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A comparison of strict and limited inerrancy of the Bible.

1. What is the difference between strict and limited inerrancy? Which seems more convincing? Why?
Strict inerrancy claims that the Bible in the form that we have it today is without error. Therefore when I open the Bible I can be completely confident that the words I am reading are 100% accurate and contain no mistakes in whatever form regardless of how insignificant they may seem.

Limited inerrancy claims that the purpose of the Bible is to teach us how to live our lives. Therefore it is useful for matters of faith and practical living. This belief system also claims that the Bible surely has factual errors in matters regarding history, science, medicine and other objective areas. The reader cannot believe at face value that certain events occurred at certain locations simply because the Bible claims that they did. Rather the reader should attempt to determine what moral message he can extract from the story and apply that to his daily life.

Neither of these two options is very satisfactory. Strict inerrancy is not practical. Some portions of the Bible are thousands of years old and have gone through hundreds of rewritings. Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that painstaking effort that scribes and later monks took to record the Bible in exactly the same form as they received it. Today there are hundreds of translations and paraphrases of the Bible so it is difficult to even know which Bible we are talking about. If we go back to the most ancient surviving manuscripts in existence we still find some small discrepancies such as spelling and perhaps a word or two missing. Limited inerrancy is only possible if retain the right to choose which parts of the Bible are inerrant and which parts are not. By doing this I make myself the standard by which truth must be measured and dilute the authority of the Bible to the point that it becomes nothing more than a book like any other from which truth may or may not be able to be extracted.

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1. What is the difference between strict and limited inerrancy? Which seems more convincing? Why?
Strict inerrancy claims that the Bible in the form that we have it today is without error. Therefore when I open the Bible I can be completely confident that the words I am reading are 100% accurate and contain no mistakes in whatever form regardless of how insignificant they may seem.

Limited inerrancy claims that the purpose of the Bible is to teach us how to live our lives. Therefore it is useful for matters of faith and practical living. This belief system also claims that the Bible surely has factual errors in matters regarding history, science, medicine and other objective areas. The reader cannot believe at face value that certain events occurred at certain locations simply because the Bible claims that they did. Rather the reader should attempt to determine what moral message he can extract from the story and apply that to his daily life.

Neither of these two options is very satisfactory. Strict inerrancy is not practical. Some portions of the Bible are thousands of years old and have gone through hundreds of rewritings. Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that painstaking effort that scribes and later monks took to record the Bible in exactly the same form as they received it. Today there are hundreds of translations and paraphrases of the Bible so it is difficult to even know which Bible we are talking about. If we go back to the most ancient surviving manuscripts in existence we still find some small discrepancies such as spelling and perhaps a word or two missing. Limited inerrancy is only possible if retain the right to choose which parts of the Bible are inerrant and which parts are not. By doing this I make myself the ...

Solution Summary

This discussion focuses on irarancy of the Bible. Should strict or limited inerrancy be the standard? Additionally, how should the genre of a certain passage affect its interpretation? Over 1,200 words of mostly original text (a fairly long direct quote of a technical nature regarding inerrancy is included).

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