Wow! There are so many great things to share with you today. But first how are you? Did you enjoy the meaty post yesterday? I love delving into the Word like that. I hope you do to.
Yesterday we talked about having a God-breathed life and how “God-Breathed” is a figure of speech. I didn’t break down that figure and I feel like I should for those of you who asked me about it. A figure of speech is a legitimate grammatical usage that departs from literal language, so as to call attention to itself. For instance if it hadn’t rained in a very long time, I’d say the ground is dry. If I wanted to add emphasis, I’d say the ground is thirsty. This attributes a human characteristic to a thing and a vivid degree of detail that literal language by itself could not achieve.
The Word of God is to be accepted literally whenever and wherever possible. But when a word fails to be true to fact, they are figures of speech and they are added by divine design. (I know I’m getting goose-bumps too.) All of them can be catalogued and studied. A work in the field of figures of speech would be intensely rewarding for you because there is absolutely no guesswork. There are three such fields of study. Orientalisms, mannerisms and figures of speech. Outside of those three areas, the Word of God is a literal book.
Okay, this particular figure of speech from 2 Timothy 3:16, “God-breathed” is incredible. Here’s how to break it down. Once you understand this one figure, hundreds of verses will open up to you with a breathless simplicity. Do you remember I called it a really long Greek word, anthropopatheia, well in Hebrew it is called, derech benai adam, which translated means “ways of the sons of man”. This brings God down to the level of man. The Romans used this figure as well and translated it condescensio in Latin.
Whenever the Word of God attributes a human characteristic to God it is this figure of speech. Another example of this figure is in Exodus 4:14 “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses…” God is Spirit, anger is a human emotion, therefore this is the figure of speech, condescencio. Or another example is in Isaiah 52:10 “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm…” Does the Lord have physical arms? No. He does not, but you and I do.
What was the process of how God-breathed the scriptures then? The answer lies in 2 Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost (Spirit).”
The word prophecy is a unique usage of the word prophecy. Most people think it means foretelling one’s future. But it also means, forthtelling. Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming of the Lord Jesus and John’s prophecy about the return of Christ are examples of foretelling. The verb prophesy means “to forthtell, to state, to set forth, to speak forth.” Prophecy literally means that which is foretold and that which if forthtold. The whole Bible is either foretelling or forthtelling as the holy men were moved by the Spirit of God. This was not by the will of man but as God wanted it written. God is the author, the holy men were the writers. Each of the writers had their own vernacular. Amos was a sheep herder with very rough and short language. David was a poet, Luke a physician. These men brought their own words to the Word of God as they wrote. If Amos had never heard the word contrary, he couldn’t have put it down. Holy men of God did the speaking as they were moved by the Holy Spirit inside them using their own natural vocabularies.
What does it mean “…moved by the Holy Spirit” or “God-breathed”? Galatians sheds light on that when Paul wrote about how he received what he wrote.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” Galatians 1:11-12
Now let’s put these verses together.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost (Spirit).”
Galatians 1:11-12 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ”
There is a mathematical axiom that says: “Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” Therefore, God-breathed word=moved by the Holy Spirit=revelation; or God-breathed means to be moved by the Holy Spirit which is revelation. How? How could this be? God is Spirit. He can only talk to Spirit unless He comes into the physical realm whereby our five senses can witness Him. It says in John and 1 John that “No man hath seen God at any time;” and anytime the Bible says something twice that means it’s established. Numbers 11:17 gives us some insight on how this could be.
“And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which [is] upon thee, and will put [it] upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear [it] not thyself alone.”
The spirit of God was upon Moses and then God could communicate with his brain cells and thoughts. He could reveal himself to Moses.
Here’s another verse.
“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.” Deuteronomy 34:9
Every man of God who wrote the scriptures had the Spirit of God upon him. There is only one author of the Bible and that is God. The original God-given Word did not have any errors or contradictions in it. Why? Because God is the author. Holy men simply wrote down what God wanted said, using their own vocabularies. Isn’t this tremendous! We just proved that the Word of God was authored by God.
God Bless You Today!