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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
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It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah, pro-Truth, and pro-Grace. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.”[Bowman]

Verbal Inspiration

“Verbal inspiration” means that the process of inspiration [God “breathing” — through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit or Holy Breath) — into the writer the exact words and phrases that He intended them to use] applies to the very words used in the biblical books. It does not mean that God mechanically dictated the words of the Bible, but that those words express the thoughts that God intended, and, being correctly interpreted, are free from errors of fact, doctrine, or judgment. The particular words do not need to be the best words to express the thought, but they must be adequate words to express the thought.

Scripture teaching of verbal inspiration

In many ways the Bible claims this type of inspiration for itself.

Claim to verbal inspiration in the Tanakh

Many of the writers of the Tanakh testify that the words they spoke (and therefore wrote) were actually the words of God. We note that the emphasis in these passages is on the very words used, not merely the thoughts:

“Now, therefore, go; and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what to say.” (Exod 4:12, God speaking to Moshe)

“The word that God puts in my mouth is what I will say.” (Num 22:38) “Mustn’t I take care to say just what Adonai puts in my mouth?” (Num 23:12) Adonai met Bil‘am, put a word in his mouth and said, “Go on back to Balak, and speak as I tell you.”(Num 23:16) Balaam’s words

“The Spirit of ADONAI spoke through me, His word was on my tongue.” (2Sam 23:2, David speaking)

I said, “Oh, Adonai ELOHIM, I don’t even know how to speak. …” (Jer 1:6, Jeremiah speaking). . . “There! I have put my words in your mouth.” (Jer 1:9, God answering)

“Human being,” He said to me, “go to the house of Isra’el, and speak My words to them.” (Ezek 3:4, God speaking)

Yeshua’ support for verbal inspiration

Yeshua also testifies to verbal inspiration. In several passages He bases an argument on the particular wording of the Tanakh:

Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. (Matt 5:18)

Yeshua gives meaning and approval to the very words, even the parts of words, even the parts of letters, in the Tanakh.

In Matthew 22:31-32, Yeshua is arguing with Sadducees: “… haven’t you read what God said to you…” [note: Scripture still speaks as the word of God], ‘‘I am the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak and the God of Ya‘akov’?

Here the understood present tense of the verbless clause in Exod 3:6 is assumed to indicate the continued existence and future resurrection of these patriarchs.

In Matt 22:43-45, Yeshua is arguing with Pharisees: “Then how is it,” He asked them, “that David, inspired by the Spirit,…” [note that inspiration is clearly indicated here], “calls him ‘Lord,’ when he says, ‘ADONAI said to my Lord,’ … If David thus calls him ‘Lord,’ how is he his son?”

Here Yeshua bases His entire argument on one single word in Ps 110:1, “my Lord” (actually, in Hebrew the pronoun is only an added ending to the word “Lord).

Rav Sha'ul’s support for verbal inspiration

Rav Sha'ul (the Apostle Paul), who wrote half of the Messianic Writings, also testifies to verbal inspiration in various ways:

1Cor 2:13, [speaking of his own preaching] “These are the things we are talking about when we avoid the manner of speaking that human wisdom would dictate and instead use a manner of speaking taught by the Spirit, by which we explain things of the Spirit to people who have the Spirit.”

1Thess 2:13, [again of his own preaching] “Another reason we regularly thank God is that when you heard the Word of God from us, you received it not merely as a human word, but as it truly is, God’s Word, which is at work in you believers.”

Gal 3:16, “Now the promises were made to Avraham and to his seed. It doesn’t say, “and to seeds,” as if to many; on the contrary, it speaks of one — “and to your seed” — and this “one” is the Messiah.

Here Rav Sha'ul notes the singular form of the word seed in Gen. 12:7; 13:15; and 24:7; and he draws a suitable inference from that form. In this case, he depends on the number of a single noun in the text of the Tanakh.

Logic of verbal inspiration

Actually, it would be impossible to have a Bible whose thoughts are inspired and yet whose words are not inspired. Thoughts are expressed by words, and the words deliver thoughts. If the words are not inspired, then the thoughts must also be suspect. Most confusion surrounding this issue is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of verbal inspiration. God prepared the authors, the circumstances, and all the motivation for the biblical authors. He did not normally dictate the words at the end of the process. Their freedom is maintained, yet the result is the word of God.

Verbal inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy

Because the Bible is the word of God, it must convey His truth. God cannot lie, and His general revelation and his special revelation cannot be false. This proposition in turn implies that the Bible contains no errors; it is true in its statements. Traditionally the term “infallible” has been used to assert this point.

“We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the holy scripture, and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the word of God; yet, notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.” (Westminster Confession of Faith 1:5)

The term “infallible/infallibility” was used throughout the controversies between modernism and fundamentalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 When it became clear that, within evangelical circles, the pro-infallibility position was favored, some who denied that doctrine changed their terminology. They redefined infallibility as meaning infallible in leading to correct faith and practice—reliable to direct our lives. They taught that this infallibility did not extend to relatively minor points of history or science. The position that all the Bible’s statements, including those of history and science, are correct was relabeled as “inerrancy.”

[Source: John A. Battle, Th.D. Theology 1: Revelation and Theological Method, Chapter 5: Verbal Inspiration. Western Reformed Seminary (www.wrs.edu) Accessed 06 Dec 2021]


  1. ISBE. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. [RETURN]

Originally posted on Monday, 06 December 2021

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