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Volume 32 - Page 171 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
What of the N.T. writers? Peter was a prophet (II Pet. 3: 2), and Paul was a prophet
(Rom. 16: 24).
N.T. prophets are greater than those who were before them
(Luke 7: 28). Moreover, the apostle is always placed higher than the prophet
(I Cor. 12: 28; Eph. 2: 20; 4: 11), so that if inspiration is associated with prophetic
office, much more is it to be associated with the apostolic gift. The apostles spoke "as
though God did beseech" by them (II Cor. 5: 20). Their words were received, not as the
words of men, but as the words of God (I Thess. 2: 13); the new covenant message given
through the apostles is in every way "more excellent" than the old covenant message of
Moses. These apostles were led into "all truth" by the Holy Ghost (John 16: 13); and
Paul asserts that the revelation of the mystery, made known by himself as the prisoner of
the Lord, "completes" the word of God (Col. 1: 25). Luke declares that he received
perfect understanding "from above" (Luke 1: 3), as the words "from the very first" should
be translated, and the Book of the Revelation declares itself a prophecy, with solemn
warning (Rev. 1: 3; 22: 18, 19).
We may speak of Shakespeare, of Beethoven, or of Michael Angelo as being
"inspired", for their thoughts were indeed raised above the common level of mankind, but
we search in vain throughout the writings of Shakespeare for such an expression as
"Thus saith the Lord".
To repeat, and to conclude, we do not contend so much for the inspiration of the men,
who wrote as for the fact that in what they wrote; in the Bible; we possess an inspired
Book, and we would ever press upon ourselves and our hearers the fact that:
"Men doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of the Lord doth man live" (Deut. 8: 3).