Mister Richardson’s
Bible Doctrine Class


Chapter 2: Authority and Inerrancy of the Bible


All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
- 2 Timothy 3:16

A. All the words in Scripture are God’s words.
  1. This is what the Bible claims for itself.
    • Thus saith the LORD occurs hundreds of times.
    • God speaks through prophets - Deuteronomy 18:18-20.
    • All God’s graphe, writings, are inspired - 2 Timothy 3:16.
    • God moves people to speak/write - 2 Peter 1:21.
    • Peter knew that Paul wrote Scripture - 2 Peter 3:15-16.
    • 1 Timothy 5:18 quotes Luke 10:7 as Scripture.
    • Paul knew he wrote Scripture - 1 Corinthians 14:37.
  2. We are convinced of the Bible’s claims to be God’s words as we read the Bible - John 10:27.
  3. Other evidence is useful but not finally convincing.
  4. The words of Scripture are self-attesting.
  5. Objection: This is a circular argument.
  6. This does not imply dictation from God as the sole means of communication - Luke 1:1-3; John 14:26; Hebrews 1:1.
  7. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God - Luke 24:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:14.
B. The truthfulness of Scripture.
  1. God cannot lie or speak falsely - Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18.
  2. Therefore, all the words in Scripture are completely true and without error in any part - Psalms 12:6; Proverbs 30:5.
  3. God’s words are the ultimate standard of truth - John 17:7.
  4. Might some new fact ever contradict the Bible?
C. The Inerrancy of Scripture
  1. The meaning of inerrancy.
    • The Bible can be inerrant and still speak in the ordinary language of everyday speech.
    • The Bible can be inerrant and still include loose or free quotations.
    • The Bible can be inerrant and have unusual or uncommon grammatical constructions.
  2. Some current challenges to inerrancy.
    • The Bible is only authoritative for faith and practice.
    • Inerrancy is a poor term.
    • We have no inerrant manuscripts; therefore, we can have no real inerrancy.
    • The biblical writers were influenced by ideas of their day.
    • There are some clear errors in the Bible.
  3. Problems with denying inerrancy.
    • If some parts of the Bible are in error, then all parts are suspect.
    • Can we really trust God if He can’t communicate His message?
    • We make our own minds the ultimate standard of authority.
    • Christianity is false in its claims.
D. Written Scripture is our final authority.

TERMS
Absolute authority, authority of Scripture, circular argument, dictation, faith & practice, God-breathed, inerrancy, infallibility, inspiration, neo-orthodoxy, Scripture, self-attesting, textual variant.

ADDITIONAL TERMS (not in textbook)
Apocrypha - list of ancient Hebrew writings not included in the Old Testament canon.
Canon - rule, ruler, model, standard: an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture.
Orthodox - conforming to established doctrine.
Heterodox - contrary to, or differing from, an acknowledged standard.

REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How would you prove that all the words in the Bible are God’s words?
2. List and respond to three objections to the inerrancy of Scripture.
3. Name three problems that may result from a denial of biblical inerrancy.

PERSONAL APPLICATION QUESTIONS
1. Is there anything in the Bible that you do not believe? If yes, how can you know for sure the Bible is in error?
2. Is there anything in the Bible that you wish were not there? Explain.
3. Why are other sacred writings - the Lost Books of the Bible, the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon - not thought of as inerrant by Christians?

WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
Q2: What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?
A2: The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

ARTICLES
Scripture Memory

RECOMMENDED BOOKS
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? - F. F. Bruce
The Canon of Scripture - F. F. Bruce
Authority - Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
From the Mouth of God - Sinclair Ferguson
Canon Revisited - Michael Kruger
The Question of Canon - Michael Kruger
The Heresy of Orthodoxy - Andreas Kostenberger

QUOTES
Dynamic equivalent translators smuggle in a huge agenda of further activities that have little to do with finding an equivalent for something in the original text. Here is a list of activities that make up the major portion of what dynamic equivalent translators do: make the style of the English Bible as contemporary and colloquial (or nearly so) as it is possible to make it; change figurative language into direct statement; add interpretive commentary in an attempt to make the Bible immediately understandable to a modern reader; replace theological vocabulary with everyday vocabulary (true of some but not all dynamic equivalent translations); reduce the vocabulary level of the original and of traditional English translations; shorten the syntax of the original and/or traditional English translations; bring masculine gender references into line with modern feminist preferences.
- Leland Ryken, Understanding English Bible Translation

It is no coincidence that those who come to different conclusions regarding the nature of early Christianity regularly turn to alternative gospels or other writings that significantly postdate the canonical Gospels.
Andreas Kostenberger, The Heresy of Orthodoxy


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