Inerrancy


Mar 5 2003

Whadaya Expect From A Miraculous Book?

Some thoughts on the inerrancy of Scripture:

“If the biblical and theological basis of the doctrine is so obvious, however, why have some in our day suggested that the inerrancy of the Bible is a relatively recent concept? It is true, as some have suggested that the inerrancy of the Bible is a relatively recent concept? Is it true, as some have argued, that the doctrine of inerrancy was 'invented' in the nineteenth century at Princeton by B B Warfield and Charles Hodge and is therefore a novelty in the history of theology? In answer to this question, it is important to remember that doctrines arise only when there is a need for them. Doctrine develops when something implicit in the faith is denied; false teaching provokes an explicit rebuttal. This is as true of inerrancy as it is of the doctrines of the Trinity, or of justification by faith.

The notion of the Bible's truthfulness was implicitly assumed throughout the history of the church. Theologians were only reflecting the view of the biblical authors themselves. Jesus himself quotes Scripture and implies that its words are true and trustworthy -- wholly reliable. The New Testament authors share and reflect this 'high estimate' of Scripture pertained to its reliability in matters of faith and salvation only or whether it involved a trust in all matters on which the Bible speaks, including science and history” (Vanhoozer, “The Inerrancy of Scripture,” Latimer House, Oxford, England, n.d.).