Some people believe that God inspired the thoughts, ideas, or principles of the scriptures, but that the words themselves were chosen by men. Those who believe and teach that are seriously wrong. The Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches otherwise. For example, 2 Tim 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Literally, all scripture is God-breathed. “All” means what it says, and includes every word. There are many other scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that make the same very important point, so that we may truly live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4).
Not by the Will of Man
First Samuel 19:19-24 is an Old Testament passage that teaches the Divine inspiration of every single word of the Bible, not merely the thoughts. When Saul heard that David was at Naioth in Ramah (1 Sam 19:19), “Saul sent messengers to take David” (1 Sam 19:20). Prophesying was the last thing on the minds of Saul’s servants, yet “when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied” (1 Sam 19:20). This happened two more times with other messengers from Saul (1 Sam 19:21). Finally, Saul himself went, and “the Spirit of God was upon him also” and he too prophesied (1 Sam 19:22-24). If the transmission of God’s word required the willing involvement of the one who spoke the word to choose which words to actually use, then there is absolutely no way that Saul and his messengers would have prophesied in 1 Samuel 19:19-24. But the Lord assures us that none of the Bible came from man: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet 1:20-21). Therefore, man had no part in the inspiration of the scriptures, but every word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. In certain cases, the inspired men did not even understand what they were speaking about (see 1 Pet 1:10-12; also compare Acts 2:39 and Acts 10:28). All of this provides irrefutable proof that the words themselves came from God.
Every Word and Every Part Inspired by God
It is true that on almost every occasion, God’s prophets were willing to do their job as a prophet. And the evidence is abundant that God chose words in accordance with the vocabularies, personalities, experiences, and sometimes even moods of the prophets. But God is still the source of the words, and the prophet did not choose the words that were spoken and written. God chose every individual word. In the inspiration of the scriptures, God gave each and every individual word and letter (Prov 30:5-6; Matt 4:4), singular and plural (Gal 3:16), verb tense (Matt 22:31- 32), and jot and tittle (Matt 5:17-18) to the prophets, and they spoke and wrote down exactly what God gave them (Matt 22:31- 32; Gal 3:16). God gave (spoke) every word in the Bible. The Old Testament prophets did not speak their own words (see Exod 4:10-16; Jer 1:4-9; Ezek 2:7-3:27). In the New Testament, the apostles did not speak their own words (Matt 10:18-20; 1 Cor 2:4- 5,12-13). Even Jesus the Son of God (John 12:48-50), and the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-15) would not speak of themselves. It follows that God certainly did not permit mere mortals to speak their own words in the Bible. God put His words into the mouths of His prophets, not thoughts into their minds. Therefore, we can have full, unwavering faith that every part of every word in the Bible is as it is in truth: the word of God (1 Thes 2:13).