God's Spoken Word in written form: The case for Dictation Inspiration
by Dr. L. Bednar
Inspiration and Inerrancy by means of Dictation
Dictation-type inspiration is defined by the present writer as the Spirit of God, also known as the Spirit of Christ (In Romans 8:9 the two names are interchangeable) impressing all the words of scripture on the mind of the human writer, and directing the writer to record only that which he receives. This provides readers with strong evidence of God's hand on the text so that they might be aware that what they read is inerrrant, and thus totally reliable. Evidence of God's dictation of the text is retained in our KJV, indicating that inerrancy is preserved in a process extending from autograph originals, to true copies, to true translations. We expect this of our God who would care for His people, and provide His assurance of inerrant guidance in their languages to enable them to find their way safely through the trials of life.
In Matthew 4:4 Christ says, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Now every word from the mouth of God that we live by has been in the written form for many centuries, so language that refers to every word from God's mouth is referring to dictation inspiration. Now it is certain that every word from God's mouth is inerrant, and if we're to live by every one of them, they must all be preserved in their inerrant state, and in the language that we understand. Further, 2 Tim.3:16 says All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, or all scripture is what we are to live by; this is just what Mat.4:4 states, saying every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, written by dictation inspiration, is what we are to live by, so all scripture is inspired by dictation, which is the type of inspiration noted in 2 Tim.3:16. Finally, the need to live by all scripture applies to the entire era in which He has endowed His written Word, so true scripture will be found only in texts that have been traditional. We conclude that our traditional KJV and its Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic textual basis preserve inerrancy of God's word spoken by dictation inspiration of the autographs, and thus present the true standard text. In this essay we make a case for dictation inspiration and inerrancy by examining various passages from our traditional English version of God's Word, the KJV.
Now a question arises as to whether we believe God or modern scholars. The scholars discount this concept of inspiration, thinking dictation is mechanical, the intellectual faculties of a writer being disengaged so that his normal writing style is not observed. They say that if the Holy Spirit dictated every word of scripture, every book of the Bible would have the same writing style, a divine style, and they observe different typical human writing styles in different books of the Bible. However, they don't realize that evidence indicates the Spirit of God dictates every word of scripture without inter-rupting the writer's functioning of his intellectual faculties or his normal writing style, so dictation-type inspiration offers a general mechanism of plenary/verbal inspiration. We see strong evidence of this type of inspiration in the passages below.
writer first became interested in evidence for Dictation Inspiration
at a seminar in Canada in which Dr. Phil Stringer, Pastor of
Ravenswood Baptist Church in Chicago, spoke on the subject, utilizing
the example of the speech of Balaam's donkey. In an obvious case of
dictation, God gave the creature the temporary ability to speak in
Balaam's languge, and He gave the creature a human-like intellect so
that it reasoned with Balaam and led him to a conclusion.
Now the present writer views this matter as notably illustrating how wrong scholars are in saying dictation would eliminate the human style of expression. The words of the creature were so human-like Balaam showed no evidence of surprise that the animal spoke to him in his language, and he acted as if he were conversing with an old chum. Clearly, God can dictate words that utilize a human style of expression.
1. On Christ, the speaker of Psalm 95
Ps.95 6. O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. 7. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, 8. harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9. when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 10. Forty years long was I grieved with this gener-ation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11. unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
Here verses 6 and 7 of the Psalm continue David's characteristic style of expression that begins in verse 1. This style continues down to verse 9 when the words shift to the first person pronouns me, I & my, which is indicative of God speaking since He is the one grieved with the lack of faith of the wilderness wanderers, and the one who swore in His wrath that they would not enter into His rest. Now the Psalm syntax connects the speaking of God in verse 9 to verse 8, and also connects the speaking of David in verse 7 to verse 8 so that verse 8 is a transition verse connecting the two types of speaking. In verse 7 David says his (God's) voice in the last reference to what is suggestive of David speaking, and in verse 9 the speaking is clearly that of God through consistent use of first-person pronouns. An initial part of verse 8 logically connects to David's speaking in verse 7, and a latter part of verse 8 logically connects with God's speaking in verse 9, achieving a transition.
Now the English verse numbering reflects that of the Hebrew text, and the latter is grammatically unique in that verse 7 ends with wording that would normally continue with words that begin verse 8, and verse 9 begins with those that would normally continue those of verse 8. The purpose of this odd syntax of the three verses is likely a unique way that the Hebrew text reveals the fact of inspiration of David's words by means of dictation, the transition verse and its application to God and David serving to reveal that God is the actual speaker throughout the entire Psalm. It is as if the divine speaker stands in the background unnoticed, up to verse 8 when He comes out of the background to stand beside David in the transition verse 8, giving the appear- ance of both speaking, when it's actually God speaking, and He has been doing so from the beginning of the Psalm. This is proved as the divine speaker then seems to stand in front of David and hide him in the remaining verses to prove that He, God, is the one who has been speaking from the beginning of the Psalm. It appears that God gives us passages like this to show us that He controls all of the content of His Word by dictation, so we should look for other related examples of this in our studies.
