Talk:Biblical inerrancy

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First bible Inerrant, but none of the others can be[edit]

The bible has been proven to be false, this should be commented on. Otherwise the article is Extremely biased. Noahs ark fairy tale has been proven wrong by so many differant means. Let alone everything else. -- (talk) 03:20, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

To make such a statement, "The Bible has been proven to be false," to make a such said statement based on what evidence? If you are to approach a subject, without the necessary findings, the you are showing biased straight out. Such an is not based on any given prove and makes your statement non-operational. Again you make a statement, that Noah's ark is a fairy tale. Where is your stated evidence in which you base your final word on. In the future it would best serve you well to bring all your facts to the table before setting up such a statement. You are giving only opinion, and in a Court of Law such would be ignored by any lawyer worth their salt.

Even if the first bible was inerrant (Its nolonger around) all the transalations/copies of that must have atleast one mistake, due it to being being done by man (Wont even start on the problems of languages at the time, or how many differences you can see in different versions of the smae bible today).

Do you know what the first Bible was? The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the first major book printed with movable type in the West. As of 2009, 48 42-line Bibles are known to exist, but of these only 21 are complete. You assume that there are mistakes because of translations. You do not take into account how the Bible has survived over the centuries. You assume mistakes without taking into account what the Bible says. What are the differences in different versions of the Bible? You must again, state your meaning of what you are saying. Again, you are assuming from opinion, which appears to be bias. You accuse the Author of the article of Bias, but you are stating much the same. If you say that any mistakes are limited and do not affect doctrine then you must rethink your statement. If those mistakes are there it would greatly affect not only the meaning, but the very context of what Biblical doctrine is teaching. I find it fascinating that "blanket" statements are made without going into greater detail. If, for example, you were taking the ingredients for creating concrete and mixing them together, then the degree in which your mixture is made determines how well and solid your concrete will be all throughout itself. Too much water, or not enough, will greatly affect the final outcome in making a driveway, and how long it will last. Mistakes go a long way.

I believe it's obvious that the original author of this article was referring to the Bible in the original autographs, in stating that the Bible is inerrant. It has been shown again and again and again that any "mistakes" in the Bible are limited and do not affect doctrine. Since the article is discussing inerrancy, it stands to reason that the term must be defined and must be defined based on how it has been used over the centuries. Beyond all of this, it's doubtful that we would know if we DID possess any of the original autographs! To what would they be compared? --DeRuvo —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Inerrancy, meaning to be free of error. Simple but to the point. One could assume, that by personal experience which is based on facts of evidence that something is free of such errors. Man is not capable of avoiding mistakes. He is prone to failure. But there is a basic principle here. Where does man find his perfection? When you speak of the Bible you must investigate and search, as you would for treasure. You cannot assume after only a short time that such treasure does not exist. You keep searching. To base the definition on how it has been used over the centuries can be one way of determining the value of it, but as you know, men will change a word to meet what they think it should mean, in place of what the word has been based on to begin with. You say you doubt we possess, or did possess any of the original autographs. How about the Dead sea scrolls?

So every other bible (In exsistance today or that will ever be made from ones in existance today) can not be Inerrant.

Is that every other Bible, or every Bible? What is it about the Bible that makes it mistake filled?

This is the point that should be made Origional one might be, but every other one can not be Inerrant! -- 10:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean to achieve by making this point? Biblical inerrancy exists as a documented doctrinal position that can and has been written about encyclopaedically, whatever your personal opinion of it might be. --McGeddon 11:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

As may notice the opening paragraph say "origonal bible"! Not the bible, todays versions of the bible etc etc. I dont oppose it, as above just stating the fact that its irrelivant if the origonal bible was inerrant, as it doesnt exist today, and every copy today of a bible in use is atleast a copy of copy of one of the four earlyist translations, most have gone throught alot more editions and fixing up by mankind.

The copys of copys of copys of bibles that are used today are not irrerant, they can not be as man has been involved with the publishing of them. Its like saying the world use to be a cube when first created by god, So what it doesnt have any effect on us today, so if it was or was not it doesnt matter its irrelivant. Do you understand?-- 13:10, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

No comments on this, The fact the whole idea is totally impossible should be stated? or do some xtians have a problem with the fact every bible today must have mistakes due to man? Then again does anyone not biased xtian have a problem with the fact the bible must have mistakes?-- 11:52, 28 August 2007 (UTC)-- 11:52, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The bible IS inerrant, and it doesn't matter that it was written through man, because it is the word of God and the word of God cannot be changed. All the "copies" of the bible, they're not copied from eachother,getting farther away from the true meaning. They're just different translations of the original bible. Simple as that. Get me?--Balletchicka09 01:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I think you've mistaken the Bible for the Koran. The Koran quite specifically and clearly claims perfect transmission from God to Mohammed, and Mohammed explained the means of this transmission just to make sure his followers were clear on that point. The Bible, on the other hand, makes no such claim at any point. Rklawton 01:41, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
On scientific grounds the bible is most assuredly erroneous. Take for example Genesis 30: [1]. --Healyhatman (talk) 14:00, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
No, we have not mistaken the Bible for the Koran. The Bible is completely inerrant for the fact that the only thing you guys could possibly be saying by this is that small, careless spelling and grammar errors cause the whole Bible to be tainted. And, by the way, I only have one thing to say to Healyhatman, what in the world are you talking about? Genesis 30 talks about how Jacob had children and moved away from does that make the Bible "erroneous"?Spyropyro2 (talk) 01:38, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Anyone who claims that the bible is inerrant is completely ignorant. None of the manuscripts agree with each other. There are not only differences within the Massoretic text, but there are many differences between it and the Septuagint. The Septuagint in turn is not in agreement with the Samarian Pentateuch. The Christian texts are just as bad. Thus, before addressing all the scientific, mathematical, and historical errors within the bible, we can spend years addressing the contradictions among the manuscripts themselves. So, please stop wasting everyone’s time with this nonsense regarding inerrancy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

It is hardly reasonable to assume that those copying and translating the bible had divine inspiration. Also, in order for it to be the word of god, the bible, which asserts itself as "The World of God," must be inerrant, but the whole claim of inerrancy is assuming that it is "The Word of God." This is circular logic. (talk) 00:01, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

This is all entertaining but it has nothing to do with the article. If you are not talking about how to improve the article, please take your conversation to your home discussion page where personal opinions and statements of faith are fine. Editors can report through referenced statements the positions of experts, etc., but opinion has no place here. Cheers. --StormRider 00:19, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
The claim that the Bible is inerrant, in Jewish and even Christian Catholic and Orthodox belief, is considered by many religious and observant people to be a form of idolatry. It is to ascribe to a thing (an idol), a characteristic which belongs to G-d alone. Only G-d can be inerrant. To say that the Bible is inerrant is to elevate the Bible to the level of G-d and to replace him as that which is to be worshipped. Worshipping the Bible as inerrant is to worship a false G-d, and is to break the first commandment "I am the Lord thou G-d and thou shall have no false G-ds before me". John D. Croft (talk) 22:05, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
If you can find citations to this effect then put it in. You may have to say God though Myrvin (talk) 11:10, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Biblical Inerrancy and Catholicism[edit]

Several paragraphs of Dei Verbum were included to get the point across as to the PRECISE position of the Catholic Church on the Bible. Your edit makes it appear that the Church holds a position other than the precise position. Maybe it can be paraphrased several years from now, but until then, it should be left there until Catholics understand the official position of the Church so they do not contribute to Biblical inerrant nonsense. If you object to its relevance at this time, please note that about one in six people in the world are Catholic. I do not mean to justify unnecessary additions (the complete document is on the Vatican's website, and I understand your concern about primary sources), but I think you get the point. JBogdan 01:20, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but quoting that much from a primary source IS against wikipedia policy. There is no argument there. I understand your concern about giving due weight to the majority Christian view (the Catholic POV), and that is a valid concern. However, the reason you stated for including it, to education Catholics about official policy, and calling Biblical inerrancy nonsense is clearly POV. Wikipedia's job is not to take sides and judge POV, and wikipedia's job is not to inform Catholics on Catholic doctrine. You may want to review some key policy points including Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources and Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. Please, either select a more concise selection of your quote, cut it down by using ellipses to eliminating less important sentences, or better yet, paraphrase and summarize the content in an encyclopedic manner. Do you honestly think a huge quote from a primary souce is better for an encyclopedia than simply describing the position? Please consider Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles and Wikipedia:The perfect article and note that none of them suggestion quoting primary sources to this extent. I have removed the quote again. The full text is already included this talk page, above. So you are welcome to try and rework it, summarize, cut it down, or whatever it takes to bring it up to wikipedia standards. --Andrew c 13:25, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Another thing has come to mind why this quote is not helpful. Wikipedia:Explain jargon. It is very theologically dense, and Catholic specific in its language. To a layreader, is reading that going to help understanding, than having an encyclopedic overview of what the document is trying to say? Clearly not.--Andrew c 13:29, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

OK. That works. I will leave it the way you have it now. JBogdan 14:56, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not saying that this information doesn't belong here. I'll review the quote and the current content and see if I can't come up with something a bit better.--Andrew c 15:06, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


Again ... the discussion seems to be misplaced! Does Biblical Literalism sufficiently overlap with what is known as Literal Inerrancy to warrant merger into the same discussion. Of couse they do! Again, to assist, nobody has to resolve whether or not literal inerrancy is objective truth, nor does anyone have to accurately and with anguish of perfection, upon pains of torture and death by dissolving eyeballs and skin sloughed off, detail every single 'perspective' on this question. That can and should be done, with brevity and clarity in mind, IN THE MERGED SECTION ITSELF.

