What Is Biblical Inerrancy? And Why Should I Care? Take away any of the three legs and it will surely topple.
It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "That does not err; free from error; unerring. From dictionary definitions, Frame insists that this is a stronger term than "inerrant".
It is inerrant in that it is not false, mistaken, or defective". Chaim Schimmel, Judaism had never promulgated a belief in the literal word of the Hebrew Biblehence the co-existence of the Oral Torah. However, the Bible does record some direct statements from God i.
The significance of most phrases, their parts, grammar, and occasionally individual words, letters and even pronunciation in the Hebrew Bible are the subject of many rabbinic discussions in the Talmud.
This led to further questioning of the veracity of biblical texts. According to an article in Theology Today published in"There have been long periods in the history of the church when biblical inerrancy has not been a critical question.
It has in fact been noted that only in the last two centuries can we legitimately speak of a formal doctrine of inerrancy. The arguments pro and con have filled many books, and almost anyone can join in the debate".
Some notable Christian seminariessuch as Princeton Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminarywere formally adopting the doctrine of infallibility while rejecting the doctrine of inerrancy.
Fuller, for instance, explains: Where inerrancy refers to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches through the biblical writers, we support its use.
Where the focus switches to an undue emphasis on matters like chronological details, precise sequence of events, and numerical allusions, we would consider the term misleading and inappropriate.
Inerrancy in autographic texts and modern versions[ edit ] Those who hold the inerrancy of the Bible can disagree as to whether inerrancy refers to modern Bibles or only to the original, autographic texts.
There are also disagreements about whether, because the autographic texts no longer survive, modern texts can be claimed to be inerrant. However, the same article asserts that the original text "can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy", so that the lack of the originals does not affect the claim of biblical inerrancy of such recovered, modern texts.
Biblical canonBible translationsand Textual criticism There are over 5, Greek manuscripts containing all or part of the New Testamentas well as over 10, Latin manuscripts, and perhaps other manuscripts of various other languages.
Additionally, there are the Patristic writings which contain copious quotes, across the early centuries, of the scriptures.
Most of these manuscripts date to the Middle Ages. The oldest complete copy of the New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticuswhich includes two other books  not now included in the accepted NT canon, dates to the 4th century. Very early manuscripts are rare.
The average NT manuscript is about pages, and in all, there are about 1. No two manuscripts are identical, except in the smallest fragments, and the many manuscripts which preserve New Testament texts differ among themselves in many respects, with some estimates oftodifferences among the various manuscripts.
Most changes are careless errors that are easily recognized and corrected. Christian scribes often made mistakes simply because they were tired or inattentive or, sometimes, inept. Indeed, the single most common mistake in our manuscripts involves " orthography ", significant for little more than showing that scribes in antiquity could spell no better than most of us can today.
In addition, we have numerous manuscripts in which scribes have left out entire words, verses, or even pages of a book, presumably by accident. Sometimes scribes rearranged the words on the page, for example, by leaving out a word and then reinserting it later in the sentence.
Wallace discussed these variances in detail. Wallace mentioned that understanding the meaning of the number of variances is not as simple as looking at the number of variances, but one must consider also the number of manuscripts, the types of errors, and among the more serious discrepancies, what impact they do or do not have.
Since the eighteenth century, they have employed the techniques of textual criticism to reconstruct how the extant manuscripts of the New Testament texts might have descended, and to recover earlier recensions of the texts.
Bible commentaries offer discussions of these. However, challenging this view, evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem writes: For most practical purposes, then, the current published scholarly texts of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament are the same as the original manuscripts.
Thus, when we say that the original manuscripts were inerrant, we are also implying that over 99 percent of the words in our present manuscripts are also inerrant, for they are exact copies of the originals. However, it also reads: We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.
King James Only inerrantists[ edit ] A faction of those in the " King James Only movement " rejects the whole discipline of textual criticism and holds that the translators of the King James Version English Bible were guided by God and that the KJV thus is to be taken as the authoritative English Bible.
However, those who hold this opinion do not extend it to the KJV translation into English of the Apocryphal books, which were produced along with the rest of the Authorized Version. Modern translations differ from the KJV on numerous points, sometimes resulting from access to different early texts, largely as a result of work in the field of textual criticism.Perhaps the most perplexing stance by alleged Bible believers regarding the inerrancy of Scripture comes from a very popular book often employed by Christian apologists when defending biblical inerrancy.
Warfield, Benjamin ( reprint), The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian & Reformed). Inerrancy is a necessary deduction from the Bible’s teaching concerning its inspiration.
The Historical argument: Inerrancy has been the faith of the Church. Biblical inspiration is the doctrine in Christian theology that the authors and editors of the Bible were led or influenced by God with the result that their writings may be designated in some sense the word of God.
Inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible, it is the autographs that are inspired and inerrant by Matt SlickThe Christian Church as a whole claims that the Bible is inspired and inerrant. This means that God is the one who moved through the writers to communicate to us the words which God wanted us to hear.
The authority of the Bible is a natural outgrowth of the Bible as inspired revelation from God. As Robert Lightner puts it, When the questions of revelation and inspiration with regard to the Bible have been answered, the issue of authority will have been settled.
Proponents of biblical inerrancy generally do not teach that the Bible was dictated directly by God, but that God used the "distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers" of scripture and that God's inspiration guided them to flawlessly project his message through their own language and personality.