ICBI Article VIII

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. First off, my again thanks to a kind contributor who made a sizable donation to our work today. It is much appreciated. Tonight, we’re going to be continuing our look at Inerrancy by looking at the eighth article of the ICBI statement. It reads as follows:

We affirm that God in His Work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.

We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.

This again is something important to note and something obviously misunderstood. We do not hold to a dictation theory. There are some very very few evangelicals who have held to such a position, but when one reads the writings of the writers of the Bible, they can usually tell that there are stylistic differences.

Isaiah, for instance, is highly poetic in what he says. Micah has quite a few puns in his prophecies. The Psalms have a wide variety within themselves. When it comes to the NT, some of the books are basic in their Greek, such as 1 John being one of the first ones that Greek students learn to translate. Luke and Acts, on the other hand, are ones that are quite difficult to translate.

Paul is highly logical in his thinking. He goes from point A to B and then to C. This is also one of the reasons that Peter would say that Paul’s writings are hard to understand, as many of us when reading the great thinkers of the past do have a hard time understanding what it is they are saying. James, on the other hand, is a more simple writer who prefers to use more examples from every day life. He writes about horses and ships and springs of water and uses analogies of farming.

Presuming that the same John who wrote the gospel also wrote the apocalypse, there is definitely a great change in style from one to the other. John’s gospel is one that tells a story in a more straight-forward narrative position with an emphasis on who Jesus is. The apocalypse contains much imagery that relates to events that take place sometime in the future from the time it was written, how distant you think it was depending on your analogy, but all agree the book contains much symbolism and it’s one of the ones commentators fear the most. However, I would also say that a large emphasis is on who Jesus is in it.

The importance of this to Inerrancy is also that this can explain many so-called contradictions. The writers wrote with their own personalities and in their own words. This would be especially true if Paul used a scribe, as he most certainly did at times, and could be even that Paul would just say what he wanted said, let the scribe put it in his own words, and then write a signature to the letter which would be along the lines of “I’m Paul and I approve this message.”

Thus, we agree with Article VIII.

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