The inerrancy of the Bible has generally been accepted among
evangelicals...until the 1950's, together with the rise of the New
Evangelical movement. By
inerrancy, we are of course dealing with the accuracy of the
"original ("first copy") manuscripts of the Bible.
I. Biblical Basis of Inerrancy
(1) "II TIMOTHY 3:16
The word "theopneustos" in this verse does not mean
"inspired of God." It speaks only of a inspiring" or "spiration.”
other words, Scripture is not a book breathed "into by God, but is
actually God breathing out.”. It
is the product of the Divine breath, out(c)spiring through Its human
We believe in "Verbal,
Plenary Inspiration of the Bible, that is "every word, every
part" of cripture is inspired and without error.
(2) "II PETER 1:19-21
This verse stresses the Divine trustworthiness of the Scripture.
Peter said that the Scripture does not come from "private
interpretation," or the writer's own thinking process.
But men spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
Here is used the word "borne." It is not merely guide,
direct, control or lead; it means to be conveyed under the Bearer's power
(see Acts 27:15). And this
was why the "prophetic Word" is so sure.
(3) "JOHN 10:34
This further stresses the extent of inerrancy: the entire
Scripture. When accused of
blasphemy, Jesus appealed to an obscure and least expected portion of
Scripture (Psalm 82:6).
As far as Christ was concerned, if
"it is written" in Scripture, that settles it.
Christ called the book of Psalms "the law" and added that
it cannot be "broken." This
word "broken• is the common one for breaking the law or the Sabbath
(John 5:18, Matt. 5:19).
According to our Saviour, the indefectible authority of Scripture
attaches to the very form of expression of its most casual clauses, down
to its most minute particulars.
II. Human Aspect of Scripture
Dr. John C. Whitcomb writes: "God not only prepared the
"material” which forms the subject matter of these [Bible] books,
but also prepared the "men” to write these books, beginning with
their remote ancestors and through their entire lives, the effect of which
was to bring the right men to the right places at the right times, with
the right endowments, impulses, acquirements, to write just the books
which were designed for them.”. (Unpublished class notes, Grace
Thus, the process of human authorship of Scripture was much more
intimate than could be described by the term "dictation."
The Paul who was brought to the task was a Paul who could
spontaneously write just such letters.
Although the preparation of human instruments took a lifetime, the
act of inspiration came only
at the time of the "final" act of writing the Scripture, making
it actually and supernaturally the divine Word of God. (See Mark 12:36,
Matt. 15:7, Mark 7:6, Rom. 10:5, 19)
III. "THE DEDUCTIVE OR
"The Deductive Method”
We believe that the deductive approach to inerrancy should be
taken. The statement of our
Lord--rather than how logic or science "proves" the
Bible--determines the validity and extent of Biblical inerrancy. (See
Benjamin B. Warfield, "The Inspiration and Authority of the
Bible,” a classic work on this area.)
"The Inductive Method"
Some evangelicals believe that one must study the historical,
grammatical, and scientific details of the Bible to determine if the
Bible is inerrant. A
three-legged support is affirmed: Logic, Science, and Christ.
IV. OTHER POSITIONS ON
(1) I BELIEVE IT, BUT WILL NOT DEFEND IT
(2) ONLY BIBLE TRUTHS, NOT ITS WORDS, ARE INERRANT
However, it makes a crucial difference whether the historical
details of Scripture may be trusted.
As Edward J. Young said: "Remove this historical background
from Christianity, and you remove Christianity itself." (Thy
Word Is Truth, p. 256).
Who should be the arbitrator of what is "peripheral"
and minor in Scripture? If
God has erred in one minor point, how could we trust Him on other
We are seeing, and will further see, the continued erosion of conviction
on Biblical inerrancy which the church had previously received as a
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