Monthly Archives: October 2014

Inerrancy Part 6-Bibliography

For those who would like to do research on their own.

Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics. G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance eds. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010.

Beale, G. K. “A Surrejoinder to Peter Enns’s Response To G. K. Beale’s JETS Review Article Of His Book, Inspiration And Incarnation.” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 11 (2007).

Bird, Michael F. and James Crossley. How Did Christianity Begin? A Believer and Non-believer Examine the Evidence. London: SPCK; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2008.

Blomberg, Craig. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. 2nd ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007.

_______. Can We Still Believe the Bible: An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2014.

Bokedal, Tomas. The Formation and Significance of the Christian Biblical Canon: A Study in Text, Ritual and Interpretation. London; New Delhi; New York; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Borg, M. Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teaching of Jesus. New York: Edwin Mellen, 1984.

Cowan, Stephen B. and Terry L. Wilder. In Defense of the Bible. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2013.

Dockery, David S. “The Life and Legacy of Herschel H. Hobbs (1907-1995).” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 7 (2003).

Frendo, Anthony J. Pre-Exilic Israel, the Hebrew Bible, and Archaeology: Integrating Text and Artefact. London; New York: T&T Clark, 2011.

Geisler, Norman L., ed. Inerrancy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1980.

________. Biblical Errancy: An Analysis of Its Philosophical Roots. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1981.

________. Dr. Geisler’s Writings on the Licona Controversy. <http://www.>

________. “Evangelism in a Post Modern World.” Faith and Mission 21 (2003).

________. “Orthodoxy and Divine Simplicity.” Christian Apologetics Journal 3 (2004).

________. “Religious Pluralism: A Christian Response.” Christian Apologetics Journal 4 (2005).

________. “A Critical Review of the Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.” Christian Apologetics Journal 5 (2006).

________. “An Evaluation of McGowan’s View on the Inspiration of Scripture.” Bibliotheca Sacra 167 (2010).

Geisler, Norman L. and Thomas A. Howe. “A Post Modern View of Scripture.” Christian Apologetics Journal 7 (2008).

Geisler, Norman L. and William C. Roach. Defending Inerrancy: Affirming Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.

Grisanti, Michael A. “Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The Place of Textual Updating in an Inerrant View of Scripture.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44 (2001).

Grudem, Wayne. “Do We Act as if We Really Believe that, ‘The Bible Alone, and the Bible in its Entirety, is the Word of God Written?’” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 43 (2000).

Grudem, Wayne, C. John Collins, and Thomas R. Schreiner eds. Understand Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishing, 2012.

Helm, Paul. “B. B. Warfield’s Path to Inerrancy: An Attempt to Correct Some Serious Misunderstandings.” Westminster Theological Journal 72 (2010).

Holding, J. P. and Nick Peters. Defining Inerrancy: Affirming a Defensible Faith for a New Generation. Orlando, FL: Tekton Apologetics Ministries, 2014.

Korets, Russell. “Is the Bible Trustworthy,” < /04/12/is-the-bible-trustworthy-on-the-validity-of-the-holy-scriptures/>

Krentz, Edgar. The Historical-Critical Method. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1975.

Lamb, William. Scripture: A Guide for the Perplexed. Guides for the Perplexed. New Delhi; London; New York; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Lightfoot, Neil R. How We Got the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003.

Linneman, Eta. Historical Criticism of the Bible: Methodology or Ideology? Robert Yarbrough trans. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1990.

Maier, Gerhard. The End of the Historical-Critical Method. Edwin W. Leverenz and Rudolph F. Norden trans. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001.

McDonald, Lee Martin. The Origin of the Bible: A Guide for the Perplexed. London; New York: T&T Clark, 2011.

McDowell, Josh and Dave Sterrett. Is the Bible True … Really? Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2011.

McGowan, A. T. B. The Divine Authenticity of the Bible: Retrieving an Evangelical Heritage. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007.

Merrick, J. and Stephen M. Garrett, eds. Five Views on Inerrancy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 2013.

Mohler, Albert. The Devil is in the Details: Biblical Inerrancy and the Licona Controversy. <>.

Murray, John. “Systematic Theology-I.” Westminster Theological Journal 25 (1962).