Now ... for a great exmaple if one looks at the passages of Isaiah that pertain to the prophecies of the Moshiach (Messiah) one runs into (at least by all appearances anyway) immediate problems with LITERAL inerrancy, for YESHUA did not embrace the ascetical life of honey and curds (so as to tell good from bad) but was to some (not I) a glutton and a drunkard, as discussed in the later and subsequent gospel accounts. And this no doubt called upon many to deeply ponder what Isaiah meant--for John the Baptist himself, after declaring "behold the lamb of God ...," sent word to Messiah, asking, "are you the one or are we to expect another"? He--John the Baptizer--expected one thing from the prophecies but was seeing something of a twist to those prophecies before his very eyes and, in turn, this led to his own crisis of faith while in prison. This is important for even the Jewish people today as yesterday deny and reject Yeshua as Moshiach because of what they believe to be an incomplete or (depending on scholar or writer or partisan)even total failure to meet Isaiah's prophecies. Thus ... literal inerrancy, for most of Judaica, precludes Messiah's having yet arrived! God Himself will absolutely resolve those questions for all minds, He has already done so for many hearts. We do not have to resolve who is right. God does that.

My point, then, is we can split infinitives until gnats become invisible specks to strained eyes, and for all wisdom and truth we all should, I suppose, but DOING SO is not relevant to whether or not the topics are PROPERLY MERGED. That's the question--not what do Catholics believe or what do Protestant's believe or what do atheists believe?

If and when anyone speaks of Biblical Literalism they necessarily speak of what many know as Literal Inerrancy or its progeny. MERGE THEM and stay on task at defining these things carefully. Why put six packs of beer with toothpaste? __________________________________

I disagree with anything that would throwa bunchofinfo on this page on how pepole interperate the Bible. That belongs in Hermeneutics. THe discussion here is Bibliology, it's devine origin and status are being discussed,not how to interperate the content. peace. --DjSamwise 22:42, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

The bible IS inerrant, and it doesn't matter that it was written through man, because it is the word of God and the word of God cannot be changed. Simple as that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Balletchicka09 (talkcontribs) 01:23, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed "God is capable of lying" para[edit]

I forgot to mention this in my edit summary. While tidying up Seventhcroak's edits, I also deleted the following paragraph:

Some have argued that the Bible need not be inerrant even if it is entirely the Word of God, because they claim that God is capable of lying and may even have purpose for this.[citation needed] However, a number of verses of the Old and New Testament state that God cannot lie.[1]

Let me make one thing clear, God does NOT lie. Except in those verses you mention above. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh a couple of quotes means god can not lie? Since the bible is the word of God, he say that in there so it looks like he can not lie! You have no reason to say god can not lie.

God is always considered to be omnipotent, capable of anything. To say that God cannot lie is to take a heretical position, as it denies God's omnipotency and is saying that the power of God is limited to fit within human categories. If God is not omnipotent, then this is a denial of Anslem's proof of the existence of God. John D. Croft (talk) 22:10, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
But if he does lie then that denies Descartes' proof of reality. Presumably he could lie but mostly chooses not to. Bit like everyone else. 'Heretical' from what? I bet there are good christians out there who think God can't do just anything. (PS Is this the same as 'G-d'?) Myrvin (talk) 11:19, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
On this point, see the omnipotence article. To say that a god can do absolutely anything is too simplistic. Myrvin (talk) 09:55, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Also in the bible god describes a tree from on top of which he could see the whole world, thats either a lie in the bible or that must have been when the world flat,concave or convex brfore it became a sphere!-- 07:53, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

um i think the strong feelings re this question over whether God ever lies relate to the kind of idea you have of God, what sort of person you think "they" are. the folk-tale type material reflects a more mischievious Deity. NT views "Them" more philosophically. There is a divide bertween these ways of imaging God: relationally, as the catalyst in a story, or philosopohically, as a perfect being and entirely truthful. best not get too bothered about it.Benny the wayfarer 08:56, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

So you dont have a problem of showing the netural take that god might lie?-- 14:54, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I deleted it because I think it is irrelevant, either as an item of Christian belief, or as an anti-inerrancy argument. For the latter, it appeared to originate from a comedy routine by Ricky Gervais (see #Ricky Gervais and Exodus 3 above). There is a core of an argument in there: that allegedly Genesis 3 (not Exodus 3) depicts God as lying. It really is a proposed example of an error in the Bible. And compared to others, it is a fairly easy one for an inerrantist to deal with. So I decided it was sufficiently irrelevant to delete. Peter Ballard 05:27, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Irrelivant, Gee that makes sence, because if god lies in the bible then odviously bible inerrancy does not exist. Whats is irrelevant is the KJV bible you use is not the origonal one having been printed translated and edited by man, who odviously would have made a mistake somewhere right? so the ones being used today do not have biblical inerrancy even if the first one did!-- 14:54, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I think it should go back in, with the "citation needed" tag. It definitely didn't originate with Gervais (I've seen it used before). As for it being "a fairly easy one for an inerrantist to deal with": I guess that depends on what you mean by "deal with". I'm familiar with the usual excuses, and an inerrantist will choose to believe those: but he would not be correct in doing so. In the story, God did indeed lie in Genesis 2:17: that's what the Hebrew actually says, and it's also very clear in the Sumerian original from which this story is derived (the "Adapa and the South Wind" myth) in which the god Enki lies to Adapa (the Sumerian "Adam") to stop him eating the food of the gods, falsely claiming that this will kill him. Robert Stevens 16:52, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Well in that case it belongs somewhere like Internal consistency of the Bible. It's just an (alleged) Bible error, like hundreds of others, and I don't think it - rather than any of the hundreds of others - deserves a place in this particular article. So far this article has been for listing arguments concerning errancy, rather than Bible errors themselves. I think that's been a fairly good way to go, because discussing a list of Bible errors gets extremely long. Peter Ballard 06:15, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Alleged bible error LOL, Internal inconsistencys LOL can bothe be right? and without error? NO!, Peter especially since you prefer the KJV and that has some intersting mistakes such as the mustard seed being the smallest seed on the whole planet(Guess god forgot about others with smaller seeds), thats just an incosistency with reality?. Atleast other versions have editied that bit to correct its blatant error. Since no one has the origonal bible, it doesnt matter if its 100% correct or not, as all the ones people are using at home or in church are not 100% correct. Peter Ballard do you claim the KJV has Biblical inerrancy, guess all the different versions just have inconsitencies? Dont you mention somewhere about the bible being the "word of god"?

Since this site is ment to be neutral, the fact that god could be lying in the bible must be added back in! God supposidly saying god doesnt lie isnt any proof, or would be detective Ballard ask did you kill her? No i didnt (Replied the killer) Im not lying. Your odviously innocent then (Detective Ballard), then Detective Ballard would go off and not suffer any sodomites to live (Think that means kills sodomites), then again the word sodomites is not translated properly in the KJV so maybe thats why Detective Ballard suffers sodomites to live? and isnt just defying gods commands in the irrevirant bible.-- 14:41, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Anon editor says "the fact that god could be lying in the bible must be added back in". No, it only goes back in if it has a WP:Reliable Source indicating its importance. (Actually most of the article is unsourced, but let's at least not make it worse). As I've tried to explain, I believe it is neither a widely held position by Christians, nor an important anti-inerrancy argument - aside from it being an example of an (alleged) Bible error, and there are hundreds of those. And no, my use of "alleged" does not mean I subscribe to inerrancy (of KJV or otherwise). It's simply to avoid taking sides. Peter Ballard 23:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

You did not comment on the part in KJV that states the mustard seed is the smallest in the whole world (There is plenty of smaller seeds) so how is a bible inconsistent with reality? Just as reliable as the bible saying god doesnt lie seems fair, so dont go saying the quote is not reliable!

Cronicles2 18:22 "Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets" Not god lieing just making others lie

2Thess11 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" Tricks people into believing lies -- 07:47, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

So where's the WP:Reliable Source using these as anti-inerrancy arguments? Peter Ballard 11:42, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
BTW I'm not trying to be deliberately evasive. I'm just trying to keep this on topic, i.e. work on improving the article. This page is not the place for me to offer my personal opinions on your personal questions. Peter Ballard 12:45, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Peter is correct here. Anon, it doesn't matter if you have a source that argues that God lies if that source isn't using the argument against inerrancy. Your recent insertion was removed because it violated rules against using a synthesis of published material, and also gave undue weight to what is a virtually non-existent argument regarding inerrancy. Sxeptomaniac 17:27, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Peter Ballard the quote is from the bible, I know like all christians you only like to acknowledge certain parts. You realise all the bibles today are copies of copies of other bibles? Copied by man, therefore are not exactly the same as the origional bible! Therefore can not be said to be the word of god and can not be inerrant. I know like all christians you will not accept this fact.

