Re: Biblical Inerrancy

David Campbell (
Mon, 7 Sep 1998 13:02:47 -0400

>He's deceived.
>> "Christ's rejection of biblical teachings regarding both faith (e.g., the
>> harsher laws regarding the Sabbath, the laws governing clean and unclean
>> foods, the law prescribing execution for adultery) and morals (the broad
>> Mosaic permission for divorce) assures us that not every verse of
>> Scripture is inerrant. And, if faith and morals in Scripture can err,
>> then so, of course, may history and science."

"Inerrant" needs to be clearly defined. For example, the stories of Saul's
death in I Sam 31 and II Sam 1:1-16 conflict with each other. From the
broader context, it seems as though the second account was embellished by
the Amalekite in the hope of impressing David. Thus, most of II Sam 1:6-10
is untrue. However, the account as a whole is true-it's simply quoting a
lie at this point. Likewise, figurative language must be recognized as
such. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching...",
but " which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and
unstable distort..." [II Ti 3:16, II Pe 3:16 NASB].

A basic problem is the need to establish objective guidelines. In
particular, if you wish to be credible to someone who takes the bible
seriously, you need to clarify how your approach differs from the approach
endorsed by my religion professor, namely the parts you like are the
authentic ones. In general, "what did the author intend by this passage?"
is the appropriate question. (The exact significance of predictive
prophecies was seemingly not always clear to the prophet [and is not always
to me], and other exceptions probably exist.)

David C.