Talk:Biblical inspiration

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Inspiration vs infallibillity vs inerrency[edit]

The article should more overtly point out the logic or lack thereof of "the Bible is the inspired word of God and the evidence for this is that the Bible says it is". The logic behind the arguements for Bible inspiration should be more clear and discussed critically so that people can be more informed as to their decision to base their life on such logic.Pacojam

Hello all. I think the inspiration article looks very good. It inspired me to tryto cleanup the inerrency article.. which I started with clear definitions of the above terms. If youhave it in you, please drop by and help me clean it up. Any help to that page from you would bemost appreciated.--DjSamwise 01:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


I don't think that "inerrancy" is the traditional position re: is the conservative opinion. When was the word inerrancy first used regarding Scriptural inspiration? What groups or theologians affirmed it (a majority, presumably, if we're calling it traditional)? I'm thinking to edit this stuff, but thought I'd consult the community first. KHM03 21:27, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

It is a reinterpretation of the traditional Protestant idea of sola scriptura, in the vernacular of the concepts and terminology of Enlightenment epistemology. This interpretation summarizes Mark Noll's conclusion (I think), in Between Faith and Criticism, and for Evangelicals at least, it seems to be the prevailing way of looking at it (contra both, Woodbridge, and before him, the Barthians Rogers and McKim). George M. Marsden speaks for most, I think, in looking to the Princeton theology as the most easily identifiable first proponents of this speaking about the Bible's truthfulness in terms of Scottish Common Sense Realism link correction requested ; but he wasn't saying that it was their invention. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** \
Roman Catholicism does not have the idea of inerrancy at all by their own account; and in fact, teaches that it is theologically impossible to reconcile with Biblical anthropology. "Infallibility" much more nearly expresses their view of Biblical authority; and can be applied with similar effect to both, Tradition (including the statements made by popes and councils) and Scripture. However, the word "error" is a problem here: Luther was excommunicated for teaching, among other things, that the councils contradict one another, and "err". Eastern Orthodoxy, being less oriented toward engagement with Enlightenment categories, is harder to figure out, since they seem to avoid the issues of "authority" and epistemology in their typical efforts to evade the Western morass. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 23:56, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

So inerrancy is not "the most" traditional way of approaching Scripture, particularly if its rooted in the Reformation and the Enlightenment. I'm not suggesting doing away with the section which talks about inerrancy; I'm suggesting it shouldn't be listed as the traditional way of talking about Biblical's only one traditional way. KHM03 00:05, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

At least, it's certainly not the most traditional way of speaking about the traditional way of approaching Scripture. I suppose that it's a matter to be debated, whether it is the most correct way of speaking about it. Until the recent eruption of post-modernism in its evangelical manifestation, I think that it was the evangelical consensus that it is the correct way: in fact, it might have been the ONLY evangelical consensus, the single most defining article of evangelical faith. What evangelicalism is, now that this consensus has fallen away, is anybody's guess. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 00:12, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, evangelical Wesleyans have really never used it. It's associated primarily with fundamentalists and Calvinists (and there are fundamentalist Wesleyans, but they aren't really "mainstream"). Of course, this is the tradition I know best...but it's a misunderstanding that inerrancy is something all evangelicals share. AUTHORITY...yes...even infallibility regarding doctrine and practice matters. But not inerrancy. That's my problem with it as used in this article. KHM03 00:20, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

My off-topic point there, is that evangelicalism is, to a certain extent, a constructed identity that had inerrancy as the watershed (Harold Lindsell's famous term in The Battle for the Bible). There is no distinctive "creed" for the old alignment of evangelicalism, if this is not the creed. There is no Church of Evangelicalism. Although, there is a kind of intuition, a gestalt sense of belonging to and with one another that evangelicals persist in trying to define, with increasingly less definiteness. As this has happened, more mainstream types have felt the tug to pile into the "evangelicalism" ark (for, Evangelicals have done the tugging), so that gradually the idea of the Bible that they share is developing the same tensions that brought about the Fundamentalist-Modernist split in the first place: although this time, the alignments are very different and, sometimes, a little ironic. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 00:35, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I've always thought Lindsell's thesis to be flawed. I prefer Oden's definition(s) of evangelicalism, delineated beuatifully in his Systematic Theology trilogy. KHM03 02:47, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I've only read his Requiem. Very interesting. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 03:43, 16 September 2005 (UTC)