You will not comment that the mustard seed is not the smallest seed in the whole world, even tho claimed by god in the bible. This proves the bible is not inerrancy, you can go and read the passage then google info on smaller seeds. Simple as that, only takes one example to disprove a proof.--Polygamist times 4 15:27, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Hey, we've got a mindreader here, someone who knows what I believe! In fact I do not subscribe to inerrancy myself, see my web page . But in any case an inerrantist wouldn't have problems with this, because Jesus was just referring to seeds his hearers knew about, and wasn't attempting to be scienticially accurate. To quote article XIII of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, "We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision... observational descriptions of nature... (or) the use of hyperbole." Peter Ballard 07:14, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Jesus is several times reported by gospels to have used the seed as a metaphor. similar issue with quote in John where the seed dies. we now know that dead seeds do not grow: seeds do not die, they enter dormancy.. Job's observation that a man is not like a tree that can be cut down and spring again is more true in life. but this is an issue about Xian doctrine, theology. the quote from Chicago Statement above seems to be a massive and undisguised equivocation, but i suppose there is some kind of point to itBenny the wayfarer 22:43, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I've been looking at this again spurred by John D Croft above. I found this quote (it wasn't difficult):

The Bible then makes two basic claims: it asserts unequivocally that God canot lie, and that the Bible is the Word of God. It is primarily from a combination of these facts that the argument for inerrancy comes.

WJ McRea, A book to die for. I intend to put this in the article - perhaps with others. Myrvin (talk) 08:13, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm amazed this idea was ever removed. Perhaps it was because it was stated in the criticisms rather than in the statement of 'proofs'. Another quote:

Because God cannot lie and because Scripture is inspired by God, the bible must be wholly true. This syllogism may be valid for establishing inerrancy, but it cannot define the concept.

SJ Grenz Theology for the community of God.Also:

Those who defend inerrancy are deductivists pure and simple. They begin with certain assumptions about God and the Scriptures, namely, that God cannot lie and the Scriptures are the Word of God. From these assumptions inerrantists deduce that the Bible is without error.

NL Geisler, Inerrancy. Myrvin (talk) 10:28, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
The question of whether God lies also depends upon who is recognising the lie. 1 Kings 22:23 for instance states "Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee." It would seem that here God is lieing by proxy, deceiving prophets so they speak falsehoods. Even in the New Testament, the image of God telling lies by proxy holds. Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 "For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." John D. Croft (talk) 17:58, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  1. ^ Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man that He should lie..."; Hebrews 6:18 " is impossible for God to lie..."; Titus 1:2 "...eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised..."

Criticisms section[edit]

Can we get a consensus on what belongs in this section? I think the criticisms (criticisms of inerrancy itself, as opposed to criticisms of related issues like Fundamentalism) fall into a small number of (I think 3) pretty clear categories, which can each get its own subsection:

  • Is the doctrine disproved by actual Bible errors? (The current "Arguments regarding falsifiability" section, but lots more could be added, though probably a link to something like Internal consistency of the Bible will be required to stop this section getting too long).
  • Does the Bible teach its own inerrancy? (The current "Meaning of the Word of God" section is one small part of this, again lots more can be added).
  • Is inerrancy meaningless when it is restricted to the autographs? (rather than copies or translations) (Sort of addressed in the current "Translation" section).

In my opinion the "Arguments regarding purpose of passages" and "Conflicting world-views" sections don't really belong in the criticism section at all. The former can go in a section on how inerrancy is handled in practice, though strictly I don't think it's a criticism. The "Historical Origins" probably belongs in its own section (with a serious rewrite) rather than being part of the "Criticism" section. Peter Ballard 04:10, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

i was thinking on a similar line but as follows. three sections entitled (something like) 1)Accuracy-looks at debates over prooftexts, translations and falsifiability. 2)Value. considers what Word of God means theologically. 3)Meaning. when a doctrine is examined, its effects on the community of belief has to be considered. considers the FX of the belief on church and spirituality in the contexts of possible alternatives. this should include some defense of inerrancy's role within the church communities that promote it, for some balance. sandbox time?Benny the wayfarer 08:54, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a good plan, Peter. Sxeptomaniac 17:38, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree. From how the article looks now, we need some mention of internal contradictions. Lundse 20:38, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Jonah addition[edit]

The Jonah addition is a good illustration of the problems many critics of Biblical inerrancy have with accepting this position. The text that required a citation has been modified hopefully to overcome that requirement. References are following. John D. Croft 05:49, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I think they are different. A flat, 6000 year old earth is in direct contradiction to modern science. (And many inerrantists answer this by saying that some of these parts are poetic and/or need not be taken literally, which is why I called the position a straw man and requested a reference). Jonah is a miracle which (strictly speaking) cannot be proven or disproven, along with other miracles such as the resurrection, virgin birth, water into wine, etc. Inerrantists believe that God at times performs miracles so (generally) take these at face value. Peter Ballard 07:31, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Living three days in the stomach of a fish would result in digestion. As the words of the Porgy and Bess Gershwin song say
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale
For he made his home in dat fish's abdomen
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale
It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
De things dat yo' liable to read in de Bible
It ain't necessarily so
Regards, John D. Croft 14:13, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
How does it add to the article? What point does it illustrate that isn't already being said? It's redundant, and I'm removing it as such. Sxeptomaniac 21:02, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

trouble is your reason for this removal is clearly prejudicial. hands off! it is relevant and well referenced.

to illustrate his last remark Jonah in the whale, Noah inthe ark what did they do when everything looked so dark?

Man they said we better acchentuate the positive e-lim-inate the negativ....latch on to the....etc.Benny the wayfarer 23:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Please debate my objection (the difference between verifiable cosmology and non-verifiable miracles) instead of quoting poetry at me. Peter Ballard 02:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Prejudicial how? The insertion doesn't tie specifically to anything, but just adds a superfluous illustration, bloating the article and diluting any useful information. You haven't addressed either objection by calling them "prejudicial." Sxeptomaniac 15:49, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

many religious people, not "inerrantists" may believe in miracles. but all the biblical miracles are supernatural events that belong together with other supernaturalistic beliefs in a discussion of how biblical interrpretation is affected by supernatural cosmology: reported mircles could be believed or even held true on balance of probability but they cannot be proved beyondreasonabledoubt, the standard of verification one should expect for such phenomena. there is a thorough discussion of the attempts by Ramm to explain or prove possible the Jonah prepared fish thing in the pages quoted from Barr.

If historians do not use the supernatural as a category of explanation in the writing of history, it is not necessarily and not in fact because they deny the existence of the supernatural: rather it is because with the supernatural anything at all can happen. there is thusno means whatever of controlling statements that purport to state events that are explained as supernaturally caused. Ramm illustrates this well with his interpretation of Jonah and the fish or whale.

Benny the wayfarer 10:38, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I must say I don't see your point. Are you saying that any belief in supernatural miracles doesn't fit modern cosmology? Peter Ballard 13:04, 24 August 2007 (UTC) (I've deleted other comments which were really just repeating myself) Peter Ballard 13:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Argument against Ramm does not belong[edit]

Anyway who cares if some guy thinks the bible is inerrancy (SO what) we know he is wrong, hios incorrect unsubstanciated opinion is worthless. What does science PROVE on the matter? Theres somthing important-- (talk) 03:22, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I've found another problem with the Jonah addition, as I was researching the theologians involved: Bernard Ramm was not a proponent of inerrancy, but actually argued against it. As such, it seems that using an argument against one of his views as an argument against inerrancy would seem to be a synthesis of published materials, rather than a valid source for the argument. It seems to me that those paragraphs should go, but I know some here seem to really want it included, so I'm discussing it here first.

This also leads me to question the Mythical cosmology, a Stumbling-Block section in general. If a "mythical cosmology" isn't unique to those holding to inerrancy, wouldn't that make it a criticism of a viewpoint held by a wider group of people, rather than specific to this article? Does it belong here? Sxeptomaniac 17:52, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

although the text linked does voice some criticisms, it also defends inerrancy. nowhere here does Ramm say the Bible contains any error. the text is really a good source for cosmological section, under the third objection. it is also quite a good read; as the first sentence implies, inerrancy is part of a wider issue about the " range of authority" of scripture Benny the wayfarer 22:40, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any point where Ramm defends inerrancy. He addresses some types of accusations of errors because he's "demanding that the critic take a look at the whole problem of error and realize its complexities before he starts assigning errors in Scripture." That doesn't mean he's defending inerrancy.
Look later on...

I must say in summary that my concern about science and inerrancy is not the same concern as that of many of my evangelical friends. They believe that the assertion of Biblical inerrancy is a theological must... I think very differently at this point. To me whether there are some errors or not in Scripture is something determined empirically. We cannot dogmatize facts into or out of existence.

