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Don Stewart :: How Can the Bible Be Inerrant since Human Beings Are Not?

Don Stewart

One objection that always comes up against the inerrancy of the Bible is human nature. It is the nature of human beings to make mistakes. Since human beings wrote the Bible, and human beings make mistakes, then we should expect it to contain mistakes. Although this is a common argument, it has a number of fallacies.

Humans Did Write The Various Books Of Scripture

While acknowledging that human beings did write the Scripture there is also the divine side to the authorship. While human beings may lie; God does not lie. Moses wrote.

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19).

Since God was behind the composition of the biblical books they cannot contain mistakes.

Humans Do Not Have To Make Mistakes

There is another objection to this view. While humans do make mistakes, they do not have to make mistakes. Human beings can perform acts that are mistake free. Consequently, it is certainly possible that the Bible could have written in an error-free manner.

Adam And Eve Were Human

Furthermore, if this were the case, then Adam and Eve would not have been considered human until they sinned. Yet the Bible says they were fully human before they sinned. Not only were they fully human, they were perfect in all their behavior until they sinned.

Jesus Was Fully Human

In addition, we have the example of Jesus. Jesus was fully human yet He did not sin. The writer to the Hebrews testified.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

While human beings can and do sin, they do not always have to sin or make mistakes.

God's Used His Care In Preserving Scripture

In addition, the Bible itself testifies that God providentially superintended the writers to record exactly what He wanted to be recorded. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would supernaturally guide His disciples.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14:26).

Therefore, the appeal to mistake-prone human nature is not a valid objection against inerrancy. Humans can perform error-free acts and the Bible is an example of human beings, along with divine inspiration, producing an error-free book. There is nothing irrational or illogical about God doing this.

Summary

Inerrancy is often assumed to be impossible because of the nature of human beings. Since human beings are fallible, and humans wrote the Bible, then, it is argued, the Bible must be fallible. This, however, is a fallacy. While it is true that humans are fallible they can perform error-free acts. While humans can and do make mistakes they do not always have to. It is possible for humans to compose a book that is correct in everything that it states - particularly when the Holy Spirit is guiding the things being written.

This objection also overlooks the divine side of Scripture. God supernaturally preserved the biblical writers from error. Consequently the fact that humans were involved the composition of the Bible does not refute the doctrine of inerrancy.

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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