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A Missing Element in Discussions on Inspiration

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When one ordinarily learns about scriptural inspiration, the explanation usually runs thus, “God inspired certain authors with a certain illumination where they expressed the word of God in human language, free from error and unified within itself.”

While this is certainly a fine description in explaining the unity of the word of God across the various authors, by having a single source in the prophetic light and in the content of their message, and the truth of the word of God, that the words written truly correspond to the works of God in history and the Divine mysteries themselves. Yet, the explanation is lacking, for, where there is unity and truth, there must also be goodness and beauty.

By merely speaking of the truthfulness of Sacred Scripture we build a polemical defense against certain heretics and unbelievers who reject the inerrancy of scripture, yet we reduce the Divine imprint to only one aspect. Until this trend is reversed, we will not be able to inspire a love for the Sacred Page. For many, since inspiration is tied up merely in the truth value of the words given, they object to the reading of the Sacred Page, asking “why can’t I just read catechisms and books of theology?” Many cannot answer this question, for, it seems that since the purpose of a catechism is to clearly express the truth contained in the apostolic deposit in a didactic manner that, if promulgated by the church, we should only read catechisms. This is a perfectly reasonable way of proceeding if scripture is merely meant to communicate truth. In fact, it would be positively dangerous to expose ourselves to something we could “twist to our own destruction.” It is much easier to read the Athanasian Creed on the Divinity of Our Lord than to reason through some of the more difficult phrases in the Gospels.