In simple terms, biblical inerrancy means the bible is without any error in all that it affirms. The topic on Biblical inerrancy remains to be one of the most controversial topics in the world as it tries to question the belief of the Christian group of people since the doctrine of Christians draws its basis from the Bible. Every doctrine in the bible without any alteration is meant to be a guide for Christians.
In a more extensive context, inerrancy of the scripture is the question on the origin of the scripture, how sufficient the scripture is, what authority the scripture has, what is termed as the scripture, how clear the scripture is among others. These sum up as essential aspects which need to be addressed in order to clarify the issue of inerrancy of the scripture. The ignorance of the bible is so widespread extending even to churches as some Christians lack the ability to defend their stand on the issue if scripture inerrancy even though they are required to be fully committed to the inerrancy of the scripture.
Likewise, most critics and opponents on the issue lack full comprehension on how important the issue is. The paper will explore the inerrancy of the scripture by majoring on what the bible is so as to be claimed to be free of any errors and the inerrancy of the scripture when applied to the bible. Similarly it will be explicit on whether some doctrines on the inerrancy of the scripture can be misunderstood or even misused.
Bible as the Word or Words of God
The basis of scripture inerrancy is the fact that the Bible is the word or words of God and not by any chance man’s words. Understanding the bible in what it is as the word of God is vital in the topic of scripture inerrancy. According to 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, correcting…” which means both the new and old testament are words from God which were breathed out by Him so as to reveal Himself to humanity and make His purpose clear. God breathes the words of the Bible to anybody reading or hearing them. 2 Peter 1:21 “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”.
In addition, the bible was written by men through the Holy Spirit as 1 Thessalonians 1:5 affirms. God is the author and source of the scripture even though he used men to communicate His word. The author Paul uses present tense “is breathed” to show that the scripture is still at function rather than using “was breathed” which could be an indication of the origin. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says “We are hearing not the word of man but the voice of God”.
The scripture in as much is what God said, it is as well what God says. Likewise what the scripture says is what God says. Christians are deemed to view the scriptures just like Jesus viewed. Jesus affirms that the scripture is the word of God in an interrogation he had with the Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. Mathew 22:31-32 says “Have you not read what was said to you by God, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” This was in reference to the scriptures in Exodus 3:6 whereby the words were spoken by God to you, you being the Sadducees in this context.
The Bible as the Promise of God
The Bible is an account of promises of a number of subjects for instance, the life of Jesus and the history of Israel among others apart from being God’s words. These events occur as they had been predicted with the exactness of time, place and description depicting a fulfillment of the promise of God. The bible gives not only information but also the promises of God to humankind. The main theme in the Bible is the promise God made in the Old Testament to his servant Abraham.
Genesis 12:2 says” And I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and make our name great and you shall be a blessing”. This is the gospel that Jesus Christ headed to in Galatians 3:8 which says” and the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel to Abraham saying in him shall all nations be blessed”. Basically the Bible accounts of God’s faithfulness and His purpose in fulfilling His promises.
Jesus in his ministry on earth is a fulfillment of God’s promise with Jesus too in His gospel retaining the character of promise. Romans1:1-2 “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God which he had promised before by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures” showing a fulfillment of promise in the words of God. God’s promise if for everybody who the Lord calls to Himself as Romans 4:16 indicates.
Graeme Goldsworthy remains to be an important person on the exposition of the issue of the Bible being a promise from God as well as fulfillment of God’s words. The kingdoms of both Solomon and David are a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Similarly, the fall of their kingdoms was a fulfillment of prophesies by prophets who had prophesied of God’s fulfillment of promises to Abraham on a grander scale. Mark 1:15 says, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand”. The word of God to human beings is a promise in all aspects.
God has given some promises which have always been fulfilled. An epitome of such promises is the coming of the Messiah which was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus who incarnated inform of human being and came on earth to deliver the humanity from sin. Indeed the coming of Jesus Christ is a fulfillment of God promise to the fallen humanity as portrayed in the scripture as found in Isiah 54 which described how Jesus would come and be treated on Earth.
The book described how Jesus would come and be rejected by the same people whom he would deliver from the penalty of death. In fulfillment of the words of Isaiah, the book of John 1-29 confirms the coming of Jesus when John saw Jesus and said that Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God who was send by God to deliver the humanity. In addition, as ones read the life of Jesus as represented in all the three gospel books, the rejection of Jesus is illustrated especially by the way the Jews treated him during his time on earth.
