The belief in the OT that prophets were so filled with the ‘spirit’ that their utterances conveyed a divine message (Num. 24:2), which was sometimes validated by eccentric behaviour (1 Sam. 10:6). In the NT the Spirit [[➝ spirit]] was also regarded as the cause of prophesying, speaking in tongues [[➝ tongues, speaking in]], healings, and other gifts (1 Cor. 12:4–11).
Later the idea of the inspiration of certain writings is mentioned (2 Tim. 3:16) and this is held by some to be biblical authority for the idea of an inspired text. It is also maintained that 2 Tim. 3:16 means that written scripture is as much the work of God as author as the oracles of prophets; both on this theory come straight from God (1 Cor. 6:16). From these convictions it is a short step to the idea of biblical inerrancy: the Bible is free from error not only in religious matters but also in history, science, and ethics. It is an outlook broadly known as fundamentalism.
There are, however, serious difficulties about such a view of inspiration: there are the patent inconsistencies and contradictions within scripture itself; there are historical problems; there is an accumulation of knowledge about how books in the ancient world were composed and the clear resemblance of the NT to such books; it is recognized that early Christian Fathers, such as Irenaeus (c.180 CE), did not regard either the OT or the NT (which he often cites) as supernaturally inspired or guaranteed by God; Irenaeus values the gospels simply because they record what Jesus said and did. Following Irenaeus it could be said that the NT provides no more than data on which the Christian faith can be based (or denied).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • inspiration — [ ɛ̃spirasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1120; bas lat. inspiratio I ♦ A ♦ L inspiration. 1 ♦ Sorte de souffle émanant d un être surnaturel, qui apporterait aux hommes des conseils, des révélations; état mystique de l âme sous cette impulsion surnaturelle.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Inspiration — may refer to: * Artistic inspiration, sudden creativity in artistic production * Revelation, an uncovering or disclosure of something hidden via communication from the divine * Biblical inspiration, the doctrine in Judeo Christian theology… …   Wikipedia

  • Inspiration — In spi*ra tion, n. [F. inspiration, L. inspiratio. See {Inspire}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The act of inspiring or breathing in; breath; specif. (Physiol.), the drawing of air into the lungs, accomplished in mammals by elevation of the chest walls and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inspiration — inspiration, afflatus, fury, frenzy, especially when qualified by divine or poetic, all designate the seemingly involuntary element in the arts of expression for which the artist often holds a power outside himself responsible. Inspiration may… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Inspiration- — (album) Inspiration Album par Yngwie Malmsteen Sortie 1996 Genre(s) heavy metal / hard rock Label Foundation Albums de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Inspiration — Sf schöpferischer Einfall erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (17. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. īnspīrātio ( ōnis), eigentlich Einhauchen, Einatmen , einem Abstraktum zu l. īnspīrāre einflößen, hineinblasen , zu l. spīrāre blasen, wehen, hauchen und… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • inspiration — Inspiration. s. f. Action d inspirer, & la chose inspirée. Inspiration Divine, de Dieu, d enhaut. il luy vint une sainte inspiration. j ay eu une bonne inspiration …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • inspiration — c.1300, immediate influence of God or a god, especially that under which the holy books were written, from O.Fr. inspiracion inhaling, breathing in; inspiration, from L.L. inspirationem (nom. inspiratio), noun of action from pp. stem of L.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • inspiration — Inspiration, Instinctus, huius instinctus. Inspiration divine, Diuinus afflatus, siue inflatus …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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  • Inspiration — (v. lat. Inspiratio), 1) das Einathmen, s.u. Athmen; daher Inspirationsmuskeln, die zum Einathmen dienenden Muskeln; 2) (gr. Theopneustie), die besondere Einwirkung Gottes, mittelst welcher er durch den Heiligen Geist die Apostel so unterstützte… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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