Guide Biblical Inerrancy: The Historical Evidence

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And if the Bible is not from God, then the skeptic is right. But the skeptic is not right! Sadly, Peter Davids totally dismisses the numerous places where Paul claims his writings are from God. Paul did not invent facts about Old Testament stories. Neither did he have to rely on his own fallible memory to recall particular numbers or names.

His writings were inspired Scripture 2 Peter The Holy Spirit revealed the Truth to him— all of it cf. John ; John What liberal theologians do not tell their readers is that the Bible itself provides compelling evidence about the nature of its inspiration.

Perhaps of most significance is the fact that neither Jesus nor any Bible writer ever called into question a single passage of Scripture. Jesus and the writers of Scripture believed in the truthfulness and historical reliability of even the most disputed parts of the Old Testament. Notice a few examples. While speaking to the Pharisees in the region of Judea beyond the Jordan, Jesus confirmed His belief in the real existence of an original couple created during the Creation week Matthew ; cf.

Genesis In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul affirmed his belief in Adam as the first human 1 Corinthians Then, in his first letter to Timothy, he attested to the fact that Eve was created after Adam ; cf.

Why the Bible Is the Word of God - Historical Evidence for the Bible

Genesis , Genesis 3. Both Jesus and the apostle Peter believed that Noah was a real person, and that the global Flood was a historical event Matthew ; 2 Peter ; ; cf. Jesus and Peter also affirmed their belief in the historicity of Lot, and in the destruction of Sodom Luke ; 2 Peter ; cf. Hebrews ; cf. Exodus 14 , while Jesus confirmed His belief in the miraculous healing of the Israelites who fixed their eyes on the bronze snake set up by Moses in the desert John ; cf. Numbers Numerous other examples such as these exist, and demonstrate the trustworthiness of Scripture.

Furthermore, Jesus and the New Testament writers always viewed statements by each other and the Old Testament writers as being truthful, regardless of the subject matter. For example, Paul rebuked Peter publicly for his unacceptable dissimulation Galatians ff. How can anyone who claims to be a Christian hold to the viewpoint that the Scriptures contain errors?

Jesus and the Bible writers always acknowledged that God ensured the precise accuracy of the original versions cf. Cukrowski, et al.

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Why should we do any differently? In addition, the Son of God quoted, cited from, or alluded to incidents in at least eighteen different Old Testament books. But to what degree did Christ believe in inspiration? The following references document beyond doubt that the Lord affirmed verbal inspiration down to the very letters of Scripture. In Matthew , Christ exclaimed:. When Jesus employed these specific terms as examples, He affirmed the minutest accuracy for the Old Testament.

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In John , Jesus involved Himself in an interchange with some Jews who accused Him of blasphemy. Jesus was thus ascribing legal authority to the entire corpus of Scripture. He did the same thing in John If they were of the mindset that many liberals are today, they might have brushed this passage aside, saying that the psalmist made a mistake, or that this section of Scripture contained errors. Both Jesus and His audience understood that the psalm from which He quoted was true— because it is a part of Scripture!

Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? Notice that Jesus did not chastise them for being slow to believe in some of what the prophets spoke, but for neglecting to believe in all that they said about the Christ. Thus, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must have been living. But the only way they could be living was if their spirits continued to survive the death of their bodies. That kind of conscious existence implies a future resurrection of the body—the very point Christ was pressing.

Of interest, however, is the fact that His entire argument rested on the tense of the verb! Nevertheless, such a statement needs clarification. Hebrew actually has no past, present, or future tense.

How do I defend the Bible?

Rather, an action is regarded as being either complete or incomplete, and so verbs occur in the Hebrew as perfect or imperfect. Consequently, tense is implied rather than expressed. Once again, He based His entire argument on the tense of the verb. The force of his argument rested on the number of the noun singular, as opposed to plural. In light of the fact that Jesus and the Bible writers viewed the words of Scripture as being inspired and thus truthful , even down to the very tense of a verb and number of a noun, so should all Christians.

It is accurate in all its parts. The whole of the Bible is of divine origin, and therefore is reliable and trustworthy. Yes, God used human beings to write the Bible, and in so doing, allowed them to leave their imprint upon it e. But, they wrote without making any of the usual mistakes that human writers are prone to make under normal circumstances. God made certain that the words produced by the human writers He inspired were free from the errors and mistakes characteristic of uninspired writers. To rely on the inerrancy of every historical detail affirmed in Scripture is to follow the teaching and practice of the biblical authors themselves.

Time and time again, Jesus and the Bible writers affirmed that God is the author of Scripture. Which means when we affirm inerrancy, we reject the need for faith. When we affirm inerrancy, we ascribe perfection to the creation rather that to the Creator. When we affirm inerrancy, we create an idol fashioned out of the same need for certainty and control that drove Adam and Eve to snatch divinity away from God.

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Our fear and ingrained need for control are not overcome that easily. So, if you are reading this post and you do affirm Biblical inerrancy, please know that not only are you breaking away from Church tradition, you are also rejecting the imperfection the Bible claims for itself, the very imperfection that is necessary for faith. You may have certainty and therefore have no need for faith in the Bible. He blogs at and is currently a graduate student at Yale Divinity. Home General. I said a lack of faith. Not at all. How do I know this? Because I have a mother.

And, yes, I said authors. Because the Bible told me so.

Biblical Inerrancy: The Historical Evidence

But the apostle Paul sure needed faith. And so do I. Subscribe To Our Newsletter Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. Any help you can give to relieve this tension would be greatly appreciated. United States. Your question is one that every Bible-believing Christian familiar with modern biblical criticism has had to wrestle with.

To begin with, the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, as I learned it and, I think, as most of its adherents today would defend it, is not arrived at inductively , but deductively. He would likely conclude that the Bible, like almost every other book, has some errors in it.

The Inerrancy of the Bible

But inerrantists have maintained that belief in biblical inerrancy is justified as a deduction from other well-justified truths. For example, the late Kenneth Kantzer, Dean of the seminary I attended, argued for inerrancy by means of the following two syllogisms:. Whatever God teaches is true. Historical, prophetic, and other evidences show that Jesus is God. Therefore, whatever Jesus teaches is true. Whatever Jesus teaches is true. Jesus taught that the Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Therefore, the Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

The claim here is that we have good reasons to think that the Bible, despite its difficulties, is the inerrant Word of God and therefore we should accept it as such. When confronted with biblical difficulties, the inerrantist will attempt to show that alleged mistakes are not really mistakes after all and to provide plausible harmonizations of apparent inconsistencies. Earlier critics claimed that the reference to Sargon was an error because there was absolutely no evidence that an Assyrian king named Sargon II ever even existed—until, that is, archaeologists digging in the region of Khorsabad unearthed the palace of one Sargon II!

We now have more information about Sargon than about any other ancient Assyrian king. Now the question raised by your letter is what our reaction should be if we become convinced that there really is an error in the Bible. This was apparently the conclusion of Bart Ehrman, who says he lost his faith in Christ because he discovered one minor error in the Gospels. Such a conclusion is unnecessary for two reasons. First, we may need instead to revise our understanding of what constitutes an error.

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Nobody thinks that when Jesus says that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds Mark 4. Because Jesus is not teaching botany; he is trying to teach a lesson about the Kingdom of God, and the illustration is incidental to this lesson. Defenders of inerrancy claim that the Bible is authoritative and inerrant in all that it teaches or all that it means to affirm.

This raises the huge question as to what the authors of Scripture intend to affirm or teach. Questions of genre will have a significant bearing on our answer to that question. Poetry obviously is not intended to be taken literally, for example.