Ramm clearly supports biblical inspiration and authority, but repeatedly argues against inerrancy and infallibility in the article. Sxeptomaniac 23:25, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I too have problems with the "Mythical Cosmology" section. The section seems to be more arguing against miracles (and many Christians believe in miracles but not inerrancy) and biblical literalism (and not all inerrantists are literalists). In other words, the section's not really on target. Peter Ballard 12:09, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I've just backed up Sxeptomaniac in deleting this section. I don't care enough about this to fight it to the death, but I do believe the section doesn't really discuss inerrancy (as argued above). I'd like to see its supporters explain why it is about inerrancy, as distinct from miracles and biblical literalism. Peter Ballard 01:03, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Why did the stuff on "Biblical cosmology" get incorporated into the current tussle over Jonah? I don't feel particularly comfortable about including the Jonah "miracle" as an "error", but I dont see why the fate of the first and last paragraphs should be so intertwined with that of the middle paragraph. --Robert Stevens 11:35, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
As Ramms essay makes clear, the debates on inerrancy are really part of a wider issue about the nature and scope of the Bible's authority. it is not really possible to entirely separate the issue by attempting to make inerrancy a separate debate. nor is this issue solely about specific errors. there are valid questions about wider points of view, which include cosmological , metaphysical, moral and historical perspectives. the section on cosmology is about why inerrancy is unbelievable. people may disagree with this material, that is the real objection expressed, not that it is not relevant.Benny the wayfarer 11:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Claiming that we are being dishonest about our objections is not assuming good faith. Please stick to addressing the objections. Again, "mythological cosmology" has little connection to inerrancy. Roman Catholics believe in miracles, but do not believe in biblical inerrancy, so a sizable population of the world's Christians are in direct contradiction of that criticism. We are not to document every criticism of inerrancy, but only those significant and directly related to it.
You have yet to address the fact that using Ramm in this section is a violation of original research policies, either. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:30, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

the source here, , Barr's 'Fundamentalism', is largely a critique of inerrancy in the context of abuse of the Bible by conservative religious types. the argument presented is a precis of a passage by this Oxford professor and not a synthesis. the fact that Ramm perhaps prevaricated a bit over minor "difficulties" makes his general position and tendency no less clear. however i have included this section as it is relevant and also it contains very entertaining and enlightening prose. Ramm's article was in fact very refreshing reading,there is a sense of highly cultivated understanding about what he wrote, but even if it may undermine the Jonah debate, it also reinforces the need for comment on cosmology and wider issues. the case of rc supernaturalism is rather different, because most such miracles are not biblical, they are worked by saints hermits and martyrs etc.; some miracles may be a trad part of rc belief, part of folk religion rather than core teaching of the church- this doesn't mean that all rcs are in agreement. protestant fundamentalists by contrast hold a generally rationalist and scientific world-view, punctured with supernaturalism if an interpretation of the Bible seems to demand it. Benny the wayfarer 23:20, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

regarding good faith, i am sure that you are entirely sincere in your own belief, which unlike Speeding cause no harm to any living thing at least by itself. the fact that our beliefs differ is not evidence that mine may be wrong. once i had to ring a city lawyer who told me there is no such thing as good faith. she sounded like she had a lot of experience. notwithstanding this, there is definately such a thing as faith.Benny the wayfarer 23:36, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

It's a little muddled, I think you've misunderstood what "assuming good faith" means. I'm talking about not making assumptions about a person's motives. You are assuming that you know what Peter Ballard and myself believe, and that we are attempting to advance an agenda, based solely on our opposition to some edits you support. Not only are your assumptions quite false, but inappropriate to begin with. Argue the edits, not what you think the editor's beliefs are.
You're criticizing fundamentalist Christians instead of inerrancy again, though. Once again, this is not the purpose of the article, and I think we should keep it focused on the subject. They are certainly distinct subjects, with their own articles.
It seems we might be stuck between two small groups of thought on this section, though. Maybe we should file a request for comment and see if we can bring in a few more editors to look at this and see what they think. Can we agree to that? Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:24, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Is the dispute effectively dead then? I'm a patient person, but it's approaching two weeks since any significant activity here. Should I remove the section? Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:53, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Impenetrable jargon[edit]

"Prima Facie" refers to evidence and claims from the Bible itself. "The Witness of the Spirit" is cited as proof to the person to whom God speaks. The "Transforming Ability" of scripture is cited as yet another supernatural proof to an individual. The "Unity of the Scripture" despite its myriad of authors, cultures, and topics, the "Historicity of the Bible" and how the archaeological record is interpreted to confirm the Bible, the "Testimony of Christ", "fulfilled prophecies", "apparent indestructibility" of the scriptures, and the "integrity of its authors" are all commonly taught as ways reliability is established.

This paragraph is one long string of quoted jargon-phrases which would mean nothing whatsoever to a reader not already intimately familiar with Geisler & Nix's viewpoint. What this section needs instead is an exposition of G&N's arguments in support of their (bullet-pointed) claims -- as otherwise the reader has no alternative except to blindly accept, or blindly reject their conclusions. Hrafn42TalkStalk 09:37, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


This article could use a history section. That is, how long has inerrancy been a belief? From where did this idea originate? Muslims claim the Koran is word for word perfect (from God to Mohammad), and Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is also a perfect word for word translation. Did either of these faiths have an influence in the belief of the Bible's inerrancy? Rklawton 00:38, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Is inerrancy a matter of doctrine within any Christian denomination? Perhaps I missed it when scanning through the article. If so, then I think this information should be highlighted. Rklawton 00:38, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Currently, the article claims that the cannon was solidified during the reign of Constantine - but I happened a little bit later - at the Council of Constantinople. Is there any evidence that there was a universally accepted Cannon by the end of Constantine's reign? "The Da Vinci" code claims so, but historically it is unsound. Dmitry Kotik 01:51, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

There were debates about what constituted the Canon ever since Irenaeus of Lyons in about 150 CE. However, it remained dusputed until the Easter letter of 367, when Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of exactly the same books as what would become the New Testament canon,[8] and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them. Athanasius had been in dispute with the Arian Emperor Constantius, son of Constantine, who despite his support from Eusebius and Sylvester, seems to have inclined towardfs Arianism himself. John D. Croft 02:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The text says "finalised during the reign of Constantine" (my emphasis) -- which is inaccurate. Constantine died in 337, and the first recorded advocacy of the eventual canon (no more, no less) was by Athanasius in 367. It was probably "finalised" by Augustine of Hippo's advocacy of it at the Council of Hippo (in 393, for which no record now exists), but the first surviving record of its acceptance was at the Council of Carthage in 397. HrafnTalkStalk 03:04, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
In any case, it is well discussed in the Biblical canon article and there needs to be nothing more than a passing reference here. in fact, the "Textual Tradition of the New Testament" section is almost entirely off topic - all that is needed is a reference to the fact (which is important, I might add), and a pointer to Textual criticism. Peter Ballard 03:51, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Basis of Belief[edit]

This section needs a little work. The basis of inerrency is not the logical conslusion presented. The basis is in Scripture, such as where Paul argues the tense and gender of the word "Seed" thus setting a president. Does anyone have a good refference for this discussion? My books are packed away currently. -- (talk) 20:04, 17 December 2007 (UTC) OK, I edited leaving blanks to be filled by editors more skillful than I but the information is essentially in place. Thanks! -- (talk) 20:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


Is this article still POV suspect? It doesn't seem to promote or demean the subject. It appears to simply report what the views are. Can we remove the POV tag? -- (talk) 20:13, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid that your edits will require citation and some straightforward typographical editing to justify the statements before they can be accepted. I've removed them for the moment, so you may not want to remove the POV tag. Michaelbusch (talk) 20:14, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Well let's not delete them, lets leave them up for proper editing. One step at a time my fellow wikipedian. -- (talk) 23:26, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Vioala, a simple "citation needed" tag works just fine there while more effective editors than you and I can clean it up. -- (talk) 23:32, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone know what the POV contention currently is? I cannot find it on this discussion page. Thanks. -- (talk) 23:33, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, removing the POV tag seems appropriate. (talk) 21:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

POV probably refers to the referencing almost exclusively supporting an inerrancy point of view, and an exclusion of references arguing against it. John D. Croft (talk) 06:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Not counting the scripture refs which don't really belong in the footnotes, what I call references (the footbotes) are about 50/50 I reckon. Dodd, Ehrman, Barr, Spong, I think Hick, and the New Jerusalem Bible, are all cited against inerrancy. The article has horrible organisational problems, but I think we need something more specific to call it NPOV. Peter Ballard (talk) 10:40, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


I've rearranged on the following basis:

  • Section 1 (Textual tradition of the New Testament) Defines Inerrancy. (Though needs some balance).
  • Section 2 (Basis of belief) gives the basis for Inerrancy.
  • Section 3 (Criticisms of biblical inerrancy) gives arguments against inerrancy (so logically belongs adjacent to section 2).
  • Section 4 (Major religious views on the Bible) gives different denominations positions on inerrancy.