Now David's usual style of expression actually continues in those verses spoken by God, this being evident if we just replace all the first-person pronouns indicative of God speaking, with third-person pronouns indicative of David speaking. This shows that David's style is unchanged, the only actual change being the Spirit's dictation of first-person pronouns impressed upon David's style of expression as the Spirit pres- erves that style overall.
Hebrews 4:7,8 comment on Ps.95. 7. Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8. For if Jesus had given them rest...
Here the writer of Hebrews speaks of Psalm 95 as written in, or through, David, referring to the dictation of the words of the Psalm, and he speaks words from the Psalm at the end of verse 7, the second underlined group. In verse 8 he identifies the divine speaker of these words in verse 7 as Christ, using the incarnate form of His name, Jesus; likely he wants to say that this blessed one, who once walked among us in the flesh as our beloved Jesus, is the very eternal Christ dictating inspired words to David in Psalm 95.
Now scholars today say Jesus is a mistranslation in Hebrews, saying it should read Joshua. The Greek for Jesus corresponds to the Hebrew for Joshua, as well as to Jesus, and they think giving of rest to the wilderness wanderers was accomplished by the historical Joshua, but they are wrong. The one who really gave the rest to those people was the pre-incarnate Christ who was the Captain of the Host before whom Joshua bowed in submission before deciding upon Israel's actions. Joshua fell down in worship before the Captain of the Host, and was told to take off his shoes since the place where he stood was holy ground, further indicating that God, the pre-incarnate Christ, was Captain of the Host, one of His roles in the Old Testament (see Joshua 5:13-15).
Indeed, there is no question that Jesus is the correct rendering in Hebrews 4:8 since He is the one who spoke in, or through, David in the utterance of inspired dictated scripture in Psalm 95. In rendering Joshua at verse 8, scholars would have the hist- orical Joshua, a mere human, as speaking inspired dictated scripture in verse 7, which is quite impossible, only God being able to do this. Men can be directed in writing scripture, but none of them can originate the inspired words. Even at the earthly level, there is no possibility of Joshua having any influence on the writing of Psalm 95 since he lived about 400 years before David wrote the Psalm.
2. Another example of inspired dictation by the pre-incarnate Christ: A different prophetic perspective on the home-page article on Ps. 22
Psalm 22 illustrates dictation very pointedly. In verse 1 David says
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,
prophetic words spoken also by Jesus Christ, the Son of
David, on the Cross ~1000 years later (Mt.27:46). The dual reference
of David to him- self and Jesus on the Cross ends abruptly at verse 2
as he speaks only his words, but at verse 6 he returns to the dual
reference. In verses 12-15 reference to David diminishes and that to
Christ increases, and verses 16-18 refer only to Jesus Christ in
piercing of His hands and feet on the Cross and casting of lots in
parting His garments (Mt.27:35). Verses 19-21 return to the dual
reference, and verses 22-31 return to words of David alone that
praise God’s greatness (22-25), and then prophesy of it (26-31).
To pictorialize this, it’s as if David stands in front of a curtain, behind which Christ pre- incarnate speaks through David, dictating the words. Verse 1 reveals dictation relating the sorrow of David to that of Jesus on the Cross. Subsequent words of David alone, and later transition to the dual reference, then to words of Jesus alone, is like parting of the curtain in stages to reveal Christ dictating David’s words. Transition back to the dual reference, then to words of David alone, is like the curtain returning to show that all the words of the Psalm, including those relating only to David, are dictated. The subsequent dictated final words of David on God’s greatness relate to man’s sorrows that Jesus bore on the Cross for our deliverance by the Cross.
Thus the hand of God on text composition by dictation in the form of prophecy is plainly revealed, there being no possibility that David could know of the Cross that Christ would endure, and the words Christ would speak or think on the Cross over 1000 years in the future. Indeed, the Cross was a Roman tool of torture unknown in Israel until centuries after David's time when Grecians, and later Romans, would attack the nation. Further, progression from words that apply to David alone, to those applying to Christ alone, and the reversal back to words of David alone, connects them all together to make David the human speaker of all of them. The words of Christ obviously present a divine style of expression, while those of David present a typical human style, and the progression & reversal indicate that David's human intellectual faculties were engaged throughout both types of expression. The only way that David could manifest the divine style, and the only way that this style could blend with David's human style, is through dictation of all the words by the Spirit of God.
B. Reviewing the Psalm 22 home-page article to add further commentary.
Review: Evidence of the validity of dictation in any context is seen in Psalm 22. In verse 8 David speaks words of those who persecute him, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him. This proves to be a prophecy fulfilled in Mt.27:42 as chief priests, scribes and elders speak, saying of Christ on the Cross, If he be the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross, and we will believe him. Then in verse 43, they say of Christ, He trusted in God, let him deliver him, which are the same words spoken by David who repeats those of his persecutors in Ps.22:8.
