Re: Essay about errancy

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Mon Feb 02 2004 - 17:03:27 EST

On Mon, 2 Feb 2004 11:01:12 -0500, "Gough, Joshua" <> said:

> According to Biblical scholars, the book of Mark was written first 1.
> Notice how similar the account is in both books. Notice that in
> Matthew, there is a line about tombs opening and many saints coming out
> of these tombs after Christ's resurrection and then being seen by many
> in Jerusalem. After seeing these miracles, the centurion cries out that
> this was the Son of God. However, look at Mark's earlier account. It
> says that when the centurion saw his cry and saw how he died he said he
> was the Son of God. There is no mention of him being terrified. The
> words are changed a little bit as well.

1. The Bible scholars you are referencing used their belief of errant
   Gospels as a basis for the dating. Thus, you cannot use the alleged
   date of Mark in your argument because you would be begging the
   question. Bible scholars who don't hold to Q theory usually date
   Matthew first.

2. Matthew was the eyewitness. Mark wasn't. It stands to reason he
   would provide more detail.

3. It is altogether consistent that when:

   A. The centurion heard his cry and saw how he died


   B. The centurion saw the earthquakes etc

he made his statement. As long as the two whens are the same time, then
the two statements do not contradict each other. In fact we know that
they ARE simultaneous. Matt. 27:50 has Jesus cry out and Matt. 27:51
starts with "At that moment". The two whens refer to the exact same
moment in time. Thus, they do not contradict each other.

4. Inerrancy theory does not call for exact quotes. Take the following
   from the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy:

  So history must be treated as history, poetry as poetry, hyperbole and
  metaphor as hyperbole and metaphor, generalization and approximation as
  what they are, and so forth. Differences between literary conventions
  in Bible times and in ours must also be observed: Since, for instance,
  nonchronological narration and *imprecise citation* were conventional
  and acceptable and violated no expectations in those days, we must not
  regard these things as faults when we find them in Bible writers. When
  total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it
  is no error not to have achieved it. Scripture is inerrant, not in the
  sense of being absolutely precise by modern standards, but in the sense
  of making good its claims and achieving that measure of focused truth
  at which its authors aimed. [emphasis mine]

Note the last sentence I quoted. This is key if you don't want to be
attacking a straw man. There may be naive Christians who view Scripture
as being absolutely precise in the modern sense. This belief also
results in the incorrect conflating of YEC with inerrancy. But,
technically speaking it is not inerrancy.
Received on Mon Feb 2 17:03:51 2004

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