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The illumination of the Holy Spirit is "[t]he process by which God's Holy Spirit enables us to understand His word and apply it to our lives." 
"The Reformers, and particularly John Calvin, stressed the way the objective, written Word and the inner, supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit work together, the Holy Spirit illuminating the Word to God's people. The Word without the illumination of the Holy Spirit remains a closed book." - James M Boice
It is "not a giving of new revelation, but a work within us that enables us to grasp and to love the revelation that is there before us in the biblical text as heard and read, and as explained by teachers and writers."
The necessity of the illumination of the Holy Spirit does not negate the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture.
1 Corinthians 2:12-14
- "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."
1 John 2:20, 27
- "But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge... But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him."
- "Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law."
- John Owen's View of Illumination: An Alternative to the Fuller-Erickson Dialogue (PDF), by David J. McKinley
- The Holy Spirit and Hermeneutics, by Daniel B. Wallace
- Illumination - The Holy Spirit Gives Spiritual Understanding, by J.I. Packer
- The Illumination of the Holy Spirit, by Bernie Gillespie
- The Holy Spirit's Role in Biblical Interpretation, by Daniel P. Fuller - "This refusal to welcome the teachings of the Bible hardly excludes, however, the natural man's having a cognition of what he repudiates. To the contrary, the fact that he experiences a revulsion against a biblical teaching presupposes a prior cognition of that teaching, for how can a man hate something without having some knowledge of it? ... Even though the teachings of the Bible are manifestly reasonable, our reasoning powers are not sufficient to suppress the awesome power of sin which predisposes us to glory in ourselves. Only God, through the Holy Spirit, overcomes this power of sin, so that we are willing to love from the heart what our minds can tell us is reasonable."
- The Holy Spirit's Illumination of Scripture, by Alwyn York
- The Holy Spirit In the Ministry of the Word, by Bob Burridge
- Reason, Sin and Illumination, by John Calvin - From The Institutes of the Christian Religion
- Open My Eyes That I May See, by John Piper
- The Holy Spirit “Illumination” Theory: A Critical Review, by Wayne Jackson - "The doctrine of special illumination contradicts the clear testimony of Scripture, namely the explicit affirmation that the devout student is able to understand the Word of God as given originally."