inspiration of Scripture


The word “inspiration,” like many other theological terms, comes to us from the Latin version of the Bible. Thus Saint Paul’s words, 2 Timothy 3:16, “Every Scripture breathed by God,” is rendered “omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata,” and again when Saint Peter speaks of the prophets as “moved by the Holy Ghost,” the Latin has “spiritu sancto inspirati.” Just as God is said in Genesis 2:7, Wisdom 15:11, to have breathed man’s soul into his body; just as in Job 32:8, the “inspiration of the Almighty” is said to “give understanding,” so the sacred writers are described as inspired because God breathed into them or, to drop the metaphor, suggested the thoughts which they wrote down. Inspiration, therefore, may be defined as a supernatural impulse by which God directed the authors of the canonical books to write down certain matter predetermined by Him. Inspiration was bestowed upon the writers for the edification of others, and like all graces it is especially attributed to God the Holy Ghost.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “inspiration of Scripture”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 27 February 2021. <>