What does Verbal Inspiration Mean?

Great post by Scott Diekmann on his blog, Stand Firm:



Host Todd Wilken explains the significance of the phrase “verbal inspiration” as it relates to Scripture on the April 13 Listener Email and Issues, Etc. Comment Line segment:


…When we talk about the plenary verbal inspiration of the original autographs, that’s another way of talking about the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture. We mean it’s all inspired, that it’s inspired of the Holy Spirit, and that the autographs themselves, the actual words, grammar, syntax, everything in there, is inspired. The grammar of the New Testament is the grammar of the Holy Spirit. There’s no light between what the Holy Spirit inspired, and what the apostles or the others wrote. That’s what we mean when we say verbal inspiration. Don’t let anyone push you back on that position because nowadays there’s a view of “inspiration,” small “i,” becoming popular, especially in evangelical circles, where what the Holy Spirit inspired was the man, not the writing. He inspired Paul to write, and then Paul wrote what Paul wrote, rather than, as Scripture says, “All Scriptures are God-breathed,” and that men moved along by the Holy Spirit wrote what they wrote. It is, it is the words that are inspired, not the man who wrote them that is inspired. There’s also a nuance on that, again popular in evangelical circles, that says “Well, what’s really inspired are the ideas behind the words.” Well I’m sorry. I’m a simple guy. I can’t get to ideas behind words. I can sit there and scratch this New Testament in front of me with my fingernail all I want until the words disappear, but there’s nothing behind them. Where are the ideas? I know that this sounds so naïve. But the ideas are carried along by the words. They’re not behind the words. They’re not sneaking up behind the little letters in the words, they’re carried along by – the words are inspired. So the words of the New Testament are the words of God. The word of the New Testament is the word of God, and there’s no light between what God inspired and what the authors wrote….

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


What does Verbal Inspiration Mean? — 1 Comment

  1. Great post! What good is an inspiried author if inspiration leads him to write something uninspired? That approach reminds me of a shell game really just robs the customer!

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