Inspiration, Inerrancy, And The Ot Canon: The Place Of Textual Updating In An Inerrant View Of Scripture -- By: Michael A. Grisanti

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 44:4 (Dec 2001)
Article: Inspiration, Inerrancy, And The Ot Canon: The Place Of Textual Updating In An Inerrant View Of Scripture
Author: Michael A. Grisanti


Inspiration, Inerrancy, And The Ot Canon:
The Place Of Textual Updating In An
Inerrant View Of Scripture

Michael A. Grisanti*

[* Michael Grisanti is associate professor of Old Testament at The Master’s Seminary, 13248 Roscoe Blvd., Sun Valley, CA 91352.]

For good reason, there are often strong emotions attached to the issues of inspiration, inerrancy, the autographa, and the canon. This article does not seek to overturn a conservative or evangelical understanding of the biblical doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy. I wholeheartedly endorse the commonly held evangelical view of both theological concepts and do not question that God superintended the entire process of inscripturation with the result that the OT Scriptures were God-breathed. Those Scriptures are without error, infallible, and fully reliable. The article proposes a biblically based idea that fits within a firm and enthusiastic belief in inspiration and inerrancy. I seek to show that some commonly used definitions of key terms, especially “autographa” and “canonicity,” are defined primarily from a NT perspective and do not give sufficient attention to some of the realities of the OT text. Thus minor adjustments must be made in how scholars articulate various aspects of the doctrine of Scripture.

After laying a brief theological foundation and drawing attention to some features unique to the OT that figure into understanding the process of its inscripturation, the present article delineates some issues related to the concept of textual updating and examines several possible examples of inspired textual updating. After considering some ways in which evangelicals relate this idea of textual updating to a belief in inerrancy, I will survey several past and present proponents of the view proposed here. Finally, the paper will address a few of the objections that have been or could be raised against this proposal.

I. Theological Foundation: Basic Definitions
(Inspiration, Inerrancy, And Canon)

Millard Erickson defines inspiration as “that supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit upon the Scripture writers which rendered their writings an accurate record of the revelation or which resulted in what they wrote actually being the Word of God.” 1 The apostle Paul affirmed that “all

Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim 3:16), and Peter wrote that “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:21). The “inspiration” or “spi...

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