1) Many today are demanding that the Bible prove itself as divinely inspired and authentic. The motives of its writers are challenged. The legitimacy of the cannon is questioned, and its truths tarnished.

However, I believe that the real issue this raises is an epistemological one rather than an empirical one, that is to say, “HOW do we KNOW anything about anything when it comes to Scripture?” Some are now demanding that natural reasoning empirically prove what many others believe to be a supernaturally inspired document. And that can’t work.

If we carried that same guideline to it’s logical extreme, very little documentation of distant history would be credible beyond an educated guess, which by its nature always leaves room for a reasonable doubt. We can usually insert some level of reasonable doubt into anything we ourselves haven’t directly eye-witnessed. The fact that Jesus even actually walked the earth in supernatural power can’t be proven empirically beyond the writings a few witnesses who claim to have seen him or heard about Him in His day.

As a lawyer, given time to prepare, I could cross-examine and shred most any ancient historical document as dubious and of limited reliability IF I used strictly natural reasoning and empirical standards of proof. Eyewitness testimony today has been empirically proven by psychologists to be notoriously unreliable.

History is basically just sketchy hearsay, providing a basis for educated guessing. Nothing ancient can be proved beyond all empirical doubt. It is certainly interesting hearsay, but it is ultimately opinion-based and largely un-provable. History is continually rewritten, challenged, disputed and adjusted, with absolute consensus being the rarest of things. Obviously, the more recent the history, the more it allows for video and audio confirmation, but even these are capable of being forged or misinterpreted.

As far as the Bible though, we have no such confirmation other than the eyewitness documents and the hearsay of the day. This is why hearsay in a court of law is inadmissible. And even if we could meticulously establish the chain of custody of every Scripture from pen to scroll to now, it would still depend ultimately on the hearsay accounts of the writers and preservers of the texts, all of which are not provable.

The ancients didn’t have evidence lockers, videotape cameras recording all the Scribes’ actions or meticulous peer review procedures. The empirical proof many ask for is ultimately impossible to provide, not only for the Bible but for any ancient sacred document.

Authentication has to come from another source. All any Bible writer had was inspired faith. Or, as Kierkegaard famously termed it, it was a “leap of faith” into the arena of divine things, an arena where empiricism and logic are secondary spices but are not the primary meat in the stew.

So, when it comes to epistemology (how we KNOW anything to be true), I subscribe to Henri Bergson’s Vitalism, which essentially says that there are two types of knowledge– 1) relative knowledge obtained through our natural faculties which is always subject to change, and 2) intuitive apprehension of eternal truth which is not subject to change. The latter “intuitive truth” is the only way any eternal truth can be grasped, by an immediate and spontaneous apprehension of it.

Bergson believed that we are far more than the sum of our parts. Logic and empirical reasoning are lesser parts of our thinking because we have transcendent thinking skills which greatly exceed these rational sub-parts. There is a growing movement today to establish the legitimacy of abductive (gut-led intuition) reasoning as greater than either deductive or inductive reasoning.

This tension has always been present in almost every discipline. Platonic intuition versus cold Aristotelian logic. Jungian epiphany versus Freudian reason. Quantum unpredictability versus Rules-based Newtonian Physics. This is why Einstein said imagination is more important than intelligence. He also said intuition was a sacred gift that reason was to serve, not lead.

So here is my bottom line. I have studied how the Scriptures were providentially formed, but that’s not why I believe them. I have a ten-volume set of the Ante-Nicene fathers which tracks the providential recognition and growing dependence on the books now contained in the New Testament as they developed in the first 300 years after Christ, but that is not why I believe them. I also have numerous books and articles on the formation of Scripture, hermeneutical principles, and apologetics which trace the fingerprints of providential purpose on the formation of the New Testament, but that’s not why I believe them.

Here is why I accept Scriptures. Decades ago, I had a direct encounter with the Holy Spirit where I directly “apprehended” the foundational importance and supernatural vitality of Scriptures. And they have blessed me bountifully ever since.
So, here is my point. The authority of Scripture can’t primarily come from the demands of our natural reasoning, just like our faith in Jesus can’t be reduced to “prove it” theorems of logic. This is the leap of faith. Jesus certainly showed His view of empirical demands for proof in His incident with doubting Thomas.