Regarding the words of the priests, scribes and elders in Mt.27:42, lf he be the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross, they would see Christ as helpless and not able to come down from the cross, and would think their mockery adds exasperation to His physical anguish. But we today know Christ could have come down if He chose to do so, and there was a creature who knew this when these words were spoken. He is stirring up thoughts of these leaders of Israel in an effort to goad Christ to come down from the cross, which would nullify our salvation. This one hates God who ultimately has sentenced him to the lake of fire, and he hates mankind made in the image of God. He called God a liar when he said to Eve in the garden, Yea hath God said...Ye shall not surely die...He induced sin in the heart of mankind, and placed upon us the prospect of eternal death in the lake of fire. The devil motivated these men to mock the Savior, try- ing to get Him to come down from the cross, and nullify our salvation.
Now, as noted above, when the priests, scribes &
elders in Mt.27:43 spoke the words uttered by David in Ps.22:8, they
fulfilled a prophecy, so they showed themselves as the mockers of
whom David was prophesying; thus they showed that the trusting one David prophesied of is Jesus Christ, the one pierced in Ps.22:16.
Zec.12:10 says this pierced one is the firstborn of all families of
Israel, so He has the birthright of, and is the head of, that family; He is
Messiah, and Zec.12:10 also tells us the one pierced is God, the One inspiring this verse. If the priests, scribes & elders had known their words would prove Jesus is Messiah and God, they'd never have spoken them; they hated Him for exposing their sin & hypocrisy, and their hatred reflects control of them by satan who hates God.
There is only one explanation for this unique prophecy fulfillment by priests, scribes and elders. There is only One who could break the devil's power over these men, and make them do the last thing in the world they would willingly do. God alone has such power, and He dictated these words to these men, without changing their irreverent speaking style, and without disengaging their intellectual faculties that they exercised while they thought up words of vengeance reflecting the devil's control of their minds.
Now the tenor of language in verse 43 has not changed from that of verse 42. In both verses the men exercise the same irreverent speaking style and operation of their intellectual faculties as they think up ways to exasperate the Savior, yet the meaning in verse 43 is very different from that in verse 42. Clearly, if God can dictate words of men like these, without changing their speaking style, or interrupting the operation of their intellectual faculties, He would have no trouble at all dictating the words of scripture to obedient servants who truly wish to serve God, doing so without changing their normal human writing style or the normal operation of their intellectual faculties.
Added commentary: Modern scholars say the priests, scribes & elders deliberately referred to Ps.22:8 in a mocking feigned fulfillment of the prophecy, but that's absurd. These men revered David, and would never identify themselves with those mocking him in Psalm 22:8. Further, they would never quote words of David as fulfilled by Christ, lest they themselves support the Messianic claim of Jesus. Actually, the claim of mock- ing fulfillment of prophecy is impossible since nothing in Psalm 22 alone is related in any way to prophecy, speaking only of David's history; only when Matthew 27 was written did we know there was a prophecy involved in Psalm 27, and Matthew's gospel was written long after the priests, scribes & elders made their statements recorded in Matthew 27
Now we compare how the KJV & modern versions handle the prophecy of Psalm 22:8
KJV: He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him...
NASV: "Commit yourself to the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him..."
NIV: He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. let him deliver him.
The NASV offers an imperative sense of Commit yourself, which necessarily requires the second person reflexive pronoun, but that conflicts with use of let him deliver him, the latter him being third person, mixing persons to create confusion about who the antagonists are speaking to. Scholars propose a solution by suggesting a pause after Commit yourself to indicate the command is aimed at the Savior, while the following words are an aside spoken to others nearby. Actually, that still results in awkward lang- uage, but for even this to be true there would have to be in the Hebrew what is called a disjunctive accent marker indicative of a pause, and associated with the term Lord (accent markers serve as punctuation in the Hebrew text), but what actually appears there is just the opposite, a conjunctive accent indicating no pause, which is why the KJV reads that he would deliver him, with no pause.
