“In discussing the character of the Bible, it is but natural to assign the first place to that great and all-controlling principle of which our Confession says:
We confess that this Word of God was not sent nor delivered by the will of man, but that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, as the apostle Peter saith. And that afterwards God, from a special care which He has for us and our salvation, commanded his servants, the Prophets and Apostles, to commit his revealed Word to writing; and He himself wrote with his own finger the two tables of the law. Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures” (Art. III, Confessio Belgica).
“The Bible is divinely inspired – that is the one great principle that controls Hermeneutica Sacra. It cannot be ignored with impunity. Any theory of interpretation that disregards it, is fundamentally deficient, and will not be conducive to our understanding of the Bible as the Word of God.
“But the assertion that the Bible is inspired is not sufficiently definite. The meaning of the term “inspiration” is rather indefinite, and requires greater precision. By inspiration we understand that supernatural influence exerted on the sacred writers by the Holy Spirit, by virtue of which their writings are given divine truthfulness, and constitute an infallible and sufficient rule of faith and practice. It means, as Dr. Warfield expresses it, that the writers did not work on their own initiative, but “as moved by the divine initiative and borne by the irresistible power of the Spirit of God along ways of his choosing to ends of his appointment.” And when it is said that the writers were guided by the Holy Spirit in writing the books of the Bible, the term “writing” must be taken in a comprehensive sense. It includes the investigation of documents, the collection of facts, the arrangement of the material, the very choice of words, in fact all the processes that enter into the composition of a book” (Principles of Biblical Interpretation, pp. 40-41. Emphasis in italics is Berkhof’s. Emphasis in bold is my own.).