1. THE BIBLE
Affirmation: We believe in the divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Bible. We believe that the Bible is infallible or inerrant in its declaration, final in its authority, all-sufficient in its provisions and comprehensive in its sufficiency (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21).
(i) Inspiration: Meaning and definition. According to Webster’s dictionary, inspiration is “the supernatural influence of the Spirit of God on the human mind by which the prophets and the apostles and the sacred writers were qualified to set forth divine truths without any mixture of errors. In 2 Tim. 3:16, 17 Paul tells us that “all Scripture is Godbreathed (NIV) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.
(ii) Manner of Inspiration: Men of varied backgrounds and intellects, who had opportunities, personal experiences, contacts with others, direct revelation and historic facts were prepared and controlled by the Holy Spirit to state the very words they used to express the things which God breathed in them ( Lk.1:1-4; 1 Cor. 15: 1-3; Gal. 1:12; Rev. 1:1, 2).
(iii) Extent of inspiration. Inspiration involved the language used, even extending to single words and phrases (Exod. 20:1; 34:27; Jer. 30:1; 36:1-2; Matt. 21:16; 22:41-44; 2 Pet. 1:21). (iv) Proofs of Inspiration
(a). Inner witness—The Bible itself gives witness to its inspiration e.g. “And God spoke all these words” (Exod. 20:1; Jer. 30:1; 2 Pet. 1:21).
(b). The witness of the New Testament to the Old. E.g. “These are the scripture (OT) that bear witness about me (Lk 24:24; John 5:39; Acts 28:25-26).
(c). The witness of the New Testament to itself (John 14:24; 1 Cor. 14:36-37; Rev. 22:18-19).
(d). Prophecy and fulfilment e.g. The seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15; 9:26; 15;
Exod. 4-12; Is. 11:1, 2; Matt. 1:1, 6; Lk. 3:36; Gal. 4:4).
(e)The unity of the Bible. Sixty-six different books, written over a period of 1,600 years by approximately 40 different authors of different cultures, countries and backgrounds; in three original languages and yet maintained as a unified book. Each writer contributed certain needed portions that harmonise but never contradict the whole.
(f)The miraculous preservation of the Bible. It is preserved over a period of over 3,500 years.
(g)The influence of the Bible – Millions of lives have been changed by its truths. Rom. 1:16-17.
(v). Infallibility/Inerrancy – The Bible is incapable of error and exempt from any liability to make mistakes. Issues of approximations, language of appearances and different accounts of the same occurrence do however appear in the Bible, (Numbs. 25:9; 1 Sam 13:1; Acts 13:21. These can best be resolved by harmonisation.
(vi). Authority and all-sufficiency – These arise out of infallibility. If the scriptures are inspired and infallible, then they must also become the supreme authority for all Christians concerning their faith and morals. Reason, conscience and the Church must all be subjected to the authority of the Bible (Neh. 8:1, 8; 1 Cor. 14:37; Gal. 1:8, 9; 1 Tim. 6:3-4; Heb 1:1).