Peter Ballard (talk) 12:13, 5 April 2008 (UTC)


The point of view presented in this article is overwhelmingly Christian. However, the Bible, in the first instance, refers to the Hebrew Bible. Given that the Christian Bible is at once a translation of the original, and by definition does not recognise the validity of the Hebrew Bible, the article can not claim that it holds the Bible inerrant since it calls it the Old Testament. The article can therefore only speak of the inerrancy of the New Testament.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:23, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Can you present any reliable sources presenting this view? Preferably more coherently than you do. HrafnTalkStalk 14:47, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I think before we get to the sources, note can be made of the Wikipedia itself.
  • The opening sentence in this article is "Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position[1] that in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all contradiction; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts." - However the word Bible is linked to...
  • The reference to the "doctrinal position[1]" is however linked to the Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), a Christian organisation, which has the doctrine of "We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him."
  • Which leads me to conclude that DTS asserts in the article that the Jews have not been able to read their own scriptures until the founding of Christianity because the Old Testament is "the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, with some variations and additions", and only with the founding of the DTS can the Old Testament be "properly read, or understood". In any case, no one who has not experienced this "proper reading and understanding" and has been "led to Him", can ever properly understand the Bible.
  • If the original was not understood by the Jews who made the translation to Greek[1], then surely the translation can not be understood either due to insecurity in defining true meaning, and therefore nothing can be said about the inerrancy of the interpretation by the DTD because its "doctrinal statement" becomes a tautology.
  • Therefore only the non-Hebrew part of the Christian literature can be used for the Biblical inerrancy article, and that of the use of what is know as the Old Testament is, according to Christian doctrine, in error.
Is this clear enough?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 20:58, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

PS. The DTS "doctrinal statement" is also a formal organisational policy, and therefore not a something that can be used to define an article in Wikipedia as a matter of Wikipedia policy and guidelines, unless the article is about the DTS as an organisation, which it is not.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 21:13, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

"Biblical Inerrenacy" is, in my understanding, primarily a Christian phenomenon, and a very widespread one which deserves an article. I reject the idea that the articles deserves a "worldwide view" tag, because it is about a Christian doctrine, which developed within Christianity.
"Biblical Inerrancy in Judaism" probably should be a separate article. I don't think there'd be a lot of commonality between the articles. Feel free to create it. Peter Ballard (talk) 00:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Well Peter, it appears that in Judaism the belief in inerrancy of the Torah had been explicit for well over a millennium before the founding of Christianity, and this includes exact reproduction of the work letter for letter, with one letter found out of place rendering the whole scroll unusable. So it seems the doctrine is not something invented by Christianity, and given the text of the article makes repeated references to the Hebrew Bible, it seems the authors concur in this with me, even if they may not have been aware of this as you are. As long as the word Bible is in the article title, it really is not something I can do anything about.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 07:04, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Your observation confirms my point: that Biblical Inerrancy in Judaism takes a very different form to what it does in Christianity. I still think separate articles is more appropriate. Peter Ballard (talk) 07:56, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
So how do you explain this article being Biblical, and at the same time not dealing with the Hebrew Bible, and the precedent from Judaism?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:58, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Because no one's been bothered to write it yet. The reason, I am guessing, is because inerrancy is less important in Judaism than in Christianity. By all means, get an expert on Jewish Biblical Inerrancy to write an article on it. I still think it fits better as a separate article, because the issues are so different, though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. Peter Ballard (talk) 10:22, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Inerrancy in Judaism is immaterial. We are talking about this article. This article claims that inerrancy is a solely Christian concept, but the article also uses Jewish texts, so clearly the question of inerrancy in Judaism must be considered. This is particularly true since the article acknowledges that the Jewish idea of preserving utmost accuracy in the reproduction of the text as affirmed by Paul (a Jew) by saying that "This sets a precedent for inerrant interpretation down to the individual letters of the words", the argument being based on Genesis.
Consider this from the article which is used for the Basis of belief,"First, from the Old Testament:
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether". Psalm 19:7-9 This is derived from the Jewish Tanakh. How can you suggest then that this is a solely Christian concept?!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:16, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
You're straying into WP:Original Research. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:28, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
What ARE you talking about?! I'm quoting from this very article, in case you haven't read it.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:28, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Where does the article say "the question of inerrancy in Judaism must be considered"? Peter Ballard (talk) 12:33, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I never cease to be amazed here. It is BECAUSE the article refers to the Bible, and uses several sources from Judaism, that the question of inerrancy in Judaism must be considered. After all, if the Jews said that they accept their text to be in error, Christianity could not very well base its own inerrancy on a source already so compromised, right?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:56, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I would note that mrg3105 has not proffered a single reliable source on the Judaic view on Biblical inerrancy. I would suggest that, until he does so, this is all just so much WP:SOAP, and has no place on an article talkpage per WP:TALK. HrafnTalkStalk 13:35, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

We cannot accept anything from mrg3105 without references. Even with references, this material might not be appropriate for this article, which is essentially about the Christian view of biblical inerrancy. Of course, there will be different Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist views of biblical inerrancy, and even differences among different sects of Christianity about this. If we get enough material, we could have a whole suite of biblical inerrancy articles. So please, if you have sources, write a Jewish views on biblical inerrancy article.--Filll (talk) 14:21, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Can we remove the POV tag? I'm happy to leave the "Christian Worldview" tag for a while to see if anything happens, but for a POV tag to be present there needs to be a reason offered for the article being POV, and none has been offered. Peter Ballard (talk) 10:07, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

The POV is there because the article is overwhelmingly written from the Christian POV! The second template is really an explanation of why the first one is there, because I do not want to state that the part which deals with THE Christian concept of innerancy is in itself POV-edited.
How can anyone claim this to be a solely Christian article when the basis of the article is a meaning derived by Paul from Genesis, and a statement by Jesus that refers to the Torah?!
In my humble opinion this article was written with a POV that chose to ignore the pre-NT Jewish concept of inerrancy. Is the suggestion being made that I should write this missing part? If you look at my other work, you will see that I try to add edits only when references to reliable sources are available. However, if an article is half-written, what does that mean other then that it was written either to deliberately obscure, or by editors that failed to do the research in the first place?
I am overcommitted as it is in both time, projects and articles, but when I do have more time available, I will return to edit this article unless this is done beforehand.
Rather then pass judgement over me, given I had barely contributed to the article as yet, you may want to consider doing more research rather then being so defensive.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
That is a problem with scope, not POV. POV tag is for an article not written from a WP:NPOV (Neutral Point of View). The article is not perfect but it is written reasonably neutrally and does present arguments for both sides, so I say remove the POV tag. Peter Ballard (talk) 12:05, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Both sides? Which is the other side?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
For and against the notion that the (Christian) Bible is inerrant. Peter Ballard (talk) 12:39, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I have an idea.. how about a disabiguation tag that clearly labes this article about the highly debated and documented Conservative Christian doctrine of Biblical inerrency. We can then provide links to Jewish doctrine for anyone one accidentally on the wrong page. -- (talk) 07:05, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Jennifer M. Dines, The Septuagint, Michael A. Knibb, Ed., London: T&T Clark, 2004

Abraham and his seed[edit]

What do you mean "pedantic", not that I take it as an insult? The entire premise is based on the interpretation of the word "seed" in the singular. This was literally true because Abraham had only one child with Sarah, and it says so in the same verse!

19. And God said, "Indeed, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac, and I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

So why is it off-topic, and can not be added as a footnote?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Two different things. The pedantic thing I did was to add the same citation to two consecutive sentences, and is unrelated to the footnote you added.
As for your footnote, there are lots of issues of interpretation. e.g. which verse is Paul citing? The NIV gives 3 possibilities (Gen 12:7, 13:15, 24:7) none of which are the verse you suggest (Gen 17:19). Then, does the seed mean Isaac, Ishmael, Jesus, or all of the above, or none of the above? This article is not the place to debate, or even mention, this point. All that needs to be said is that Paul is making an issue of the fact that the word is singular not plural. Anything else is off topic. Peter Ballard (talk) 12:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
You must be joking! You don't even know which verse the reference is being made to, and you refuse an offer of my context?! How can you add anything without context? If the statement by Paul is used, it has to be contextualised or removed as OR since it becomes a bit of speculation on the part of the editor that can refer to any one of the verses that uses the word lezaro.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:10, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, let me rephrase: I do not where it's from, it's from 3 different verses (none of which are the verse you suggest). It is not OR because I am simply repeating the argument in a cited source. As I said, the context of the Genesis verse is not the point, the point is that Paul is making an issue of the fact that the word is singuler not plural. Peter Ballard (talk) 07:52, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Wrong path[edit]

This article is completly on the wrong footing throughout, "inerrant" means that it does not stray from the theme, it does not mean "without error". To err, means to wander from a path. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Which seems to be supported by Tucker on p87. of his Etymological dictionary of Latin--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:31, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

