The Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy -- By: Henry B. Smith, Jr.

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 20:1 (Winter 2007)
Article: The Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy
Author: Henry B. Smith, Jr.

The Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy

Henry B. Smith, Jr.

As our readers know, ABR works in the field of archaeology to demonstrate the historical reliability of the Bible for the purpose of edifying the church and providing evidence to sincere skeptics so that they may consider and accept the truth-claims of the Christian faith. Foundational to our ministry is the certain knowledge that the Bible has been given by the Spirit of God and is absolutely infallible and inerrant.

Throughout the centuries, Christians have attempted to systematize Biblical teaching for the purpose of deepening their understanding of God’s holy word. One such vehicle is the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,1 developed in the 1970’s by a group of evangelical Christian scholars. It was an attempt to convey the Bible’s teaching regarding its divine nature, infallibility and other related matters. The Chicago Statement is a helpful tool in teaching and communicating a proper understanding of what inerrancy actually does and does not mean.

Since ABR primarily works in the field of archaeology, an endeavor to reconstruct the ancient past using a variety of scientific means, the importance of Biblical inerrancy cannot be overstated. Without an inerrant Bible, the entire Christian belief system is logically subjected to criticism and will likely be dismissed by individuals who understand the logical connection between an errant Bible and rejecting the message of the Gospel. Let us briefly examine some features of this important doctrine spelled out in the Chicago Statement which relate most directly to the mission of ABR.

Article IX

We affirm that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience, guaranteedtrue and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write. We deny that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God’s Word.

Article XI

We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses. We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated.

Article XII

We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit. We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be ...

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