The Verbal Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures Part III: The Bible and Error -- By: Edward J. Young

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 121:484 (Oct 1964)
Article: The Verbal Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures Part III: The Bible and Error
Author: Edward J. Young


The Verbal Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures
Part III:
The Bible and Error

Edward J. Young

Today it has become almost commonplace to assert that Scripture contains error, but that the error is of a comparatively minor kind, and in no way impairs one’s understanding of the abiding message of the Bible.1 In itself this seems to be a relatively innocuous position, but it is one which will not bear close investigation or examination. As soon as we assert that the Scriptures contain error, we begin to ask, “What is that error?” Cannot someone point out to us once and for all what in the Bible is erroneous and what is not? This, of course, cannot be done. Despite the tremendous scholarship that has gone into the study of the Scriptures, it must be acknowledged that to this day no one has been able to come up with a list of all the supposed errors in the Bible.

And this is easily understandable. For what one man declares to be error, another refuses to recognize. It takes a tremendous amount of knowledge, more than any mere man possesses, in fact, to make the positive declaration that there are errors in the Bible. Let us say it frankly and bluntly. No man knows enough to declare that there are errors in the Bible. And the man who makes such a claim is arrogating to himself a tremendous amount of knowledge that he does not really possess. He has no right to make such a claim.

Nor can it be said that only in minor matters errors are to be found in the Bible, whereas in the major points the Bible is reliable. What is truly remarkable is that that those who usually make such assertions do themselves not understand the so-called major teachings of Scripture. Those who are willing to assert that they find errors of a minor nature at

the same time often show little understanding of the true nature of the teachings of the Bible. This is a serious matter and we, for our part, are not willing to admit the presence even of minor errors in the pages of sacred Scripture.

That there are difficulties in the Bible goes without saying. Oftentimes, however, further study removes those difficulties either in part or entirely. In this article we propose to examine one of the points at which the Bible is supposed to be in error to discover whether such actually is the case. One of the most difficult problems in the study of the entire Old Testament has to do with the reign of Hezekiah. There is much in what is related concerning this king that produces difficulty, but largely the problems have to do with chronology.2 And involved in this is the mention of Tirhaqah, the E...

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