“The other disciples therefore said unto Thomas, We have seen the Lord . But he said unto them , EXCEPT I shall SEE in his hands the print of the nails , and PUT my finger into the print of the nails , and THRUST my hand into his side , I will NOT BELIEVE [sounds like high rationalism to me].
And after eight days again his disciples were within , and Thomas with them : then came Jesus , the doors being shut , and stood in the midst , and said , Peace be unto you . Then saith he to Thomas , Reach hither thy finger , and behold my hands ; and reach hither thy hand , and thrust it into my side : and BE NOT FAITHLESS , but believing [here Jesus calls Thomas’ demand for empirical proof FAITHLESS].

And Thomas answered and said unto him , My Lord and my God . Jesus saith unto him , Thomas , because thou hast seen me , thou hast believed : BLESSED are they that have NOT SEEN , and YET have BELIEVED [hardly a ringing endorsement for Thomas’ empiricism].” John 20:25-29.
Of course, WITHOUT Scripture, we would know nothing, nada, zippo, that is to say precisely squat about Jesus and the kingdom of love. Oh, we might have a vague impression, like the Greeks did, of an “unknown god.” But, we would know little to nothing of Jesus.

So, just as we need a direct intuitive apprehension of Jesus as the son of the living God we also need a direct apprehension of whether Scriptures carry a unique supernatural element of authoritative inspiration. For me, I had a direct apprehension, epiphany and intuition from the Holy Spirit that Scriptures contain the exceeding great and precious promises of God which provide us all things for life and Godliness.

Each believer can experience this direct apprehension for themselves where the Holy Spirit actually confirms within their hearts that the Scriptures are unique and foundational for their faith. But it doesn’t stop there. The believer must continue to yield to the Holy Spirit as the agent of Scriptural translation. The result will be a heightened sense of things, a better rationality that incorporates sacred intuition, abductive awe, and spontaneous epiphany.

“Intelligence” is a term no longer reserved just for academics. Intelligence is instead expanded to include “emotional” intelligence, “visceral” intelligence, and “Spiritual” intelligence. Sure reason and rationality have their part in our being, but only a part. They need to blend with the other transcendent human qualities mentioned above.

2) If the Bible is NOT inspired by God on ANY meaningful level, then why oh why should I then believe a chapter, a verse, a word, nay– even a lone uninspired syllable of it?

If God has played NO ROLE in providentially protecting, gradually developing and fluidly forming the basic canon of Scripture on ANY level, why should I then trust ANYTHING it says or suggests?

You can’t have it both ways. If the Bible is NOT inspired by God on ANY level, then He certainly doesn’t want us relying on it on ANY level. Anything not God-inspired on ANY level can have NO divine worth, authority, or reliability.

So, please, if you deny the Bible is inspired on ANY and EVERY level, then please don’t ever mention Jesus in your theology. Why? Because, of course, it would be uninspired to do so. An uninspired Bible means that all we really know today of Jesus is ALSO uninspired on EVERY level BECAUSE it comes from uninspired Scriptures written by uninspired men, which were later developed by uninspired church fathers, and eventually canonized by still other uninspired councils of men.

If you deny the divine inspiration of Scripture at all levels, then you really deny the testimony of Jesus: Who He was, His divinity, His incarnation, His gifts and enablements left to us, His commission to us, His future promises, His indwelling of our hearts NOW, His matchless teachings on love and forgiveness ……. ALL…… ARE…. UNINSPIRED…. BY…… GOD.

We do all realize that WITHOUT the witness of Scriptures, we all would know precisely nothing, that is to say, “zippo, nada, squat” about Jesus….. don’t we?

Oh, we might have a vague intuition of an invisible divine Spirit, some inner echo of awareness of a creator God, some inkling of an unknown God. But, like the Athenians in Paul’s day, our “best” understanding, WITHOUT the witness of Scripture, would allow us to set up a temple “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” Paul referred to their shallow and uninformed understanding of the true God as follows, “What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you.” Acts 17:22-23.