The NIV he trusts in the Lord is close enough to the Hebrew to be acceptable, but it too has the incorrect pause associated with Lord. Now both the NIV & NASV create a pro- blem by breaking the verse up into three clauses through use of an extra pause after Lord, the single pause in the KJV being the only legitimate one. Hebrew poetry of Psalms commonly takes the form of parallel clauses that both speak of a given concept, but in somewhat different wording. The NIV & NASV focus the parallelism on the second & third clauses, suggesting a small difference in the wording of the two, but this is due to improper translation. In the NIV the term the Lord in the second clause is incorrect, for the Hebrew actually says him, as in the KJV & NASV, so this difference doesn't exist, leaving only the difference between deliver and rescue in both the NIV & NASV. The term rescue is also an improper rendering since to suggest the Savior being rescued from the Cross is to suggest Him being brought down from it without dying for the sin of mankind (e.g. If a lifeguard or a fireman rescues a person, this refers to saving a life). On the other hand, the term deliver has a different sense in this Psalms context since the Savior was delivered from the suffering of the cross by death, and He was delivered from death by the Resurrection, all in keeping with God's doctrine of salvation (We must remember who the real speaker of these words in Ps. 22:8 is; it seems to be men, but is actually God by dictation, and He would never use the word rescue in this matter). On the other hand, the KJV correctly presents deliver in both cases. These are two different terms in the Hebrew, but both have the same meaning in this context. Modern scholars can't really differentiate the two terms, as clearly seen in that they can't agree on the order in which they appear. The NASV & ESV both render the order deliver - rescue, but the NIV & NKJV both render the opposite order rescue - deliver.
Now let's see how well modern versions do in rendering the fulfillment of the Ps.22:8 prophecy in the translation in Mat. 27:43.
KJV: He trusted in God; let him deliver him...
NASV: He trusts in God; Let Him deliver Him...
NIV: He trusts in God. Let God rescue him...
Here both translations avoid the problem of parallelism in the Hebrew. The NASV translators seem to wish to avoid fulfillment of prophecy, now resorting to He trusts so that the relationship to Psalm 22:8 is minimized. The NIV again offers the incorrect word rescue. Such evidence indicates the KJV alone is the proper English version that preserves prophecy and its fulfillment.
3. On men’s behavior
Zech.11:1-9 tells of God's displeasure with shepherds of Israel, spiritual leaders who don't care for the flock given into their charge, but take advantage of the flock for personal gain. As a consequence, verse 7 says God will feed the poor of the flock, and verse 10 prophecy reveals how this will happen in that God will break His covenant with Israel. This refers to the breaking of the Old Testament covenant by which appointed shepherds had the power of leadership, and replacing this covenant with that of the New Testament by which Christ the just shepherd would care for the poor of the flock. This latter is signified by breaking of the staff called beauty, referring to Jesus Christ whose self-sacrifice reveals the most beautiful nature in history, He being broken on the Cross to introduce God's New Covenant and the basis of salvation. Indeed Jesus Christ's earthly ministry was marked by His care of the poor and needy of the flock of Israel and others associated with the flock.
This type of interpretation is indicated by the description of breaking of a second staff, bands, which the text identifies as breaking of the brotherhood of Judah and Israel, breaking of this staff signifying God's displeasure with the leadership in Israel, in accord with the reason for His displeasure with the shepherds. The description of the bands' staff, and its significance, is notably literal, while the description of the staff of beauty is less literal since Christology was given to Israel in the Old-Testament era in the veiled form of mystery.
The New Covenant came to pass by the Crucifixion through betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver, which is what Zechariah 11:12,13 refers to in saying, And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price, and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter, a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. The speaker of my price (or value) is the Christ preincarnate speaking (dictating) prophecy by Zechariah. After the betrayal, Judas, a thief who stole from the money bag from which daily needs of the disciples were met, behaves in a way contrary to his usual covetous nature, returning the blood money to the priests & elders since he is moved in his thinking (dictated to) by the incarnate Christ to do the right thing; dictation, the voice of divine inspiration, reveals to him righteousness, in stark contrast with his usual behavior. He realizes he sold his soul for money, and in disgust he casts it down in the temple, the house of the Lord. Further, chief priests and elders who gave Judas the money and approved of the cruel Crucifixion of Jesus, seeing Him as an outsider, and mocking Him in His agony on the Cross, used the silver in a kindly way to buy a potter’s field for burial of strangers, Gentile outsiders. Priests and elders normally had no dealings with Gentiles and wouldn't likely show them any kindness, but were moved in their minds (dictated to) by the incarnate Christ to use the silver rightly.
The Zechariah passage involves a 3-fold dictation, the first as a prophecy of Christ pre- incarnate by the prophet over 500 years before the betrayal, and the latter two by Christ incarnate as contemporary to Judas, priests and elders shorty after the betrayal. Long after the Zechariah prophecy, the Lord cast the silver to the potter in the house of the Lord figuratively by dictating thoughts of Judas, the priests & elders to motivate their actions. This interpretation is indicated by the terms thirty pieces of silver, potter and house of the Lord in Zechariah. The men involved would never do such acts unless Christ motivated them, so He did cast the silver to the potter in the house of the Lord.
Fulfilled prophecy makes a case for general Dictation Inspiration: Now the prophecy in Zechariah had to be dictated to the prophet since God alone knows the future, knowing it in precise detail. The prophecy made through the prophet by Christ pre-incarnate in the Old Testament was fulfilled in all details by Christ Incarnate in the New Testament. In Zechariah Christ Himself is telling us, through figurative language, that He made the fulfillment happen by dictating acts of others, so the authority of deity shows us the certainty of dictation inspiration, and the appearance of dictation here presents to us God's spoken Word in written form.
