by B. C. Goodpasture
The Bible is here. No one can doubt that it exists. How did it come into existence? Is it wholly the work of man? Or, wholly the work of God? Or, is it a product of the cooperative work of man and God? It is not wholly the work of man. He could not have produced it if he would. Its contents are beyond the reach of human authorship. He would not have written it if he could. It condemns too many things which men by nature hold dear. It did not come, like the original draft of the Ten Commandments, written on tables of stone, from the omnipotent finger of God. It was produced by the cooperation of God and man. “Men spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
Is the Bible a product of human reason? Is it merely a book of literature, or is it an inspired volume? If inspired, in what sense? Is it inspired only in the sense that it bears the marks of literary genius as do the writings of Shakespeare, Milton, and Browning? Or is it inspired in the sense that it was written by men under the influence of the Holy Spirit?
The question of inspiration is vital. If the Bible is not of divine origin, we cannot rely upon its statement of fact; we need not bow to its claim of authority; and we cannot derive hope and comfort from its promises. If it represents only the efforts of uninspired men, we may view its contents with little or no concern. On the other hand, if the Bible came from God, its authority is unquestionable and its statements are infallible.