To "stray" is an archaic meaning of "err", it's current meaning is "to make a mistake" or "to violate an accepted standard of conduct". "Inerrant" means "free from error".
So, what is this article is intended to be about is the Christian view of Biblical:
  • 1. Lack of written error - I think not; Hebrew Bible is not really mentioned
  • 2. Lack of error in interpreting - applied only to NT; not really because the view represented is that of a specific Christian denomination (evangelical)--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Within the Christian church, inerrant means without error. Obviously this article is not going to be written with a Christian POV as it should be (if you want it to be truthful anyway), but the Christian side of things should at least be mentioned. This article is on the wrong path, but following your advice would lead it further astray. --Andrew from NC (talk) 05:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
If inerrant means without error, then it ought to be focusing on the manuscript analysis, right? However, the actual content says that it is regarded as accepted literal truth, which is not exactly how it is seen in Judaism, but no mention is made of the Jewish perspective, or that the Bible refers to more then NT. In fact it is not the Bible that is inerrant, but either the: Source, the messengers, or the transcribers of it. That has been my point all along. Now, how is it that expanding the article, and pointing it in the right direction going to "lead it further astray"? And further from what?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
It would be leading the article further away from the truth. Like I have said above, it is obvious that this article is not going to be written in a truthful way, because the truth is that the Christian Bible is inerrant. It doesn't matter what the jewish bible or any other bible says because it is not the Bible (note capital B). But you seem to think that it does matter. Of course I would be thrilled if someone agreed with me, but I am not naive enough to think that most people will, and seeing as Wikipedia is written by most people and not just a few, it logically follows that this article is not going to be written in a truthful manor. --Andrew from NC (talk) 09:11, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Well Andrew, if we were in Hebrew Wikipedia, every word would have been started with the same size letter it ended with, but here there is only one Bible. I don't know what you mean by "truth" either, but given your user page I suspect I can take a guess. What you have here is an opportunity to create an article that provides a reference to others while using Wikipedia policies and guidelines, including citing sources for anything you write. As it stands now, the article's purpose is quite unclear, its major premise is a doctrine representative of a registered organisation, and there are some troubling omissions showing a lack of understanding of the subject. I'm happy to discuss the issues (time permitted), but I can not at this stage contribute extensively to editing.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:58, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
In answer to the question at 5:08 on 9-Apr, the answer is 1 - lack of written error (in the original sources). The few mentions of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) are because the doctrine is mainly derived from the New Testament, though more Old Testament verses could be added.
In answer to the comment at 6:29 on 9-Apr, we should not be focusing on manuscript analysis, because that is not the contentious issue. Inerrantists and non-inerrantists alike accept the results of Textual Criticism, there is no issue. What is contentious is whether the autographs (the original copies) are inerrant.
Your comment "In fact it is not the Bible that is inerrant, but either the: Source, the messengers, or the transcribers of it" is WP:OR unless you can provide a cite for it. I get the impression that you are coming at this from a Jewish perspective and have little feel for the Christian perspective. Given that, you should not be contributing to an article on the Christian doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy. By all means, write an article or section on the Jewish perspective, where it seems the issues are very different. Peter Ballard (talk) 08:10, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Peter Ballard! You have hit the nail on the head. --Andrew from NC (talk) 08:29, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Its interesting that you say my statement is OR ;O)
I am not trying to stress Judaism at all, but the fact is that the Septuagint is a translation of Hebrew to Greek, so this is important because of all the references to it made in NT.
The question of whether the original copies are inerrant is concerned with textual analysis, because it affects translation and interpretation. This goes to the question "What did God mean by that?"
Now, the interesting thing about the Textual Criticism article is that its only reference to the Hebrew sources is by saying in the section Applications of textual criticism that "Masoretic text, the Tanakh in Hebrew, 7th to 10th centuries CE, the basis of the modern Hebrew Bible" is the only application fit consideration as far as the Jewish sources are concerned.
So, I find it quite amazing that although the Hebrew Bible provides a significant part of the total volume of prophetic text in Christianity, and is often referred to in the NT, it is completely excluded from consideration as a source of God's messages.
I also find it interesting that although the Torah has been written by hand for thousands of years, and each scroll is checked annually for errors, while scribes use computer checking to verify their work, this is not considered at all interesting while Christian texts are accepted to have developed many errors in manuscripts, and there is a wide scope of translations and interpretations that existed and exists in Christian versions.
I am not out to criticise anyone, but this is supposed to be a balanced reference work. It can not be ignored that there is a Jewish concept of inerrancy, but editors in this and other articles like Textual Criticism have made it abundantly clear that neutrality is not going to be applied here.
Do I need to get an RFC, or can we be civil and reach consensus through discussion and without labelling like "you are coming at this from a Jewish perspective and have little feel for the Christian perspective"? I am in fact coming from a very neutral perspective.
  • I have asked what this article is about. The answer is - lack of written error (in the original sources)/whether the autographs (the original copies) are inerrant
  • Is the Hebrew Bible not considered an original source?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:04, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the Hebrew Bible is considered inerrant in the original Hebrew, by inerrantist Christians. I don't know where you got the idea that it's not. I also don't understand why you bring up the Septuagint. The Septuagint is a translation, so is not considered inerrant. This is not affected by the fact that the New Testament writers, writing in Greek, used the Septuagint. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:33, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Peter, considering the only Hebrew text we have is the Masoretic text, and it is shows from the Dead Sea Scrolls that this is fairly late, and the earlier Hebrew versions were in fact closer to the Septuagint, that the original Hebrew versions no longer exist? What effect does this have upon the views of Biblical inerrancy? John D. Croft (talk) 03:40, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is that the Dead Sea Scrolls show the opposite, confirming the general reliability of the Masoretic Text.(Ref: New Bible Dictionary, either 2nd (1982) or 3rd (1992) Edition, "Texts and Versions" article, by Alan Millard) Where the DSS have shown errors, the text used for modern bibles has been modified, but these are not many. (I once counted them in the NRSV footnotes, and there were about 80 in the entire Old Testament, many of them trivial). In any case, this doesn't affect inerrancy. Inerrantists hold to the inerrancy of the originals, not the Masoretic text, so when it is found that the text being used is different from the original, the text is simply updated and used in subeqeuent Bible translations. Peter Ballard (talk) 05:35, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of "Word of God"[edit]

The text says: 'There is only one instance in the Bible where the phrase "The Word Of God" refers to something "written". The reference is to the "Decalogue" which many Christian denominations consider "passed away".' This needs clarifying. What is it for the ten commandments to have "passed away"? Myrvin (talk) 18:59, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this statement concerning the ten commandments is not clear, rather misunderstandable here. I am deleting this part. If any reader of this article wants to know more about the decalogue he can read at the article "Ten commandments" more about the different Christian views in the section "Religious interpretations". There is anyway a link to the Decalogue. Nikil44 (talk) 15:04, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I am deleting following part: "He also wrote in Ephesians 2:20 that the church was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, which is generally understood to mean that the teaching and writings of the New Testament and the Old Testament are what the Bible elsewhere calls the word of God.[citation needed]" Firstly there is no citation and secondly this interpretation is according to my opinion wrong. The prophets here do not refer to the Old Testament prophets but to the New Testament prophets. In Eph.3:5 Paul uses the same expression - "the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets." He speaks here about prophets to whom it was revealed NOW. The New Testament apostles and prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius (Acts 13:1) etc. were responsible of building the foundation of the church. Nikil44 (talk) 20:44, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Function of Biblical inerrancy[edit]

I have been reading the work of the theologian Anne Primavesi, and she speculates upon the function of the belief in biblical inerrancy. Given that there is not a section on the various functions that biblical inerrancy serves, I wonder if we need a section on this in the article? John D. Croft (talk) 03:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I've no idea whether Primavesi's opinions are notable enough, but certainly a section - or subsection - on the topic would be worthwhile. I suspect it would belong under theological criticisms. There is already a note of a comment by Spong to that effect ("paper pope of Protestantism"). Peter Ballard (talk) 01:02, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


The line: 'Biblical inerrancy is the conservative evangelical doctrinal position[1] that in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all contradiction; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts."' is too narrow for an introduction. This inerrancy is a particular position that is held by some people. Perhaps it should read something like: Biblical inerrancy is the position that, in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all contradiction. It is a part of the conservative evangelical doctrine ; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts."[2]. Although I would prefer any reference to those holding the position to be excluded from the introduction, which should serve to define the topic in its general sense. Myrvin (talk) 08:52, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the wording is fine except for " including the historical and scientific parts", which as you point out, is too specific for an introduction. Honestly, I'm more concerned over the uncited OR. Faith (talk) 03:21, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Myrvin. Especially, the words "conservative evangelical" should be removed, as they are far too restrictive. Unless there are strong objections to changing this to ``a doctrinal position held by some Christians, I will be changing this in the near future. - Paul Rimmer, 23:08, 20 May 2008 (EST)

Christians and inerrancy[edit]

There are a lot of Christians who think there are errors in the Bible. The current Archbishop of Canterbury for one. There doesn't seem to be any recognition of this in the article.--Doug Weller (talk) 19:12, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's necessary. The article specifically states that it's a conservative evangelical belief, implying it's not found throughout Christianity. Also, the Biblical inerrancy#Theological criticisms section implies that there is criticism of the view from other Christians. Still, there might be room for some clarification in the Biblical inerrancy#Major religious views on the Bible section. I was looking at it, and it might be worth expanding, but we'll need sources. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:59, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Major cleanup attempt[edit]

I've narrowed the scope from what everyone and thier brother thinks about the Bible to specifically the conservative Christian doctrine of Biblical Inerrency that is much discussed in modern theological literature. I've added a new disambiguation tag and removed that huge ugly section on what every religion in the world thinks about the Bible. Enjoy. -- (talk) 07:16, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Just be sure to use the language from the Chicago statement on Biblical inerrency. That is THE definitive text on the matter of what evangelicals believe. We don't need everyone and thier brother's differing definitions of how they feel about the concept. Use Disambigs for that. Let this article accurately document from reliable sources what exactly biblical inerrency is. The afformentioned text is the main source. -- (talk) 18:57, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Deductive Reasoning - falsifiability[edit]

The new addition: "Another deductive argument would be the streangth of falsifiability. The argument is that Biblical inerrancy is a falsifiable stance (it can be proven false), therfore if it were false it would be proven false. It has not been proven false; therefore it is not false. (sic)", is logically inaccurate. It assumes that, if a statement is false it has been proven false, and that, if a statement has not been proven false it is not false (therefore true). If it CANNOT be proven false then this is weak not strong falsifiability . Unless this is all irony. Either way, I suggest it is removed. Myrvin (talk) 11:21, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the wording of the deductive argument is poor here. That said, I suggest we keep it for two reasons:

* it appears to be one of the academic arguments for inerrancy and as such is germane to the topic and
* it could be reworded to remove the fallacy: "Biblical inerrancy is a falsifiable stance; the deductive argument claims that a document so often contested would have been proven false if it were so." ok so the sentence is a bit twisty, but maybe it's a starting point? - Rho —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 9 May 2009 (UTC) 


Should be merged with Biblical infallibility. Somebody be bold. -- Secisek (talk) 22:22, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

There is a difference between biblical infallibility and biblical inerrancy. I don't agree with either, but at least get the facts right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Nelson Glueck[edit]

Apart from the issue of whether Glueck is speaking here as a rabbi or an archaeologist, there is also the issue that his quotation is terribly out of date. See, for instance, this article in Harper's: Lazare, Daniel (2002). "False Testament: Archaeology Refutes the Bible's Claim to History". Harper's Magazine.  At any rate, obviously WP:NPOV demands that the more mainstream current views in modern archaeology should be given in the article, rather than presenting this single quote as though it represented the final authority on archaeological consensus on the matter. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 06:13, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Inductive Reasoning to arrive at Inerrancy[edit]

This section makes little sense at the moment. Part of it is indented as if it was a quote from Wallace - but it doesn't give a Wallace citation.

