Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Bibliology"
PART-2: VERBAL AND PLENARY
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- VERBAL AND PLENARY INSPIRATION
The emphasis here given is that inspiration penetrates to the very words of
Scripture. Verbal inspiration maintains that the Bible in its original words
from first to last is the exact record of the mind and will of God as He
intended it to be.
The emphasis here stressed is that the entire text in all of its parts is
equally from God. Plenary means full. History, science, genealogy, etc., are
all the subjects of inspiration.
- Notes concerning Verbal and Plenary Inspiration
- Inspiration extends directly only to the original
documents. Verbal inspiration does not contend that any version is
- Inspiration bears on the writing rather than on the
- Men have been prepared by God for their special job.
God used the writer's personality, background, vocabulary, training, etc.,
in the writing of the Word. Hodge writes, "He first created man and
endowed him constitutionally with all his rational, emotional, aesthetic,
moral, and volitional powers. He then brought certain individual men into
existence with the specific qualifications necessary for writing certain
parts of Scripture and placed them under their specific historical
conditions and in their specific positions in the successions of sacred
writers, and gave them the precise degree and quality of religious
experience, of natural providential guidance, of supernatural revelation
and inspiration necessary to stimulate their free activity and to
determine the results as He would have it."
- Inspiration is more than providence (guidance) for
this can bring a man only so far as his own power can carry him.
Inspiration is more than help from God to keep the record free from error.
It is positive and active as well as negative and passive.
- Although all Scripture is inspired, all is not of
equal importance. God, however, intended every word to be there.
- Although all Scripture is inspired, simply because a
statement is in it does not necessarily make that statement true. It
may be a statement of Satan or an uninformed man. It is, however, stated
with accuracy and for a purpose.
- Compare the twofold nature of Christ (the Living
Word) with the Scriptures (the Written Word).
- Both begotten of the union between the Holy Spirit
- The human element in each case was only human.
- The human parent in both cases brought forth other
- In each case it is impossible to separate the two
- L. S. Chafer's definition: "Inspiration contends
that God so directed the human authors that, without destroying their own
individuality, literary style, or personal interests, His complete and
connected thought toward man was recorded. "
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