By Christopher Scott
A survey of the Internet and blogosphere will show you people with little or no academic credentials criticizing the Bible saying, “The Bible is full of errors” or “Let’s look at the errors in the Bible that your church doesn’t want you to know about.” We live in a culture where non-Christians don’t just question the authenticity of the Bible, they declare it to be full of errors. With that said, let’s look at the Christian belief that the Bible is without error, often called “inerrancy.”
The Bible, in its original manuscripts, does not state anything that is contrary to fact. When Jesus prayed for his disciples, he asked God, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth” (John 17:17, NLT). Jesus placed God’s “word” on equal terms with “truth.” While there might have been copies of the Bible made later that have errors, the original manuscripts did not contain errors.
The Bible always tells the truth about everything that it affirms or denies. The Bible does not talk about everything, but everything it talks about is true. “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection” (Proverbs 30:5, NLT).
The Bible is inerrant because of God’s nature. Because God is holy and perfect, his words will be holy and perfect. Both the Old Testament and New Testament affirm this. To the prophet Isaiah God said, “I, the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right” (Isaiah 45:19).
Jesus affirmed the reliability of Scripture. People today say that Adam in the book of Genesis was not a historical person, or that the story of Noah was just a myth. Yet Jesus regularly referenced Old Testament persons and places. Just to name a few, Jesus referenced Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-5; Genesis 1:26-27), Cain and Abel (Matthew 23:35; Gen 4:8), Noah (Matthew 24:37; Gen 6:9-7:24), Abraham (John 8:56; Genesis 12); Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 10:12; Genesis 19:24-25), Lot (Luke 17:28; Genesis 11:37-19:30), as well as Jonah (Matthew 12:40; Jonah 1-4). Yet, not only did Jesus affirm the Bible as authoritative, but so did the apostle Paul (Galatians 3:16), the author of Hebrews (Hebrews 8:8-12), Peter (1 Peter 2:22-25; 2 Peter 3:8-10), John (1 John 3:12), and Jude (Jude 5).
The perfect God became the Word for us. Christmas is approaching and it reminds me that, in addition to God’s Word being given to us, his Son was also given to us. John 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning the Word [Jesus Christ] already existed and that the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Verse 14 says that “the Word became human and made his home among us.” The perfect God became the perfect human whom John called the “Word.” And we celebrate his birth in just a couple weeks!
As a Christian active and growing in my faith I am regularly changing. I am becoming more and more like Christ in my character and my actions. However, God’s Word does not change. God’s Word is without error—inerrant—and stands on its own as the authority in a Christian’s life.