Paddison, Angus, and Neil Messer, ed. The Bible: Culture, Community, Society. London; New York; New Delhi; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Porter, Stanley E. How We Got the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

Rodríguez, Rafael. Oral Tradition and the New Testament: A Guide for the Perplexed. Guides for the Perplexed. London; New Delhi; New York; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Sanders, E. P. Jesus and Judaism. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.

Smith, Barry D. “The Historical-Critical Method, Jesus Research, and the Christian Scholar.” Trinity Journal 15 (1994).

Sproul, R. C. Can I Trust the Bible? Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009.

Stewart, Robert B. The Reliability of the New Testament: Bart Ehrman and Daniel Wallace in Dialogue. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Chicago, IL: International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978.

Webster, John. The Domain of the Word: Scripture and Theological Reason. London; New York: T&T Clark, 2012.

Wellum, Stephen J. “The Importance of the Nature of Divine Sovereignty for Our View of Scripture.” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 4 (2000).

_______. “Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984): Lessons from his Thought and Life.” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 6 (2002).

_______. “Editorial: Past, Present, and Future.” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 9 (2005).


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Inerrancy 5-Conclusion

Inerrancy is a topic this new theological generation is open to debating. Do not ignore the tradition of inerrancy in the name of debate. There is a rich heritage forged by the lives of many in the name of defending the inerrancy of God’s Word. Geisler points to some of the problems of the debate within the new generation, “However, a new generation has arisen that knows not Lindsell, Henry, Archer, Schaeffer, Gerstner, Nicole, or Boice— all of whom have passed on to their reward— and once again inerrancy is being challenged.”[1]

As there is an orthodox heritage found in inerrancy, a parallel progressive movement attempts to subvert the doctrine of inerrancy. There were several scholars of the seventeenth century that were laying the groundwork for Historical Criticism. Historical Criticism is a methodology that seeks to discover the meaning of the Bible through studies in history, linguistics, and multiple scientific areas. It seems to be innocent enough, but a review of its presuppositions reveals a very different motive. Linneman documented many of these presuppositions: rejection of divine inspiration, rejection of the Bible as a divinely written book, the insistent belief the Bible is like any other book of antiquity, and the Bible not being a source of truth.[2] The goal of historical criticism is to show the Bible to be a document that should not be part of the twenty-first century.

There is another point of view by many. The Bible is a divinely inspired book that not only is trustworthy and reliable, but should be a part of mankind’s life. Geisler points to many reasons to support this, but his a priori logic is simple but succinct: (1) God is perfect, (2) God inspired the Bible, and (3) God’s word is error free.

In a point of summary, in 1978 the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI) listed nineteen articles detailing the definition of inerrancy. Since that time CSBI has defined inerrancy. This author listed those nineteen articles along with some reflections on each. Second, a review considered those prominent individuals and their positions who reject the doctrine of inerrancy. Third, a summary of those who have determined to defend inerrancy and the trustworthiness of the Bible, completed.

The limits of the inerrancy debate, as seen in the USA, is not the opinion of the global church. Many scholars in the United Kingdom do not see inerrancy as an all-encompassing issue. Bird believes one can be a faithful Christian and not be an inerrantist. He prefers to think of the infallibility and authority of the Scriptures. He also pointed out all the many organizations that do not include inerrancy in their foundational statements and still can move forward and conduct ministry.

In conclusion, the Bible is the most attested book of all mankind from the sheer weight of all the manuscripts available and the work of textual-critics. With over 20,000 manuscripts, many in the field believe the Greek New Testament is as close to the original as is possible. Second, the questions that do still exist affect no major doctrine of the Bible. As stated in the CSBI, the inspiration of God applies only to the original autographs. Believing the current Bible is as close as possible to the original autographs it is logical, reasonable, and defendable to declare the Bible is inerrant.

[1] Geisler, Defending Inerrancy, p. 15.

[2] Linneman, pp. 83-103.

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Inerrancy Part 4-How the global church sees the issue

To paint this debate with strokes of black and white only, would not do justice to the debate or those scholars who position themselves between these two limits. The first position is those who do not consider this an issue of extraordinary importance. The Bloomsburg T & T Publishing Company puts out a seven volume set on Bibliology entitled, A Guide for the Perplexed. The numerous authors include Lee Martin MacDonald, Tomas Bokedal, Anthony J. Frendo, Rafael Rodriguez, William Lamb, David Fergusson, and John Webster. These men all have excellent backgrounds and many years of experience in the study of theology. One thing these men all have in common, all of their doctoral work took place in the United Kingdom. A scan of this seven volume set finds only ten references to the inerrancy debate. Many scholars in the United Kingdom do not believe inerrancy important enough to allocate a substantial amount of research.

