The topic of Biblical inerrancy is a crucial topic in the studies of any Christian. Erickson states, â??Inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is truthful in all of it teachingsâ? (Erickson, 246). This topic is so crucial because of the implications that inerrancy of Scripture could have on our God. Our God is omniscient. Because of his nature he must have an understanding of everything. There is nothing under the sun that he would not know. However, he is also omnipotent meaning that he has the power to affect a manâ??s writing to make sure that nothing erroneous flowed from his pen. God is also truthful. Putting this all together, one must understand that because of his truthful nature, God would immediately use his omnipotence to correct any errors that would be written in his Holy Scripture (Erickson, 251). If the Bible is erroneous then it is not inspired by God. This is the serious nature of the topic of inerrancy of Scripture.
The most solid basis for the inerrancy of Scripture can be found in the claims of the Bible itself. Because the Bible is inspired, one must believe that it is inerrant. The idea of Godly inspiration is not a humanly created concept but rather the Bible teaches that Scriptures are the breath of God (2 Tim. 3:16). It also worth mentioning that Jesus spoke of the Scriptures by stating that heaven and earth would pass away before the smallest detail of the law fails to be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-20). This state of Biblical authority implies that it is inerrant. A document that is erroneous cannot be authoritative (Feinberg, 157). Another biblical reason for believing in the inerrancy of Scripture is the character of God himself. The Bible clearly states that he cannot lie (Num 23:19). If God inspired the Scriptures then there cannot be any falsities.
There are steps that can help one understand the inerrancy of the Scripture. The first is to understand that inerrancy means that what has been written is correctly reported not necessarily true (Erickson, 259). Erikson gives the example of Stephen in Acts 7:6 when he makes a chronological error (Erikson, 259). This statement is not true, but yet the passage that indicates it was said is true. The second step is to understand that all Scripture must be interpreted through the original culture and setting rather than modern day culture. The next step is one that answers many questions of Biblical statements that seem incorrect. All Scripture must be judged according to its original purpose. One example is the common use of numerical approximations throughout the Bible. In Numbers 25:9 and 1 Corinthians 10:8, there is what some would consider a discrepancy in number, but Paulâ??s purpose was not to be exact, but to teach a principle instead.
This world is full of so many lies and falsities. The Bible can be trusted.
Erickson, Millard, J. Christian Theology. Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1998.
Feinberg, P.D. â??Inerrancy and Infallibility of Bible.â?< /span> Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.Walter A. Elwell, Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.
The characterization of "inerrancy" by Erickson, that is, that the Bible is truthful in all of its teaching is a good, basic way of understanding the term. For professing Christians who value the Bible as the Word of God, the notion of inerrancy is one way of affirming belief in written divine revelation. It would be helpful for this analysis to include some discussion of the term "infallibility." How are the terms "inerrant" and "infallible" similar? How are they different? What if anything is at stake in using one term over the other? It would also be helpful to provide arguments that support Erickson's definition ...
The characterization of "inerrancy" by Erickson is thoroughly debated.