It amazes me that those who favor demoting the Bible as being non-authoritative and “optional” reading claim that Jesus would support their idea. Yet, they base that mainly on how the Bible says Jesus disdained hyper-literal religionists of His day. But, HOW would they even know that without reading it from the Bible? They are not only biting the hand that feeds them, they are gnawing it off altogether.

Or, in the alternative, you could simply say, “I do believe that all Scripture is inspired by God, not always in its literal form perhaps, but that on some meaningful level, often allegorical, God wants us to engage every text with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Holy Spirit will eventually help us glean some significant spiritual meaning from it. This gleaning on occasion might be MORE than what the text literally says, or in some cases even OTHER than what the text literally says, but there is always an inspired subtextual meaning God has embedded in the passage for us to see. And that meaning will always be Christological. Sometimes, this reading will enhance the literal reading, while at other times it may contradict it, but it will always enrich and expand my understanding of Christ.”

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus told the two disciples “And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He (Christ) INTERPRETED to them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning himself….And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:26-27, 31-32.

This is the Jesus-burn that only true inspiration can bring. We are thus called to be the inspired readers of an inspired Bible written by inspired men and later compiled by inspired gatherers, all of whom to varying degrees share the same basic source of inspiration– the Spirit of Christ. Isn’t it interesting that the word “inspired” literally means “in-spirited.”

If you are interested in hearing more, here is a link to an article I wrote called The Jesus Hermeneutic. Enjoy! https://thegoodnessofgod.com/jesus-hermeneutic-glory-allegory/.

The Church Father Origen and the Alexandrian Church defined INERRANCY differently than we do. Origen used the term “inerrancy of Scripture” NOT to refer to the INERRANCY of the “ordinary or literal” sense of the text, which according to Origen, contains numerous “literal” errors, impossible “literal” statements, and even fictional “literal” elements on occasion.

BUT, Origen DID believe that all Scripture was “inerrant in it’s SPIRITUAL or ALLEGORICAL” sense. He rightly believed there was a subtextual/allegorical/symbolic meaning embedded in every text which always went far beyond the “bare letter” of the text.
Sometimes, the Biblical human writer was largely aware of the subtextual/allegorical/symbolic meaning and thus knew he was writing figuratively.
Sometimes, the writer was only dimly aware. Still other times, the writer was totally unaware of the true and deeper meaning of what they were writing. The writers commonly wrote “far more than they knew.”

C.S. Lewis believed the exact same thing by the way. “The human qualities of the raw material show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘the Word of God’ in the sense that every passage in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God.”

3) The word “inspiration” has been so maligned by theological grandstanding that its pristine meaning has now been banished into the linguistic equivalent of Hell.

Sadly, when the word “inspiration” is now used, the completely separate terms of “inerrancy” and “infallibility” automatically surround, assault and smother its true meaning. These three terms now form a three-headed Cerberus of fundamentalist propaganda which stands ready to wrathfully devour anybody who comes near seeking to better understand the “inspiration” of God.

The term “inspiration,” in short, has been kidnapped, mutilated and imprisoned by theologians who want to stretch and torture its meaning into places it wasn’t meant to go. It’s time we rescue it and restore it to its proper and pristine usage.

I have long felt that we should read the Bible as we would read poetry– our hearts and minds brimming with the positive energies of discerning delight, artistic awe, and interpretive wonder. Scripture is to be regarded as a meta-narrative comprised of allegories, metaphors, types, oxymorons, shadows, mysteries, dialogues, spirit-dynamics and subtextual meanings that only a poetic heart and an abductive mind could effectively glean. Its purpose is to deconstruct our “carnal thinking” in favor of “spiritual thinking.” This is described as the two wisdoms in James 3:15-17.

Every poet needs a muse, a “source of inspiration” to write. The muse doesn’t dictate the writing style or even the narrative accuracy of story. The muse merely gives the core idea which topically ignites the poet, who then allows his own energies and abilities to take it from there. No matter how far the writer might “stray from” or “add to” the muse’s original idea, the writing is still said to be “inspired” by the muse on some visceral level.
So, for the Bible to be “inspired BY God” is just to say its writers and gatherers were providentially “mused upon” to compile what they did. Simply put, God was their muse.

So let’s redefine “inspiration.”