Indeed, all prophetic passages offer futuristic mysterious concepts that can't be known to men when first given, and their fulfillment in the distant future proves dictation is the only way to account for them in scripture. Now prophecy in the Old Testament and the associated fulfillment in the New Testament are common, and surrounding text related to, and supportive of, the prophecy in both Testaments would necessarily be inspired by dictation, which makes a strong case for dictation as the general method of inspiration. Now, since words that God prophesies are necessarily dictated, it becomes highly plausible that any text in which God is indicated as the speaker of the words is dictated. Further, the case grows still stronger by scripture passages that open with statements like, "the Word of the Lord came unto" (a prophet), which describes the mechanism of dictation. Often these words of God in the two cases relate to futuristic judgment of Israel & other nations that eventually came to pass, giving the sense of fulfilled prophecy and the sense of God's spoken Word in written form.
Other cases of prophecy by dictation
A. Jeremiah 31:22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou back-sliding daughter? For the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth. A woman shall compass a man.
The language here, "A woman shall compass a man," refers to the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, the term compass a man, meaning to enclose a man, in the sense of requiring no other causative earthly party once God empowered the Birth. The language here is far too unique to be chosen by a human writer, and God is the indicated source. (the KJV captures the magnificent sense perfectly). Indeed no man would anticipate the Virgin Birth, especially in this context where its purpose in regard to unfaithful Israel could not possibly be known (Israel's perception of Messiah was one of a mere man given power to deliver the nation from her enemies). But God has in mind an event serving as the turning point for Israel. Christ the Messiah would make the way available for Israel to realize the promises of a glorious future (now postponed until the Millennium, due to the persistent back-sliding of the nation). Only God knew all this, and only He knew of the Virgin Birth of His Son centuries before the event, so His dictation of the text is the only explanation for all the language involved. In light of all the potential joy & victory that could have marked glory for Israel, God is calling the nation out of back-sliding and into faithfulness to Him, and all supporting context dealing with this topic logically fit into the dictation inspiration process.
B. Micah 5:2 But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, thou thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Again unique prophecy was presented at a time in history when no one could have any inkling of it, the text speaking of God incarnate becoming the ultimate ruler of Israel (in the Millennium), and as noted above, Israel's perception of Messiah was that of a mere man empowered for acts of great importance. Dictation to the human prophet is the only way to account for the text language. The text even points out that the little town of Bethlehem seems too insignificant for any human writer to perceive of it as the scene of any major event in the nation's history.
C. Psalm 69
5. O God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from thee.
8. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
11. I made sackloth also my garment; and I am become a proverb to them,
20. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none...
21. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
We are given prophecy about what would be offered to Christ on the Cross, and this, and the Crucifixion itself, were unknown to David as he wrote this Psalm ~1000 years earlier, so again dictation is the only way to account for the prophecy fulfillment. There is something additional here that is a unique way to present dictation, the fact that a given verse applies to David, or Christ, or both, since the human aspect of Jesus Christ is associated with the lineage of David. Verse 5 speaks of the human writer's sin & foolishness, and thus applies only to David, while verse 21 applies only to Christ, who was literally given gall & vinegar as He hung on the Cross. In between are various verses that can apply to David, or Christ, or both (sample verses are noted above), so the dictation is a bit mysterious, and such language is far to0 unique to have originated with a mere human writer.
D. Genesis 3:14,15 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Here the language is so unique and unexpected in what it describes that it would never be imagined by a mere human writer. First we note how unusual the language is that refers to the curse on the serpent, an animal, of which it would be imagined that sin causing a curse wouldn't be part of its being, animals acting only according to instinct. However, in studying dolphins we realize that intelligence in animals can be far more developed than we imagine. The dolphin does things by intelligence that we normally assign only to humans, and it is a friend to us in the sea, apparently being created as a servant to mankind in the water. Our Genesis text indicates the serpent was possessed of intelligence to the degree that it could converse with mankind, and since it evidently stood upright before the curse, it very likely was supposed to be a servant to mankind on the land. Evidently, it was so intelligent it resented serving mankind, and turned over use of its voice to satan to cause man's fall into sin that could remove humanity from God's favor, releasing the serpent from its obligation (the relentless tempter satan evidently first victimized the serpent, then mankind).
Our Genesis passage is indicative of a consequent hostility between serpents & women in particular since the serpent was used against Eve in particular, and the hostility continues throughout the generations of mankind. Further, as satan's first conquest, which led to the devastating second conquest, the serpent becomes a symbol of satan as God deals with him in our Genesis passage. The seed of the women noted in our passage is prophecy referring to the Virgin-born Savior (In the Hebrew text men are normally called the seed of men) who will bruise the serpent's head, which refers to a fatal wounding of satan that doubtless is his eventual destruction in the lake of fire. The bruising of the heel of the seed of the woman by the seed of the serpent signifies a non-fatal wound inflicted by satan (the basic enemy of Christ at the Cross), doubtless referring to the Crucifixion conquered by Christ in the Resurrection.
