The Inerrancy of the Bible -- By: Henry S. Curr

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:394 (Apr 1942)
Article: The Inerrancy of the Bible
Author: Henry S. Curr

The Inerrancy of the Bible

Henry S. Curr

It has been said that one result of the Reformation was the substitution of an infallible Bible for an infallible Church. These words are usually quoted in a spirit of hostile criticism. The change is regarded as being attended with so many drawbacks that any advantages obtained are very materially reduced. One is reminded of Milton’s dislike for the Presbyterian clergy of the Commonwealth who tended at times to be rather overbearing, expressed in the words, “New Presbyter is but old Priest writ large.” Whatever view be taken of the significance of the change, its occurrence is beyond all question. There was no tenet of Christian doctrine to which the Reformers clung more tenaciously than the inerrancy of Holy Scripture. They believed and taught with all their minds and all their hearts and all their strength that the Word of God is infallible in every particular. Until the middle of last century that conviction was universally held in Christendom, both amongst Romanist theologians and teachers and Protestant. I regret that I am unable to speak with authority regarding the dogmas of the Greek Orthodox Church on the subject, or on the position taken by other branches of the Christian church; but it can be said without serious fear of contradiction that there was practically universal agreement on this subject. In the course of the last century the rise and diffusion of modern criticism has gone far to undermine the acceptance of this claim for the Bible, as far as Protestantism is concerned. Of this change it may be said that Dr. C. C. J. Webb, the Oxford philosopher, was right when he stated that its effects were comparable to those of the Reformation in

magnitude. In the same strain The Times (London) observed in a leading article on the reign of Queen Victoria, that rationalistic criticism had shaken British Christianity to its foundations during that period. The abandonment of the belief that the Bible was inerrant was indeed a step fraught with grave issues. Since these days it has gone from strength to strength, so that its opponents on both sides of the Atlantic are now reduced to a remnant, although it has been argued that the ordinary men of the people, as distinguished from scholars and specialists, still cling in a vague and unreasoning way to the old doctrine. The latter view is still worthy of consideration and attention, even by those who cannot accept it. For has it not won the enthusiastic support of so many men who marched in the foremost files of time, and that not only on account of their piety but also by reason of their capacity?

In all such discussions it is well to clear the ground by endeavoring to form a lucid and correct notion of w...

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