Another scholar that has articulated a similar opinion is Michael F. Bird. Speaking from his contribution to Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy:

I will endeavor to show that while the American inerrancy tradition possessed a certain utility in the “Battle for the Bible” in the twentieth century, it is not and should not be a universally prescriptive article of faith for the global evangelical church. That is because the American inerrancy tradition, though largely a positive concept, is essentially modernist in construct, parochially American in context, and occasionally creates more exegetical problems than it solves. So my objective is to modestly articulate a view of the veracity of Scripture that is genetically independent of the American inerrancy tradition and then to evaluate inerrancy from such a position.[1]

Bird goes on to list several issues he has with the inerrancy debate and how many groups outside the USA view the debate.

First, Bird is not here to preach an errant view of scripture. Bird states, “But do not think I have come therefore to preach an errant or erroneous Bible, megenoito (may it never be!). Let the record show that in other writings, I have defended the historicity of the virgin conception and Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the dead.”[2] Bird does intend to show the inerrancy debate is not a necessity of faith:

My point is that the American inerrancy tradition is not an essential facet of the faith, because most of us outside of North America get on with our mission without it, and we are none the worse for not having it! Our churches uphold Scripture as the inspired Word of God. We therefore study it, teach from it, and preach it, but without the penchant to engage in bitter divisions over which nomenclature best suits our theological disposition.[3]

Bird goes on to state he prefers to focus on the infallibility and authority of scripture rather than building a protective structure around evangelicalism.

Bird begins by reviewing one of the tenets of the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy, the need to interpret using the grammatico-historical method everything in the Bible. He states, “For many biblical interpreters , Genesis 1– 3 is not a blow-by-blow literal account of creation as much as it is about establishing a monotheistic worldview of God as Creator in the context of competing creation accounts in the polytheistic environment of the ancient Near East.”[4] Bird does not believe it is necessary to be an inerrantist in order to declare one is a faithful Christian.

Bird’s second point is to look at all the organizations that do not bother to put inerrancy in their statement of principles. Bird begins, “Here is the problem: there are thousands of churches around the world that are both evangelical and orthodox and get on with their ministry without ever having heard of the CSBI and without ever using the word inerrancy in their statement of faith.” Bird considers the insistence by Americans the need to accept the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy, as nothing short of an attempt to return to the days of colonialism.

A list of the organizations that do not refer to inerrancy is extensive but not exhaustive: (1) the Anglican Church, (2) Westminster Confession of Faith, (3) Church of Southern India, (4) Baptist Alliance, (5) Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians, and (6) Lausanne Covenant.

Bird concludes his argument with this closing statement, “To insist on inerrancy as the singular doctrinal device for global evangelicalism’s affirmation of scriptural authority makes about as much sense as insisting that African, Asian, or Australian sports fans abandon their enthusiasm for local sports and start following American football instead.”[5] Outside the USA, the veracity of the Scriptures is accepted but it would seem inerrancy is not viewed the same.

[1] Michael F. Bird, “Inerrancy is not Necessarily for Evangelicalism Outside the USA,” in Five Views of Biblical Inerrancy, ed. J. Merrick and Stephen M. Garrett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013), p. 140.

[2] Ibid., p. 141. See Michael F. Bird and James Crossley, How Did Christianity Begin? A Believer and Non-believer Examine the Evidence (London: SPCK; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2008).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., p. 142.

[5] Ibid., p. 164.

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Inerrancy Part 3-Historical Criticism

Another scholar that objects to the methodology of historical criticism is Barry Smith. It is important the methodology used be known, or a scholar unknowingly may venture into an arena that conflicts with his basic foundations of faith. Smith states, “It can happen, therefore, that a Christian biblical scholar, without being fully aware of it, proceeds methodologically in a way that is incompatible with his or her religious beliefs.”[1] In particular, Smith asserts, “My position is that faith in Christ is incompatible with the use of the historical-critical method, as I shall define it, and as a result Christian scholars ought to distance themselves methodologically from it.”[2]

