Does the Bible contain errors? Is everything stated in the Bible true?
Although the Bible never uses the word “inerrancy” of itself, the foundation and grounds upon which the doctrine of inerrancy and authority is established is that,
“no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” and that “all Scripture is breathe out by God,”
according to 2 Pet. 1-21 and 2 Tim.3.16 respectively.
Inerrancy, according to Geisler is that
“Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they affirm, whether that has to do with doctrine or morality or with the social, physical, or life science.”
This article will look at the views held by the various schools of thought regarding the doctrine of inerrancy and authority and evidences in support of the doctrine of inerrancy and authority of the Bible.
Critics of the faith and several schools of thought are quick to point out certain inconsistencies in some “scriptural phenomenon” and argue against the doctrine of absolute inerrancy of scriptures.
For instance, these critics argue against Jude’s allusion to non-canonical books in verse 9 and 14; the number of years King Pekah reigned over Israel, in 2 Kings 15: 27 with the claim it was more than twenty years; the chronological inconsistencies regarding the reign of Hezekiah’s according to 2 Kings 18: 1 and 2 Kings 20: 6; the sun standing still as recorded in Joshua 10:13, the seeming inconsistencies in Stephen speech with respect to when Abraham Left for Canaan in Acts 7: 4, purported inconsistencies of the different accounts of the gospels and so on as mostly the basis for such claims.
These have led some to argue that, first, truth in the Bible is only found in matters relating to theology or the spiritual and not in terms of the scientific records or the historicity. Therefore inerrancy in scriptures is limited.
Second, some have argued that the entirety of the Bible is true; however, making scientific affirmation or matters relating to history is not the principal focus of the Bible, but presenting issues relating to theology and the spiritual is the focus of the Bible.
However, all these arguments, although they may hold some truth, fail to forget that men of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit recognize canonicity. The addition of Jude was entirely God’s sovereign act for his own glorious end.
Most importantly, Scripture is nothing but a witness of God, who is truth, and can never lie. And this truth is not only limited to God’s act in salvation of lost mankind, but equally in his acts in every event throughout history and creation. All these events are just as true as the incarnation of Christ.
The authority of scripture as an inerrant word of God is attested by the accuracy of prophet message. A prophet dares not speak in another god’s name or face death as a penalty. A prophet must not speaks a word that is not true, hence whatever the prophet speaks must come to pass as a proof that they are God’s word, because the word of God through the prophets are as true and sure as God himself.
Second, the Bible bears record of its own authority and inerrancy. For instance, Jesus in John 10:34-35 affirms “scripture cannot be broken,” emphasizing the extremity of inerrancy and authoritativeness of Scriptures,
Third is the Character of God as presented in the Bible. Heb. 6:18 and Num. 23:19, bear witness that God cannot lie, Paul, in Romans 3:4 declares that God’s truthfulness is never changed by the lack of faith of man.
Jesus, in his high priestly prayer in John 17: 17 declared of God, “your word is truth”. This shows that the primary character of God as revealed in his word is truth, affirming that the Bible cannot be in error.
Finally, Scripture’s use of itself is enough evidence of its authority and inerrancy.
There are times when a single word in the Bible, as insignificant as it may appear humanly speaking, settles a whole argument; other instances where the whole argument involve things as simple as tenses to be settled.
All these prove that every single tiny thing in the Bible is true in revealing God’s character of being true.
In conclusion, God in his special revelation of himself, affirms throughout Scripture of His character: a God who cannot lie, a God who remains true in spite of man’s unfaithfulness, and a God whose word can never be broken.
As a sovereign God, He has the absolute authority and power to work all things to the end which He has willed. Every human element He may incorporate in the process all works out to achieve that desired goal.
Scripture is inerrant and authority in all matters being it spiritual, historical or scientist, because it is inspired by God, and God’s “words are trustworthy and true” according to Rev. 22:6.
Bibliography of Works Cited
Beegle, Dewey M. Scripture, Tradition and Infallibility. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1973.
Geisler, Norman L. Inerrancy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1980.
Mohler Jr, R. Albert.” When The Bible Speaks, God Speaks: The Classic Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy,” in Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, edited by James R.A. Merrick et al. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013. Accessed November 24, 2018.