Biblical 'inerrancy'

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by BrianT, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT
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    I was reading the latest posts in the other thread about "Old Testament events" with great interest. Since it sort of got off topic, and I have a few questions about it, I thought it was worth starting a new thread.

    How exactly do people here define "Biblical inerrancy"? I think I know the common position, but I'd like to hear more explanation of why the common position is right or wrong.

    Also, reading those posts brought a question to my mind that has been bugging me off and on for some time now. I *think* this has to do basically with the subject of Biblical inerrancy. I'd appreciate some comments: after Christ's baptism, he was tempted in the wilderness by Satan. How many temptations were there, and what was the order of those temptations?

    Brian
     
  2. Daniel David

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    It doesn't say how many temptations were offered. It only mentions three. I don't know that the order matters. Sometimes in the greek language, priority is given more importance than chronology.
     
  3. Don

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    Brian, someone might try to make a case that the temptations in Matthew were in a different order than the ones in Mark or Luke. And the ones in Mark were in a different order than the ones in Luke.

    So what?

    Go to a car accident scene, and ask three people what happened. You'll get the same story three different ways.

    What would make the scriptures suspect, my friend, is if all three authors offered the same story the exact same way....
     
  4. BrianT

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    I agree, I guess. But does this not deal with one's definition of "Biblical inerrancy"? Some believe it to mean inerrant in all respects, including chronology.

    I agree, but this is what the whole Biblical inerrancy concept is about. Yes, there are three witnesses - but were they not all inspired by one Holy Spirit? Should they not line up as much as possible?

    I'm not saying the temptation account is in "error", but rather that it creates some interesting questions for Biblical inerrancy. [​IMG] Also, this was just an example to get some comments (pro and con) on Biblical inerrancy in general, I don't want to get bogged down with this specific example.

    [ August 08, 2002, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: BrianT ]
     
  5. Daniel David

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    BrianT, I actually didn't say that part about the car accident. Somehow, that was attributed to me.

    Anyhow, the chronology is important if the purpose is to be chronological. If the purpose is to just emphasize certain things, then chronology isn't important. For example, the account of Jesus being pierced through with a spear says that blood and water came out. Scientifically, water would have come out first. However, John's purpose was to emphasize the blood first.

    The gospel accounts were written according to purpose, not chronology.

    Let me offer a football example. I can say the quarterback went 22-37 for 318 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He might have thrown 1 touchdown and then the interception and then the other two touchdowns. The account is "inerrant". The order is given according to purpose and not chronology. In a game breakdown, the purpose would be chronology and not category.

    I might have muddied the waters but it makes perfect sense to me. ;)
     
  6. preacher

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    BrianT,
    The three temptations listed line up with the three listed in 1John:

    1 John 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
    These are the same three that satan used on Eve,thus tying them all together. Hope this helps!
     
  7. DocCas

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    "Inerrancy" is a word that is a late-comer to bibliology. It is a technical term used by astronomers to define the orbits of planets, and the fact that such planets do not stray from their orbits. It seems the first person to use the word in reference to bibliology was Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921) or Princeton. Warfield seemed to use the word as a adjuct to the more traditional "infallible."

    In my opinion, the word is often misunderstood and misused by those debating their differences in bibliology. I believe the word "inerrant" should only be applied to the bible in its plenary form, that is, the bible contains no proven errors of fact. However, lately, it seems the word has been used to chip away at both infallibility and even inspiration by trying to make the word mean something it was never intended to mean. Even the planets of our solar system can be seen to have purmutations in their orbits and those permutations do not contradict the concept of an inerrant orbit. Likewise our bibles can have permutations in the narritive without contradicting the concept of an inerrant or infallible plenary scripture.

    And that is my somewhat verbose definition of "inerrancy." [​IMG]
     
  8. preacher

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    "verbose"?.....Isn't that a German stereo
    maker? :D
     
  9. Abiyah

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    Regardeing the original question, I believe that
    the Bible, as it was originally written, was com-
    pletly without error, all writings agreeing with one
    another. However, I do not believe that any
    translation we have today is perfect.

    Furthermore, I believe that any discrepancy we
    may think that we have found is either:
    * human error and/or lack of understanding on the
    part of the reader
    --or--
    * human error on the part of the translator.

    It is a miracle that we, nearly 2000 years after the
    last writings, and considering many other
    factors, have any ancient manuscripts at all. I
    believe that the very existance of the Bible is a
    miracle, and that I can buy one for $.25 at a
    Goodwil is another miracle.
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

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    Well, you have admirably defined the general understanding of the meaning of the word "inerrant". And one can say the Bible is inerrant when "properly interpreted". But in order to do that, it is my experience we have to really strain the interpretation at times in order to save the "inerrancy". For example, consider Paul's words here:

    I Cor 1:14-15 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say I had baptized in my own name.

