Verbal dictation

Verbal dictation

Verbal dictation describes a theory about how the Holy Spirit was involved with the people who first physically indited the Bible. According to this theory, the human role was a purely mechanical one: their individuality was by-passed whilst they wrote, and neither did their cultural background have any influence on what they wrote, because these writers were under the control of God. This may have been the original understanding of inspiration for the people of the Bible [C H Dodd, 'The Authority of the Bible', Fontana 1960] . Verbal inspiration has been compared to channelling .

This theory of inspiration was popular among Protestant theologians during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, [James Barr, 'Fundamentalism', SCM 1977] but today's evangelical Christians reject it, believing that God made use of the individuality of human writers, and that the nature of inspiration is essentially a mystery.

See also

* Biblical inspiration


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