A contrasting view of modern scholars on our Zechariah passage: Modern translators call the 30 pieces of silver wages or pay, saying Judas earned wages for his work of betrayal, so the use of wages or pay by these translators makes vile Judas look like the speaker of my price. This error seems accidental, for the translators likely had in mind a popular interpretation of the passage that suggests Zechariah asking wages (in the form of love, respect & obedience to God) for his work as a shepherd of Israel, which would make him the speaker of my price, but that does not relate to the true context that deals with the staff of beauty, the potter and 30 pieces of silver. To all who grasp the true context, an accidental suggestion of Judas speaking words of holy script- ure in a prophecy that relates to Christ is indeed unfortunate. Christ is the one who said my price, the value at which he was apprised in betrayal, and Christ, not Judas, is the one the prophecy speaks of as prized or valued at that price. Judas cast down the money, and priests & elders used it to buy the potter's field, but if Christ had not dict- ated words to the minds of these men, the money would not likely be returned and used to buy the potter’s field for Gentiles.
Now verses 15-17 speak of Christ taking up instruments of one who isn't the usual type of shepherd, which refers to God's punishment of erring former shepherds by the captivities of Israel & Judah, bringing warring hordes to take control at the cost of all the material gain of the former shepherds. Afterward, Christ would be the righteous shepherd who would care for the poor of the flock, including Gentiles entering into the Messianic promises.
More commentary on dictation in Zechariah: Dictation in our passages shows us that even Judas Iscariot, the one who not only cared nothing for the daily welfare of his ministry companions, stealing from the money bag, but even betrayed the Savior for a little money, is given the opportunity for salvation when the righteousness of the Christ by dictation is impressed on his mind, to contrast it with the awful carnality normally governing his thinking. The result was an act of contrition, but evidently only in the hope of removing the intense blame, rather than actual repentance, for Judas wasn't saved, his chosen lifestyle having earlier hardened him to the point that he went past the offer of grace (Jesus refers to him as a devil in Jn.6:70). Priests & elders who arranged the Crucifixion, and were self-serving in the extreme, were influenced enough by dictation to use the money in an act of kindness. The acts of these persons, whose temporal thoughts were dictated by Christ, illustrate to us that that no one need ever doubt that His salvation is possible, unless he is hardened in sin to the point of passing beyond true repentance. It also proves that no one will ever be able to accuse God of unjust judgment by claiming he had no possibility of salvation, even people like Judas who loved himself to the highest extent, and priests & elders who hated Christ to the maximum, being given the opportunity to experience the righteousness of Christ.
A final note: In conclusion, we elaborate briefly on Mat. 27:9 that says, regarding the betrayal of Christ by Judas, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." The quote refers to Christ with the third-person pronoun him, and at the end of the quote, the speaker is identified by the first-person pronoun me, as noted above, proving that Christ is the one speaking the words of the prophecy, so He verifies its authenticity, and His dictation of the words is indicative of inspiration and inerrancy. Indeed the quote could not be in the inspired gospel if it were not authentic, so there are two proofs of its authenticity. Further, as we'll see, Christ as the speaker is one of the aspects of the prophecy that relate it to Zechariah 11:12,13 where Christ is the speaker, and this will provide a third proof of authenticity
Now in Matthew 27:9,10 the word saying indicates a direct quote from Jeremiah, but there is nothing in the book of Jeremiah corresponding literally, or even in a suitable partial fashion, to the quote indicated in Matthew. It is claimed that the prophecy can refer to Zechariah 11:12,13, but while the topic there is the same, there is not even the roughest similarity to a quote. What this indicates is that Jeremiah wrote or spoke these words that are inspired since they are recorded in Matthew, but they didn't enter the earthly canon of scripture when Jeremiah wrote them, this being delayed until Matthew was written. God decides when His Word will be canonized, and the logical reason for the delay is an association of the prophecy with unveiled Christology in Matthew 27, which renders it inappropriate for inclusion with the veiled Christology of the Old Testament, so it's actually intended for the New Testament. We can conclude that God intended that the prophecy be revealed in Matthew, yet the process of canonization of the prophecy actually begins with Zechariah 11:12,13, as we'll now see.