    I have it on the highest of authority that Paul also baptized the household of Stephanus among them. Now some have pointed out that most probably Paul baptized Stephanus and his household in another area and Stephanus then moved to Corinth, which accounts for Paul's initial oversight in neglecting to mention them. But being aware of the reason for the error does not do away with the fact that it is an error. Is not this passage a blemish for the assumption of inerrancy?
     
  11. DocCas

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    14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
    15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
    16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

    How can Paul saying he baptized Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas, admiting his recollection may be faulty says he can't remember of he baptized any others be a declaration against inerrancy? Do you think Paul was lying when he said he baptized those folks, or that he was lying when he said he couldn't remember if he baptized others? What, exactly, is your objection to his passage?
     
  12. Don

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    Doc, Brian's driving at the "spelling inerrancy" principle.

    Those that claim biblical inerrancy and those that don't are always going to bump heads.

    When I personally claim the bible is inerrant, I don't mean that every single word is spelled correctly; I mean that it reflects divine inspiration.

    The point that I believe Brian is trying to make is that those of us who claim biblical inerrancy must now answer the question: Two authors in the Bible give accounts of the same event, yet their accounts are slightly different. Is each word God-given, and therefore significant? Or is it simply that God inspired each author to give an account of the event as they recall it?

    The answer is: YES. Both authors were inspired to transcribe the event; and since both accounts basically agree, each word is God-given.

    If God inspires one man to write about the event a certain way, and God inspires the other man to write about the same event but with a slightly different re-telling, examine both. The fact that they agree gives credence to their God-given inspiration and the historicity of the event; and the wording in which God inspired each man to recount the event can lead to even greater truths.
     
  13. Paul of Eugene

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    Hi, DocCas! The point is - Paul first asserted he only baptized Crispus and Gaius. Then he modified that assertion two verses later. Inerrancy should be made of more accurate stuff! If he were writing inerrantly, he would not have had to correct the impression he left originally.
     
  14. DocCas

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    Then you have an erroneous view of inerrancy.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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  16. TomMann

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    14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
    15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
    16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

    In verse 14 he is adressing a group of people and states that of that group he had only baptized Crispus and Gaius.....
    In verse 16 he states that in addition, there were some who were not present in that group (the household of Stephanas) that he had also baptized.... So where is any weight to your arguement that he had to correct himself... he didn't.
     
  17. Don

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    From Paul of Eugene:
    Is this supposed to be a point that the Bible is errant instead of inerrant?

    I'm sorry, Paul of Eugene; Paul the apostle didn't have the luxury of an eraser, or whiteout, or a word processor. I take it you would have preferred that he simply tear the entire letter up and start all over again?

    Something you should possibly consider, my friend: What you've indicated is a personal preference on the way you think the Bible should have been written.

    I humbly submit that God wrote it the way He wanted to....
     
  18. Paul of Eugene

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    For DOCCAS: Thanks for your reply concerning the dfinition of inerrancy; you stated I have an erroneous view of what inerrancy means. Please help me clarify this in my mind. If Paul asserted that he had baptized only Crispus and Gaius - whereas, in fact, he had baptized also the household of Stephanus - and even more telling, couldn't be sure in his own mind whom else he had baptized - this, in your mind, can still be considered an inerrant assertion? Help me out here, brother, I need a little assistance understanding what you are saying.
     
  19. DocCas

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    A false foundational assumption will lead to a false conclusion. You assume, due to your modernistic bias, that Paul did not say he baptized the household of Stephanus, but he says in the passage that he did. Yesterday I got up, showered, ate breakfast, worked in the office, rode my motorcycle in the mountains of the east county, changed a light bulb on my left rear turn signal, worked in the office some more, they went to bed. I did other things not listed here, and I did not do all the things listed in the order I listed them, but that does not mean there is an error in my narration.

    Paul clearly says he baptized the household of Stephanus. Had he not baptized them, that would be an error. Had he said he only baptized Crispus and Gaius, that would be an error. But he said he baptized Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanus, and couldn't remember if he left others out. How is that untrue? Do you think Paul was lying when he said he couldn't remember? Do you think he was lying when he said he baptized Crispus and Gaius? Do you think he was lying when he said he baptized the household of Stephanus? Where, in that narrative, is an error of fact?
     
  20. Paul of Eugene

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    Thank you for bearing with me, DocCas, and you stated this:

    "Had he said he only baptized Crispus and Gaius, that would be an error."

    Hmmm. The words "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius" mean exactly what you have stated would be an error. Perhaps you would like to look at the original greek? Perhaps you would like to compare other english translations?
     

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