Friday, August 1, 2014

Session 8: The Inerrancy of Scripture

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30
Writing about Session: 8 The Inerrancy of Scripture, Beth Warrick shares her thoughts about how the Bible is true.

Is the Bible perfect? Are there errors in the Bible? Believing that the Bible is “inerrant” is to believe that the original manuscripts of the Bible (autographa) were, in fact, without error. The Bible that we have today does contain errors (variants) due to errors in copying and translating the manuscripts over time.

However, none of these errors affect any major doctrine of the Bible, and almost all of them make no theological difference and can be explained through a process called “textual criticism.” Most the errors are things like a missing “0” in a number, or a reversal of words, like “Jesus Christ” to “Christ Jesus.” Other things in the Bible seem to contradict itself, until you study it and understand the purpose and audience to which it was written.

Why does it matter if the Bible is inerrant or not? It has to do with where we place our authority, and how strongly we can place our trust in that authority. Ultimately, for me, if the Bible is God’s Word to us, then it must be perfect in what God intends to accomplish through it. God is holy, perfect, and sovereign, so He would not allow something that was not true or useful to exist in the Bible.

II Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

However, not all Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant. Believing in the inerrancy of Scripture is not essential to salvation because Christianity is based on the fact that Christ rose from the dead after paying the price for our sins through His death on the cross, not whether the Bible is perfect.

However, it goes back to authority. We all trust in something/someone, or many things/people to guide us in our beliefs and how we live. If we believe that the Bible is subject to interpretation, or true on some points but not others, then it becomes a slippery slope where the humans who determine what is true in the Bible and what is not become the authority, not the Bible (God) itself. And I think it might indicate a lack of trust in the Lord, that He couldn’t give us something that is perfect and trustworthy just as it is. “God is not man, that he should lie...” (Num 23:19)

In my own life, I haven’t always felt strongly about the Bible being my authority. I didn’t study it, trust it, or follow it as I should have; I did more of what I wanted to do and let other things be my authority, such as my own feelings, other humans, what was popular, what society accepted and encouraged, etc. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has shown me that He must be my Authority and that I should test all things against what His Word, the Bible, says, and the more I know His Word and follow it, the better off I am and the more He is glorified.

Beth Warrick

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