Let’s not get too elaborate. If God’s Spirit has ANY “organic input” into ANY idea or expression of that idea, then that idea or expression of that idea can fairly said to be “inspired by God.”

My lover may inspire me to write a love poem or story, but that lover is not thereafter responsible for my writing style, misspellings, or misstatements of fact. Nonetheless, my “love writing” would still be “inspired.” It would touch all hearts on some level because of its sincerity, even if it was rife with surface flaws and even, on occasion, tragic misstatements.

I have seven children. As they proceeded through school, they would often come to me for ideas they could write about in their class essay assignments. I would shoot them a “kernel,” but they would be the ones to apply the conceptual heat to “pop-it-up” to fulness using their own abilities and perceptions to carry that idea out to full expression. I certainly would not have written the same idea the way they they ultimately did, but they followed their developmental abilities and made the idea their own.

Now, let’s consider the alternative. If we say the Bible has NO ORGANIC INPUT from God’s Spirit at all — zip, nada, nothing –, so that it is completely UNinspired by God in other words, then what are we left with?

Well, if we say God has no “organic input” WHATSOEVER into:
1) the writing of Bible;
2) the preservation and formation of the Bible;
3) our understanding of the Bible;
4) how we relate to God personally and corporately;
5) what we believe about God, our theology in other words;
6) our prayer life;
7) our devotional walk;
8) our daily life decisions;

… then we are left with a sad and Spiritless DEISM.

Simply put, if we believe that God DIRECTLY INSPIRES NOTHING in any of our lives, then we have lapsed into DEISM, which simply says God is not involved in our lives at all. DEISM says that there are no supernatural revelations or miracles, no intimate relational connections between creator and creation, and no ongoing rhema dialogue organically transpiring between men and God.

DEISM’S God is a distant, aloof and unconcerned deity off in the Heavens somewhere, while we are left here on our own to ENDLESSLY opine and intellectually legislate our personal philosophies— with no witness OF the Spirit, no help FROM the Spirit, and no communion WITH the Spirit.
Yet, many assert that if we dare claim to be directly “inspired by God” to do anything, that we are somehow practicing gnosticism. This despite the fact that:

–Paul said that “the sons of God are those who are LED by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:14);
–Jesus said we were to “live by EVERY rhema word” which continues to proceed OUT of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4);
–Jesus said He Himself was totally and continually inspired by the Father to say EVERY thing He said, and to do EVERY thing He did (John 5:19, 30).

Frankly, I would rather be falsely accused of Gnosticism than rightly accused of functional Deism. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 confirmed the Apostolic approval of all the Spiritual gifts of revelation: Prophecy, the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom, Tongues, and Interpretation– all which described various supernatural rhema communications between the mouth of God, i.e. the Holy Spirit, and believers, both individually and corporately.

Paul’s admonition of the Corinthians was not that they were using their revelational gifts at all, but rather that they were using them without love. His whole letter was about prioritizing love, “the better way,” in the use of all their gifts. Paul exhorted us to seek and covet these inspired (in-spirited) gifts. He never came close to saying these gifts were gnostic, epignostic perhaps, which was one of Paul’s favorite words to express true “spiritual and relational knowledge,” but never gnostic.

If we don’t have the inspiration (“the organic input”) of God underlying Scriptures and underpinning our faith, then we have nothing but human efforts left to live by.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus told the two disciples that ALL the Old Testament Scriptures were inspired on SOME non-apparent (i.e. non-literal) level “by” and “about” Him. “And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He (Christ) INTERPRETED to them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning himself….And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:26-27, 31-32.

This is the Jesus-burn that only true inspiration can bring. We are thus called to be the inspired readers of an inspired Bible written by inspired men and later compiled by inspired gatherers, all of whom to varying degrees share the same basic source of inspiration– the Spirit of Christ. Isn’t it interesting that the word “inspired” literally means “in-spirited.”

Don’t be ashamed to live by the inspiration of God!


For me, its all about translating the divine impulses. God first sends an inspired impulse in non-lingual form. We then translate that impulse into a word picture or linguistic expression. Satan (whether we consider him a dark angel or a dark dynamic) tries to get us to over-translate, under-translate, or MIS-translate that divine impulse. Satan is not in the original divine impulse, but he does seek entry into our subsequent processing and translation of it.