Smith goes on to state some of the issues with historical criticism. He quotes Semler, the father of modern historical criticism, “For him canon does not denote a set of divinely inspired texts but merely collections of books chosen by churches as suitable for public reading.”[3] It is within the presupposition of historical criticism that the concern among conservative evangelicals exists, “Again, since the biblical texts are not to be viewed as divinely inspired, it is axiomatic that the truth claims made by a biblical text be open to refutation. There can be no instances of special pleading; all texts are treated alike. In other words, the biblical texts are to have no a priori authority.”[4]

Smith further points to some of the severe outcomes using this methodology:

Thus there have been numerous attempts to reconstruct a non-messianic Jesus. G. Vermes, for instance, depicts Jesus as a typical charismatic Jew, similar to Honi the circle-drawer and Hanina ben Dosa, and rejects the Christological context in which Jesus’ charismatic activities and his preaching of the Kingdom were placed by the early church, as reflected in the gospels. Other examples of a non-messianic Jesus are those of Sanders and Borg, although they differ significantly from each other in other respects.[5]

[1] Barry Smith, “The Historical-Critical Method, Jesus Research, and The Christian Scholar,” Trinity Journal 15, no. 2 (1994): p. 199, citing Krentz, p. 18.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., p. 202.

[5] Ibid., 212, citing E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985); M. Borg, Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teaching of Jesus (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1984).

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Inerrancy Part 2

One of the many attacks against inerrancy has been the idea that man is fallen and therefore his language is not capable of conveying divine information. Those attacks further state, man is not only sinful, but incapable of creating without error. R. C. Sproul states:

We, deny however, that it is necessary for men to err always and everywhere in what they say or write, even apart from inspiration. Because of divine inspiration and the superintendence of the Holy Spirit in the giving of sacred Scripture, the writings of the Bible are free from the normal tendencies and propensities of fallen men to distort the truth.[1]

Yes, the Bible does state that all men are fallen and full of sin (Romans 3:10, 23). Positionally it does not mean that since man is capable of sinning he must sin, many documents exist that are error free. Man was led by the Holy Spirit to record the inspirations given by God without error (2 Peter 1:21).

The next area of attack comes from the opinion that the language of the finite is incapable of transmitting the words of the infinite. J. I. Packer considers this position disconnected from the reality of linguistics. He further states, “Just as God chose undignified mortals to save, so he was ready to become undignified in both the incarnation and inspiration in order to bring about our salvation.”[2] God’s willingness to endure the incarnation and crucifixion shows he also was more than willing to humble himself to the language of the mortal.

[1] J. I. Packer, “The Adequacy of Language,” in Inerrancy, p. 217.

[2] R. C. Sproul, Can I Trust the Bible? (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009), p. 28.

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Inerrancy Part 1

In 1978 three hundred and thirty men gathered to discuss the mounting assault against the Bible and its trustworthiness. In particular, this meeting met to discuss the issue of inerrancy. Inerrancy very simply defined is the idea that the Bible is free of errors. As with any issue the importance of defining the vocabulary used is paramount in determining the position or positions of all parties involved.

This meeting known as the “International Council on Biblical Inerrancy,” (ICBI) included clergy, scholars, and concerned laity. Albert Mohler illustrated the importance of this meeting by stating, “I do not believe that evangelicalism can survive without the explicit and complete assertion of biblical inerrancy.”[1] Richard R. Melick affirms the task set before twenty-first-century evangelicalism, “Each generation of skeptical scholars seek to silence the message of the Bible.”[2] There is not a shortage of liberal scholars seeking to champion the idea of an errant Bible. Some of these men include Clark Pinnock, Bart Ehrman, Peter Enns, Kenton Sparks, Kevin Vanhoozer, Andrew McGowan, Stanley Grenz, Brian MacLaren, Darrel Bock, and Robert Webb.

The outcome of the ICBI was the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI). This document is the definition by which this author will first use to affirm what inerrancy is; along with a reflection of the positions and methodologies used by those involved in the battle for and against biblical inerrancy.

[1] Albert Mohler, “When the Bible Speaks God Speaks: The Classical Doctrine of Inerrancy,” in Five Views of Biblical Inerrancy, ed. J. Merrick and Stephen M. Garrett (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013), p. 24.

[2] Richard R. Melick, “Can We Understand the Bible,” in In Defense of the Bible, ed. Stephen B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder (Nashville, TH: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2013), p. 106.

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