The Infallible Word (Entire Article)

By Ralph Vincent Reynolds

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  1. The Bible Is the Word of God


  • Statement of Scripture



  1. John 17:17—”Thy Word is truth.”
  2. 2 Timothy 3:16—”All scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
  3. 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.”


  • Statement of Truth



The Bible is the Word of God. God is the Author of the Bible. The Bible is God’s message to man.


  • Exposition of Truth



  1. The Meaning of “Bible”: The word “Bible” is derived from the Greek “biblia,” and means “the books.” Ancient books were written by hand as scrolls upon the biblus or papyrus reed, and from this custom came the Greek word which finally came to be applied to the sacred books. However, the Bible should not be thought of as being in the plural, for it is one complete whole. The Bible is not only “the books” but it is “the Book” (Hebrews 10:7). It is THE Book which stands as high above all other books as the heaven is high above the earth.
  2. What the Bible Contains: The Bible contains sixty-six books which are divided into the Old and New Testaments. The word “Testament” means “Covenant,” and is a term by which God was pleased to designate the relation that existed between Himself and His people.
    1. Old Testament (thirty-nine books). The Old Testament deals with man’s beginning, his knowledge of sin, and his need of salvation. It also gives the calling and history of the Jewish nation.
    2. New Testament (twenty-seven books). The New Testament gives the history and application of the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ.


  1. God Used Human Instrumentality: In writing the Bible, God used possibly forty men over a period of about 1,600 years, beginning about 1,500 B.C., when Moses began to write the Pentateuch, to about A.D. 97, when the Apostle John finished his writings. Throughout the Bible God used men to do the writing. Only three times did God Himself write as follows:
    1. God wrote the Ten Commandments upon tables of stone (Exodus 31:18).
    2. God wrote with a finger upon Belshazzar’s wall (Daniel 5:5).
    3. Jesus wrote upon the floor of the Temple (John 8:6). The first, the giving of the Law, was broken by man; the last, an act of grace, was trampled under foot by man.


  1. How God Wrote the Bible: God wrote through men whom He had chosen, by what is known as inspiration. It is stated that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). The term, “given by inspiration of God,” comes from one Greek word meaning “God-breathed.” It actually means that God breathed out through these men, or literally, these men became God’s vocal chords. Inspiration is the strong, conscious breathing of God into men, qualifying them to give utterance to truth. Inspiration is God speaking through men, and the Bible is, therefore, just as much the Word of God as though God spoke every single word of it with His own lips. The Scriptures are the result of divine inbreathing, just as human speech is uttered by the breathing through a man’s mouth.


  • Application of Truth



Since God is the Author of the Bible, it becomes God’s message to man. As such, it is the highest authority that man has to govern him in matters of faith and practice. There is no higher authority for man than that of God’s Word. What more definite authority could man desire than that invested in the word of His Creator? It is not the authority of the church to decide what the Scriptures teach, but rather it is the authority of the Scriptures to decide what the church should teach.


  • Definition of Terms



  1. Scriptures: This word is derived from the Latin, and means “the writings.”
  2. Papyrus: A reed or bulrush from which a parchment was made which was the ancient paper.
  3. Pentateuch: The first five books of the Old Testament.


  1. The Bible Is Fully Inspired


  • Statement of Scripture



  1. Matthew 5:18—”Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
  2. Timothy 3:16—”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
  3. 22:19—”If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life.”


  • Statement of Truth



The plenary inspiration of the Scriptures is a fact. The Bible is fully inspired. It does not just contain the Word of God; the Bible is the Word of God.


  • Exposition of Truth



Throughout the years the inspiration of the Bible has been attacked by its enemies, and in modern times it has become fashionable in some church circles to question the full inspiration of the Scriptures. These false friends within the nominal professing church are, after all, its greatest foes, and do greatest damage to the truth discussed here. Two false views concerning inspiration are:


  1. At certain times and under certain circumstances God may speak to man through certain parts of the Bible; that is, parts of the Bible may become the Word of God under certain conditions and circumstances.
  2. The Bible is not, in itself, the Word of God but contains the Word of God. This false concept permits the idea that part of the Bible is true but the rest is error, and that truth is brought to us in a collection of legends and myths.


