“God Spake all these Words”

By James H. Brookes

Chapter 13



“The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea. . . The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. . . And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel, “Hos. i. 1-27~ 4. Similar expressions occur 21 times.

“The word of the Lord that came to Joel. . . . Therefore also now, saith the Lord. . . The Lord will answer and say uito His people.. For the Lord hath spoken it.” This same testimony is found four times in the short prophecy, Joel i. 1; ii. 12, 19; iii. 8.

“Thus saith the Lord. . . Thus saith the Lord. . . Thus saith the Lord. . . Thus saith the Lord. . . Thus saith the Lord. Amos i. 3, 6, 9, 11, 13; “The Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord,” Amos vii. 15, 16. These or the like words occur 64 times.

“Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom. . . Thence will I bring, thee down, saith the Lord. . . Shall I not in that day, saith the Lord, destroy the wise men out of Edom?. . . There shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau, for the Lord hath spoken it,” Obad. 1, 4, 8, 18. In a little prophecy of one chapter 4 times it is declared to be the spoken word of the Lord.

“The word of the Lord came unto Jonah.. y The Lord spake unto the fish. . . The word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying. . . Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?. . . And God said to Jonah,” Jon. i. 1; ii. 10; iv. 4, 9. In this brief prophecy God is represented 8 times as sending His word, or speaking.

“The word of the Lord that came to Micah. . . The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it . . , In that day, saith the Lord will I assemble her that halteth. . . . Hear ye now what the Lord saith,” Mic. i. 1; iv. 4, 6; vi. 1. In this prophecy 7 times does the Lord say or speak.

“Thus saith the Lord. . . The Lord hath given commandment concerning thee. . . . Be hold, Lam against thee, saith the Lord of hosts,” Na. i. 12, 14; ii. 18. Three chapters tell ns 5 times that the Lord spoke its words.

“The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. . . And will watch to see what He will say unto me . . And the Lord answered me, and said. . . O Lord, I have heard thy speech, Hab. i. 1; ii. 1, 2; iii. 2. Here we read 4 times of the Lord’s direct communications.

“The word of the Lord came unto Zephaniah, . . I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord. . . . Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel. . . When I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord,” Zeph. i. 1, 3; ii. 9; iii. 20. This prophet informs us 9 times that his words were the words of the Lord.

In the first day of the month came the word of the Lord by the hand of Haggai the prophet. . . . Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts. . . Then spake Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, in the Lord’s message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith. the Lord,” Hag. i. 1, 2, 13. In three chapters, “the word of the Lord,” “thus saith the Lord,” can be counted 26 times.

“Came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah. . . Therefore say thou unto them, thus saith the Lord. . . The Lord answered the angel that talked with me good words, and comfortable words,” Zech. i. 1, 8, 13. The Higher Critics imagine a three-fold authorship of the book, but whoever wrote it asserts 89 times that it was spoken by the Lord.

“I have loved you, saith the Lord. . . . From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts,” Mai. i. 2, 11; “Thus saith the Lord,” or his ‘‘commandment” is repeated 28 times in four brief chapters.

It cannot be disputed that the writers of the Bible sought to make the impression that their messages and communications -were the immediate revelations of God; for 1,307 times in the Prophets, and at least 2,600 times in the whole of the Old Testament, we have the direct testimony that what they spoke is what God at first spoke. What is to be done with such testimony? Every thoughtful man is forced to conclude that the witnesses were liars, or fanatics, on the one hand, or that they told the truth on the other; and if they told the truth, he must also acknowledge that “God spake all these words.”

It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the ablest, most scholarly and most devoted expositors and professors earnestly defend and uphold the verbal inspiration of the Bible. It is not a theory, but a fact, we are called to consider, and there is no more theory about the inspiration of the sacred Scripture than there is about the incarnation or the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prof. Gaussen says, ‘‘This theory of a divine revelation, in which you would have the inspiration of the thoughts, without the inspiration of the language, is so inevitably irrational that it cannot be sincere, and proves false even to those who hold it. . . . Though the words are those of man, say they, the thoughts are those of God. And how will they prove this to you? Alas! by attributing to this Scripture from God, contradictions, mistakes, proofs of ignorance! Is it then the words alone they attack? And are not these alleged errors much more in the ideas than in the words? So true is it that we cannot separate the one from the other, and that a revelation of God’s thoughts ever demands a revelation of God’s words also.”

Prof. Lindsay, author of one of the soundest and most learned of the commentaries on Hebrews, says, “The words of the prophet are God’s words; the words of Christ are God’s words, and the words of the men sent forth, by Christ are God’s words.”

Robert Haldane, who wrote one of the best expositions of Romans, says, “Nothing can be more clearly, more expressly, or more precisely taught in the word of God. And while other important doctrines may be met with passages of seeming opposition, there is not in the language of the Scriptures one expression that even appears to contradict their plenary and verbal inspiration.”

Bishop Ryle, of Liverpool, says, “I feel no hesitation in avowing, that I believe in the plenary inspiration of every word of the original text of Holy Scripture. . . . I believe that the inspired writers were infallibly guided by the Holy Ghost, both in their selection of matter, and their choice of words.”

Dr. Carson, “the Jonathan Edwards of Ireland,” says, “How can we know the thoughts of an author except by the words of the author? Had the inspired writers been left to themselves as to the choice of words in any part of their writings, they might have made a bad choice, and inadequately or erroneously represented the mind of the Spirit.”

Bengel, the learned and able divine says, “Therefore even the words of Scripture are inspired by God, theopneusta. . . The Spirit does not speak without words.”

Dr. Charles Hodge, the first of American theologians, says, the italics being his own, “The inspiration of the Scriptures extends to the words.”

Prof. Henry B. Smith says, ‘‘Inspiration gives us a book properly called ‘The Word of God,’ inspired in all its parts. . . . This inspiration is plenary in the sense of extending to all its parts, and of extending also to the words.”

Prof. Shedd says, “Scripture itself asserts verbal inspiration.”

Dean Burgon says, “The Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth on the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High.”

The list of such witnesses, high in scholarship and profound in their knowledge of God’s Word, might be extended indefinitely and almost interminably; but nothing more is needed than the testimony of Archdeacon Farrar, a man who has gone very far astray from the truth, a Higher Critic of the rabid school. Writing of the men through whom the Bible has come to us, and of their liability to error, he says in italicised words:

“That they did so err I am not so irreverent as to assert, nor has the widest learning and acutest ingenuity of skepticism ever pointed to one complete and demonstrable error of fact or doctrine in the Old or New Testament.”