More importantly, it also says that Warfield looks at the bible as a historical document, but does not say what this has to do with induction. Myrvin (talk) 06:56, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Second Vatican Council[edit]

There was a controversy during the Second Vatican Council on whether the Roman Catholic Church taught infallibility or inerrancy. Some have interpreted Dei Verbum as teaching the infallibility position, while others note that the conciliar document often quotes previous documents such as Providentissimus Deus and Divino Afflante Spiritu that clearly teach inerrancy. [1] ADM (talk) 13:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I've added a brief quote from Dei verbum, as well as a quote from the Jesuit biblical scholar Daniel J. Harrington from The Catholic Study Bible, (Oxford University Press, 1990), who says this conciliar document "should be taken as the authoritative climax of a long series of developments in the Church's attitude toward the Bible." BlueMesa171 (talk) 01:36, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Holy Spirit as author of Bible[edit]

I noticed that one of the recurrent arguments for inerrancy is not because everything is historically literal, but because the Holy Spirit himself is thought to have written the Book. It's difficult to imagine what it means for the infallible Spirit of God to actually write a book. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity, while Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity. An important problem in all this is that many Christians simply do not know much about who exactly the Holy Spirit is and why he plays such an important role in Christianity. There are a few Jews and Armenians who believe that the Holy Spirit is the Archangel Metatron, and that Metatron is the exalted and transfigured character of Enoch, who is mentioned at the beginning of Genesis. That is perhaps controversial however. ADM (talk) 13:59, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

When you say the Holy Spirit wrote the books of the Bible are you really saying he inspired men to write it? If so, that is already covered in the article. The second issue you bring up is not germane to this article...that of the identity of the Holy Spirit. It seems simply saying that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity or Godhead is enough. --StormRider 15:51, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

It's just your imagination. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

inerrant vs. literal[edit]

Under the subheading "clarification of the doctrine of inerrancy" it might be good to include something about the difference between a literal and an inerrant view of the bible? I've never heard any Christian claim a totally literal interpretation is correct, but i have heard lots of people say it in a disparaging way. if those people come to the page, it might be good to include some coverage of the issue, or to direct them to the appropriate page if such exists. I can't find anyone online who argues for a literal interpretation; there seems to be agreement that, for instance, poetic language is not literal; proverbs are true but not universally so; and so on.

 - Rho  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 9 May 2009 (UTC) 


When you discuss Lutherans in this article, you should specify that you are talking about Missouri Synod Lutherans (LCMS). You've quoted texts from Concordia Publishing House which is an LCMS publishing house. The largest Lutheran denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) views the scriptures as inspired and not inerrant.

The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world. c2.02.C ELCA Constitution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

While you're at it, WELS and ELS as well... Also many smaller synods such as the CLC and AALC all teach that the Bible is inerrant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:58, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Theological Criticisms[edit]

The last "theological criticism" (quoting a Catholic bishop) does not appear to be a theological criticism of Biblical inerrancy. Or Biblical infallibility. Or anything Biblical at all. If appears to be a criticism of Protestants and Protestantism.

I have no problem with quoting Catholics or summarizing the Catholic perspective on Biblical inerrancy. Just make the headings appropriate. In this case, I think this entry is not actually a theological criticism of Biblical inerrancy.

If it is, tell me how. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The quote mentions "the infallible Scriptures" rather than the "inerrant Scriptures"; is that the focus of your objection? Otherwise, it seems to be a theological criticism of the origin of the belief. It is certainly a criticism; can you suggest a better category for the criticism than "theological". -- Cat Whisperer (talk) 01:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Biblical inerrancy[edit]

How does Biblical inerrancy explain the fact that the value of pi given in the Bible is 3? I Kings 7:23-26, describing a large cauldron, or "molten sea" in the Temple of Solomon: states "He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it." This is clearly in error, either the caldron was not 10 cubits in diameter, it was not circular, or it was not 30 cubits around. By definition this proves the bible is not inerrant.John D. Croft (talk) 21:45, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

This is not a discussion forum. It's for discussing how to improve an article about the theological concept of Biblical inerrancy. Please explain how this would relate to improving the article. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 22:17, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

"Error" Category[edit]

In the interests of neutrality, I have removed the "Biblical Inerrancy" page from the category "Error." I'm not sure if someone was attempting to be ironic, but the classifying of the position as "Error" when you have links offering arguments for and against the concept of inerrancy seems to me to be begging the question. ----Bryan Rhodes, Postgrad in Divinity, University of Edinburgh

Moses etc[edit]

The last edit of User:Koakhtzvigad is odd. It seems to suggest that Moses wrote all of the Hebrew Bible. Also it says Jews for Judaism - with an extra m - is a Christian sect. Also, the ref to Ehrman has been replaced by one for Tov, with no comment. Perhaps there is more to come. Myrvin (talk) 15:27, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Gosh. A huge edit has now been made. J for J is no longer Christian, but Moses is still writing all the 'original books of the Hebrew Bible', whichever they are. And now the criticisms to do with dodgy translations have been wiped out. Without any discussion, that's a bit tough if you ask me. I'll have a go at putting the crits back using acceptable sources. Myrvin (talk) 09:31, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, was late and I misread Jews for Jesus. Koakhtzvigad (talk) 01:12, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Easy done. Did you do the thing about Moses too? If so, did you mean they believe he wrote the Torah or Pentateuch? I think "original books" is vague. Myrvin (talk) 07:30, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
He's been blocked for 72 hours for editwarring and for his attitude towards 3RR, see my talk page for that. This isn't a commentary on whether he is right or wrong, but his editing style. Dougweller (talk) 12:04, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I changed it. Myrvin (talk) 10:26, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Practical objections[edit]

I don't see the need for this heading any more. I propose to delete it and promote its sub-headings. Myrvin (talk) 10:27, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

only one inerrant because of differences?[edit]

In the lead it reads: "Because the holy books of the world differ from each other, only one of them—at most, by implication—can truly be inerrant." I think this is logically incorrect reasoning. It isn't necessarily so that if there are two versions, only one can be true... Truths can coexist. "1+1=2" and "red is a colour" for instance. Maybe only one can be inerrant because of a contradiction, but not because of a difference. Mark in wiki (talk) 07:03, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

The difference would have to be such that both could not be correct. But the words say differ. It turns out that the words are a staight quote from the cited website. As they stand, you are right that they do not say what they are claimed to mean. The whole quote is:

The Torah, Hebrew/Christian Scriptures, and Qur'an do not agree on many topics including the nature of God; creation and origin of life, the world and the rest of the universe; various scientific topics; morality and ethics; personal salvation; the afterlife; abortion access; equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, and transgendered persons; same-sex marriage; and many other cultural matters. Because the holy books of the world differ from each other, only one of them -- at most -- can be inerrant. Some people suggest that none are inerrant.

But I guess this was too big for the lead. Why the website doesn't say disagree rather than do not agree and differ, I don't know: since that's what they must mean. Hard to know what to do here. Let's remove it and see what happens. Myrvin (talk) 07:58, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

I've removed it. Although I like the source website, I feel iffy about it as a source for this article. Dougweller (talk) 09:12, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Inerrant & infallible[edit]

The text now has

"Inerrant" means there are no errors; "infallible" means there can be no errors

AND (in History)

Some notable Christian seminaries, such as Princeton Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary, were formally adopting the doctrine of infallibility while rejecting the doctrine of inerrancy.

