The Inerrancy of Scripture
(3) The Inerrancy of Scripture
What Does the Bible Teach?
- Inerrancy: “The idea that Scripture in their original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.”
- Infallibility: “The idea that Scripture is not able to lead us astray in matters of faith & practice.”
- Since the words in Scripture are “God-breathed” they are therefore “completely true and without error in any part.”
- Titus 1:2
- Heb 6:18
- John 17:17
- Prov 30:5
- Num 23:19
- Important Caveats:
- The Bible can be inerrant and still speak in the ordinary language of everyday speech.
- Science: The sun rises & sets à Figure of Speech
- Historical Numbers: Rounding of Numbers – 7,987 à 8000.
- The Bible can be inerrant and still include loose or free quotations.
- Quotations of the OT can sometimes be paraphrased
- It is consistent with inerrancy to have unusual or uncommon grammatical constructions in the Bible.
- Grammatical rules of syntax are not always followed
- Common Objections to Inerrancy
- The Bible is only authoritative for matters of ‘Faith & Practice’ – The Bible contains errors, but when it comes to doctrine it is true and authoritative.
- Scripture is Pure: Ps 12:6
- Scripture is Perfect: Ps 119:96
- Scripture is True: Prov 30:5
- No where does Scripture draw such a distinction.
- Inerrancy is a poor term – It imposes ‘absolute scientific precision.’
- We have no inerrant manuscripts- We have no original autographs and the manuscripts that exist contain errors- How can we therefore claim inerrancy?
- “For over 99% of the words of the Bible, we know what the original manuscript said. Even for many of the verses where there are textual variants… the correct decision is often quite clear, and there are really very few places where the textual variant is both difficult to evaluate and significant in determining the meaning.” – Grudem
- Textual Criticism
- There are errors in the Bible
- Problems with Denying Inerrancy
- Can God be Trusted?
- Our Own Logic Becomes the Authoritative Standard
3. If the Bible is Wrong on Minor Points, Is Wrong on Major Points?