A Biblical view of dual authorship will help answer Grenz’s and Barth’s low view of the Bible. In the first post on inspiration, the origin of inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16 was discussed. In this post, I will examine the method of inspiration found in 2Peter 1:20, 21. In verses 20 and 21a Peter states that the origin of Scripture is not of man. This statement compliments Paul’s declaration in 2 Timothy 3:16.
Dual authorship means that God used “holy men” to record His inspired Word. So there is a divine and human instrumentality involved in the writing of Scripture. The Bible is both a human and divine book.
Human Instrumentality: God’s Word is a Human Book
The method of receiving Scripture is seen in the words “holy men of God spoke.” “Spoke” means “wrote” according to 2 Peter 3:15, 16. Human Instrumentality involved “holy men.” What does “holy” mean? Was David the murderer and adulterer holy? It means these authors were set apart through God’s providential preparation to be authors of Scripture.
“But how can the Bible be the Word of God and at the same time, for example, the words of Paul? “God formed the personality of the writer” (John MacArthur, Why I Trust the Bible, p. 29). For example, who were the most educated authors of Scripture? Moses, Paul, and Luke. It is no accident that these men also wrote more Scripture than any other authors. In the New Testament, Paul wrote more books, but Luke wrote more material. God educationally and providently set these men apart to write God’s Word.
Divine Instrumentality: God’s Word is a Divine Book
Divine Instrumentality is seen in the words “as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
“God suspended temporarily man’s inherent weakness to make mistakes.” God used divinely chosen men using their individuality, knowledge, literary style, and background. “They were authors, not secretaries” (MacArthur, p.30).
God used a variety of methods to get His inspired Word recorded. This is what Hebrews 1:1 means when it says that God spoke “in many and various ways.” Sometimes God dictated Scriptures as in Revelation 2:1: “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write” and what was dictated was written. Others wrote as eye witnesses as in much of the four Gospels. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would aid the memory of the apostles when they later wrote Scripture (John 14:26). These portions of God’s Word were not dictated. In the case of Luke, God used his research that Luke alludes to in Luke 1:1-3.
I like the way Wayne Grudem summarizes dual authorship:
In cases where the ordinary human personality and writing style of the author were prominently involved, as seems the case with the major part of scripture, all that we are able to say is that God’s providential oversight and direction of the life of each author was such that their personalities, their backgrounds and training, their abilities to evaluate events in the world around them, their access to historical data, their judgment with regard to the accuracy of information, and their individual circumstances when they wrote, were all exactly what God wanted them to be, so that when they actually came to the point of putting pen to paper, the words were fully their own words but also fully the words that God wanted them to write, words that God would claim as his own” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, page 81).
Grudem also properly connects the inspiration of Scripture with the authority of Scripture: “All the words in Scripture are God’s words. Consequently, to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God himself” (page 81). John MacArthur does a good job in the YouTube clip using the authority of Scripture against others who deny the authority of God’s Word such as Rabbi Harold Kushner, Deepak Chopra, and Mayor Gavin Newsom.