Plenary verbal inspiration. What does the term "plenary" mean? It means full. When you say the phrase "plenary verbal inspiration", you're saying that the entire Bible is God-breathed. In other words, every word, jot and tittle was inspired by God. There are no mistakes. The Bible is inerrant. God used writers that he knew would dictate the Bible word for word as God saw fit. Charles Haddon Spurgeon stated, "Each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit." John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Reformation movement stated, "The Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine delivered according to the will and pleasure of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit." Liberals have ridiculed the concept of verbal dictation, calling it "mechanical dictation", as if the human writers became robots. A secretary doesn't become a robot because she takes dictation from her boss. Neither did the writers who penned down the scriptures were robots for God. Many great Bible scholars such as Francis Pieper, R. Laird Harris, Edward I. Young, and Gresham Machen, for example, believed very clearly there was nothing mechanical about God's dictation of scriptures. Those who penned down the scriptures were close to God and knew what they were doing.
Going back to the term "Plenary verbal inspiration, when we say that the whole Bible was fully breathed by God, that includes all the historical parts, poetic parts, epistles, etc. It means they are all accurate. The claim of the Bible itself is that every word breathed out is accurate. The historical aspects of the Bible are just as accurate as the Bible doctrine of salvation. Matthew 4:4 says, "As it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The most important truth of all is that plenary verbal inspiration is the correct view of how we got our Bible, because it's God's view.
How is the Bible different from any other book? The Word of God is eternal. "Forever o Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89) "But the word of the Lord endureth forever." (I Peter 1:25) The Bible didn't originate gradually over 1500 years. It originated from the beginning in the mind of God.
Lastly, the Word of God is the only book inspired by God. God have given us a Bible of 66 books, penned by 40 different authors in both the Old and New Testament. The very fact that God took time through 40 different human writers goes to show how imperative it is that we take time to read and study God's Word. Next time we'll study the section on How did God write the Bible?