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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Answering Bible Difficulties

Don Stewart :: What Specific Objections Have Been Made Against the Inerrancy or the Trustworthiness of Scripture?

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Question 14

What Specific Objections Have Been Made Against the Inerrancy or the Trustworthiness of Scripture?

The Christian church has always believed and taught that the Bible is trustworthy in all that it records. All statements found in it are recorded accurately.

Yet, this idea has been met with objections from within and without the Christian community. Unhappily, many people have assumed that these objections cannot be adequately answered. However, this is not the case. Every objection that has been brought forward against the doctrine of inerrancy has a reasonable answer.

The Major Objections Made Against an Inerrant Bible

  • We can list the major objections against an inerrant Bible as follows:
  • Objection 1: There are demonstrable errors in the Bible
  • Objection 2: The discovery of one small error would cause everything to be rejected. Therefore, inerrancy should not be taught
  • Objection 3: To be inerrant, everything in the Bible must be understood literally. This would make the Bible absurd
  • Objection 4: Certain biblical doctrines which are found in Scripture were changed over time
  • Objection 5: Paul made a distinction between his fallible words and those of Jesus
  • Objection 6: Inerrancy means exact scientific precision and the Bible does not teach that about itself
  • Objection 7: There are grammatical errors in Scripture
  • Objection 8: The Bible cannot be inerrant because humans are not
  • Objection 9: To communicate with the people, God accommodated Himself to the errors of the times
  • Objection 10: The original writings are missing
  • Objection 11: There are mistakes in the various copies of Scripture
  • Objection 12: Modern science has refuted an inerrant Bible
  • Objection 13: The New Testament does not quote the Old Testament word for word
  • Objection 14: Inerrancy causes worship of the Bible
  • Objection 15: There are too many qualifications to the doctrine of inerrancy
  • Objection 16: Many statements in Scripture cannot be proven to be true or false
  • Objection 17: No translation of the Bible is perfect. Therefore, the doctrine of inerrancy is irrelevant

These are the usual objections that are raised when Christians speak of a totally trustworthy, or an inerrant Bible. Yet all of these objections have reasonable answers. Therefore, it is not necessary for anyone to assume that the Bible is a document that contains errors.

Summary - Question 14
What Specific Objections Have Been Made Against the Inerrancy or Trustworthiness of Scripture?

The previous seventeen points have been raised against the doctrine of an inerrant, or totally trustworthy, Bible. First, it is argued there are demonstrable errors in the Bible. This should be the end of the story. Also, it is argued that if the doctrine of inerrancy is held, then one small error would cause the entire Christian faith to be rejected.

Others insist that inerrancy means that all Scripture must be interpreted literally. This brings about absurd results. In addition, it is alleged that certain Bible doctrines have been changed over time. This is not consistent with any doctrine of inerrancy. We also find Paul making a distinction between his fallible words, and the words of Jesus.

The fact that inerrancy means exact scientific precision shows the Bible cannot be inerrant because it is not scientifically precise. Add to this the Bible does not clearly teach inerrancy—it is something that we read into Scripture.

There is more. We find grammatical errors in Scripture. How can this come from a perfect God? Moreover, the Bible cannot be inerrant because humans are not. It is admitted by everyone that human beings wrote the books of the Bible. Since the original writings are missing, how can anyone claim inerrancy for them? Everyone also admits there are mistakes in the various manuscript copies of Scripture. This would prove inerrancy is a myth. Modern science has allegedly refuted an inerrant Bible.

When we examine the New Testament citations of the Old Testament we find they do not match word for word. This is inconsistent with inerrancy. It is claimed that inerrancy causes worship of the Bible instead of the worship of God.

Consequently, the doctrine should be discarded. Furthermore, there are too many qualifications to the doctrine to make it meaningful. There is also the fact that certain portions of the Bible are not relevant to the issue of inerrancy. In addition, no Bible translation is perfect. Therefore, how can anyone speak of an inerrant Bible?

All of these objections have been raised against the idea that the Bible is the error-free revelation of God. It is important to note that all these objections can be reasonably answered if one take the time to thoroughly examine the subject.

How Should Specific Difficulties Be Evaluated? ← Prior Section
Aren’t There Examples of Demonstrable Errors in the Bible? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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