An Inerrant Bible?

What is meant by an Inerrant Bible?

By Rev. Jack Barr

1. Some Scriptures texts related to inerrancy

Ps 12:6 - "the words of the LORD are flawless"
Ps 119:89 - "Your word, O LORD, is eternal, it stands firm"
Pr 30:5-6 - "Every word of God is flawless"
Jn 10:35 - "The Scripture cannot be broken"
Jn 17:17 - "Thy word is truth"
Ti 1:2 - "God which cannot lie"
1Jn 5:6-7 - "The Spirit is the Truth"

2. Inerrancy is argued for the original Manuscripts

3. Different views of inerrancy

* Absolute - absolutely precise, no approximations, etc.

* Full - some statements may be "phenomenal" [as the human "reporter" saw it] and some numbers may be approximations, popular descriptions, common reckonings, etc.

4. Clarifications of what is meant by inerrancy

# It pertains to what is affirmed rather than what is merely reported [an example of this is found in Ps 14:1, where the Bible reports the fool saying "there is no God" but it doesn't affirm that belief].

# It takes "culturisms" into consideration [in other words the Bible is precise in terms of its own culture and the Bible should be judged by the standards of writing in its own day, and not ours].

# It considers the context; approximations [round numbers] may be OK.

# It allows for common [or phenomenal] language [the Bible was not written in "technical" language].

# It does not rule out unsolved "difficulties"


CBTS Systematic Theology 411 notes; Dr. Pettegrew
Christian Theology ; Millard Erickson
Handbook of Basic Bible Texts ; John J. Davis

Inerrancy is argued for the original manuscripts

Yes, and I agree that they were, but I would add that God has preserved His Word, as promised in Luke 21:33, so that the Bible we have today can be considered reliable and authoritative for all practical purposes.


Just How Accurate were the Ancient Scribes?

In the ancient Israel, a class of servants in the Temple were called Scribes. This was a lifelong calling and one of great importance to the continuance of the Law and Prophets of Israel. I will demonstrate the LEGAL method of making a copy of a document according to the laws of Israel at this time and according to the great traditions of the Talmud.

Each copy was completed by three scribes. One would read each letter to the scribe who was writing. The third scribe would check each letter to insure that it had been copied correctly by the scribe who was writing. If even one letter was copied wrong, the document was destroyed and they started over.

Also, they would find the character that was in the exact center of the page to be copied. This was done by measurement and by counting the number of characters on the page. When they finished copying the page, the character that they knew was in the exact center of the page being copied, had to be in the exact center of the new page.

Each time when the scribes came to the name of God, the name was so holy that they would go out and wash themselves, then fast and pray for a day before going back to write God's name.

The possibility for incorrect copy is almost non-existent. Combine this with the facts as proven by archeology.

Prior to the Dead Sea Scroll copy of the Book of Isaiah, the best copy of that Book was over 1000 years newer! In comparing the two copies that covered this gap of a thousand years, there was found only ONE CHARACTER changed, and that was an article that "possibly" could have lost the accent mark of the character to make it 100% identical to the dead sea scroll version! Imagine - 1000 years of copies and NO CHANGE in the versions!

Now the basis to make copies of the New Testament were as strict. We find many incidences of the same phenomena of clarity and correctness. Out of all the many thousands of pieces and text, not ONE DOCTRINE has been added to or changed or modified in ANY MANNER!

Return to Main Index
Return to Jack's Home page

Return to What Did They Write On