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The inspiration of the Bible

We believe that the prophets and the Apostles did not write through their own human intellect but rather through God’s inspiration. He cleansed their souls, enlightened their reasoning and revealed to them mysteries of faith and of the future, normally inaccessible to the human mind. That is why their writings are described as divinely-inspired: “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,” says the apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:21). The apostle Paul calls the writings as divinely-inspired in 2 Timothy 3:16. Regarding the importance of the Holy Scriptures Jesus said, “Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18).

        Moses and Aaron are examples of God’s revelations to the prophets. God sent to a very reticent Moses, his brother Aaron as an intermediary. Being inarticulate, Moses’s bafflement as to how he would expound God’s will to the people was answered by the Lord: “Thou (Moses) shalt speak unto him (Aaron) and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be the spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God” (Exodus 4:15-16).

        While believing in the inspirationally divine qualities of the Bible, one must remember that it is the Book of the Church. According to God’s plan, people are called upon to save themselves not on an individual basis but as a society which He guides and dwells in. This society is called the Church. By historical definition, the Church is divided into the Old Testament which governed the Jewish people, and the New Testament to which the Orthodox Christians belong. The New Testament inherited the spiritual richness of the Old Testament, namely the word of God. The Church not only preserved the word of God but has retained its correct understanding. This is because, just as the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets and Apostles, He continues to live in the Church and to lead her. Consequently, the Church gives us correct guidance for the application of its written wealth: that which is more actual and important, and those passages that have retained a historical significance only but are not relevant to modern times.

How to Read the Bible by Archimandrite Justin Popovich Return to the first page

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