Mark, can you elaborate or rephrase this sentence for me: "other traditionalists have sought to guard against the inference that the Bible is comparable to a modern scientific way of knowing or describing thing." I think I know what you're trying to say about enlightenment assumptions, but just to be sure.... --Flex 14:49, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I think that Keith might be the better one to refer to here, because the "Paleo-orthodox" approach is one example of what I have in mind, there. Contrast it with Hodge's approach to the Bible, as providing the brute data of a scientific systematization. The idea of inspiration that might underlie this particular view might be expressed as saying that, every particular statement of the Bible is a "fact", and theology is the systematization of those facts.
A contrasting view might be that the Bible was given in a context, not of words (alone), but of God's faithfulness and covenant, and his peoples belief and unbelief, faithfulness and unfaithfulness, courage and cowardice, trust and rebellion, and so on. These are the terms in which the Bible is better thought inerrant - thus the different word, infallible, which is less loaded perhaps, with the notion of "data". — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 01:20, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
I have no problem with the current edits...I just have a problem (as a Methodist, a paleo guy, a narrative guy) with "inerrancy" being determinative for evanegelicals. That is, in my view, a relatively new innovation. I commend Oden's work to you - solidly evangelical, and his systematic theology trilogy is the absolute best ecumenical evangelical in print (maybe ever). Definitely worth a look and something you both would very much enjoy. KHM03 13:52, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Is it online in whole or in part? :-) --Cheapskate

The Tower of Bable shows the bible is a story book *At least some of the time) and not Infalliable!

What lame excuses do fundamentalists use to try and justify the absurd idea that primative man built a tower 100 km around the base and 70KM high! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:17, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Catholic view[edit]

What does the Catholic view say about the manuscript traditions? Is the Bible inspired only in its original autographa (as per the Evangelical view), or is the transmission of that document also assured in Catholic doctrine? If the latter, is it only inspired in the manuscripts incorporated into the Vulgate? This sort of thing should be dealt with briefly in the Catholic section. (Note that I deleted the bit about circularity since we're talking here about the doctrine of inspiration proper, not sola scriptura or presuppositional apologetics.) --Flex 16:06, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Evangelical view[edit]

Hello, soon I am going to edit the Evangelical view section to reflect (with sources) the general concensus the self proclaimed evangelical leaders came up with as documented in the Chicago statement. I think it will be more precise and accurate as to what they teach.. Peace. --Home Computer 15:41, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Primary sources are good. Go for it! Some references to Warfield would also be apropos, as he is one of the most famous defenders of the doctrine. --Flex 18:55, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the lead.. unfortunately I am getting really burnt out. I took on more than I could chew at Bible. I'm probably going to take a break for a whil but when I come back this will be a focus point. Also, Giesler and Nix have a ton of respected material on the matter and I've allready got the links written so I'll be using some of that. Peace. --Home Computer 20:36, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
It's shockingly simplistic that there is a section on "The" Evangelical view, as though there were only one. GPeoples (talk) 22:01, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
The section on Protestant views is totally inadequate. I can't change it at this moment, but I want to post notice that I intend to do some major rewriting. I'd rather talk about it here than have an edit war.::::Atterlep (talk) 03:26, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Scripture vs "The Bible"[edit]