I don’t believe God dictates these impulses word-for-word to us in every detail. Human language is “slumming” to the Lord. Instead, we synergistically contribute to the revelatory dynamic by processing and expressing these divine impulses in our own emotional language and understanding to the best of our abilities.

Under this reading, Satan is always in the over, under or mistranslation. Galatians 4 and Colossians 2, in the RSV, speak of “elemental spirits” which seek to mislead us into literalism and legalistic interpretations which cause us to under, over or mistranslate the divine impulses. They are always the real enemy. The letter always kills and makes God out to be a killer.

I think we are commissioned, under the Holy Spirit’s commission (2 Corinthians 3:6) to occasionally reverse engineer Old Testament passages back to the original impulse and then better translate it with the New Testament spirit. This will rectify all over, under and mistranslations, but always according to the Jesus Hermeneutic displayed on the road to Emmaus.

“And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He (Christ) INTERPRETED to them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning himself….And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:26-27, 31-32.

Jesus was the perfect translator of all the divine impulses. When He received the similar impulse to share about the need to NOT prioritize or idolize family relationships before God, He then synergistically processed it and translated it using the FIGURATIVE sword as the metaphor. That was a faithful synergistic translation which was neither under-translated, over-translated, or MIS-translated. It aligned perfectly with the divine impulse sent to His heart by the Father.

Abraham, by contrast, over-translated that same basic divine impulse by literalizing it to the point of going to a particular time and place and actually using the PHYSICAL sword. Jesus never presumed to go get a literal sword. Abraham did. Perhaps God did specifically want Abraham OT go to that particular mount to have a formal consecration ceremony of his son– intense prayer, formal declarations of commitment, a laying on of hands perhaps, but NOT to slit his throat certainly. As Jubilees states, Satan was the suggesting source of the killing maneuver, not God.


This leads us to a very important question. What is the inspiration of Scriptures? “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3:16. Does the term “given by inspiration of God” mean that God took over the minds of the authors and dictated every word of the Bible in the exact order and sentence structure used? Or, does “inspired” have another meaning.

For instance, Oprah Winfrey was recently embroiled in a controversy about her recommendation of a book entitled A Million Little Pieces, which was allegedly a true story of a drug abuser’s fall and eventual recovery from severe addiction. Although Oprah’s support helped make the book a bestseller, trouble came when certain events in the book were proven to be exaggerated, embellished and occasionally untrue. The author was humiliated and disgraced, although book editors all agreed that there would have been no controversy if the author had affixed the following language to his manuscript – – “Inspired by a True Story.”

In other words, the term “inspiration” doesn’t mandate perfect adherence to historical and literal fact. “Inspiration” allows and acknowledges that the author’s writing has a core motivation based in real experience, but that the author’s limited and unique perception as well as his freedom of expression, result in the writing often being non-literal, only partially factual, and on occasion historically imprecise.

For instance, the Academy Award-winning movie Braveheart is “inspired” by the life of the Scottish hero William Wallace, yet historians all agree that very few scenes were historically accurate. And yet the movie was deeply inspirational and moving on every level. Does it being factually less accurate take away from its legitimate inspiration? The book and movie The End of the Spear both tell the inspirational story of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and several other Christian missionaries killed by Ecuadoran tribesmen, who later became Christians and friends of the martyrs’ families.

Both movie and book claim to be inspired by the true story. Yet, the book and movie don’t contain the literal, blow by blow, word for word, scene for scene, an account of the historical event. Nobody could accurately account for every actual word said, every actual sequence of events, every actual tone of voice, every actual emotion\thought\impulse of the people involved. But does it really matter if the story is at all points and times 100% literal and factual? Or, is it more important the story catches the true essence and tone of a special occurrence?

If all we are looking for are just the facts, then newspapers are the highest form of written truth. But, if we are looking for deeper meaning, burning inspiration, and compelling motivation, then we must go to a form of writing where the author has elbow room to excite and exhort the imaginations of its readers. Lower forms of these writings include novels, plays, essays, poems and editorials. The highest form of this type of writing is Holy Scripture.