This unique canonization process reveals the absolute necessity of trusting God for His revelation to guide us, placing or restoring a passage in accord with His purposes, as in various cases where manuscript support is minimal or even absent. Zechariah 11:12, 13 does this through amplification, the process by which truth given in mysterious or subtle fashion in the Old Testament is expounded in later Old Testament books or the New Testament (see Essay 11h especially & essays 6c:1-4). Zechariah 11:12,13 & the related 11:10,11 deal with the subject of Mat.27:9,10, but have added information. A major example of amplification is the language price in Matthew/Jeremiah indicative of the lowly value placed
upon a bond servant in Old-Testament days, which relates to the servant status Christ took upon Himself to provide salvation, whereas in Zechariah the price is a goodly one, signifying that 3o pieces of silver purchased an exorbitant value, the shedding of blood of the Creator God to purchase the salvation of mankind (see Acts 20:28 & Essay 4b). Another example is elimination in Zechariah of the term field that applied to Gentiles living closely with ancient Israel, and given a death benefit through the purchase of the field; elimination of the term would signify the field changed to the whole Gentile world, and now signifies an eternal-life benefit by an Israel causing the Crucifixion of Christ and bringing the salvation offer to all (the Spirit of the true potter, the Creator - Jer.18:4). The basis of amplification is in Zech.11:10,11 that is tied to the concept of verses 12 & 13, and speaks of God breaking His staff called beauty,* signify- ing Christ and the Crucifixion as the basis for ending the Old Covenant of God with Israel, and endowing the new one in Christ; this clarifies & expounds the Jeremiah statement, making the end of the Old Testament era and the full purpose of the cross of Christ available to parties needing to know this, especially in churches, in the period before New Testament scripture was established in written form. When the New Testament canon was established, all of this was confirmed.
*Christ is the personification of the beauty of God, the one whose nature was so beautiful that He sacrificed Himself for the salvation of mankind, and the staff refers to Christ as the one through whom the Father's power is exerted, as the staff, or rod, of Moses was the power through which God brought great calamities upon Egypt.
Zech.11:10-13 makes us aware of the inspired, but delayed, earthly canonization of the Jeremiah prophecy, amplifying it to provide a third proof that it truly is canonical, in addition to the two proofs noted above. Further, we're made aware that amplification can be part of the process of inspiration by dictation.
A related topic
In relation to what has been noted above regarding the supposed reference of Mat. 27:9,10 to Jeremiah and Zechariah, a similar problem appears in the rendering of Mark 1:2,3 in modern versions. The critical-type Greek text assigns combined quotes of pro- phecies of Malachi & Isaiah to Isaiah alone, using the singular prophet in the process, and this has the effect of attributing to Isaiah what was prophesied by Malachi, in an obvious case of grammatical absurdity. Yet scholars say that in this case logical gram- mar is the result of text tampering to remove incorrect original grammar, which is a humanistic approach that dismisses inerrancy preservation, and makes the human factor the controlling one. Indeed a sole reference to Isaiah easily causes readers to falsely conclude that there is error in Mark.
Scholars explain their view of the Matthew 27 quote of Jeremiah's prophecy as a result of a tendency in Hebrew-text history to represent the category of prophets in general by naming the lead prophet * so that the actual prophet quoted is included indirectly, but that can't apply in the case of Mark since it was Jeremiah occupying this position, not Isaiah, so the scholar solution to their critical-text problem in Mark doesn't apply here, and thus lacks credibility in regard to situations of this type. Further, some suggest that the status of Isaiah as a major prophet qualifies him to represent the combined quote, but a distinction of major & minor prophets doesn't occur regarding the Hebrew text, where all the subject prophets are lumped together as "latter prophets," and the distinc- tion occurs only in Gentile practice, so this theory can't apply.
*Scholars say this type of situation is indicated by Luke 24:44 where Christ refers to the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms as speaking of Him, the term Psalms supposedly representing the entire category of the Writings or Hagiographa. Actually He is likely emphasizing Psalms penned by David, due to the special relationship of David to the Son of David,
and is likely emphasizing that the Psalms refer to Christ pointedly as the
Savior, and emphasizing that the number of references to Him there is greater than it is in the other books of the Writings.
No evidence supports the proposed solutions of scholars for the Isaiah the prophet reading, or their suggestion of Jeremiah as a lead prophet in Mat.27, and we conclude that such illogical readings in the eclectic Greek text of scholars are due to its faulty underlying Alexandrian type-text as its main basis.
4. On science: Science truth in a text written ages before men knew about it, and translated long before they knew it, reveals God’s Hand, from autographs, to copies, to translation.
Job 38:24 God’s question for Job.
KJV: By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
NKJV: By what way is light diffused, Or the east wind scattered over the earth?
NASV: Where is the way that the light is divided, Or the east wind scattered on the earth?
NIV: What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
Job, the oldest Bible book, written ~2000 B.C. (see essay 1), teaches the technology of wind generation. Wind occurs as solar energy heats earth's surface, causing rising of air and lateral flow to replace rising air. Job reveals this, saying light scatters (moves) the east wind upon the earth. Light is the correct term, conversion of light to heat upon absorption by earth’s surface being the heat causing wind (light-to-heat conversion is illustrated by burning paper with a lens focusing the sun’s light, not its heat – this reflects the 1st law of thermodynamics formulated in 1842). The ancient writer could not know this technology, and it would be hidden in ancient days due to night winds from differences in temperature like those existing between land and sea after daytime solar heating. Thus the Hebrew text shows us God is the ultimate writer dictating the text here, and this must be preserved, as it is in the KJV.
