Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "BIBLIOLOGY"

Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible

edited by
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.




  1. The Problem
    Simply to contend that the Bible is the Word of God is insufficient in this day of controversy. To claim that it is inspired by God adds significance but is still lacking. There is a definite need for the thorough Bible student to be able to state clearly and precisely his conviction in regard to the scope and meaning of inspiration as it relates to the Bible!

  2. Its Importance
    "The turning point of the battle between those who hold ‘the faith once delivered to the saints,' and their opponents, lies in the true and real inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. This is the Thermopylae of Christendom. If we have in the Word of God no infallible standard of truth, we are at sea without a compass, and no danger from rough weather without can be equal to the loss within. 'If the foundations be removed, what can the righteous do?' And this is a foundation loss of the worst kind." (Spurgeon)

  3. Definitions

    1. Inspiration

      1. Webster - A supernatural influence which qualifies men to receive and communicate truth.

      2. Kuyper - Inspiration is that special and unique operation of the Holy Spirit whereby He directed the minds of the writers of the Scriptures in the act of writing.

      3. Warfield - Inspiration is a supernatural influence exerted on the sacred writers by the Spirit of God by virtue of which their writings are given Divine trustworthiness.

        Note: The word always implies an influence from without producing effects beyond natural capacity.

        The word inspiration occurs only twice in the English Bible – Job 32:8 and 2 Tim. 3:16.
        The ASV cancels out the noun in both instances.

        The Latin word inspiro is used in the Latin Bible in Gen. 2:7; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21, and inspiratio in 2 Sam. 22:16; Job 32:8; Ps. 18:15; Acts 17:25.

    2. Revelation

      1. Webster - Revelation is the disclosing to others of what was before unknown to them.

      2. Strong - Revelation is direct communication from God of truth to which man could not attain by his unaided powers.

      3. Saphir - Revelation unveils to us a world which we never could have discovered by our own research.

      4. Evans - Revelation is that act of God by which He directly communicates truth not known before to the human mind. Revelation discovers new truth, while inspiration superintends the communication of that truth.

        Note: The Hebrew and Greek words for revelation (occurring about 50 times in OT and NT) carry the meaning of uncovering, unveiling, or removal.

    3. Illumination

      1. Webster - Illumination is enlightenment, spiritual or mental.

      2. Strong - Illumination is the quickening of man's cognitive powers to understand truth already revealed.

        Note: Greek word for illumination occurs once in NT--Heb. 10:32.

    4. Distinctions
      The three words inspiration, revelation, and illumination are not synonymous.
      Dr. A. H. Strong has made the following analysis of the words which is very helpful in differentiating between them.

      1. Inspiration without revelation - Lk. 1:1-3

      2. Inspiration including revelation - Rev. 1:1,11

      3. Inspiration without illumination - 1 Pet. 1:11

      4. Inspiration including illumination - 1 Cor. 2:12

      5. Revelation without inspiration - Ex. 20:1,22

      6. Illumination without inspiration - present day Bible preacher

        Note: Read 1 Cor. 2:10-13 and find in these verses an illustration of each: inspiration, revelation, and illumination.


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