The Inspiration Of The Old Testament -- By: I. P. Warren

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 041:162 (Apr 1884)
Article: The Inspiration Of The Old Testament
Author: I. P. Warren


The Inspiration Of The Old Testament

Rev. I. P. Warren

I propose in the present article to support and illustrate the truth that the Old Testament Scriptures are the word of God. They are, in a sense that is true of no other book save their younger sister the New Testament, his communication to men. As such, they possess whatever qualities necessarily attach to his word, of truth, of sanctity, of authority, of infallibility.

This high character I prefer to designate by the word divine rather than inspired, because the latter, in addition to the quality itself, carries with it by etymological inference the assumption that it was imparted in a particular way, viz. by a direct influence of the Holy Spirit upon the minds of the writers. Whether this was true or not is worthy of special inquiry, but it is not, I think, necessary to the result. God may, conceivably, have given us a communication in some other way, and it tends to confuse us to be obliged to think of it always under the regimen of a term which blends the fact with a particular mode. The word divine will sufficiently express the fact, leaving the question of the mode to be considered by itself.

The truth of the proposition that the Old Testament is the word of God is, for Christian believers, readily established. It is directly affirmed in many ways by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the apostles. It cannot be necessary that I should cite their utterances here. They are thickly strewn through all the Gospels and Epistles. The divine sanctity and authority of the Scriptures were with them always a first principle, assumed as a matter of course, which nobody disputed, and which needed no proof. It may, indeed, be reckoned as among the primary Christian truths.

And let us note how comprehensive it was, as it appears in the sayings of the Lord and of those who had been taught by him. The sacred writings were classed by the Scribes under the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, an arrangement which Christ himself recognized. But he made no difference between them in this respect. Never did he single out one at the expense of the others. Never did he distinguish between known and unknown authors. Never did he speak of some that were more and some that were less inspired. If he did not quote from every one, it was not because he did not recognize their place in the sacred canon, but simply because he did not need to do so for the purpose in hand. He made little of the personality of the writer, but every thing of the authority by which he wrote. It was not what was spoken by the prophet, but what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet. To him the entire collection was a unit, and ...

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