Since the Bible is the very words of God (it doesn’t merely contain the word of God), it comes to us with the authority of its primary author, God himself. Those for whom the book of the Bible are named, tell us that Bible is God’s word written, and that it must be seen as divine speech given through human agency. And this speech instructs, corrects, and trains us in righteousness, because it repeatedly points us to its central character, Jesus, the Son of God who came to save us from our sin.
In Genesis 1:1 we read “in the beginning was God.” Echoing the opening declaration of the Bible, in John 1:1 we read that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” But John goes on to say “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The fact that God chose to reveal himself in the person of Jesus Christ (the eternal word made flesh) brings us to the subject of the inspiration and authority of the Bible. This is where God primarily chooses to reveal himself and his purposes to his people—in a collection of sixty-six written books which tell the story of God’s mighty deeds and words of explanation, all of which point to Jesus, the Word made flesh.
The Bible never claims to be an “inspirational” book which grants its reader greater spiritual insight or self-enlightenment. The Bible was not given to motivate us to live better lives, or to do great things. The Bible is given to us by God as a testimony to the Word made flesh (Jesus), who came to save us from our sins. This is what the various human writers of the Bible say about the Bible itself. What kind of book is it? What do they testify about it?
Paul says in his second letter to Timothy that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Although the term “inspiration of Scripture” is often used to describe God’s revelation of himself to us in written form, modern translations of the Bible (such as the ESV) correctly note that the word which the King James Version famously translated as “inspired” (theopneustos) is better translated as “breathed out” by God.