God-Breathed Words

“All Scripture is breathed out by God…”
2 Timothy 3:16a (ESV)

“…for no prophecy was ever made
by an act of human will,
but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

2 Peter 1:21

John MacArthur:

“…The term inspire is not a Greek term. Inspiro comes from Latin which means to breath in. And it’s a little bit misleading. In 2 Timothy 3:16 when it says, “All Scripture is given by,” what, “inspiration of God.” Or all Scripture is inspired by God. The Latin term inspiration does not properly translate the word theopanustas, “God breathed.” Really, it shouldn’t be inspired, it should be expired.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God, not breathed in. The idea then in the Scripture is that the Bible is the out breath of God. It’s not God breathing into man’s words. It’s not God breathing into man’s thoughts. It’s God breathing out His words.”

B. B. Warfield

“The Greek term has, however, nothing to say of inspiring or of inspiration: it speaks only of a “spiring” or “spiration.” What it says of Scripture is, not that it is “breathed into by God” or is the product of the Divine “inbreathing” into its human authors, but that it is breathed out by God, “God-breathed,” the product of the creative breath of God. In a word, what is declared by this fundamental passage is simply that the Scriptures are a Divine product, without any indication of how God has operated in producing them. No term could have been chosen, however, which would have more emphatically asserted the Divine production of Scripture than that which is here employed. The “breath of God” is in Scripture just the symbol of His almighty power, the bearer of His creative word. “By the word of the LORD,” we read in the significant parallel of Psalm 33:6 “were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” And it is particularly where the operations of God are energetic that this term (whether רוח, ruach, or נשמה, neshamah) is employed to designate them—God’s breath is the irresistible outflow of His power. When Paul declares, then, that “every scripture” or “all scripture” is the product of the Divine breath, “is God-breathed,” he asserts with as much energy as he could employ that Scripture is the product of a specifically Divine operation.”

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy:

“…Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms: obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises….

“Holy Scripture, as the inspired Word of God witnessing authoritatively to Jesus Christ, may properly be called infallible and inerrant. These negative terms have a special value, for they explicitly safeguard crucial positive truths.

lnfallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters.

“Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.”

Mike Braun:

“The Old and New Testaments, in their entirety, are the Word of God written and are therefore inerrant in their original hand.  All Scripture was given by inspiration and is fully authoritative for the Christian in all its teaching.  Whatever is taught by Scripture is to be accepted, believed in, and affirmed by all who bear the name ‘Christian.’ ”

“Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.”
Psalm 119:89

Gutenberg Bible Illumination: Lunkwill, Public Domain
John MacArthur, Grace to YouOur God-Breathed Bible.
See also:  Is the Bible Reliable?
B. B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, pp. 132-133.  I added this quote after
I published this post. I don’t have all of my books with me at this time, but I did find the quote in
some of my papers and later on the web.
Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy with Exposition.
I highly recommend reading this in its entirety.
Mike Braun is one of my former pastors.

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