A Complete Study on Biblical Inerrancy, Infallibility, and Inspiration

1.  Why does Biblical Inerrancy Matter?  Now according to Dennis Bratcher when talking about the doctrine of  inspiration & inerrancy of scripture, there is something people must take into account; that any adequate theological theory of inspiration must take into reasonable consideration rationalization:

“It must be able to deal honestly, with rationalization, with the phenomena of Scripture itself, the evidence and features contained within the text of the Bible as we have it now….”

2.  One of the first steps in any topic is to define the topic.  For clarity and understanding purposes:

Defining theopneustos (Inspiration/God-Breathed)

God breathed the Scriptures into existence, and He breathed life into the Scriptures.  They are divine in origin and divine in nature, a living, life-giving, and life-changing Book.

3. So let’s define it:

      1. What is Inerrancy?
      2. What is Infallibility? (limited inerrancy)
      3. Full Inerrancy Vs. Limited Inerrancy/Infallibility 
      4. Verbal/Plenary Inspiration
      5. What is the difference between verbal plenary inerrancy and non-verbal plenary inerrancy?

  But if I had to choose one this would be it:

“The Bible in its entirety is God’s written word to man, free of error in its original autographs, wholly reliable in history and doctrine. Its divine inspiration has rendered the Book ‘infallible‘ (incapable of teaching deception) and ‘inerrant‘ (not liable to prove false or mistaken). Its inspiration is ‘plenary‘ (extending to all parts alike), ‘verbal‘ (including the actual language form), and ‘confluent‘ (a product of two free agents, human and divine). Inspiration involves infallibility as essential property, and infallibility in turn implies inerrancy.” (Clark H. Pinnock, A Defense of Biblical Infallibility, page 1, source)

4. The heart of this topic is 2 Timothy 3:16,  And what it all means?

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and isprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (NKJV)

or

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (NIV)

So it begins that the more I think about the bible, the more it seems to that the bible is not perfect.  And by PERFECT- Without flaw, error, or fallacy.  Without hypocrisy or fault.  It is complete with quality accuracy.  

“One need show only the possibility of harmonization between two passage that appear to conflict in order to negate the force of an alleged discrepancy.” -(Wayne Jackson, Christian Courier)

For those who don’t understand, this is huge to me.  My entire life is grounded in my faith of God and in my faith of the bible.  I am who I am, because of my biblical faith.  This is not a question of if the Christianity-God is moral, but is the Bible accurate, true, and more importantly perfect.  Because as a christian we should believe the bible is inspired by, therefore true and perfect.  But if the Bible has fault, error, or contradications how do we deal with that?  How can we hold onto inerrancy, if some discrepancies are too irreconcilable?

Do we accept them? and ignore them? or even worst justify the contradictions…...(like I think most christians do)

or

Accept the truth, that the Bible is not perfect/inerrant? And that my GOD, Christianity may be one big lie?

5.  The following is the response with contribution post by a christian and an atheist on the doctrine of inerrancy of the bible.  I felt this topic was important considering so much is said on the Bible being the Word of God or containing the words of God.  The following questions below is what they used below for reference:

> Does the belief in the bible require belief in inerrancy?
> What does 2 Timothy 3:16-17, actually mean?
> Does an errant bible affect Christianity as a whole?  (does it diminish the testimony of christ, the value of the cross, or the reliability of the bible?)
> Is is reasonable to say the bible is errant, but I still believe?
> Are the issues of Errancy or Inerrancy essential to the faith?
> Does the bible call or require the doctrine of inerrancy?
> What does inspired mean?
> IF the bible is errant, how can one interpret the bible objectively?

6.  The Early History of Biblical Inerrancy and The autobiographical text

 

7. Other topics of alleged errors,discrepancies, and controversy in the bible:

8. Final Thoughts-  On a personal level I was a fundamentalist christian who thought that the bible was God’s inerrant word, until I came across a bible difficulty/contradiction that I could not reconcile.  So I dropped the full inerrancy and tried to grab hold of new type of inerrancy like infallibility and limited inerrancy.  Yet even in that I found the defining of infallibility and practicability of infallibility too theologically shallow.  It made everything in the bible sound relative and subject to opinion of what is and is not essential.  So in that I had to start from scratch, and study the true definition in inspired and the historical context.  In that I had learned that in way can we apply the term inerrant, infallible, or divinely inspired to the man-made bible we have today.  I found it to subjective and fallible to apply any of those terms to the bible we have today.

Recommended Sources, Links, and other Studies:

One Response to A Complete Study on Biblical Inerrancy, Infallibility, and Inspiration

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