Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Inerrancy of Scripture - Part Two

So the follow up question in this discussion was whether or not Jesus implies that all Scripture is inerrant. I believe that Jesus does imply that all Scripture is inerrant. Jesus rebukes the Sadducees when they ask the silly question about the resurrection in Matthew 22:23-33. He tells them they are wrong because they do not know the Scriptures. Jesus goes on to remind them of what is written in Exodus 3:6 and does so in the present tense. This is an important point in my opinion but maybe not for the reason that might first come to mind when you read that. Of course God IS present tense but Jesus quoted this passage in present tense also stated that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ARE as well…in the present tense. Jesus is affirming not only the verse but is even affirming the present tense of the verb. Jesus does the same thing in the High Priestly Prayer found in John 17 where he says God’s word IS truth.

In this way I believe that every jot and tittle is vitally important. That is where the question of reliability of the copies of that Word we have in our possession today comes into play. I am interested in the views of the participants of this discussion on this question.

Moving on to the historical reliability of the Scriptures, I suppose we have to decide if we possess what the authors of the four Gospels wrote in the first place. If we do possess what they wrote, do they claim to accurately represent the events they are describing? Even if the first two questions are both true, how do we know that these authors are actually trustworthy sources in the first place? These are the standards other historical documents are subjected to and it seems fair to me to use the same standards.

There are more extant copies of the Gospels than any other ancient documents. Of course, there are minor variations in the copies but we can say with confidence that we possess what the authors wrote. The Gospel writers clearly state that they are eyewitnesses (or in the case of Luke conducted a thorough investigation) of the events they describe. Further, we know the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, Roman historian Tacitus, and a Samaritan writer named Thallus that much of what is contained in the Gospels occurred. Archeological evidence provides additional confirmation of many things contained in the Gospels as well. In fact, a Jewish archeologist has even said there has never been an archeological discovery that has contradicted any of the biblical accounts.

Using the standards applied to other historical documents as a guide, I easily conclude that the Gospels are historically reliable. I believe this to be a reasonable conclusion given what we know about the period in question.

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

I believe it may be possible that some irregularity occurs in printing, however, I think the "contradictions" we find are probably just a lack of understanding on our part.