The fallacy of the above false views is so apparent that it seems to be folly even to waste words in refuting them. How can truth be enclosed in a shell of falsehood? How can God, who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), speak truth to man in lies? If part of the Bible is false, who is the judge to discern truth from error? The only possible conclusion is that the plenary inspiration of the Bible is a fact. A few of the reasons why the Bible is fully inspired are:


  1. Jesus gave the Old Testament His full sanction (Matthew 5:18).
  2. It is the product of one Master Mind although God used forty men over a period of sixteen hundred years, the “Oneness” of the Bible proves it has ONE Author.
  3. The types, symbols, and ceremonies of the Old Testament are all fulfilled and revealed in the New Testament.
  4. The prophecies prove it to be God’s Word. Bible prophecies have been fulfilled in the past, and are being fulfilled in the present.
  5. The Bible reveals man to himself. This proves that the Creator of man must be the Author of the Bible.
  6. The Bible always lifts mankind, and brings good. The fruits that follow it prove the Scriptures to be God’s Word.
  7. The World has recognized it as being God’s Word. Whole libraries have been written to interpret it, and before it sages bow.


  1. Application of Truth:


In all matters pertaining to faith and moral conduct, man must turn to the Bible, for it is here that he finds God’s message for him. He must accept, believe, and obey all of God’s Word. It is not man’s prerogative to accept part of the Word and reject the rest. Man should never attempt to be a critic of the Bible for, instead, it is man’s critic and judge.


  1. Definition of Terms:


  1. JOT and TITTLE: These are small letters in the Hebrew alphabet. It might be said, “the dotting of an ‘i’ and the crossing of a ‘t.’ “
  2. Plenary: Full, complete, absolute.


III. The Bible Is Verbally Inspired


  • Statement of Scripture:



  1. 2 Timothy 3:16—”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
  2. 1 Peter 1:10—”Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.”


  • Statement of Truth



The Bible is verbally inspired in the original Hebrew and Greek in which it was written.


  • Exposition of Truth



It is impossible for God to make a mistake. It is also impossible for God to lie. Therefore, because the Bible is the Word of God and fully inspired, it must also be verbally inspired. There can be no errors in it. As God breathed through men to write His Word, it was written word by word, and letter by letter, as God desired it. Errors could be made by translators, and there may be errors in modern translations and versions, but there could be no error in the original Hebrew of the Old Testament, and the original Greek of the New Testament. A few of the reasons why the Bible is verbally inspired are:


  1. The writers themselves say so: Moses: Exodus 35:1—”These are the words which the Lord hath commanded.” Jeremiah: Jeremiah 1:9—”And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” Ezekiel: Ezekiel 1:3—”The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel.” Amos: Amos 1:1—”The words of Amos. . .which he saw concerning Israel.” John: Revelation 1:1—”The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.”
  2. The writers often did not understand what they wrote. God gave the words, but not necessarily the thoughts. The prophets did not minister unto themselves but unto us, and enquired into what they wrote (1 Peter 1:10-12). Daniel did not understand all that he wrote (Daniel 12:819). Certainly David did not understand about the parting of the garments and the piercing of the hands and feet (Psalm 22:16-18).
  3. The Bible places importance upon simple words (Hebrews 12:27), “yet once more.’
  4. The Bible places importance upon the tense of a verb (Luke 20:37), “I am.”
  5. The Bible places importance upon a mere letter (Galatians 3:16), “s”—seed, not seeds.
  6. The testimony of Christ proves that the Bible was verbally inspired (Matthew 5:18), “jot or tittle.”
  7. If the Bible contained the slightest error, no matter how small, then it could contain greater errors. It must be verbally inspired to be the Word of God.


  • Application of Truth



Man should strive to understand the Word of God, as written in the original texts, and study it carefully, even to each word and letter.


  • Definition of Terms



Verbal Inspiration: Each word is inspired. Not only does the message come from God, but also each word is given by God.