Job gives us advanced wind-generation technology. By what way is the light parted, in regard to east wind (long-distance wind), notes the manner/method and direction involved in parting of light (Hebrew for by what way can be interpreted as manner or direction, and both are involved in this context). In terms of manner/method, sunlight is parted (its intensity is partitioned) to produce winds of variant specific force. Sun- light strikes the earth at various angles from the vertical at various latitudes & longitud- es due to earth's surface curvature, and earth heating varies with the angle of inclina- tion. This parting of light intensity causes variant temperature on the earth's surface, and air flows from a cooler higher-pressure area to a warmer lower-pressure one. This effect involves direction in that By (along) what way refers to the curved earth paths on which the angular direction of sunlight varies earth heating in adjacent regions to create winds of specific force & direction on a rotating earth (east wind is indicative of an east-to-west direction). Concise accurate modern science like this in such an ancient Bible book can only originate from the Creator.
The light/wind connection in this ancient book proves God’s dictation of the text, but various modern translators break this connection, omitting evidence of God's Hand. Hebrew grammar makes parted passive voice (light is acted upon, it is parted) and scattereth active voice (light acts upon, it scatters wind).* The result is two roles of light in one thought. Modern translators alter grammar to make sense of the verse, evidently not knowing published technology on the light/wind connection. They make both verbs passive, separating the light roles into two thoughts by using or for which. Neither word is in the Hebrew, and context/grammar determining the choice verifies which or that. KJV translators preserved evidence of God’s dictation, honoring the grammar despite lack of knowledge of the subject technology at their time in history. Likely, they doubted the light/wind connection due to older 17th-century technology, but had a reverence for God’s Word that overruled limitations in knowledge of science at that time in history.
*Passive voice here is identified by the Hebrew verb stem, niphal, and active voice by the hiphil
Thus another major error common to modern versions in this passage is missing of the two-fold sense of the Hebrew for By what way in the KJV. The terminology implies "how" in the sense of what manner, and "where" in the sense of direction, or along what path. This and various other errors contribute to the inaccurate renderings of this verse in modern versions.
The NASV rightly uses divided, but limits the question to where, saying Where is the way (path) that the light is divided, and Where, while possible grammatically, misses the technical & linguistic logic, offering the incorrect sense of location instead of the true sense of direction; thus Where is the way on which light is divided is needed just to make linguistic sense of incorrect language on location. A sense of angular direction of light striking a curved earth path is lost in NASV language, while its visibility in the Hebrew is seen in the KJV, By what way (by what manner & along what path), so readers can see light-intensity parting/dividing as occurring by angular direction due to the well-known curvature of the earth's surface. This enables the reader to see the path direction as along each curved earth path on which variant angular directiona varies the earth heating in many adjacent regions to produce wind cells of different specific ranges of force & direction on a rotating earth.
Regarding the common use of where for the Hebrew here, this passage illustrates the need to consider context in the rendering, as seen from the above discussion revealing a two-fold sense of the term in this context that necessitates By what way. Use of the passive/active (niphal/hiphil) verb relationship in the Hebrew text clearly describes the mechanism of wind generation, and thus speaks of the sense of how, in addition to the common sense of where (that doesn't apply here). When context is suitable, the KJV renders the Hebrew term where, as is the case just a few verses earlier in Job 38:19. Here the KJV reads, "Where is the way where light dwelleth? And as for darkness, where is the place thereof?" Here where provides a correct sense. What is so profound about the rendering of Job 38:24 in the 1611 KJV is the fact that the science involved was unknown at that time, and the completely accurate result in this version could only have been achieved on the basis of language and context, from the standpoint of man's scholarship
dispersed and NKJV
suggest light scattering, for light parting is orderly, and wind,
not light, is scattered.
The NIV, like the NASV, offers the incorrect location sense with What is the way to the place where, and the underlined words are forced to appear twice, emphasizing that the question doesn't involve location. Further, the NIV lightning in lieu of light is incorrect word choice changing the verse context to that of a thunderstorm, while the context is really that of wind generation. And, while wind is plural in the Hebrew, that's just the way Hebrew expresses the inherent plurality of east winds, and in English language convention the singular term east wind automatically includes the plural sense, as in the KJV (and the NASV). Finally, the NIV location language the place indicates just one place where east wind is generated, when there are many places or paths on the curved earth surface where this occurs. and their incorrect pluralization of east wind directly contradicts use of the place.
Text dictation here proves that God is the true author of technology, having shown us this from the very beginning of recorded history in Job so that we must never think that anything in the world is beyond His control. We can have confidence in God in all things, contrary to the many loud skeptical voices reverberating throughout the world.