I imagine if you were to ask 10 Christians what they believed about the Bible you would get several different answers. Let me briefly explain how we at Trego Community Church understand the Bible as God’s Word.
Our Doctrinal statement says:
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts (2 Timothy 3:16). It was written by men under the direction of the Holy Spirit and has supreme authority in all matters on which it speaks. (2 Peter 2:20-21.)
Here is what is behind those 2 sentences. 2 Timothy 3:16 is where we get the word inspired. The Greek word being translated is theopenustos and literally translated would be “Godbreathed.” Pictures God breathing into the human authors the words they wrote down. It was not a forced auto writing but allowed for their own personalities and styles to show through while maintaining the content God wanted recorded. However, some of it actually was dictated by God to the human authors. We also hold that it only applies to the original documents. There isn’t an inspired translation. But, due to the thousands of ancient copies available for study there is high confidence in the accuracy of most translations.
We also have the testimony of Jesus Christ to shore up our understanding of inspiration. Speaking of the O.T. Scriptures He said the following in Matthew 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” That indicates we can trust God was guiding even the spelling of each word. In Matthew 22:29-32 Jesus Christ pointed to the verb tense in Exodus 3:6 as proof of resurrection for believers after death. So, God was also behind the grammatical structure of the O.T. Scriptures.
Does that same understanding apply to the N.T. Scriptures. I believe the answer is yes. Jesus Christ promised the Apostles that the Holy Spirit, the agent behind the O.T. Bible, would also guide them in recording what He had taught them. John 15:26 & 27; 16:13-15 are those promises.
What all that means is this, we must take the Bible at face value. Our study should be focused on staying within the original intent of God and His human authors. They were writing within the context of their culture using illustrations and figures of speech of that day. So, we don’t apply 21st century meanings to the words they used. Bible study is serious business. The Apostle James warned “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things.” There will be an accounting and none of us want be questioned by the Lord on why we did not teach accurately what He had said.