Scripture can be read as a literal-historical document in that it contains much “newspaper” type of information. But the fact that it is also “inspired by God” takes it to another level altogether. This higher level is more concerned with Spiritual meaning from God’s viewpoint than with legalistic literalism from man’s viewpoint.

The prophet Isaiah warned that when the Bible becomes only literal propositions, it will cause the reader to be snared by the enemies of his soul. “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” Is. 28:13. The Apostle Paul likewise warned us that reading only by “the letter [literally] killeth” (2 Cor. 3:6).

Most of the early Church Fathers focused on Spiritual reading rather than literal reading. Saint Augustine preferred the non-literal meaning of Scripture as the truest sense of Scripture. So did Clement, Origen, St. Ambrose and St. Jerome. It is only this deeper sense of Scripture which gives proper shape and meaning to the literal. In other words, the literal reading doesn’t dictate what is Spiritual, but rather a Spiritual reading dictates what and when literal reading is appropriate.

Think of it this way. If all we do is read Scripture “literally,” then we can do this without God. All we need is our own natural understanding. This is the very thing God doesn’t want for us. He wants to illuminate and guide us through all Scripture so that we can see where His inspiration burns in these passages. In other words, God would never send us a revelation inspired by Him without also providing that it could only be properly understood by reading it with Him.

Did you ever wonder why Jesus didn’t write the New Testament with His own hand? If He had, then nobody could argue that it wasn’t always literally and historically perfect. And yet, Jesus didn’t do this for a very obvious reason. Had he written the Gospels Himself, then we could read them without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and never question the meaning as being anything other than literal. We would, in effect, idolize literalism since it came directly from the pen of Jesus. This “idolatry of the literal” is exactly what happened to the Ten Commandments written by the “finger of God.” Today, millions of Jews and Christians worship the law of God instead of the Spirit of God. They worship the literal rather than the Spiritual. This is why God, in all His wisdom, used imperfect men to write Scripture so that we would have to depend on the Spirit’s guidance to properly read, understand and apply God’s inspiration.

Great Bible scholars like John Calvin noted the occasional human imprecisions and inaccuracies in the Scripture, such as when Matthew 27:9 misquotes Zechariah 11:13 as having been said by Jeremiah, and also when Acts 7:16 erroneously lists Abraham, rather than Jacob, as the purchaser of the sepulcher from the sons of Emmor\Hamor per Joshua 24:32. God is perfect. Men are not. The Bible’s inspiration is perfect. Men’s expressions of that inspiration are not always perfect.

As C. S. Lewis said: “The human qualities of the raw material show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘the Word of God’ in the sense that every passage in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God.”

The inspiration is the key. Just as the shell of a nut “husks” the seed within, so does the literal shell of Scripture “husk” the inspiration of God encased within. Scriptures are divinely inspired truths husked to varying degrees by human perceptions, misperceptions and partial perceptions. Let’s consider some examples. Peter’s revelation that Jesus was the Christ was a perfect human perception of a divinely inspired truth. However, Moses’ striking of the rock in anger was a partial perception of God; part right and part wrong because while God inspired Moses to perform a miracle of provision for the parched Israelites, God did not want it delivered in Moses’ wrathful tone of striking the rock but rather in tenderly speaking to the rock. Finally, many Old Testament saints totally misperceived the inspiration of God altogether, such as when Job attributed evil to God or when David prayed for Babylonian children’s heads to be bashed against the rocks (Ps. 137:8-9).

The bottom line is that Scriptural inspiration does not mean that the men who wrote the Bible had perfect perceptions of God. In fact, Scripture tells us that prior to Jesus, no man had “seen God at any time” (Jn. 1:18; 6:46). Thus, without the Holy Spirit’s guidance through Scriptures, we are blind to God’s true nature. Even with God’s guidance and inspiration, we still can inadvertently husk His revelation with our own partial perceptions. The thinner the husk of the writer, the closer the literal and Spiritual meanings converge. The thicker the husk of the writer, the more literal and Spiritual meanings will differ.

The key to understanding inspired Scripture is to be an inspired reader. Deep calls to deep. Scriptures say that we too are “living epistles” of God. Only the living Word within us can translate the written Word before us.

“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. . . But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:2-6; 14-18.