen declared that Moses received the living oracles to give to us (Acts 7:38), and the New Testament writers wrote in the present tense, “The Scripture speaks.”2 The presence of God in His Word is the essence of scriptural inspiration.

A scoffing attitude toward Scripture must not cloud our reason. Those who reject the idea of inspiration must either reject God, or reject the idea that God communicates with man. If we are not willing to reject God or His communication, the only issue left is whether the Bible is indeed His inspired Word, a question that should be resolved by testing the Word, rather than by testing the writers who must be—as we—subject to His miracles. The testing of the Word is not the province of this article, though it is of almost every other article in Bible and Spade.

The oracle is an OT idea also. There, designating the Holy of Holies chamber as the oracle (debir, Hebrew, a cognate of dabar, Hebrew, “word” and of diber, Hebrew, “to speak”), references both the written word of God on the Sinai stones (resident in the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies) and the continuing revelation that would come there to Moses (Ex. 30:6). It likewise applies to the high priest, to Samuel the prophet (1 Sm 3:2-4), and to Zacharias the priest by the altar of incense just outside the Holy of Holies (Lk 1). The splitting of the Temple veil at the time of Christ’s sacrifice (Mt 27:51) signified not only our free access to communion with God and to His salvific mercy, but also the breaking forth of God’s oracular principle, so that shortly after the splitting of the veil, the writing of the NT began. God was ready to breathe new Scripture.

The Breath Of God

“Every Scripture...

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