I got a Doubt

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Puritan Board Freshman
Suddenly I got a doubt, how can I be sure that 66 books in the Bible are Inspired by God ?.

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I am unable to answer any better than the Westminster Larger Catechism (be sure and check the Scripture references):

Q. 4. How doth it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?

The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.

Hos. 8:12; 1 Cor. 2:6-7, 13; Ps. 119:18, 129; Ps. 12:6; Ps. 119:140; Acts 10:43; Acts 26:22; Rom. 3:19, 27; Acts 18:28; Heb. 4:12; Jas. 1:18; Ps. 19:7-9; Rom. 15:4; Acts 20:32; John 16:13-14; 1 John 2:20, 27; John 20:31.​


Puritan Board Senior
Belgic Article 5:


We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and canonical, for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith; believing without any doubt all things contained in them, not so much because the Church receives and approves them as such, but more especially because the Holy Spirit witnesses in our hearts that they are from God, and also because they carry the evidence thereof in themselves. For the very blind are able to perceive that the things foretold in them are being fulfilled."


Puritan Board Junior
As well as the stated above, I have it on good authority (Ligon Duncan, Mike Horton), that Michael Krueger's work exposing higher criticism is good. I mean to get his books myself.........


Puritan Board Freshman
I am speaking both general and translation because I was more confused about inspiration and preservation of the Bible.

I was informed by some people that only KJV is the perfect bible and all other translations are corrupted. So confusing

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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Hey brother,
All translations are what is called, 'mediately inspired'; that being, the translations contain God's inspiration. Given that most translations are different to a degree, some better than others, not every jot and tittle can be considered, 'inspired' completely.

The original autographs, taking into consideration your favorite, would be considered 'immediately inspired'. That being, the whole document.

Certainly, since our translation contain the mediately inspiration of God, we can say that most are faithful renderings.

KJ's onlyism is a faulty system on many front's. I use the KJ's and NKJ's as my favorite translation.


Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
WCF 1.5 "... yet, notwithstanding [all other proofs and evidences separate or combined], 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."

The Word of God is self-attesting. There is no higher judge of its reliability than itself. That Word says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" Jn.10:27.

This is my opinion on the KJV discussion. This version is good, it might even be the best (though I'm not the judge of such things for the sake of others). Or, some other version might be the best in English; but vituperative arguments about it are a marvelous distraction that serves the Devil.

The text of Scripture is a medium that conveys the mind of God to men. Men's minds are receivers of that (special) and all other (natural) revelation. Take this illustration of our reception. Each version is like a radio, one GE model, one a Sanyo, one a Panasonic, one a RCA... pick your brand. One of these is probably "the best." Some people won't even listen to an "off-brand" radio--it offends their ears (so they say).

The transmission source hasn't changed. The environmental media (space/atmospheric conditions; physical bodies in the way) impacts the quality of the transmission: cosmic rays, sunspot activity, clouds, storms, heat/cold, etc. And finally, your listening experience: "Wait, did he say your or you're? experience or expedience?"

This is all quite analogous to our reception of the divine Word. God has spoken and his Word is as changeless as he is. Moreover, he is sovereign over that transmission, it's passage through time/space/human-hands, and its reception. He makes sure his intent gets through clearly to those who should have it, and that accurately.

But, he has allowed--to one degree or another, and for purposes which (again) men question or dispute--that the distance and effects upon his transmission on its way to us will be impacted by the effects of the universe. But, not so much as will sufficiently harm his elect people from taking a full benefit from what comes through to them.

To me--my opinion--arguments about the version we should use, if they rise to the level of wrath, are as helpful as arguing over who owns a better quality radio. It is my job, as a minister of the Word, to stand by one or many gathered to hear what comes out of the speaker and (like Philip) offer the true interpretation. I can do that with the KJV, or the NKJV, or the ESV, or some other.

I wouldn't do that with the JW's NewWordTranslation. Waste of time, the problem is the horrendous tuning of that radio. It was created to produce specific garbled tones and confuse the hearers. But it is ridiculous to claim that a similar motive stands behind standard translations other than the KJV. The worst someone can claim against them is--to return to the metaphor--that they were built to specs and calibrated on a band that (it is thought by some) drops the overall quality. But almost everyone agrees that the aim of standard translations is universal appeal and access and accuracy.

