Pieper, Francis. Christian Dogmatics: Volume 1. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968.
Chapter B4, “The Relation of the Holy Ghost to the Holy Writers”
When God inspires his Word, how does the Holy Spirit work in the writers? Pieper cites modern theologians as having difficulty with this question. How, when we deny specific inspiration, can we resolve the problem of the way the Holy Spirit works? Yet this also leaves us with a Bible we cannot trust as God’s Word.
Pieper says, on the contrary, (section 4926) “God employed the holy writers as His tools, or instruments, in order that men might have His Word fixed in writing.” In the early Church, theologians used terms such as “secretary,” “amanuensis,” even “hand” or “pen.” In no way, however, did they consider this a mechanical activity. The Church has always denied the idea of a trance. Rather, the Holy Spirit spoke specifically to the authors, using their own will, speaking specifically what He wishes to say.
Chapter B5, “Objections to the Doctrine of Inspiration”
Pieper now details some of the objections to verbal inspiration. In his opinion the person who objects to verbal inspiration as he has defined it rejects the entire foundation of Christianity. But what are the objections he deals with?
1) The different parts of Scripture are written in different styles. This stylistic difference is easy to see. Since God spoke through a number of people we would expect him to use their own styles. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:4 suggests that God’s own style of speaking is one we can’t bear.
2) Because writers of Scripture engaged in research the Scripture is not inspired. Yet just as God can use different people’s style of communication he can provide them with information using different means.
3) Variant readings refute inspiration. Yet even a verbal inspirationist does not claim inspiration of the copyists. The text is reliable. Pieper claims internal evidence for God’s very words not passing away. He also observes that the doctrines of Scripture are not in doubt due to variants.
4) The Bible has contradictions. Pieper builds a case that all discrepancies of facts, such as numbers of people, can be explained away.
5) There are inaccurate quotations of the Old Testament in the New. Pieper views non-exact quotations as further clarification by the Holy Spirit.
Close consideration of the New Testament shows it to be a reliable, inspired document.