Tuesday, July 12, 2011

B. H. Carroll on Inspiration of Bible

Following are quotes from B. H. Carroll on biblical inspiration from his book, Inspiration of the Bible, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, 1930, 2008.

“It has always been a matter of profound surprise to me that anybody should ever question the verbal inspiration of the Bible."

"The whole thing had to be written in words. Words are signs of ideas, and if the words are not inspired, then there is no way of getting at anything in connection with inspiration. If I am free to pick up the Bible and read something and say, ‘That is not inspired,’ and someone else does not agree with me as to which is and which is not inspired, it leaves the whole thing unsettled as to whether any of it is inspired."

"What is the object of inspiration? It is to put accurately, in human words, ideas from God. If the words are not inspired, how am I to know how much to reject, and how to find out whether anything is from God? When you hear the silly talk that the Bible ‘contains’ the word of God and is not the word of God, you hear a fool’s talk. I don’t care if he is a Doctor of Divinity, a President of a University covered with medals from universities of Europe and the United States, it is fool-talk. There can be no inspiration of the book without the inspiration of the words of the book.”

“The inspired word is irrefragable, infallible; that all the powers of the world cannot break one ‘thus saith the Lord.’”

“Let me say further that only the original text of the books of the Bible is inspired, not the copy or the translation.”

“The inspiration means that the record of what is said and done is correct. It does not mean that everything that God did and said is recorded. It does not mean that everything recorded is of equal importance, but every part of it is necessary to the purpose of the record, and no part is unimportant. One part is no more inspired than any other part.”

“It is perfectly foolish to talk about degrees of inspiration. What Jesus said in the flesh, as we find it in the four Gospels, is no more His word than what the inspired prophet or apostle said.”

“What Jesus said after He ascended to heaven, through Paul or any other apostle, is just as much Jesus’ word as anything He said in the flesh.”

“Here are some objections: First, ‘only the originals are inspired, and we have only copies.’ The answer to that is that God would not inspire a book and take no care of the book. His providence has preserved the Bible in a way that no other book has been preserved.”

“We do not find that verbal inspiration stereotypes the style, even in the case of a single man. It is nothing mechanical like that, nor does it in the least destroy the individuality of the inspired man. When Paul writes, he writes in Paul’s style; when Peter writes, he writes in Peter’s style.”

“The Holy Spirit inspires the penman and not the pen, and we must not be disturbed when we find Paul’s style, when he is writing spiritual things in spiritual words, or Peter’s style in his writings. We should accept that fact as we go along.”  -B. H. Carroll, Inspiration of the Bible, Southwestern Library of Centennial Classics, 1930, 2008.


Benajah Harvey Carroll (1843-1914) was born in Mississippi, a veteran of the Civil War, and was pastor of First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas.

B. H. Carroll was founder and first president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. His book, Inspiration of the Bible, has been influential among Baptists. It was reprinted and promoted during the SBC Conservative Resurgence and was reprinted again in 2008 in a set of books commemorating the Centennial of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Note: Plenary Verbal Inspiration means every word of all 66 books of the Bible is inspired by God and is therefore the inerrant, living, authoritative, sufficient Word of God.
Plenary - all
Verbal - every word
Inspiration - God breathed. Divinely inspired in such a way that no other book is inspired by God.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 12, AD 2011.

Related Articles:
Southwestern Centennial Classics; B. H. Carroll, L. R. Scarborough, T. B. Maston...
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol
See other articles in lower right margin. 

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