How, then, should we define inerrancy? Consider these definitions of inerrancy, each of which makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of what is at stake:
“Inerrancy will then mean that at no point in what was originally given were the biblical writers allowed to make statements or endorse viewpoints which are not in conformity with objective truth. This applies at any level at which they make pronouncements” (Roger Nicole).
“Inerrancy means that when all facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they affirm, whether that has to do with doctrine or morality or with the social, physical, or life sciences” (Paul Feinberg).
“When all the facts are known, the Bible (in its original writings) properly interpreted in light of which culture and communication means had developed by the time of its composition will be shown to be completely true (and therefore not false) in all that it affirms, to the degree of precision intended by the author, in all matters relating to God and his creation” (David Dockery).
“Except for the types of textual corruption that can arise in the course of repeated copying, the Bible offers an accurate, though not comprehensive, description and interpretation of the world and human history from the creation to the rise of the Christian church, as well as a reliable record of divinely revealed truths about God and his plans for humanity, which careful exegesis can demonstrate to be internally consistent and concerning which, through fair and informed analysis, plausible solutions for apparently fundamental conflicts between it and objective extra-biblical data can be suggested” (Richard Schultz).
We turn now to ten things to keep in mind whenever we discuss the inerrancy of Scripture.
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