​I think even most fundamentalists will hold back from saying scripture is inerrant. It simply isn’t possible to say. So, what you will find are those who say the original scriptures are error-free.

Why this matters at all is because “Inerrantists” want to appeal to scripture to settle some matter, theological or otherwise, but this is odd!

Even if the first writing of one of the books of the Bible had no errors, we have problems of interpretation that do not go away in any case. First is the obvious; to say there are statements that can contain error is to already interpret scripture as one form of communication versus another (historical narrative, myth, legend, history proper, non fiction, and so on), and scripture doesn’t help us know which it is. Would we think to talk about “The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn” in terms of errors at all, for example? Second is that in saying the “originals” are error-free, one owns that what scripture one has before them in fact contains error. Third, no originals exist.

The point of saying scripture is error-free, then, doesn’t at all do for anyone saying so what they’d hoped. There is no objective basis for claims about the ontology of the Bible in terms of inerrancy. Saying that scripture is authoritative then is simply saying one’s own interpretation is authoritative. The basis of these sorts of statements are generally hope, also called “faith”, or hubris.

I don’t see that either make a difference at all in the life of a person seeking God or trying to understand Christ.

In fact, since such statements only invoke dissonance and division, I think such beliefs, posited as facts of the matter to settle other matters, is a dangerous and wasteful occupation altogether.

Just a thought.

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One thought on “Oopsie!

  1. campeador says:

    “‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe…”

    Perhaps Lewis Carroll could help explain the purported ‘inerrancy’ of documents which have been lost to time, and for which there is no evidence of their having existed. And what good (how relevant) is a ‘reality’ which is wholly inaccessible to us?

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!”

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