Re: Inerrancy

Glenn Morton (
Tue, 04 Jun 1996 22:47:08

Jan de Koning wrote:

> Many, who insist on having an inerrant bible, want to read God's
>Word as if it is written in our times as an academic text. I even
>discover that in this forum in the discussions about Adam, the Flood
>etc.. Obviously these stories were written down many years after they
>happened. That does not make them untrue.

I would like to try to a distinction here. There obviously are
translational and transcription errors in the Bible. Thus it is not
"inerrant". And obviously we may not fully understand what the author
intended. But allowing for this should not require us to believe that
certain stories in the Bible can be "true" when the events, upon which the
story is based, have no correspondence to the events reported. The flood
account or the account of the attempted sacrifice of Isaac should have
some correspondence with what actually occurred if the story is to be
considered true.

For instance if Abraham really kidnapped the neighbor's kid to sacrifice
out in the wilderness and the means of the sacrifice was to be hanging by
the neck, and Abraham did not take his servants on the trip with him, then
the story reported is wrong, wrong, wrong. Too often I find that we are
easily persuaded that a story can be true when it has little connection
with reality. That has always been my concern with the flood. In the
broad outlines the events of the Flood must correspond somehow to the
events reported or the story is patently false. If the Bible says David
was King, then there must be a David and he must have been a ruler. If the
Bible says there was a flood which lasted a year (very difficult to do in
a river valley) then the flood either lasted a year or the story is wrong.

There is no correspondence between reality and the events reported in
Beowulf. Thus Beowulf is false. The manuscript of Beowulf may be
inerrant but the story is fiction. To me it is not an "inerrancy" issue
but an issue of truth vs. falsehood.


Foundation,Fall and Flood