I did the research and wrote a thesis in college in support of the concept that Scripture is inerrant. I have mentioned this before. I was not a religion major in college only because I did not turn in my thesis.
I didn’t turn it in because I was having a hard time getting to where I wanted to go using Scripture and the scholarly work that was done up to the early 1980’s. I could not support my thesis with integrity, so I shelved it and did not return to the subject for almost 40 years!
I had a high view of Scripture then, and I have a high view of Scripture now. I read the Bible daily for personal guidance and edification. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God (which I can support from Scripture itself (2 Timothy 3:16-17))
I believe, like the Moody Bible Institute, that the Old and New Testaments are divine revelation from God. The original autographs were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit. The revelation is God’s self-disclosure recorded in human language. God is the source of it.
I stop, though, in going further to say that every word is true, and the Bible is free from error. The very statement begs the questions: which version? Written in which language? And other questions.
I agree with the Moody statement that the Bible is the supreme source of our knowledge of God and of salvation through Jesus Christ. I agree that it is “our indispensable resource for daily living”. I agree, also, that humans are left to interpret the Bible, and our interpretation is guided by “our reception and understanding of that which God revealed”.
I stop short of saying that God “recorded” Scripture, because we all know that it was written down by men. This difference distinguishes the Bible from the Quran and the Book of Mormon, both of which are claimed to have been dictated to men in a trance-like state.
I agree that “revelation is a divine act”, and “interpretation is a human responsibility”. I agree that our interpretation is fallible, but I must admit the possibility that the writing down of the Bible may, also, be fallible.
I say these things not to argue with anyone about the reliability of Scripture, and I do not desire to make a mountain out of a molehill. I go far down the road on my confidence in the reliability and trustworthiness of Scripture. I have written on the subject many times, and I have even given presentations on the topic.
I also recognize that I am fallible and must remain humble in my approach, so take what I say with a grain of salt and make your own determinations. I share my thoughts for what they are worth.
When I was in college sitting in a World Religion class, reading the Bible for the first time in my life, I was struck by a thought that I believe to this day came from the Holy Spirit (along with others). My professor was liberal and progressive, so I can’t “blame” it on him.
It occurred to me that, if God is real, and the God of the Bible is the creator of the universe, then He could orchestrate His communications to humans in a way that they could understand them and preserve the important points for posterity. If God is sovereign, He can do that.
I believe the Bible is the book God wanted us to have.NT Wright
I still believe that, but I also like the way NT Wright puts it: “I believe the Bible is the book God wanted us to have.” I can buy that! Other things NT Wright says about the character of Scripture also make sense to me, so I will mix his words with mine in the remainder of this piece.Continue reading “A New (Old?) Take on Inerrancy”