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"Men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit."


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"Men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit." (2 Pet. 1:21)

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How, though, was God’s message transmitted by holy spirit to Bible writers? Did they receive precise wording or just ideas that they could express in their own words? 

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Consider how a businessman might compose a letter. When precise wording is important, he writes the letter himself or dictates it to his secretary word for word. The secretary types it, and the letter bears the businessman’s signature. At other times, he provides only the principal ideas, and the secretary prepares the letter, using her own style or vocabulary. The businessman may then proofread the letter and have the secretary make any needed changes. In the end, the letter bears his signature and is viewed as coming from him.

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Similarly, some parts of the Bible were supplied “by God’s finger.” (Ex. 31:18) Jehovah also used dictation when precise wording was crucial. At Exodus 34:27, for example, we read: “Jehovah went on to say to Moses: ‘Write down for yourself these words, because it is in accordance with these words that I do conclude a covenant with you and Israel.’” Likewise, Jehovah told the prophet Jeremiah: “Write for yourself in a book all the words that I will speak to you.”—Jer. 30:2.

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In most cases, though, thoughts rather than specific words were miraculously conveyed to the hearts and minds of Bible writers, permitting them to choose their own words to express them. “The congregator sought to find the delightful words and the writing of correct words of truth,” states Ecclesiastes 12:10

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The Gospel writer Luke “traced all things from the start with accuracy, to write them in logical order.” (Luke 1:3) God’s spirit ensured that human imperfection did not taint his message.

 

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