Q&A: The Inspiration of the Holy Spirit

The Inspiration of the Holy Spirit

What do we mean when we say that the writers of Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit?

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Answer

When we say that the writers of Scripture were inspired by the Spirit, we mean that God moved in such a way in their minds that, without subverting their individual personalities, without erasing the cultural influences that they had, etc., God ensured that what they wrote was his word, were the very words that he wanted on paper to reveal to mankind who he is and how he acts and what he requires of us. So, when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he didn't first sit down and pray and say, "Lord, inspire me to write 1 Corinthians," he just wrote a letter to the Corinthians. And yet, in that process, the Spirit was working in the mind of Paul so that 1 Corinthians is not only a letter to a first century church, but is revelation to the people of God.

Answer by Dr. Alan Hultberg

Dr. Alan Hultberg is Associate Professor of Bible Exposition and New Testament at Talbot School of Theology.