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History of the Doctrine of Inspiration
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Inspiration (from Latin, inspirare, “To breathe”; “breathe into”; in Christian use, ultimately from the Greek θεόπνευστος, theopneustos, “God-breathed out,” in 2 Tim 3:16). The doctrine that God has “inspired” a particular set of texts. The term usually refers to the Christian doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible, but various Christian groups differently understand the process of God inspiring sacred texts.However, the differing views fall on a spectrum that is roughly described with the overly simple terms “conservative” and “liberal.” On one end of this spectrum, the “conservative” view of inspiration is that God spoke through prophetic individuals (albeit in a manner that fully incorporated their unique personalities and cultural settings) to produce a text that is fully God’s word. To say the Scriptures are inspired is to say they have their origin in God and are in every part God’s word (compare 2 Tim. 3:16 wherein “inspired” is literally “God-breathed”; 2 Peter 1:21).On the other end of the spectrum, “liberal” scholars hold that the text was less directly inspired, and cite examples of apparent internal inconsistency within the biblical text—such as the reports of the building of the Ark (Deut 10:1–5; Exod 37:1–9), Paul’s encounter with Christ (Acts 9:7; Acts 22:9), and the manner of Judas’ death (Acts 1:16–19; Matt. 27:3–10—as well as contradictions with what is known of history (P. Achtemeier, 42).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Inspiration, Doctrine of the, History of
Inspiration, Doctrine of the, History of Inspiration (from Latin, inspirare, “To breathe”; “breathe into”; in Christian use, ultimately from the Greek θεόπνευστος, theopneustos, “God-breathed out,” in 2 Tim 3:16). The doctrine that God has “inspired” a particular set of texts. The term usually refers
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Inspiration, History of the Doctrine of
Inspiration, History of the Doctrine of I. Early Church II. Patristic Period III. Medieval Church IV. Reformation V. Post-Reformation Period VI. Eighteenth-Century Rationalism VII. ConclusionThe starting point of the Church’s doctrine of inspiration is obviously to be found in the self-witness
Key passages
2 Ti 3:16

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness,