Erik left a comment on one of my previous posts, which I want to reply to in a post… as I think it may serve to clarify or even raise some further conversation and questions. I also think it is important to say what difference this makes. (This is not a blog for simply spouting off doctrine | philosophy | knowledge. At the least, I hope there is conversation to be had. Personal is best.) Erik states that:
that the bible does claim inerrancy/infallibility–or at the very least teaches principles which require and imply them. Ps 19:7, Prov 30:5, 2 Tim 3:16,17 are good places to start.
So what I want to do is define what I mean by inerrancy and infallibility.
Inerrant: has no error. Many people take this to the extreme by saying that everything that the Bible says happened occurred exactly that way. We take it as a precise historical document of pure truth. Perhaps I could subscribe to inerrancy if it meant that the Bible states everything that the authors wanted to state.
Infallible: incapable of erring. This seems to me to give the Bible an authority in and of itself that says that no matter how anyone interprets it, it cannot possible be wrong. Since I believe that the Bible mainly has authority by means of God’s spirit and communities that interpret it, I struggle with this one. Maybe I could be ok with infallibility if it meant that it is incapable of meaning something different than what the authors intended it to mean. Since we consistently place our own biases on the authors and we can’t sit down and have a cup of coffee with any of them, this is pretty much impossible