What do we mean when we say the New Testament is inspired?

saron mahari asks in Start a New Thread:

what do we mean when we say the new testament is inspired?

I personally find this to be a fascinating question, especially when directed at the non-errant crowd. The problem the non-errants have when claiming that the Bible is the “inspired Word of God” is their claim that the Bible’s divine inspiration is verbal, plenary inspiration – that is, they claim that every word in the Bible came directly from God. That leaves them in the unenviable position of explaining how there could be errors in the Bible, whether the errors were in the Hebrew and Greek autographs, or whether the errors crept in during transmission (an important concern because all humanity has are the copies).

But it’s not at all a prickly question for the majority of Christians (though interestingly, a good many non-errants charge that those who do not believe that the Bible is inerrant are not true Christians). For the majority of Christians, “inspiration” can be as non-substantive as a feeling or a hunch, or a realization of some sort. This type of inspiration would not at all conflict with our observation that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, and other inconsistencies.


3 Responses to What do we mean when we say the New Testament is inspired?

  1. William says:

    What evidence would you need to prove God exists? And if you got this evidence, would it erase the history of atheism? I don’t think so, but what is your point of view?

  2. Durzal says:

    Hello William, welcome to the site

    Well to prove something you need to provide enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it is correct, unfortunately I haven’t come across anything of any sort that I would call “Evidence” to support the existence of a personal God. (i.e. one that deals with human beings in anyway)
    One could argue I guess, that if the universal constants of certain forces (gravity for example) were not exactly as they are (or very close to it) life would not be possible in this universe and this could provide a certain sympathy for design (though this raises even bigger problems), that is until you look at the concept of a multiverse where all possible universal constants of the universe are played out, it is an interesting theory with few problems and has symmetry with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    The next question would be what created the multiverse, those of faith would say “our particular God” but proclaim this without any evidence or reasoning to support it,… whereas I would just say dunno!!! and be pleased with myself for not just believing something that has no basis in evidence and being humble enough to realise we don’t have all the answers…yet!

    It wouldn’t erase history but it would prove atheists wrong if you managed to provide true evidence that a God existed.

    If you feel you have something that proves the existence of a God, share it, and we can explore the possibilities together.

  3. The Atheist says:

    I wouldn’t want to limit the evidence that I would consider, but to give you an idea, here are a few examples of what types of things would constitute evidence:

    • anyone could experience (see, hear, etc) God if they looked a certain way or in a certain place
    • several people who are unknown to each other independently heard or saw God, and their independent accounts of the experience are very close

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘erasing the history of atheist’, but let me suggest this for your consideration: the principal reason that atheism is relatively wide spread is that there is no evidence that gods exist. If there were evidence, I suppose it is possible that some people still wouldn’t believe because some people are simply delusional, but there would be no real atheist philosophy per se.

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