Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Wed Feb 21 15:49:57 EST 2001

I doubt if the concept of inspiration is entirely Greek. It is for example
important in Islam (ilham, vahy) which is much less influenced by Greek
thought than are Christianity and Judaism. But the Islamic concept of the
mode of inspiration is quite different from the Christian one: in Islam, the
Qur'an is basically the dictated words of God, whereas for conservative
Christians the Bible is written in human words under divine direction.

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: Liz Fried [mailto:lizfried at]
Sent: 21 February 2001 13:38
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Inspiration

What is the precise meaning of inspired?
I was trying to explain it to my class yesterday.
It's a Greek concept, isn't it, you're inspired by the Muses?
You breathe in something.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Samuel Payne [mailto:sam at]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 2:22 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Written by Women.???
> From: "Christine Bass" <christinebass at>
> > A clarification is in order.
> >
> > My post was a satirical response---to the statement that Biblical
> > scholarship begins with the belief that the scriptures were written by
> men.
> > This comes under the heading, in my mind anyway, of "biblical
> > mythology"----the idea that men conceived and wrote scripture.
> >
> > As I interpret the scriptures to say, they are inspired by
> God----and were
> > written down by men.
> > Which is a bit of a different take on the subject. No?
> Can I believe my own eyes?!! "Written down by MEN"?? - and from you!
> Incidentally, as a further clarification, would you say the same for ALL
> scriptures, oracles etc. - or only the Judaeo-Christian ones?
> Your reference
> to 2 Peter is in some ways a little unfortunate. Almost all
> scholars outside
> of the totally fundamentalist camp agree that 2 Peter is not by
> the disciple
> Peter, both because of its clear literary dependence on the
> Letter of Jude,
> and the completely Hellenistic outlook of the author. That it claims to be
> by Peter while at the same time talking about prophetic
> inspiration does not
> inspire confidence  in the standpoint. "Inspiration" anyway is a very
> elastic word. Even secular poets are often described as
> "inspired", but from
> the way you express yourself, I take it you mean it as a synonym for
> "inerrant".
> >From the very uninspired
> Samuel

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list