For instance, he was falsely accused by the Jews people for the sin of blasphemy especially when he was forgiving people their sins. The climax of Jesus rejection was evidence when people shouted that Jesus should be crucified in spite of the Good things which he did while he was among the people. Jesus Christ was mistreated in various ways whereby one of the ways was by giving him the heavy cross to carry to the cruxification place which was known as Golgotha.
Another way was by giving him the vinegar drinks while on the cross when he asked for water. From the scripture water symbolizes friendship therefore it meant that Jesus Christ sort for friendship to the humanity during the critical hours when he was being rejected by the people whom he came to save. However, people rejected him by giving him the bitter herbs.
Understanding of Inerrancy when Applied to the Bible
From the Bible, the character of God is clearly portrayed as someone who cannot change in His statements. Therefore, the bible being described as the word of God shows that God cannot change whatever the circumstance. For instance, people argued in the past as well as in the current times regarding the change of God laws. In fact when Jesus Christ came on earth people thought he came to change the Ten Commandments. However, in Jesus statement in Mathew 5:16-19 Jesus Christ confirmed that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill all that was required by the law. In fact in the parts of the chapter he discouraged people from teaching people to go against the laws by saying that who have does that will be regarded as the least people in the kingdom of God. While those who will teach people to observe the law will be considered as the greatest in the kingdom of God.
From the scripture God is described as faithful to his people especially in his promises hence it is unbelievable to say God can make error in his statements. In other word the biblical inerrancy can therefore be seen as an expression of faith in the character of God as portrayed by the nature of his words as illustrated in the scripture. This is more critical when only people realize how faithful God is by having faith in his word since people can only have faith in God if only understand how God is faithful to them. From the scripture there are several instances where God faithfulness has been depicted.
For instance, God delivery of the people of Israel from the bondage in Egypt shows how God was faithful in his words which he promised the people of Israel to the Moses. When God called Moses through the burning bush God confirmed that he had seen the affliction of the people of Israel hence he was looking forward to deliver through Moses. In fact he promised to help Moses in delivering the people of Israel since he was reluctant due to his limited ability to effectively talk since he was a stammer.
Through Moses God fulfilled his promises to Moses by helping Moses to deliver the people of Israel from the Egyptian who were under the authority of a tough Pharaoh Leader. Another instance of God faithful trait is portrayed in the book of Deuteronomy 7-9-10 where God is describes as someone who is loving and faithful in his commands and promises. In that chapter God gives a firm assurance to the people of Israel regarding his faithful character so that people of Israel could develop faith in Him.
The inerrancy of the bible is seen also in the faithfulness character of God which is portrayed in the story Abraham. It seemed impossible to him when God gave him the promise of many descendants and a son. Abraham is one of the faithful people found in the scripture and his history began when God told him to come out from his native land to the unknown land where God took him. Due to the faith that Abraham had in God he went and settled in the unknown land where he received God blessings. Abraham also had a problem of lacking a child at an old age yet God had promised him to have many descendants.
In fact, his wife could not understand how God could bless them with a child since all of them were already in their old ages. However, with Abraham he kept the faith until God blessed him with the child who was called Isaac. Surprisingly, after God given Abraham the long awaited son God tested his faith by telling Isaac to sacrifice only the one child which he agreed. Abraham reaction to God word shows how Christian should behave by understanding that God is always faithful hence will not disappoint them at all costs as evidence by the fact that God managed to fulfill all his promises to Abraham including making him to have many descendants since all the Israelites and all people in the world can trace their roots from Abraham.
Lastly God faithfulness to humanity is seen in his remedy to the fallen humanity starting from Adam in Garden of Eden. For example, when God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-17 that the moment they will eat from the tree of life they were surely going to die. God statement came true when Adam and died spiritually when they ate the forbidden fruits with the penalty. It was at this particular time when Adam and Eve felt some of difference in their ways of life as they felt naked for the first time something they had never experienced before.
In spite of the Adam and Eve sin, God initiated the salvation plan by skinning a lamb to cover their nakedness. The skinning of the innocent lamb foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ who was only to be offered by God as the sacrificial lamb to save the fallen world. From the scripture especially in Revelation chapter five no any other creature in heaven and earth was worthy to save humanity from the penalty of sin except Jesus Christ who was equal to God.
For the bible say in Hebrew 9-22 that without shedding of blood there is no remission of since and that was the reason why sacrifices were offered during the old testament generation to enable people receive forgiveness for the committed sins as the since was transferred to the animal which was being sacrificed. God faithful was clearly shown when he came from heaven to the world where he was crucified in order to save the earth. Based on God commitment in portraying his faithfulness characters to extent of not sparing His only begotten son who was Jesus Christ indicates that God is a true God who cannot entertain any form of error in the bible.
