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THEOLOGY > Bible > Revelation > Revelation was Mysterious 


Revelation cannot be fully explained nor comprehended. The precise procedure of the Divine inbreathing of the very words of God into the human authors and the resulting composition of the Scriptures by holy men of God is not duplicated today. Inspiration and inscription cannot be analyzed because they occurred and are not occurring. It was a historical reality that was more supernatural than natural, and because of the supernatural nature of the event there is an element of mystery surrounding the Holy Scriptures.

The phenomenon of Scripture defies full explanation. Men wrote, but they wrote after God spoke; they did not write before God spoke. How did God speak: audibly, “in a still small voice,” by vision, dreams, trance, sovereign guidance of the mind, or superintendence of the process—one of these, none of these, or a combination of these? The questions cannot be answered with definitiveness.

How do you explain inspiration, the divine inbreathing (II Tim. 2:16)? Second Peter 1:21 states: “Men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” What exactly is meant by these words? How did the Word of God come to the mind of man? After careful exegetical study and subsequent theological formulations, it still must be admitted that the entire affair is a mystery.

A comparison between the nature of Jesus and the nature of Scripture illustrates this abiding mystery. When God gave His Living Word, the Son took the fashion of a man, the result being the God-Man—the exact relationship of the Deity and the Humanity of the God-Man defies understanding and explanation. God assumed flesh—how can it be? How could He who inhabits eternity enter into a womb on earth? Precise and correct theological formulations do not make understandable the mystery. We understand in part.

Likewise, when God gave His everlasting Word (the eternal thought that became temporal words), it took the form of the Scriptures—the exact relationship of the Divine and human elements in the composition of the Scriptures defies understanding and explanation (see: Incarnation). The Bible is the Word of God written by men—how can it be? We understand in part.

All that took place in that Divine/human encounter of Revelation and inscription cannot be fathomed because it defies human comprehension. There is no need for it to be fathomed. Perhaps undue energy has been spent seeking to define that which cannot be defined. The believer’s full understanding of this Divine/human encounter, or lack of full understanding, that resulted in the sacred text does not enhance nor detract from the text.

The significance is not in the process but in the product, and in what the product accomplishes!  The ultimate vindication of Scripture does not reside in a defense of the precise nature of inspiration, which cannot be stated with specificity anyway, but in the impact the Scriptures have upon the one who reads and believes—the Bible proves what it is by what it does.

Men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
II Pet. 1:21

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