Christian laypeople are often incubated into the idea that the Bible is inerrant.  One has to wonder if inerrancy is such an easy word to comprehend, why does one need to come up with a Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy from more than 200 Christian leaders around the world?

During a dinner I had with Brother LT Jeyachandran, RZIM AP Director, he uttered the very same thing I feel which, in fear of being ostracized among laymen,  considered it beneficial to bottle it up inside me.  Here’s what he said, “I don’t understand why people would go as far as calling the Bible inerrant when we could already consider it a reliable text to begin with.”

He spoke every word I wanted to say.  Why should Christians so handicap themselves into saying that the Bible is without error and build walls to keep the thinkers away thanks to this doctrine? I have been asked many times by skeptics about this issue, and all I say to them is that I have never said that the Bible is without error, only that it is a reliable text that talks about God.  Anyone who would take the genealogies of Jesus seriously would find two out of the four Gospels disturbing… and all efforts of harmonization done here are at best ridiculous.

Bart Ehrman, a theology student turned skeptic is a nice example of this casualty.  One wouldn’t doubt the intelligence of this man and while I do not agree with his views on Jesus, he nevertheless made a compelling point in his book Misquoting Jesus where he said that the apparent mistake in the Gospel of Mark were like the floodgates opened.

William Lane Craig, a self-confessing Inerrantist, nevertheless admits that “one does not believe in Inerrancy because he went through the entire Bible and saw nothing wrong.  Rather one comes to believe in Inerrancy because Jesus believes in it. (Matthew 5:18)” (Doctrine of Revelation, Defenders Class) Ironically, the only place where one could read about Jesus believing such is… you guessed it… the Bible!  Further dissecting the words of Christ, the best reasonable conclusion one can come down to is that Jesus believes that the Old Testament is inerrant… but not the New.

An imaginary conversation might go like this:

Skeptic: Is the Bible inerrant?

Believer: Yes.

Skeptic: How do you know it’s inerrant?

Believer: Because IT SAYS SO!

How often have you met people who are always right because they say so? How often, after being in the presence of such, have you felt that none of your concerns are addressed? Can I write this article and end by saying that this article is without error because I said so? Quite the contrary.  Not only does it violate the law of logic, it further amputates my article with reason.  The absurdity of circular reasoning is that one force fits his belief into something that he echoes each time no matter how absurd the reason is.  Circular reasoning is saying that

A is TRUE because of B and B is TRUE because of A.

Listening to such reasoning is certainly appalling to the ears of a skeptic.

I believe that the Bible is reliable, not because it says so, but rather over the course of study, scrutiny, and tests, the Bible has repeatedly show its power as being a reliable document far beyond its competition in that degree of antiquity.  As this post is not about Biblical reliability, I shall relent to detail my observations… yet at the end of my study on its reliability, I can confidently assert its triumph over skeptics.

While I think that we have good reasons to believe that Christianity is the most coherent of all theology in existence today, certain branches of it nevertheless carries a handful of poorly crafted doctrines.  I don’t think that one has to believe in inerrancy to be a full fledged Christian.  To consider the Bible inerrant is to put it on the same level as God.  One has to fear the backlash of Bible worship… and to no surprise, the KJV-onlyist well represents my point.  A quick search in the internet would show how a translation of the Bible is revered similar to the Catholic veneration of Mary, Mother of God.

In writing this, I fully understand the passion of Christians who want to view the Bible as such. I fully understand the worry of lay people that “if the Bible has a single error then why should I trust it?” It is almost tempting for me to reply, “if you as a person are also susceptible to errors, why should you think that the implication of your question is without error?” (You may need to re-read my response many times to understand what I’m trying to get across)

A quick analysis would reveal something interesting.  Just because a certain part of A is fallible does not in any way imply that all of A is wrong.  Each proposition is to be evaluated on its own merits.  Just because a judge made one wrong decision doesn’t mean that all his decisions are then wrong.  To be fair, each judgement should be evaluated by its own merits… in the same way, propositions in the Bible should also be evaluated as such.  While we have pretty powerful evidences to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, the same is not present in the genealogies.

I am not the person who is passionate in bullying other people to silence.  I don’t  usually voice out my disagreements unless I am given the permission.  Yet in some cases, I find that teaching the wrong things is a cause for alarm… and so I hope that in writing this, I have not offended anyone.  When one begins to rethink his position on Inerrancy, whether he chooses to agree with me or not, then the purpose of this article is accomplished.  I do not beg for people to rally behind me… only that they start thinking about the implications of their beliefs.

 

 

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