Is It An Error To Believe In Biblical Inerrancy?
by Andrew Corbett
How seriously should we regard the Bible today? After all, in an age of such scientific certainty there appears to be many Biblical inaccuracies identified by scientists and historians to cast insoluble doubt on the preposterous claim that the Bible is the “word of God”. This has led some Seminaries (such as Fuller Theological Seminary) to abandon the belief that the Bible is “inerrant” (without error) in favour of a new belief that the Bible is “infallible” (correct in matters of religion only). It’s time now to examine this debate in closer detail…
Both Inerrancy and Infallibility acknowledge that these concepts apply to the original manuscripts of the Bible (“the Autographs”)- not to any one particular copied manuscript or translation of the Bible. The issue of Biblical translation is linked to this debate and we’ll deal with it shortly. Inerrancy means without error. Infallible means cannot be wrong. At first glance it may appear that these words are saying the same thing. But this is how they are being distinguished:
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Inerrancy is the view that everything in the Bible is correct because it is inspired by God;
- Infallibility is the view that the Bible is correct where it claims to be correct- namely in matters of theology (but not necessarily in matters or history or science).
The Bible claims that its contents are-
The Word of God (Matthew 15:6)
The Revelation of God (Rev. 1:1)
- Inspired by God (2Tim. 3:16)
These self-descriptors seem to demand a view of Inerrancy rather than mere Infallibility. The Bible makes no concession that it is flawed or impaired when making scientific or historical statements.
Some people argue against Biblical Inerrancy on the basis that the Bible contains historical and scientific statements that are not supported by the facts…
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