Published on January 31, 2017 by Joshua R Monroe

Banner of Truth, 1970 | 280 pages

This book is classic, and my recent re-read of it reminded both of the value of the book itself and of Young’s model Christian scholarship. It is of course one of those “essential” books on the doctrine of inspiration. And as much as I enjoyed the entire book, it was the last chapter, “The Bible and Salvation,” I found most deeply moving. What a gem.

One of the little “extras” Young provides is the number of quotes regarding inspiration from outstanding theologians in the history of the church. I’ve collected them here for your use.  

~ Fred Zaspel

Quotes on Inspiration

Compiled by E.J. Young, Thy Word is Truth

Clement of Rome
(1st – 2nd C?):  

“. . . look carefully into the Scriptures which are the true (utterances) of the Holy Spirit.”


Justin Martyr (103-165):  

“. . . that we must not suppose that the language proceeds from the men who are inspired, but from the Divine Word which moves them.”

“. . . the history which Moses wrote by Divine inspiration . . . the Holy Spirit of prophecy taught through him.”


Theophilus of Antioch (d. c. 185):  

“. . . the words of the prophets are the words of God.”


Irenaeus (d. c. 202):  

“All Scripture, as it has been given to us by God, will be found to be harmonious.”

“. . . the Scriptures are perfect, inasmuch as they were uttered by the Word of God and His Spirit, though we want the knowledge of their mysteries.”

“Matthew might have said, ‘The generation of Jesus was on this wise,’ but the Holy Spirit foreseeing the corruption of the truth, and fortifying us against their deception, says, by Matthew, ‘The generation of Christ was on this wise.”


Clement of Alexandria (150-215):  

“There is no discord between the Law and the Gospel, but harmony, for they both proceed from the same Author.”

“. . . of which [i.e., the Scriptures] not one tittle shall pass away without being accomplished; for the mouth of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, spoke it.”


Origen (184-254):  

“We cannot say of the writings of the Holy Spirit that anything in them is useless or superfluous, even if they seem to some obscure.”

“. . . the records of the gospels are oracles of the Lord, pure oracles as silver purified seven times in the fire.”

[The Scriptures] “breath the Spirit of fullness, and there is nothing, whether in the Law or in the Prophets, in the Evangelists or in the Apostles, which does not descend from the fullness of the Divine Majesty.”

“. . . believing that the divine foreknowledge, which supplies superhuman wisdom to the race of man by the Scriptures, has placed, so to speak, the seeds of saving truth in each letter. . . .”


Lactantius (240-320):  

“The entire Scripture is divided into two testaments . . . the Jews use the Old, and we the new; but nevertheless, they are not contrary, because the new is the fulfullment of the Old, and in each the Testator is Christ.”


Cyprian (d. 258):  

“. . . the Gospel cannot stand in part and fall in part. . .”


The Synod of Antioch (264-269):  

“All the God-breathed Scriptures make known God the Son of God.”


Athanasius (c. 296-373):  

“In the words of the Scripture is the Lord.”


Gregory of Nyssa (4th C):  

“Whatever the Divine Scripture says is the voice of the Holy Spirit.”


Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386):  

“Let no one separate the Old from the New Testament, let no one say that on Spirit is there, and another here. . . . We know the Holy Spirit who has spoken in the prophets, and at Pentecost has come down upon the apostles.”


Augustine (354-430):  

“Therefore we yield to and agree to the authority of the Holy Scripture which can neither be deceived nor deceive.”


Fragment on the Canon (c. early 8th C):  

“Though various elements are inculcated in each, still the faith of believers differs not, since everything concerning the Nativity, and Passion and Lfie is declared in all of them by one and the self-same guiding Spirit.”


John of Damascus (d. 749):  

“Therefore all Scripture is God-breathed, and in every way profitable so that one may best and most profitably to the soul search out the Divine Scriptures.”


Martin Luther (1483-1546):  

“Arguments based upon reason determine nothing, but because the Holy Ghost says it is true, it is true.”  


John Calvin (1509-1564):  

“This, then, must be considered as a fixed principle, that, in order to enjoy the light of true religion, we ought to begin with the doctrine of heaven; and that no man can have the least knowledge of true and sound doctrine, without having been a disciple of the Scriptures.”

“But there has very generally prevailed a most pernicious error, that the Scriptures have only so much weight as is conceded to them by the suffrages of the Church; as though the eternal and inviolable truth of God depended on the arbitrary will of men.”


B. Warfield (1851-1921):  

“As light that passes through the colored glass of a cathedral window, we are told, is light from heaven, but is stained by the tints of the glass through which it passes; so any word of God which is passed through the mind and soul of a man must come out discolored by the personality through which it is given, and just to that degree ceases to be the pure word of God. But what if this personality has itself been formed by God into precisely the personality it is, for the express purpose of communicating to the word given through it just the coloring which it gives it? What if the colors of the stained-glass window have been designed by the architect for the express purpose of giving to the light that floods the cathedral precisely the tone and quality it receives from them? What if the word of God that comes to His people is framed by God into the word of God it is, precisely by means of the qualities of the men formed by Him for the purpose, through which it is given?”

“I think you will agree with me that it is a sad thing to see words like these die like this. And I hope you will determine that, God helping you, you will not let them die thus, if any care on your part can preserve them in life and vigor. But the dying of the words is not the saddest thing which we see here. The saddest thing is the dying out of the hearts of men of the things for which the words stand.”


Gresham Machen (1881-1937):  

“The Jesus of the New Testament has at least one advantage over the Jesus of modern reconstruction — He is real. He is not a manufactured figure suitable as a point of support for ethical maxims, but a genuine Person whom a man can love. Men have loved Him through all Christian centuries. And the strange thing is that despite all the efforts to remove Him from the pages of history, there are those who love Him still.”

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Banner of Truth, 1970 | 280 pages

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