So, these semianries think that the bible CANNOT contain errors, but it does?? Myrvin (talk) 12:09, 5 July 2011 (UTC)


When I post links to this page, the WikiProject Christianity logo is automatically appended. As a non-Christian I don't appreciate the cross planted in my messages. Is there a way to stop this logo from appearing (either at the WikipediA level, or at my personal level)? Thebiggnome (talk) 11:23, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

I haven't had that. To where is it appended? Myrvin (talk) 12:54, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
It appears as a thumbnail to the left of the link. Here's where I posted it; it's about 20 replies down: Thebiggnome (talk) 03:07, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Virgin birth[edit]

Someone has twice deleted this whole section on the grounds it is not about biblical inerrancy. It seemed obvious to me that if Christ was not born of a virgin, or Matthew's assertion that such a birth was predicted was wrong, then that part of the bible which said it was could not be inerrant. I have again reinstated the text and tried to add an explanatory introduction. Also, the deleter, user:Grafted, does not seem to have a user page. Myrvin (talk)

User:Grafted is now adding comments to the text that seem to be confusing inerrancy with Biblical infallability. Myrvin (talk) 13:33, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Article lacks some important components of history[edit]

There is no place in this article that describes how this belief came to be. It opens with the presumption that scripture was always considered perfect, but is is obviously not so, as the argument of which books were right was fought for centuries --Blue Tie (talk) 00:21, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Can't anyone prove the Bible wrong?[edit]

Can't anyone prove the Bible wrong? ANYONE at all? Has anyone ever had a successful debate against,, and other such websites? Has anyone ever debated against REAL Biblical scholars and theologians, and was successful? It seems like there is a lot of misinformation spread, such as, for instance, Jesus and Horus comparisons, Jesus and Mithra, Jesus and Krishna, etc. And arguments also just drag ON AND ON AND ON. If a skeptic or atheist or critic says ANYTHING, there's ALWAYS a response or rebuttal from the Christians, and it NEVER ends. Is it because the Bible is written in such cryptic language that basically ANYTHING can be interpreted from it? Because things that the Christians were once against often end up becoming accepted, such as evolution, Big Bang, Earth revolving around the Sun, etc. There needs to be an honest way to put an end to it, because Christianity is harmful to so many, including myself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

You know, I have to sympathize with the feeling; I've been there too. But "Can't anyone prove the Bible wrong?" Why do you want to? The Bible is inerrant, but its interpreters vary. And you know, when two people are arguing over an interpretation, it's always possible that they're both wrong! But the Bible is not to blame for that. The Bible is meant as food for the soul, not as ammunition for the power-hungry. So if an argument frustrates you, it's ok to stop arguing, for you're only losing the frustration. If you lose your temper, the argument is lost already. And if you keep your temper, winning the argument still doesn't feed you. So why do you want to argue? As you said, it's pretty pointless. But the soul still needs food. The question is, where do you want to go looking for some? The choice is still yours, as it always has been. May God bless your journey. Evenssteven (talk) 05:37, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Latest change to the lead[edit]

A good faith change has been made to the lead to say that the doctrine is only a Protestant Evangelical one, originating in modern times. The only citation for this assertion is the Geisler one that has been moved forward. I don't see that the Geisler quote supports the assertion; the quote is about the distinction between inerancy and infallibility. For the "modern times" idea, in another work, Geisler says that the idea of inerrancy has "a venerable history.. rooted in the early fathers of the Church" [2]. Geisler seems to be a supporter of inerrancy and is probably saying that doubt about it has only crept in in modern times.

The later addition about Catholics etc. has no backing citation at all. I propose to revert this whole edit. Myrvin (talk) 00:58, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

You know, after looking this over again, I'd just like to retract my earlier edit voluntarily. I agree with various weaknesses of applicability in the Geisler quote. But worse, I got the article's focus wrong. The issue I was seeing really wasn't with inerrancy, but with "the doctrine". About inerrancy itself, without embellishments, I think there is much greater agreement throughout the branches of Christianity, so the limitations I was trying to express don't apply to that. About "the doctrine", it depends; is there just one? Now I have some useful questions - always a valuable prize in itself - but not answers; sorry I didn't recognize that sooner. Evenssteven (talk) 04:38, 8 June 2013 (UTC)


I have tried to clarify the Trypho citation. The old version fooled one editor, and I still think it is iffy. Can someone else do better? Myrvin (talk) 12:05, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

The more I look into it, the less sense it makes. Trypho was probably a sock-puppet for Justin, and not even Justin has him questioning the translation. I've removed the reference. Myrvin (talk) 13:25, 9 January 2014 (UTC)


The lead has become a very week introduction to the topic. We need a cited set of words that is much stronger. It should be about the inerrancy of current scripture, not original manuscripts. Myrvin (talk) 12:48, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

There's a cited sourced referencing "original manuscripts", which seems to be the generally accepted position. If you want to change the lede, you'd need strong sources suggesting that the main argument is about current translations. Gusworld (talk) 11:06, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I looked at the cited source carefully. It does say, "We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture". I don't see that this makes present text non-inerrant. The Chicago people seem to go to great lengths to defend inerrantism in current scriptures. It says "We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant." By the way, the article also reads: "The signatories to the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy" assert that since there are no extant original manuscripts of the Bible, those which exist cannot be considered inerrant. The signatories also maintain that the existing manuscripts are faithful copies of the original manuscripts.", which is surely contradictory. And anyway I don't see where the Chicago text says "those which exist cannot be considered inerrant" - that seems to be an inference and OR. I have put a contradiction tag there with the edit comment "If the originals are inerrant, and existing copies are faithful, then they must be inerrant too." Which is what Grudem says. Myrvin (talk) 12:43, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I can see that people like Plummer [3] say that the statement means that inerrancy only applies to the originals, but I do not see that myself. Other texts do not say this. (see [4] "transcribed manuscripts ... still ... inerrant". Plummer's views can be recorded, but not in the lead. There should be a section discussing whether inerrancy refers only to autographs or also to extant texts. Myrvin (talk) 13:26, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Actually, I'm not sure that Plummer does say just that. He also says we can reconstruct the originals. Myrvin (talk) 14:19, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Mischaracterization of Catholic doctrine[edit]

It is important to note that the Catholic Church believes the Bible to be correct on matters of faith and morality. This does not mean that the Church asserts it to be free from errors, as is implied by inerrancy. I don't think the sections on Vatican II fit in with such an article or accurately characterize Church teachings. Pretendus (talk) 18:00, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Where is your quote from? The article quotes Vatican II as "Since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation".[9] The Council added: "Since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words."[15]
Is this what you mean? It's what they said. Myrvin (talk) 19:10, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Merge 2[edit]

I think the Biblical inerrancy and Biblical infallibility should be merged because (1) The difference between the two is convoluted. Biblical infallibility can be defined as either stronger or weaker than inerrancy. (2) Everything that the two articles talk about would overlap: the difference between the two terms, what groups believe in inerrancy for historical facts, criticism, etc. —Enervation (talk) 18:33, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I sympathize, and agree about the topics being convoluted. I'm Orthodox Christian, not of a group that often discusses this matter. I think there's a general Orthodox position that the Bible is one or the other (or both) in that it is divinely inspired, a part of Holy Tradition, and the most foundational writings about our faith. To what degree that coincides with others' views as to one or both of these terms, I simply am uninformed, but given discrepancies among those others, I am sure there must be some dissimilarities somewhere: more convolution. I think the varieties of view largely stem (likely) from the Protestant orientation of "sola scriptura", and hence are unlikely to match with precision either the Orthodox or the Catholic views. Some Protestants appear to treat the entire Bible as uniformly suitable for the formation of theology. Orthodoxy doesn't; and I suspect Catholicism doesn't also. I think that difference also accounts for the questions or differences that some have about the biblical canon itself. In Orthodoxy, Bel and the Dragon is biblical, but would still be considered unsuitable as a sole basis for doctrine. In Protestantism, it would have to be suitable if it were to be considered biblical. (That's an oversimplification, but still to the point.) Yet this is a matter not readily addressed in either of these articles, or even in a combined article. Perhaps. I tend to favor the idea of the merge, as it ought to give a little larger scope for dealing with the ins and outs of the views, even among Protestants. And I tend to think that can also help in permitting the merged article to gain some perspective about where the roots of the differences lie. Perhaps that will help the article to disentangle convolutions somewhat. Evensteven (talk) 20:16, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I think the articles need to remain, since so much historically (at least within the last century) has been made of the distinction. StAnselm (talk) 20:29, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I will defer to this view. The distinctions are highly important to many, especially Protestants, and I think it is up to those to whom it matters most to decide how best to organize the material. Then, hopefully, it will make the same sense to the readers who look the articles up for those reasons. Evensteven (talk) 20:33, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be settled. I have removed the tag.Myrvin (talk) 07:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Latest edits[edit]

Removed the equivocal unreferenced declarative statement "Another deductive argument would be the strength of falsifiability. The argument is that Biblical inerrancy is a falsifiable stance (it can be proven false). In this case, if errors are proven in the Biblical text then the stance of Biblical inerrancy is itself false." This statement is equivocating as it does not differentiate between the question of errors in the extant manuscripts (which even the most conservative evangelical scholars admit to having errors")), and the question of inerrancy in the original autographs. This distinction was already well established earlier in this wiki. Since the extant copies obviously contain error and these errors are readily admitted to by the preponderance of conservative Christian scholarship, then the real debate centers around errors in the orginal autographs. Since there are absolutely no orignal autographs to be found for any scripture anywhere on the planet, the claim is obvioulsy non-falsifiable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DAS2011 (talkcontribs) 04:48, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

The assertions you removed was uncited, so it should go. However, you have added other uncited assertion. You need to find references for it. Otherwise, it too is original research. I have removed the words until a citation turns up. This should really go later in the article as a detailed criticism of the idea. Myrvin (talk) 07:45, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Biblical stability?[edit]

Is there a specific term for the viewpoint of "biblical inviolability" or stability?

This is not such a strong claim as inerrancy or infallibility, but rather the belief that the Bible remains constant and unchanged, through transcription or translation. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:49, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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