“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible claims to be inspired.
The literal word in the original language is “God-breathed.” The idea is clear: the Bible is God’s Own Words, God’s Own Thoughts, expressed from Him, Personally.
Most people don’t have a problem when the term “inspiration” is used to describe the Bible. After all, many books are “inspired” – because “they often challenge human minds and hearts to new heights.” Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, and so many others… are also “inspired.” They are “a step above” other literary works… they are literary masterpieces – and they merit our attention… and admiration. The Bible is seen as “inspired” in this “masterpiece” sense.
Others see “inspiration” within the Bible… just not in the totality of its pages. The Bible contains God’s Words, yes… but it also contains myths, mistakes, contradictions, and legendary material. As Josh McDowell summarized this “limited inspiration” view: “The Word of God can be found in the Bible but the Word of God is not synonymous with the Bible.”
But when Christians talk about the Bible as being inspired, they mean something very different. They mean that, in its original manuscripts, every word is inspired by the Living God. It is inerrant. It is infallible. It is God telling us His views, His thoughts, His direct input… as recorded by human beings, writing down what He is inspiring within them.
Peter gives us the concept: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) At the very core of Scripture is God speaking – and God’s Spirit moved men to be inspired to write down what He was speaking.
Since God never lies, but always speaks truthfully, His words are the very voice of truth. All that is needed is for men to hear His words properly. And Peter tells us that God’s Spirit was assisting in just that process (and He assists us as well!).
Now think about that for a moment. If God is able to create everything out of nothing, and He formed humanity in His Own image (and for the purpose of ruling over the earth), He must be capable of giving human beings the ability to understand His communication with us.
If we are lacking, He is capable of providing what we lack – so that His words can be heard… and heard accurately.
This is what the Bible is claiming. It is telling us that there is an accurate record of what God has to say about Himself, and about us – and He was actively involved in making certain that the written record of His Words to us was true and faithful to His every thought.
In short, the Bible is a miracle. A miracle is merely an act of an Almighty God, whose interactions on our behalf, are for our benefit.