Take, for example, one of the differences between Mark’s gospel and Luke’s gospel. When writing about how difficult it is for a rich man to enter heaven, Mark said it is “easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye” (Mark 10:25). Mark uses the Greek word rhaphis (needle), which means a sewing needle. On the other hand, when Luke used the same analogy (Luke 18:25), he employed the Greek word belone, which frequently was used when speaking of a surgeon’s needle. The same principle is taught in both texts, yet different words are used. Luke was a doctor (Colossians 4:14), and so he used the kind of needle with which he was most familiar. Likewise, Mark used the term for a seamstress’s needle, most likely because that was the kind of needle he was most accustomed to seeing. Is this a contradiction? No. Two different personalities are reflected in the words, but the idea is the same. Although the concept may be somewhat difficult to understand, inspiration involves the selection of the exact words, yet allows room for the personality of the individual to be reflected in the writing. And while inspiration extends to every word of Scripture, it does not rule out either human personality or human personal interest. Simply put, when the Bible writers claimed inspiration (cf. 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17), they did not have mechanical dictation in mind.
The correct view is to understand that the Bible’s inspiration is verbal and plenary. This means that the Bible writers penned exactly what God wanted them to write, without errors or mistakes, yet with their own personalities evident in their writings. By “verbal,” we mean that every word in the Bible exists because God permitted it (via the direction of the Holy Spirit). King David clearly recognized the validity of this kind of inspiration when he said: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2, emp. added). By “plenary,” we mean that each and every part of the Bible is inspired, without anything being omitted. (“Plenary” means full).
By employing the verbal and plenary view of inspiration, God ensured that the independent Bible writers penned only that which was correct and consistent with His will.
We are happy to grant permission for items in the "Bible Bullets" section to be reproduced in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the authors name must remain attached to the materials; (4) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (5) alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, quotations, etc. must be reproduced exactly as they appear in the original); (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.
For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558