On the other hand, Jesus Christ while on earth emulated the faithfulness character of God more so on how he handled people and he also ensured to remain faithful to the will of his father who was God. For instance, when Jesus Christ was about to be crucified he felt the pain the pain which he about to experience while suffering on the cross however he left everything in the hands of God as he was keen in fulfilling the will of God. Besides, some of the promises which Jesus Christ gave to his disciples were fulfilled for example when he said Judas was to betray him while Peter was going to deny him before the cock crows.
While Jesus Christ was about he promised the disciples that he will be leaving to his fathers and will send them the Holy Spirit who will always remain as their helper while they are still on earth. The scripture confirms the word of Jesus Christ on the promise of the Holy Spirit in the Act chapter two where the disciples received the Holy Spirit in form of fire in the upper room a day which is known as the day of Pentecost. If Jesus Christ was able to remain faithful to his father it is also important for all Christians to believe the scripture as the true word of God which reflect the true faithful character of God hence they should not be deceived to take the bible as full of error since people are serving God who is a perfect of God.
Bible Inerrancy in Relation to Historical Records and Dates
In most cases arguments on scripture inerrancy focus on history. Promises themselves are historical events in the Bible. In about 2000 BC, God gave a promise to Abraham that came to be fulfilled later on. The belief that a promise is true is entangled with the belief that history too occurred as for one to believe of a promise they must as well believe of the history involved. In the promise of Abraham, it is impossible to believe of a promise from God if one doesn’t believe that God spoke to Abraham at a certain time.
The scripture entails the history of what happened as a result of the promise of God or rather the history of that promise. The Old Testament is a historical narrative involving the promise made to Abraham by God as well as the faithfulness of God in full filling his promises. The book of Joshua is an account of a full filled promise to the Israelites as they entered their promised land. For instance, Joshua 21:43-45 shows an account of full filled promises as it says” so the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors and they took possession of it and settled there…”.The promises that God gave to the house of Israel all came to pass. The scripture thus entails history shown in God’s promises proving the inerrancy of the bible.
Misuse of the Doctrine of Inerrancy of the Scripture
The scripture becomes useful when properly applied. The paramount questions that a person should ask is what the bible teaches us as well as why it teaches the truth. People with the wrong motives will constantly misuse scripture in the Bible to suit their motives. There are always many religion in the contemporary world where people from every that there are religion are always the best. Many people from different religion with different believes as oppose of what is in the bible have come up with various ways to win many Christians with little foundation of the biblical truth to convince them to the faith by convincing them of errors in the bible.
Such group of people are always the Muslims who believe that their Islamic religion is the only true faith which was established by the Prophet Mohammed hence must be followed by all the people in the world. In fact some of the Muslims have come up with various teaching to disregard the teaching of the bible. Some of the Muslim teaching which are against the teachings of the bible is their teaching of trinity. According the Muslim the teaching of trinity which explains that Jesus Christ is the son of God and also could be called against is against the Muslim teaching as found in the Koran. The Muslim believed that Jesus Christ is not God since there is no way God can come to earth and be killed by man as explained in the bible.
Based on the above illustrations, it is clear to conclude that the bible has no error therefore it needs not to be confused by some opposes who are non-Christians, who are trying to make Christians go astray from God’s word. From understanding the character of God and Jesus Christ as people who love the truth, it should be upon all the Christian to carry out more bible studies to understand more about the scripture in order not to be confused by the non-believers.
Therefore, from this research I support the doctrine of Bible inerrancy as one of the doctrines which should be supported by all the churches who are claiming to be following the will of God. The fulfillment of Gods promises in the bible are a clear indication of how the word of God is without an error. If at all the bible has errors then it could have been seen right from unfulfilled promises in the scripture itself. I strongly propose that Churches should take the bible as the word of God and also as a tool which is essential in helping all the Christians in all parts of the world in comprehending the true nature of God and His son Jesus Christ’s.
As the Bible says in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set people free”, therefore let the people find the truth from the bible in order not to be confused by people who are opposing the major truths in the Bible. An epitome of such people are the Muslim people who have come up with various ways to convince people into their Muslim religion by claiming that there is no consistency in the bible. It high time people understood that their major intention is only focusing on how to convert as many people as possible to the Islamic religion rather than focusing on the real truth.