1. The natural theory. This says the Bible writers were inspired in the same sense that William Shakespeare was inspired. In other words, that spark of divine inspiration that supposedly is in all men. This theory is totally rejected by the Apostle Peter. (2 Pe. 1:20)
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation".
2. The mechanical theory, That God coldly and woodenly dictated the Bible to his writers as an office manager would dictate an impersonal letter to his secretary. It should be noted that the Bible is the story of divine love, and that is anything but mechanical or cold. The Holy Spirit never went beyond the writer's vocabulary, so educated Paul uses a lot of big words while less educated John uses more of the smaller words, but both were inspired. The Church has never held to this theory.
3. The content (or concept) theory, That only the main thought of a paragraph or chapter is inspired. This theory is immediately refuted by many passages in the Bible.
"For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Mt. 5:18)
"Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel said, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue." (2 Sam. 23:1-2)
4 The partial theory, that only certain parts of the bible are inspired. This of course is the position of the liberal theologian who would cheerfully accept those portions of the Bible which deal with love and brotherhood, but quickly reject the passages dealing with sin, righteousness, and future judgment. Paul refutes the partial theory in 2 Tim. 3:16
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
In his textbook, "A Dispensational Theology", Dr. Charles F. Baker writes: "A certain bishop is purported to have said that he believed the Bible to have been inspired in spots. When asked for his authority for such a statement, he quoted Hebrews 1:1, stating that this meant that God spoke at various times in varying degrees. Thus, some spots were fully inspired, others were only partially inspired, and still others were not inspired at all. The bishop was embarrassed when a layman asked: 'How do you know that Hebrews 1:1, the one scripture upon which you base your argument, is one of those fully inspired spots?"
5 The spiritual-rule-only theory, This says the Bible may be regarded as out infallible rule of faith and practice in all matters of religious, ethical, and spiritual value, but not in other matters such as historical and scientific statements. This is pious nonsense, Consider the following: Here is a pastor greatly beloved by his congregation. How would this man of God feel if only his "moral" and "spiritual" statements made in the pulpit were accepted by his members? How would he react when the members would smile and take lightly any scientific or historical statements he might make? The fallacy of the spiritual-rule-only theory is that any book or man whose scientific or historical statements are open to question can certainly not be trusted in matters of moral and spiritual pronouncements! This theory is soundly refuted by Jesus himself in John 3:12.
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"
6 The plenary-verbal theory, that all (plenary) the very words (verbal) of the Bible are inspired by God. This view alone is the correct one.
"But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Mt. 4:4)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
"For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee and they have believed that thou didst send me." (John 17:18)
The Bible itself strongly claims its writings are from God!