The fact that the radio analogy is presently tied to a "market share" construct, while deplorable in spiritual terms, only serves in my opinion to validate the illustration's usefulness in the modern context. Publishers and booksellers are trying to get market share for their version. Today there is little "ecclesiastical" control, or "state" control of some version--the latter of which is especially responsible (in the era of mass printing) for the ubiquity and lasting popularity of the KJV.

See, the concept of "version" is particularly dependent on the printing press. Without that invention, the Bible is still produced by hand, and continues to be subject to the limits of quality control under those conditions. Those conditions prevailed for 1500yrs (since Christ) and longer if the OT age is taken in separately. But no matter where the Bible existed, in what form, in what translation (and the translations were themselves subject to the same challenges) people who could access the Bible in a known tongue were able to gain sufficiently from that transmission, and medium, and offered interpretation, the knowledge of God necessary for their salvation.

There is not, nor ever has been, a humanly-produced "version" (whether of just one copy) so perfect an exemplar of the divine Word that not one letter (or syllable, or word) failed to come through flawlessly. The ear fails, the eye, the pen slips, the copy being copied is blurred on one word; all which could in theory be caught and corrected by some means of comparison etc. available at some cost. But a "static free" rendition is not to be had in a world of entropy and sin.

Yet, for all the likelihood of a natural "failure" of this transmission to get through accurately over +6000yrs, it has been Providentially preserved. There is nothing like it in the world. There is no substantive doubt of any part of the text, outside of a minor fraction of the overall presentation. And WHAT it says is in even less doubt than HOW it is stated.

If a man's doubt whether God has spoken arises because the static in his speaker (or the claim that just one speaker is "static free") caused him to question: "God wouldn't make a transmission that contains static, would he?;" we have seen the man's a priori, not a real challenge to what God might or might not do.

Would God allow someone to miss his intent (lacking a good ear or a reliable interpreter)? Would he allow someone to butcher his meaning? Would he allow failure to hear his transmission in some or any form? People who have a view of divine purpose that sees God either as "loving everyone the same," or as given to a kind of individualistic-ideal encounter that can't be misunderstood (think: if I read the Bible, it should be an experience akin to burning-bush clarity) have no room for God's real-world historical usage, no acceptance of the idea he might withhold his light for a time, to the loss of some men.

I do not doubt the Word has been "kept pure in all ages," (WCF 1.8). I also believe and preach every last word. I simply do not worry--and don't think anyone else should either--that this purity is only 99 & 44/100%, rather than 100%. Or that some men claim it is only 98% or 95% sure. <yawn> That seems like more than enough to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and order your steps aright.


Puritan Board Doctor
Suddenly I got a doubt, how can I be sure that 66 books in the Bible are Inspired by God ?.

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IF one believes that Jesus is God incarnate, then we have His final say on this matter


Puritan Board Freshman
Krueger’s “Canon Revisited” is worth reading and dismantles most arguments against the canon of scripture.

If you want some immediate gratification, James White has some debates on YouTube regarding KJV only and also canonicity.

Jeri Tanner

Staff member
Ajay, I was comforted and encouraged concerning the validity of the canon of Scripture by Christ's promise to be with and guide those who gather in his name. We have to (get to!) trust that from the work of the OT scribes, to the Jerusalem council in Acts, right up through the councils at Westminster, God has guided the church into the truth, including into a right recognition of the canon of Scripture. That we have the correct books of the Bible, OT and NT, is a fact as trustworthy as God himself.


Puritan Board Freshman
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

I think many people have similar experiences when it comes to the reliability and trustworthiness of scripture. Rational faculty can make sense of the arguments for the inspiration of scripture; but the spirit wrought confidence in its singular authenticity is unshakable against all detractors and distractions. It is an unspeakable gift to have such deep assurance of the truth of the scriptures.

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Puritan Board Freshman
Suddenly I got a doubt, how can I be sure that 66 books in the Bible are Inspired by God ?.

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Do you believe in a Sovereign God who is not subject to the will of man? God who thought enough to give His Word, who would also see fit to preserve that Word, even when moving through church councils and what seems to be the will of man. To me, the question is as much about the integrity of God as it is the integrity of Scriptura.

