2 Samuel 23:2 — Verbal Inspiration

By Wayne Jackson

Scholars frequently argue about the “degree” of inspiration characteristic of the Bible. Some, of liberal persuasion, suggest that only the “thought” of Scripture — a sort of mystical essence — is inspired. It would be interesting to hear someone explain how this “essence” is conveyed to man!

The position of the Bible itself, however, is this. The very words of the narrative are from God.

There is a very solid passage in 2 Samuel that speaks to this point. David declared: “The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was upon my tongue” (23:2).

Could a statement be clearer? The shepherd king affirms:

  1. He has been used as an instrument of the Spirit.
  2. The ultimate source of the message was God.
  3. The divine message was presented by words.
  4. Though David’s tongue was employed, in reality, the word was God’s.

Bracket this passage and in your margin write: Verbal inspiration; see also, Acts 1:16.

In this latter reference, Peter states that the Holy Spirit spoke through the mouth of David. The Bible is in perfect harmony on this important matter.

We may not understand many things about the process of inspiration, but we must accept the Bible’s own testimony regarding its origin and the type of inspiration it possesses.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.