  1. The Bible Is Complete, Lacking Nothing


  • Statement of Scripture



  1. Deuteronomy 4:2—”Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it.”
  2. Proverbs 30:6—”Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
  3. Revelation 22:18—”If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.”


  • Statement of Truth



The Bible is complete. There is nothing that needs to be added to the Word of God to make it God’s complete message to man.


  • Exposition of Truth



  1. Warnings against Adding to the Bible: There are three solemn warnings in the Bible against adding to the Word of God. This alone proves that the Bible is complete, and is God’s whole message to man, needing nothing to be added.
  2. The Apocrypha Is Not Part of the Bible: The Apocrypha is not acknowledged by orthodox Jews or the Christian church as being inspired. The Apocrypha contains a great deal of legendary nonsense and some gross historical errors. There is no reference to the Apocrypha in the New Testament. It should never be considered as part of God’s Word.


  • Application of Truth



All teaching and preaching of spiritual truths must be taken from the Bible. Any thought that cannot be found stated in the Bible must be rejected as not being divinely inspired. If it cannot be found in God’s Word, then it is only of human origin. If anyone claims he is speaking the Word of God, and what he says does not harmonize with the Bible, he is a false prophet and is in danger of judgment, for he is adding to God’s Word.


  • Definition of Terms:



  1. Orthodox: Sound in the religious teaching that had been taught and handed down from past generations.
  2. Apocrypha: Fourteen books included in the Roman Catholic Bible, and are not in the Protestant Bible.


  1. The Bible Never Contradicts Itself


  • Statement of Scripture



  1. Matthew l:1-16—”The book of the generation of Jesus Christ. . .” Luke 3:23-38—”And Jesus himself began to be. . . .”
  2. Matthew 5:1—”And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain.” Luke 6:17—”And he came down with them, and stood in the plain.”
  3. Numbers 25:9—”And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” 1 Corinthians 10:8—”Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”
  4. Matthew 28:19—”. . .baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38—”Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”


  1. Statement of Truth


There are in the Bible certain supposed mistakes and contradictions, but when properly understood these supposed contradictions all disappear.


  1. Exposition of Truth


The Bible, if correctly interpreted, never contradicts itself. The so-called mistakes and contradictions only reveal man’s lack of understanding of the Bible. When God’s Word is properly understood, all such apparent errors disappear. This is another proof of the infallibility of the Bible.

In this lesson we are giving four examples of supposed contradictions, with the explanation for each. What is true of these four examples is also true of all other supposed mistakes.


  1. Genealogies of Our Lord: In Matthew’s Gospel the genealogy of our Lord is traced back on Joseph’s side to Abraham, to show Christ as the legal heir to the throne of Israel. In Luke’s Gospel the genealogy is traced back on Mary’s side to Adam, emphasizing Christ’s true humanity and to show Him as the promised seed of the woman.
  2. The Sermon on the Mount: There were two sermons: one was preached to the disciples in the mountain; the other was preached to the crowd in the plain. Apparently Jesus preached the sermon on the mountain, and then came down to the plain and repeated the sermon to the crowd.
  3. Paul’s Supposed Mistake: In the Book of Numbers we read of the total number who died, while Paul states just how many died in one day.
  4. The Baptismal Formula: This is no contradiction. Jesus did not tell His disciples to baptize, using the words “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” He told them to baptize in the NAME of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The words, Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not names, but titles pointing to ONE PERSON who has ONE NAME. That name is JESUS.


  • Application of Truth



We should study the Bible carefully to understand its exact meaning. If there is any apparent mistake or contradiction it is evident that we do not understand clearly. We should recognize at all times that the Bible is absolutely accurate and infallible. We should never change, in the slightest manner, the Word of God but rather seek the Holy Ghost to illuminate our minds with a clear knowledge of the Scriptures.


  1. Definition of Terms


  1. Genealogy: A record of family ancestors traced back from generation to generation.
  2. Baptismal Formula: The set form of words spoken by the minister as he baptizes an individual.


  1. A Knowledge of God’s Word Comes Through Certain Methods Ordained By God


  • Statement of Scripture



  1. 2 Peter 1:20—”Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.”
  2. John 16:13—”When he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.”
  3. 1 Corinthians 12:28—”And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers.”


