To say that the Bible is inerrant is to say that it is without error. Many different types of people debate the inerrancy of Scripture. The Jewish people accuse us that the New Testament has severe errors. The Muslims tell us that there are contradictions in our New Testaments. The atheist says that there are contradictions even within the first pages of the Bible. Even the man or woman who is compassionate to Christianity doesn’t necessarily believe that the Bible is something to give your life to. With so many voices and so many opinions that cry out about our Scriptures being in error, the casual Christian often faces serious questions. When I was first encountered with an ‘apparent’ contradiction in the Bible, I actually didn’t believe that there could be any kind of contradiction. I was very young and naïve in the faith, and figured that if this is God’s word, then there cannot be any contradictions. I today stand, without shame, proclaiming that every supposed contradiction in Scripture can be answered. Many times the contradictions are simply stated by ignorant people that have never read the Bible.
To say that the Bible is inerrant does not necessarily imply that there are no contradictions. Instead, it implies that there are no errors. What is the difference? Remember our definition of inspiration. Inspiration is about revelation. It is that God has intended that the Bible says what it says. Now, when we go deeper, we realize that God has intended what it says because He has revealed Himself through the men who are writing. We take the Scripture as authoritative because it reveals God as only men infused with the Spirit can reveal Him – authentically. Likewise, when we come to the topic of inerrancy, we need to look past our first impulse.
Our first impulse is to say that the Bible is without scientific, logical, or philosophical error. Our first impulse is to say that there are no contradictions. However, the idea of inerrancy is that the Bible speaks of one continual testimony. When you compare the Scripture with itself, it speaks one full picture. What outside sources say trying to prove it wrong do not matter. Now, I personally don’t hesitate when people try to challenge the Bible via science, philosophy, or logic. I think that the Bible can indeed stand up to scrutiny from outside sources. For example, atheists like to say that the attributes of God are inconsistent. How can God be all-powerful, and at the same time good, yet there is evil in the world? How can God be all-powerful in general? Can God create a one-sided stick?
We’re going to examine the attributes of God in more specific detail in the next chapter. But, we find that upon critical examination of the attributes of God, and with proper defining of our terms, these sorts of arguments only go to show the ignorance of the questioner. No one has ever reasoned that God is all-powerful, therefore He can create a one-sided stick. No one has ever defined omnipotence as meaning that God can do anything. They build a straw-man argument from the start. It is not difficult to say the Bible is wrong when you simply impose a false statement that the Bible never claims into the text.
Similarly, there is the argument that Jesus was simply made up from pagan myths. Yet, you just have to look up the pagan myths that they claim Jesus was borrowed from to find the false assumption in this one. The life and ministry of Jesus looks nothing like the pagan myths. Just because you pull out of context of the whole story that says this god was born of a virgin, and he performed miracles, and he supposedly died and rose again, and this god over here has a similar story of virgin birth and being the son of God, and this god over here talks about resurrection as well, does not in any way imply that Jesus was taken from these pagan myths. Read the stories. They look nothing like Jesus whatsoever. You have to assume the ones who use this argument have never actually checked out the legitimacy of this argument, or they are just simply mentally retarded.
There is an ancient myth from Japan that says the world was hatched from an egg. Because it claims that a god was the one who laid the egg, I should be able to use that as a proof that the Bible narrative is true. I mean, many creation myths do say that the gods created the world. Therefore, the Bible got that one right. Do you see the problem with this argument? And yet, people actually use that same kind of argument to say that the Bible is wrong. It is absolutely absurd. We’ll spend some time discussing creation science for the sake of establishing the legitimacy of Scripture to the scientific evidence. To accept the biblical narrative as fact helps us to accept the whole of Scripture as truth. The text stands up to scrutiny from both within and from without.