For The Truth

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Inerrancy as a doctrine is about the trustworthiness of the source of our current copies of the Bible.  It is true that among the immense body of manuscripts we have today, when compared, we find variances in spelling, grammar, word choice, and even inclusion of passages that other manuscripts omit.  First, inerrancy has nothing to do with the variances we find in the extant manuscripts.  Inerrancy concerns the accuracy of the original manuscripts.  It is the confidence that we express that the Bible in its original state was without error.  That is, it was written as God intended it to be written.  This includes spelling, grammar, history, science, and cultural or personal influences and biases that would alter God’s intent.  Just as the real drive behind evolution is to do away with the existence of God and therefore our responsibility to Him as His creation, the real drive behind liberal theologians who cast doubt on the inerrancy (i.e. truth) of Scripture and the accuracy of its transmission from God to the pen of the biblical author, is a desire to remove passages that are at variance with their personal desires & beliefs.  You see, if the originals were not without error, then it wouldn’t matter how many copies we have or how much they agree or whether we could construct as nearly as possible the content of the originals, because we would have started with error.

Second, we have in existence so large a body of copies (actually copies of copies) of the original manuscripts that we are able to nearly (approximately 99%) construct the content of the originals (with a confidence of something near 99.999…%).  The surety of this content can be determined from the amount of overlap (agreement) between all of various manuscripts in existence today.  This confidence relies on the accuracy of the originals.  This is the point of the doctrine of inerrancy: that having a confidence in the absolute accuracy and truthfulness of the original manuscripts, the Bible we now hold is absolutely trustworthy in all that it expresses.

None of the doctrine or facts of the Bible rely upon the small amount of variances among the manuscripts.


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