Beneath The Surface: What’s So Important About Inerrancy? -- By: Richard Lanser

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 23:1 (Winter 2010)
Article: Beneath The Surface: What’s So Important About Inerrancy?
Author: Richard Lanser

Beneath The Surface: What’s So Important About Inerrancy?

Richard Lanser

This entire issue of Bible and Spade focuses on the doctrine of inerrancy. Don’t let that loaded word, “doctrine,” throw you off, though—it is just a fancy synonym for “teaching.” In essence, the doctrine of inerrancy states that the Bible itself teaches that its words, and the concepts those words convey, are without error. God means for the Bible to communicate His revelation to the ordinary man, not just the scholar or the mystic. When interpreted by the same principles we use every day to understand ordinary language, the doctrine of inerrancy teaches that the Bible accurately conveys God’s thoughts to us.

Why is the doctrine of inerrancy important? At its simplest level, because it is plainly taught in the Bible, and rejecting it means rejecting something God has revealed. At a deeper level, it teaches us not only that the Scriptures were without error as originally received, but also acknowledges God’s watch-care over His Word, ensuring the accurate preservation of its message. The Scriptures thus give us a benchmark for determining the answer to Pilate’s famous question, “What is truth?” (Jn 18:38). Set aside this standard by which truth is measured, and you have nothing to determine it by.

Wholeheartedly embracing the scriptural teaching of inerrancy helps us avoid getting lost in a morass of confusion, typified by the following comments sent to ABR by a recent website visitor (all misspellings as in the original):

You can theororize all you want about this Paraoh or that Pharaoh, this date or that date, but the fact is there is no proof for the Jews ever being in Egypt in the numbers described in the Bible.

If the Jews ounumbered the Egyptians and were so exceedingly mighty that the Egyptians went in dread of them, why were the Jews slaves? This is ridiculous! There is absolutely no way that 2,5 million Jews, with all their livestock escaped fro Egypt in one mob and lived for 40 years in the wilderness. There is no evidence for the 10 plagues, for if they had occurred they would have been noticed and commented on by at least some of the numerous, travellers, traders, foreign dignitaries and ambassadors that were in Egypt at the time. No other civilization mentions the plagues or the Exodus, it is recorded only in the Bible, which is a book of myth and fairytale; it is not history.

Refer to Farrell Till’s scholary articles in the Skeptical Review which go into great detail as to all the impossibilities of the Exodus myth, in reference to obtaining water, wood, clothing and the other essentials of life. Like most stories in the Bible, this one is nothing but BS, concocted by the Jews in an attempt to provide them...

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