The Inspiration of Scripture

Mark 12:35–37

While teaching in the temple on Tuesday of the week ending in his crucifixion, Jesus asks an insightful question: “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?” (v. 35). Jesus is not seeking to deny that the Christ (the Messiah) is David’s descendant; rather, he seeks to prove from the OT that the Christ is also divine. To do so, he quotes from Psalm 110, a psalm of David: “David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’” In this psalm, David tells how God (“the Lord”) spoke to David’s Lord, the Messiah (“my Lord”) and told him to sit at God’s right hand until he defeated all the Messiah’s enemies. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David acknowledged two individuals as his Lord: God and the Messiah. As king, David was the human lord over Israel, and thus he acknowledged no mere human as his Lord. Yet David bowed before both God and the Messiah by calling both “Lord.” Jesus clinches the argument: “David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” (Mark 12:37). Jesus’ argument is convincing only if the psalm he is quoting was inspired by God. He acknowledges the human authorship of Holy Scripture—affirming that David wrote Psalm 110 (Mark 12:36)—but also its divine authorship, for David spoke “in the Holy Spirit” (v. 36). The Spirit was active when David wrote, and therefore the Bible exhibits both divine and human aspects. Jesus’ disciples build on his foundation when they teach the inspiration of Scripture. Theology for Life—Scripture is a Word given from God himself, that we might know and love him. It is given in human words so that we might understand God’s story that culminates in his Son.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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