Difficulties With Inerrancy -- By: Robert L. Saucy

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 09:1 (Winter 1966)
Article: Difficulties With Inerrancy
Author: Robert L. Saucy

Difficulties With Inerrancy

Robert L. Saucy

It is not our present purpose to attempt to discuss in detail the whole gamut of problems connected with the inspiration of Scripture, but rather to examine briefly some of the major objections, methods, and thoughts behind these.

The charges against the inerrancy of the Scriptures can be broadly categorized under two heads: Historical-Critical and Theological. Which of these is prior and which dependent on the other is perhaps open to question, but both have an affinity in their esteem of human opinion.

Difficulties arise from the area of the Historical-Critical, not because these areas have uncovered any new demonstrable facts contradictory to the words of Scripture, but because they come from what has been termed a revolutionary historical approach to the Bible. 1 The essence of this new approach is the application of a naturalistic historical development methodology to the contents of the word of God. The Bible is approached as any other book and scrutinized with the tools of modern and often spiritually uncommitted scholarship. The biblical writers are historically enmeshed into their fallible human environment in varying degrees both as to form and content of their message. Thus a supernatural inspiration is denied and the doctrine destroyed with charges of error.

The radical conclusions of this method are not accepted by all advocates of an errant Bible today, but much of the erroneous methodology is. We refer to the plea for an inductive examination of the phenomena of Scripture. 2 Most certainly, inductive methodology must not be discarded in ascertaining the doctrine of inspiration, but it must include a thorough induction of the Bible’s own relevant data on the subject. The modern advocates of errancy claim adherence to this principle as Beegle affirms, “A truly Biblical formulation of inspiration must give equal weight to the teaching and to the facts of Scripture.” 3 But one looks in vain through his recent study of the subject for a thorough inductive study of the Scriptural doctrine or of a reckoning with the exegetical studies of those who have made such studies. The problem with the modern inductive approach is just this: it imposes the contemporary scientific method of natural man upon the word of God and makes it the standard of truth and error. The Bible is approached from outside of the faith as any

human book, and the critical methods of humanistic unbelief are made the judge of all biblical data. Whatever does not square with ...

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