INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
This is a summary of the positions of several on how we should look at the books of the Bible and their inspiredness. What do you think? Look at these four in your groups and decide which one you would be willing to defend. Be sure to talk about why. We will ask for a group response at the end of your 10 min. discussion.
Catholic position - Errorless collection of errorless books
Modern critical scholarship - Error-filled collection of error-filled books
Historical Protestant view - Possible error in collection, errorless books
Explanation - books were pulled together by the church - the church is not errorless, on God's Word is (sola scriptura).
Special Protestant view - The Holy Spirit worked in the collectors of the canon that we have to guide them to the right books to include, those that were inspired by God in the first place.
1. Inerrancy vs. Infallibility
Inerrancy = exempt from error
Infallible = can mean "incapable of error" OR "will not fail to achieve the goals and purposes which God intended for it."
A look at Paul Feinberg's definition of inerrancy
Inerrancy mean that when all facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything they affirm, whether that has to do with doctrine or morality or with the social, physical, or life sciences.
Does this mean that our versions of the Bible (NIV, KJV, NASB) are inerrant?
Misunderstandings of inerrancy
a. It does not demand strict adherence to the rules of grammar.
b. It does not exclude the use of either figures of speech (hypebole) or literary genre (poetry).
c. It does not demand historical or semantical precision.
d. It does not demand the technical or observational language of modern science.
e. It does not require verbal exactness in the citation of the OT by the NT.
f. It does not demand that the sayings of Jesus contain the exact words of Jesus, only the exact voice (i.e. indirect discourse).
g. It does not guarantee the exhaustive comprehensiveness of any single account or of combined accounts.
h. It does not demand the infallibility of inerrancy of the non-inspired sources used by biblical writers.
How can all this be true? God is sovereign. He rules over all these things. If He superintended the writing of Scripture (II Peter 1:21) then this can be true.
2. What are some ways you can think of that these statements about inerrancy could be viewed-- positively or negatively?
a. Too narrow - God's not concerned about the exactness of His word as much as He is the message. Inerrancy stifles the power of the message of redemption.
b. Too broad - Leaving the door open this far is too far. You cannot say that these statements are true. You would compromise the truth of the whole Bible.
3. A look at why this book has to be true
a. John 17:17 - Truth
b. John 13:34,35 - Following Jesus commands shows the world that we are His disciples - How can we follow commands if they're not true?
c. I Cor. 15:12-19 - If it is not true that Christ has not been raised, then we are to be pitied. We're stupid to believe!!