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Entries in Inerrancy (1)


Many long processes of final convergence

Fred Zaspel discusses B.B. Warfield's view of inerrancy and inspiration, specifically the role of human agency in transmission of the Scriptures. They were not just dropped into the minds of a willing participant, and then blindly scribbled down. There was an intimacy between writer and God:

The intimacy of relationship with men by which God gave us his Word, moreover, assumes a "complex of processes" by which God actively assured the result. The various books of the Bible were not produced suddenly by miraculous act or fiat or handed down complete out of heaven. They are the result of many long processes in final convergence. Before the writing of history there was the preparation of the history to be recorded. And before the writing there was the preparation of the writer himself -- his religious experiences; revelations of divine truth; his education; his physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development; his gifts and biases and vocabulary; and so on. God did not decide finally to give his Word and choose men at random, any of whom would do for the conveyance of that Word. No, before giving a series of letters to the churches he first prepared a Paul -- called from his mother's womb -- to write them; and in preparing Paul, God made him all that would be necessary for the writing of these letters. To provide us with th psalms, God first prepared a David. In his providence God first provided a fervidly impetuous Peter, a tender and saintly John, a practically wise James, each of whose personalities dominate their writings. All these considerations contribute to the many "marks of human authorsip" so evident in Scripture. And so the idea of inspiration entails not only the final product but the entire process by which god gave us his Word through human agents.