Posted By MSH on October 28, 2008
Just so you don’t need to go back and look, Bellingham Statement 1 (the revised version) went like this:
I affirm that the Bible is revelation from God produced in writing through the agency of human authors. Although there are instances in the biblical record where God apparently dictated what would become part of the biblical text (e.g., Rev 2-3, the messages to the seven churches), such instances are very rare. Rather, the normative process of producing the Scriptures was one where human authors wrote on the basis of their own abilities, education, styles, worldview, backgrounds, and idiosyncrasies apart from a divine encounter where the words of Scripture were chosen for the authors. It is therefore denied that the usual process of inspiration meant that the words of the text were given to the authors by God. Instead, human beings were, for the most part, the immediate source of the text of Scripture under the providence of God. God is, however, the ultimate source of the text of Scripture by means of His providential approval of the words of each canonical book as they existed at the end of the process of inspiration.
Now for number 2:
Statement 2: I affirm that the process of inspiration could include not only the initial composition of a biblical book but also any subsequent editorial work done on the text of that book prior to the recognition of a completed sacred canon. Both rare instances of dictation1 and the normative (non-dictation) process of producing the Scripture text could be subject to editorial activity in terms of additions, deletions, rearrangement, and repurposing.2 I believe that God oversaw any such process by means of providential influence in the decisions made by authors and editors so that the words of each canonical book met with God’s approval. Each and every book of the canon had such providential oversight throughout the process that culminated in the final form of its text.