“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing event to the division of souls an spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts an intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 These two passage, and many others, are what separate the Bible from every other book. These verses make bold, audacious claims. They claim that the Bible is living and knows the thoughts of our heart. Wow. And it claims divine inspiration. No other book makes such claims. It is critical that we understand two Greek words used by Paul in the 2 Timothy passage. The two most important words used in the passage arguably are “Scripture” and “inspiration.” The word “Scripture” is critical because it is the central focus of the passage. The Greek word Paul uses is consistently seen throughout the Bible to refer to the Holy writings. The word graphe is used 51 times in the New Testament. All but 3 refer directly to Old Testament passages. However the 3 times it is not used links the New Testament with the same authority as the Old. “For the Scripture (graphe) says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:18. In this passage Paul refers to two separate passages as graphe. Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7. From this verse we learn that Paul undoubtedly believed not only was the Old Testament inspired by God, but notice that he uses the gospel writings (NT) as inspired by God. “Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures (graphe).” 2 Peter 3:15b-16. This is a fascinating verse in which Peter refers to Paul’s writings as Scripture (graphe) thus linking it with the other sections of the Bible. Peter would not have flippantly used the Greek term which was so commonly referred to the Old Testament scripture unless he himself believed that Paul’s epistles were also to be held as divinely inspired. Peter wrote those words in AD 65, which means that before Paul wrote his last epistle (2 Timothy circa, AD67) his writings were accepted by the early church as official Scripture (graphe). This is quite remarkable. The other important word in 2 Tim. 3:16 is the word “inspired” or “theopneustos“. The Greek word comes from two root words meaning “God” and “Breath” or more literally “Breathed out”. Some have questioned the idea of the word as meaning that God “inspired” people to write and then they “took it from there.” There is no question that God used the personalities of the writers to give unique stylistic flare to the different genres of writing. However, the literal meaning of the word goes way beyond a person who feels inspired, it is divinely breathed into the hearts of the writers. The Bible is the most unique compilation ever written. It is a collection of 66 books written by 40 different authors. These authors were kings, doctors, fisherman, prophets, shepherds, tax collectors, etc. The majority of authors didn’t know one another. The books were written over a period of 1500 years thus the writers couldn’t have collaborated their stories. It is written in 3 different languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic), on 3 different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) yet has one consistent theme. Each author regardless of occupation, nationality, language wrote on the redemption of mankind from their fallen sinful state. Phillip Yancey writes, “Imagine a book begun 500 years before Columbus just now being completed. Amazingly, the parts all fit together in such a way that a single story emerges.” Paul’s claim is bold and big. Scripture has no errors because it was inspired by God. By God’s very nature he is incapable of error. Psalm 12:6, “The words of the Lord are words that are pure, silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times.” Many are the people whose lives have been transformed and redirected simply by reading a few verses in the Bible. What other book can claim that? This and many other reasons is why I believe in the plenary verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.