If the Bible is written by fallible human beings, how can its words convey divine revelation? Perhaps the greatest challenge of Warfield’s lifetime was the modernist skepticism of biblical inspiration and authority. Modern biblical scholars showed that textual and linguistic analysis proved the human authorship of the Bible, and from there proceeded to strip miracles of their power, texts of their authenticity, and God of his historical intervention in the lives of individuals. Warfield responded to modernist and higher biblical critics by showing that intellect of the biblical authors not only remained fully operational and engaged, but that God also worked through human words and texts to convey divine revelation.
B. B. Warfield’s volume on divine revelation and biblical inspiration defined the parameters of the twentieth century understanding of biblical infallibility, inerrancy, and the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture. He pioneered a view of biblical inspiration and authority which remains widely held today by many Reformed and evangelical Christians. Revelation and Inspiration contains ten of Warfield’s most influential articles on the subject, as well as two appendices—one on the divine origin of the Bible and the other on the canonicity of the New Testament.
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was born in 1851 in Lexington, Kentucky. He studied mathematics and science at Princeton University and graduated in 1871. In 1873, he decided to enroll at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was taught by Charles Hodge. He graduated from seminary in 1876, and was married shortly thereafter. He traveled to Germany later that year to study under Franz Delitzsch.
After returning to America, Warfield taught at Western Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary). In 1881, Warfield co-wrote an article with A. A. Hodge on the inspiration of Scripture—a subject which dominated his scholarly pursuits throughout the remainder of his lifetime. When A. A. Hodge died in 1887, Warfield became professor of Theology at Princeton, where he taught from 1887–1921. History remembers Warfield as one of the last great Princeton Theologians prior to the seminary’s re-organization and the split in the Presbyterian Church. B. B. Warfield died in 1921.