The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 3 The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 097:388 (Oct 1940)
Article: The Person of the Holy Spirit Part 3 The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Person of the Holy Spirit
Part 3
The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

John F. Walvoord

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1940)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 11–23, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–13 respectively.}

IV. The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures

Of the many ministries of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, few are of more immediate concern to Christians than the work of the inspiration of Old Testament Scriptures. While the peculiar doctrines of Christianity to a large extent are based on New Testament revelation, it is clear to even a casual observer that the New Testament is based on the Old Testament, and one without the other does not constitute a complete or satisfying revelation. The doctrine of inspiration, having to do with the formation of the Scriptures, does not differ to a great extent in the two Testaments.

The doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures has been the historic position of most Protestant churches, as their creeds bear abundant testimony. Whatever the degrees of unbelief latent in either the clergy or the laity, and whatever disagreements there may be between denominational groups on other doctrines, Protestant churches have officially held the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures. This has been subject to extended discussion and argument, however, as various views of inspiration have been proffered. A complete discussion of the doctrine of inspiration cannot be undertaken here.1

The importance of the inspiration of the Scriptures, while tacitly denied by some in modern times, is easily sustained. It is a matter of tremendous import whether the Scriptures are a supernaturally produced Word of God, or whether they are a collection of the works of men, containing the errors

one must expect in any human work. As Boettner writes: “That the question of inspiration is of vital importance for the Christian Church is easily seen. If she has a definite and authoritative body of Scripture to which she can go, it is a comparatively easy task to formulate her doctrines. All she has to do is to search out the teachings of Scripture and embody them in her creed. But if the Scriptures are not authoritative, if they are to be corrected and edited and some parts are to be openly rejected, the Church has a much more serious problem, and there can be no end of conflicting opinions concerning either the purpose of the Church or the system of doctrine which she is to set forth.”

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