their own minds in the expression of these truths, with the single exception that they were supernaturally held back from the selection of wrong words, and when needful were provided with right ones. Inspiration is therefore not verbal, while yet we claim that no form of words which taken in its connections would teach essential error has been admitted into Scripture.
Before expression there must be something to be expressed. Thought is possible without language. The concept may exist without words. See experiences of deaf mutes, in Princeton Rev., Jan. 1881:104-128. The prompter interrupts only when the speaker?s memory fails. The writing master guides the pupil?s hand only when it would otherwise go wrong. The father suffers the child to walk alone, except when it is in danger of stumbling. If knowledge be rendered certain, it is as good as direct revelation. But whenever the mere communication of ideas or the direction to proper material would not suffice to secure a correct utterance, the sacred writers were guided in the very selection of their words. Minute criticism proves more and more conclusively the suitableness of the verbal dress to the thoughts expressed; all Biblical exegesis is based, indeed, upon the assumption that divine wisdom has made the outward form a trustworthy vehicle of the inward substance of revelation. See Henderson, Inspiration (2nd ed.) 102, 114; Bibliotheca Sacra, 1872:428, 640; William James, Psychology, 1:266 sq .
Watts, New Apologetic, 40, 111, holds to a verbal inspiration: ?The bottles are not the wine, but if the bottles perish the wine is sure to be spilled?; the inspiring Spirit certainly gave language to Peter and others at Pentecost, for the apostles spoke with other tongues; holy men of old not only thought, but ?spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit?
( <600121>1 Peter 1:21). So Gordon, Ministry of the Spirit, 171 ? ?Why the minute study of the words of Scripture, carried on by all expositors, their search after the precise shade of verbal significance, their attention to the minutest details of language, and to all the delicate coloring of mood and tense and accent?? Liberal scholars, Dr. Gordon thinks, thus affirm the very doctrine, which they deny. Rothe, Dogmatics, 238, speaks of ?a language of the Holy Ghost.? Oetinger: ?It is the style of the heavenly court.? But Broadus, an almost equally conservative scholar, in his Com. on <400317>Matthew 3:17, says that the difference between ?This is my beloved Son,? and <420322>Luke 3:22 ? ?Thou art my beloved Son,? should make us cautious in theorizing about verbal inspiration, and he intimates that in some cases that hypothesis is unwarranted. The theory of verbal inspiration is refuted by the two facts:1. that the New Testament quotations from the Old Testament, in 99 cases, differ both from the
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