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The Inerrancy of the Bible
Inerrancy means the unerring quality of Bible; free from error. It is closely related to another word, infallibility, which defines the Scripture to be reliable and trustworthy to those who turn to it in search of Gods truth. The former concerns more specifically with the accuracy of the Bible, and the latter is a concept that addresses itself to ones personal knowledge of God and assurance of salvation.
The Bible has been under attack from scientific and historical views, challenging its accuracy, and the claim that inerrancy is not taught in the Scripture.
The fact that inerrancy is not a Biblical term does not mean that the concept of inerrancy is not taught in the Scripture. Many important concepts like Trinity and rapture,etc., are not Biblical terms.
The main reason why we think the Bible is Inerrant is because the Scripture tells us so.
Since God is truth (John 3:33, Romans 3:4), whats breathed out by God, must also be true (John 17:17) and infallible.
Due to the infallible character of God (Titus 1:2), the Son (John 14:6) and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6,7), the Scripture which is inspired by God is also inerrant in every aspect (Matt 22:43-45, Matt 22:32, and Gal 3:16).
The Old Testament attests the inerracy of the Bible. The word of the Lord is flawless (Psalms 12:6), its eternal and stands firm (Psalms 119:89), and that every word of God is flawless (Proverbs 30:5-6). The New Testament teachings that affirm the inerrancy of the Scripture include, Matthew 10:17-20, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:12-15, John 14:16-17,26, 16:12-13, Acts 1:5,8 and Rev. 22:18-19.
A nonbeliever may argue that how can one use the claims of the Bible to prove It's own inerrancy. In presupposing the truth (thus inerrancy) of the Bible, are we not arguing in a circle? Indeed, God's truth is not revealed (a special revelation) to the fallen man unless God first opens their eyes. To them, we have to use the evidential approach as follows.
The Bible has been subjected to the attacks of liberals and nonbelievers for centuries, trying to disprove its accuracy. These people questioned the existence of the Hittite kingdom, and even that of prominent figures like Solomon and David. After Archaeologists have confirmed the accuracy of the Bible in these areas, the liberals started to climb up the ladder and question the existence of Moses and Abraham. While they argue that Christians presuppose the inerrancy of the Bible, are they not doing the same in their presupposition that everything in the Bible is in err unless proven?
The Bible does not contradict any known scientific theory. However, in judging the Bible by scientific findings, we are treading on dangerous ground, for we are judging the absolute truth by the relative truth, the creator by the creature. For the sake of the argument, let's proceeds anyway. A common attack on the Bible is that it uses unscientific terms like sun rises in the east, etc. As the scientists will argue that the Bible is in err, because the earth rotates around the sun, and thus the sun cannot rise nor set. Keep in mind that God does allow the Scripture-writers to freely express themselves using terminology understood to the people. While sunrise and sunset may not be the correct scientific terms to use, they are not wrong. Even nowadays, we still say things like, 'Look at the beautiful sunset.' Do we ever say, 'Look at the beautiful Sun, as the earth rotates around it's axis? As a matter of fact, the teaching of a round (Job 26:10, Isaiah 40:21,22, Proverbs 8:27) and suspended (Job 26:7) earth can readily be seen in the Bible written thousands of years ago. On the contrary, scientific textbooks are constantly being rewritten. With the discovery of quantum physics, the theories of classical physics have to be revisited. With the revelation of relativity, we can no longer be certain of the environment we are living in; speed becomes relative and time can warp. What do all these mean? It just proves the uncertainty and changing nature of science, compared to the absolute and unchanging nature of God and His word. We should be grateful that God is unchanging so that we can be certain of the salvation that He has promised. Can we say the same about science?
The Bible does not contradict itself. Some apparent contradictory statements are harmonized upon gaining more information (e.g., the death of Judas as reported by Matthew (27:5) and Luke (Acts 1:16-25) are harmonized through an understanding of the geography). Another example is the difference in the sequence of Jesus' temptation as described in the book of Matthew and Luke. Since the gospels try to portrait different aspects of Jesus to different audiences, the sequence of events may differ. The true sequence of Jesus is given in the book of Matthew where the author uses the word 'then' to show the flow of the events. Another common type of so-called contradictions involves different set of numbers describing the same event. While some were due to scribal errors, others involve the rounding off of numbers in one set of data and not the other. Not only do the Gospels not contradict each another, they are compromising to each other. Most contradictory statements are only superficial and taken out of context.
The words inerrancy and inspiration usually go hand in hand. While the inspired word of God is inerrant, the reverse is not always true. (For example, not every writing that is errorless is the inspired work of God). The main reason why we think the Bible is the inerrant word of God is because the Scripture tells us so. While nonbelievers argue that Christians presuppose the authority of the Bible, they make the same presupposition that anything in the Bible is wrong until proven. The Bible has endured the attacks of liberals and nonbelievers for centuries; without any proven contradiction to the findings of history and science. Many so-called contradictions in the Bible have been cited. However, after careful considerations, one finds that they are either taken out of context or due to misinterpretation of the intent of the authors. Many 'discrepancies' are actually different aspects of looking at the same event. Not only do they not contradict each other, they tend to compliment each other.About the author.
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