  • Statement of Truth



There are certain definite means and methods which God has ordained to bring an understanding of His Word to man. Some of these methods are:


  1. Hearing the Word preached, taught and expounded by Holy Ghost-filled men.
  2. A careful reading and study of the Word.
  3. A divine revelation of the Word by the Holy Spirit.


  • Exposition of Truth



Some people have claimed that they needed no one to teach them because the Holy Ghost was their teacher. It is true that the Holy Spirit is the best teacher, but the attitude that no man can teach them is a very dangerous one which may lead to spiritual pride and many errors. The teaching ministry is very important in the church. Jesus has placed teachers in the body (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11). Jesus instructed His disciples to go and teach all nations (Matthew 28:19).


God has definitely ordained that the truth of His Word should be imparted to others through the ministry of teaching. If a person is not willing to be taught by a Holy Ghost filled teacher, it is doubtful whether the Holy Spirit can teach him Also a person who is unwilling to be taught disqualifies himself as being a teacher or minister to others.


It is true that the best teacher is the Holy Ghost (John 16:13). Divine Truth is learned by Divine Revelation. It takes the Author of the Bible Himself to make really clear and plain the profound and eternal truths of the Bible. For this reason teachers of God’s Word should be Spirit filled, and should continually look to the Holy Spirit to anoint their ministry. Also students of God’s Word should continually look to the Holy Spirit to open their minds and hearts to comprehend Divine Truth through Divine Illumination. There are three things that the student of the Bible should maintain:


  1. A heart that hungers after Truth for the sake of Truth alone.
  2. A heart that is teachable and willing to be taught.
  3. A heart that will apply itself to the reading and study of God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:15).


There are a few simple principles in the understanding of the Bible which should always be remembered:


  1. Symbolic language will need explaining, such as the parables of our Lord and certain symbols in Revelation; the rest of the Bible is to be accepted literally. The Book of Acts and the Epistles mean just what they say.
  2. The New Testament is divided into four main divisions:
  • The Gospels—What Jesus did to provide Salvation.
  • The Acts of the Apostles—the history of the early church, giving the plan of Salvation.
  • The Epistles—Letters to the churches stating how we may keep saved.
  • Revelation—The future of the church and the end of this age.
  1. The Bible always exalts Jesus Christ. Any teaching that degrades Jesus is erroneous.
  2. The Bible is always in harmony with itself. Doctrine should never be established on one isolated passage of Scripture, unless that doctrine is in harmony with the entire Bible.
  3. Truth is always well-balanced and sound, and solidly built upon the Word.


  • Application of Truth



We should recognize all the methods God has ordained to impart knowledge of His Word to our hearts, apply ourselves to the study of the Bible, be faithful in our attendance to all Bible classes taught by our pastors in the church, and maintain a heart that hungers after Truth.


  • Definition of Terms



  1. Revelation: The act of God by which He communicates knowledge of Himself and His Word not known before to the human mind.
  2. Illumination: The influence of the Spirit upon the minds of men that they might understand spiritual things.




  1. How many men did God use in writing the Bible?
  2. On what three occasions did God Himself write without using the agency of man?
  3. Explain clearly the expression: “given by inspiration of God.”
  4. What are two false views of inspiration that are popular in the nominal church today?
  5. Show clearly the fallacy of the errors referred to in the above question.
  6. What is the meaning of the term: “verbal inspiration”?
  7. Give an example for each where the Bible places importance upon: (a) the tense of a verb; (b) a mere letter.
  8. What are the three warnings given against adding to the Bible?
  9. Why is the Apocrypha not part of the Bible?
  10. State FIVE principles to be remembered in the understanding of the Bible.




  1. Memorize in order the names of the 66 books of the Bible.
  2. Through research, find the necessary information and write a brief history of the work of either John Wycliffe or William Tyndale.


This article “The Infallible Word” was excerpted from: Truth Shall Triumph written by Ralph Vincent Reynolds. Copyright 1965. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

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