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Individual Assignment- Bible Authority

Individual Assignment- Bible Authority

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Published by Donovan Neufeldt
A paper defending the Inerrancy, Inspiration, Historical Reliability, and Canonicity of the Bible, and responding to some objections to those doctrines
A paper defending the Inerrancy, Inspiration, Historical Reliability, and Canonicity of the Bible, and responding to some objections to those doctrines

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Published by: Donovan Neufeldt on Dec 02, 2012
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Individual Assignment:
Defend the Inerrancy, Inspiration, Historical Reliability, and Canonicity of the BibleDonovan NeufeldtBiblical HermeneuticsOctober 8, 2012
 
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 The authority and truth of the Bible, and related questions have been subjects of much debateespecially in the last few centuries. The following essay outlines the meaning of terms such as inerrancy,inspiration, infallibility, historical reliability and canonicity as related to the Bible. A few oppositions tothese terms will be examined, and responded to as well.Inerrancy means that scripture in its original manuscript contains nothing that is contrary tofact, regarding everything it talks about (though it may be in everyday ordinary speech including idiomsand expressions).More generally it means without error and perfect.
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 Some argue that the Bible cannot be inerrant because of copyist errors, saying that one cannotdetermine what the original said, as there are 6000 surviving manuscripts with variances from spellingmistakes to purposeful additions/ changes to the words.
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However, because manuscripts have beencarefully copied many times, 99% is known absolutely what was written in the original. Copying errorsare easily identified, and there are very few instances where the original words cannot be easilydiscerned. Thereby, one can say 99% of our present manuscripts are inerrant, and we know where the<1% (textual variants) are, and that those are the only location where there may be an error intransmission. None of these variances has significant meaning related to the essential tenets of doctrineand practice.
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Some claim that the Bible’s view of cosmology is primitive, teaching that the world is flat,
conforming to the commonly held belief at the time.
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Although the surrounding culture, and somebiblical authors may have held to those primitive views of cosmology, it actually is not taught or writtenin the Bible. In fact, the Bible refers to the earth a sphere or circle (Isaiah 40:22). The biblical writingsthemselves are called inerrant, not necessarily the surrounding culture. God is able to communicate tothose people without affirming or teaching false ideas they believed. Sometimes expressions are used
similar to, “The sun rises in the east and sets in the west”, and though we say this, we are not making a
case that the sun revolves around the earth. It is an simply an expression relative to our position, and isnot actually an error.People also claim that the Bible is wrong about the cause of mental illness, saying that it is only
emotional disturbance and chemical imbalance in the brain (natural factors), as opposed to the Bible’s
suggestion that demonic possession is the cause of mental illness, which can be cured through exorcism(Matt. 8-9, 15, 17, Luke 4).
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In reality, the Bible doesn’t say that mental illness can’t be caused by natural
1
Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears,
Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (re: Lit)
(Wheaton, Ill.: CrosswayBooks, 2010), 58.
2
Andrew Ca
rruth, “Is the Bible Inerrant? Of Course Not.,” The Voice
of Reason: Debunking Jesus, religion and otheruseless fables, entry posted November 22, 2010, http://god-proof.com/blog/is-the-bible-inerrant-of-course-not/ (accessed October 7, 2012).
3
Wayne Grudem,
Systematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan,1994), 96.
4
 
B. A. Robinson, “Biblical Errancy/inerrancy: Indicators of Biblical Errors: Part 1,” Religious
Tolerance.org,http://www.religioustolerance.org/ine_none1.htm (accessed October 7, 2012).
5
 
B. A. Robinson, “Biblical Errancy/inerrancy: Indicators of Biblical Errors
:
Part 2,” Religious
Tolerance.org,http://www.religioustolerance.org/ine_none3.htm (accessed October 7, 2012).
 
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 factors. Additionally, chemical imbalances may be a physical result caused by demonization. Theassertion that demonization does not exist or occur is an assertion made by one who has not witnessedit. Much mental illness is unexplained by medical professionals, and the fact that subjects were healedwhen Jesus cast demons out, shows that mental illness can be caused by demonization.
If the Bible is God’s word, it must be in
errant or completely perfect, because God cannot lie(Numbers 23:19, 2 Samuel 22:31
). Based on God’s character, if the Bible is inspired, it must be inerrant.
 What, then, does it mean for the Bible to be inspired? Inspiration is the inward work of God inthe hearts and minds of the biblical authors as they were writing scripture. Under the guidance of theHoly Spirit the authors were prevented from making errors (in the fundamentalist understanding). TheHoly Spirit was even involved in the selection of human words, though men retained their own styles of writing. More concisely, the biblical writings are God-breathed miraculous revelation, although theauthors and processes themselves are not necessarily inspired.
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 Critics say that there are inconsistent and contradictory views taught in the Bible regarding the
nature of God, the beginning of Jesus’ sonship, the nature of the afterlife, and the criteria for salvation.
They say God in the Pentateuch was angry, and committed genocides and mass murders for trivial
reasons such as practicing birth control, looking the wrong direction (lot’s wife), and not beinghospitable to strangers. He also had a fit and killed everyone except Noah’s family in the flood. In the
Gospels, God became nice Abba (papa), who was a God of love and compassion, and then becomesangry, vengeful, and mean again in Revelation.
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In reality, all of the descriptions of God’s character are
true, and though there may be tension between various attributes, they are not contradictory. God ismerciful and just, patient and wrathful, humble and powerful, loving and angry. He is jealous for Hispeople, just as a husband would be loving to his wife and angry to anyone that threatened her, so is Godin His zeal for love, justice, and righteousness. He judges that which hinders love because of His love.The critics claim that Romans 1:3-4 declare Jesus became the son of God at His resurrection. Inreality, it says that His resurrection was a declaration of His sonship. They say Mark 1:10-11 claims Hisso
nship began at His baptism, but it simply states that God said “You are my son…” present tense. Thetext does not claim that Jesus’ sonship began at that time. Critics claim that Matthew and Luke claimedJesus’ sonship began at birth, simply due to inclusi
on of a birth narrative, and John 1 states that Jesusexisted in the beginning, before creation.
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To simply recognize that the Bible teaches that Jesus iseternally begotten of the father since the very beginning, and looking carefully at the text solves thiswhole ridiculous discussion and reveals that the critics have built their own straw man out of falserepresentation of biblical teachings.
Critics claim that the Bible’s understanding of hell changed from “everybody goes to Sheol,
separated from God, n
o resurrection” to “resurrection with rewards for obedient, kind people andpunishment for evil” (after the Greek invasion) to “Those who believe in Christ go to heaven, those who
6
Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears,
Doctrine
, 48.
7
 
B. A. Robinson, “Indicators of B
iblical Errors:
Part 2,”
8
 
B. A. Robinson, “Indicators of Biblical Errors
:
Part 2,”

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