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Suddenly I got a doubt, how can I be sure that 66 books in the Bible are Inspired by God ?.
From Origen's Homilies On Joshua, 7:1 (more than one hundred years prior to the usual claim that Athanasius settled the matter):

"our Lord, whose advent was typified by the son of Nun [Joshua], when He came, sent His Apostles as priests bearing well-wrought trumpets. Matthew first sounded the priestly trumpet in his Gospel. Mark also, Luke and John, each gave forth a strain on their priestly trumpets. Peter moreover sounds loudly on the twofold trumpet of his Epistles; and also James and Jude. Still the number is incomplete, and John gives forth the trumpet-sound in his Epistles and Apocalypse; and Luke while describing the Acts of the Apostles. Lastly however came he {nb: Paul} who said: 'I think that God has set forth us Apostles last of all,' and thundering on the fourteen trumpets of his Epistles, threw down even to the ground the walls of Jericho, that is to say all the instruments of idolatry and the doctrines of philosophers."​



Puritan Board Freshman
I got this doubt because, I read about Martin Luther who didn't like the Book of James in the Bible. I really dont know on what grounds he didn't want book of James as part of the Bible.
On what basis the church councils declare this 66 books of the Bible are God's inspired word?

If KJV translators are wrong i some places translating the text, why not Westminster divines didn't go for the revisions of thr KJV?.

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Puritanboard Commissioner
A quick response while waiting for the scholars to come along and deal with this question and expand, clarify, and perhaps correct my answer:

I read about Martin Luther who didn't like the Book of James in the Bible. I really dont know on what grounds he didn't want book of James as part of the Bible.
Luther initially thought that James was teaching salvation by works and thus was contrary to the Gospel message of salvation by faith. Upon further study and reflection, he came to understand that James was, in fact, consistent with the Gospel message.

The Luther Bible did retain James.


Puritan Board Junior
Ajay,, did not the Apostle declare, that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God? If you buy a bone China cup, you can tell its authenticity by holding it up to the light and the light comes through, that’s quality. Then you hold it by the handle, and flick it with your the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, and it will—-ping! If cracked it will give a dull short unpleasant sound. The same is true of the scriptures, when you read it with same Spirit it was written with then it will —ping in your soul. When a young believer, providentially I bought as my first book, A Body of Divinity priced 8 shillings old money, as it was the only one I could afford. But it has turned to be priceless in its teaching. The section on the Scriptures helped my assurance as to the integrity of the word of God.
I will précis Watson’s proof that it is the word of God.
1) Its antiquity. No human histories extant reach further back than Noah’s flood. The grey hairs of scripture are venerable.
2) By its preservation. The holy scriptures are the richest jewels Christ has left us. The church of God has so kept these public records of heaven, that they have not been lost. The letter of scripture has been preserved without any corruption in the original tongue
3)By the matter in them. The mystery of scripture is so profound that no man or angel could have known it had not it been divinely revealed. Who could be the author but God Himself?
4) By it’s predictions. The prediction of future things, merely contingent, and not depending on natural causes, is a clear demonstration of its divine origin.
5) By the impartiality of the writers. What man that would write history would black his own face, by recording those things of himself that might stain his character? Men usually hide their blemishes than publish them to the world. They take away the glory of themselves and give the glory to God.
6) By the mighty power and efficacy that the word has upon the souls of men. By reading and hearing the scriptures men have been changed into other men, and been made holy and gracious.They have become Christ’s epistles read of all men. Lions have become lambs.
7) By the miracles by which scripture is confirmed. God set his seal to the truth and divinityof the scriptures by miracles.
He then deals with the completeness of the canon and its veracity. Deals with questions and gives answers. And particularly he asks, Is all scripture of divine inspiration? But you should read the full account.
I am an unlearned and ignorant man, and so were those brothers who were converted at the same time, and we were mostly steelworkers, artisans, but the KJV was our bread, and we had no trouble understanding it or digesting it. And it is still meat and drink.


They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Let's keep this thread for helping a brother answer his questions about canonicity without arguing. In other words, any future replies not relating to the concerns of the OP will be deleted.

If there's a desire to discuss possible varieties of inspiration, etc., start a discussion on that topic on a different thread. In fact, I moved a number of posts to a new thread:


Be warned, though: future posts in that thread will need to have something more substantive than an unsupported assertion, however buttressed it may seem by sarcasm in order to remain.
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