Thank you for this article. Is there a precedent to consider the Commandments of God and the words of Jesus (as recorded by others) to be (obviously) divinely inspired scripture, but to view "The Bible" as a collection of writings which was later approved by the early Catholic Church? Is there a term for this view (other than perhaps the politically charged term "Red Letter Christian")? I am not trying to sell anything here, just asking if there is another theory of Biblical Inspiration. Repentance 16:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I moved this section to the bottom of this page per WP:TPG#New_topics_and_headings_on_talk_pages: new sections should be at the bottom. As for your question, there are certainly a number of precedents. The Jefferson Bible tried to separate the true sayings of Jesus from the false ones, Bultmann demythologizes the Bible to remove the husk and locate the true teachings of Jesus, and, less radically, the antilegomena are a collection of NT books that have at divers times and by various eminent Christians (e.g., Luther) been considered of secondary value in the canon. --Flex (talk|contribs) 19:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much. Repentance 19:46, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

== Paul's disclaimer ==

What about the bits where Paul says "this is my own opinion; it is not from the Lord"? — Omegatron 23:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

apparently there re also some difficulties with the book of Job being quoted by nt writers also.wrong speakers in Job, condemned by God in same book, presented as inspired by NT writers. not to worry. Benny the wayfarer 00:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Catholic view redux[edit]

I asked User:PiCo to explan this edit deleting the Catholic view. PiCo replied:

The piece that I deleted is quoting as its source the encyclical Providentissimus Deus, from Leo XIII, 1893. (There's a boxed quote also from Vatican I, but the primary quote is Providentissimus Deus). This represents a period in Church history when Leo was attempting to reject all modernity - you'll recall the famous quote to the effect that the Church has no need to accommodate itself to the modern world. The Church never directly disavows any encyclical, but it can come awfully close. It did this in 1943 with the encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu of Pius XII, which effectively reversed Leo's directives on the subject of biblical scholarship and, inevitably, biblical inspiration. Divino Afflante says in effect that the bible has many authors and that Catholic scholars should study the times in which they lived and the context in which they wrote - a far cry from Prov.'s insistence on the purely divine origins of scripture. As I mention, the Vatican never expressly contradicts earlier pronouncements, and so the language of Afflante is a little obscure - it speaks of "the biblical author," for example, leaving open the possibility that there is but one author - but in the context of the times (1943) it was clearly intended as a move beyond Leo's obscurantism. So far as I know, there's been no subsequent encyclical on the subject, and Afflenate represents the Church's current stance on the issue. (You're free to revert my deletion if you wish, I don't want to get involved in an edit war over this minor matter) PiCo (talk) 16:57, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Assuming its accuracy, that's useful information. A full account of the Catholic view would include both Leo XIII and Pius XII, and I'd like to see it sourced and incorporated into the article rather than just deleting the half-truth that was there formerly. --Flex (talk/contribs) 14:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Merging a sub-section from a different article[edit]

Anyone working on this "Biblical inspiration" article that is so inclined is welcome to harvest as much as you think is worthwhile from the subsection Authority in the article on the New Testament. The sub-section is entirely out of place in the article on the New Testament, and is slated to be removed, so feel free to use what you can from it before the page is updated.

Views of the doctrine[edit]

I am going to "be bold" and rewrite some of the first paragraph in the section "Views of the doctrine". First of all, I am putting a new header for this paragraph, namely "2 Timothy 3:16", as it seems to be exclusively about this text. Secondly, I am (in my opinion) making some of the language more objective. And, finally, I'm adding a few links to the English versions mentioned, and giving an additional reference backing up the "conservative" view. Please let me know what you think about this. TomS TDotO (talk) 14:47, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Citations to Dodd[edit]

I've skimmed through Dodd's book for the page numbers for the three citations given, but have only found one of them, which I've added with an Rp template. Could someone supply the missing page numbers? TomS TDotO (talk) 10:58, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


This 2006 revision [1] looks better at first glance than the latest. The lead is direct and objective, rather than waffling and apparently rich with original research. The body is better structured and lists primary sources less. The current section on the "inspiration" etymology actually fails to initially explain what it is talking about, unlike that randomly selected old revision. What happened? Cesiumfrog (talk) 00:11, 29 September 2011 (UTC)