Biblical Inerrancy : The Evidence - Part 2
by Dr John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon
The Strength of
Inerrancy from the Revelation of God: the Biblical
Teaching on Inerrancy
important section we will briefly show the following:
inspired Old Testament teaches inerrancy,
Himself, God’s own Son, teaches inerrancy in the
c. the rest
of the inspired New Testament teaches inerrancy, and
confirmation we will observe that the Church recognized
this biblical attestation and taught inerrancy for
eighteen centuries until the rise of rationalism and
higher criticism corrupted the church from within.
The burden of
proof is upon those who assert the Bible does not teach
inerrancy to prove their thesis. This they have not done.
Thus, in this
section we will briefly examine the Bible’s testimony to
its own inspiration and inerrancy.1
observes that, "In every defense of biblical inerrancy it
is maintained that the notion is scriptural, that is, a
concept taught by Jesus and the apostles...[but] we are
forced to ask whether it is really scriptural or simply an
inference drawn by godly minds."2
answer to this question should be decided by every
believer on the basis of Scripture and nothing else. God,
of course, not man, is the most competent authority on His
own revelation. In brief fashion we will cite relevant
Scriptures (NASB) under specific categories to show that
the Bible does indeed teach inerrancy. The declarations of
each category directly or indirectly imply or teach
inerrancy. The implications of such a conclusion virtually
force us to adopt a belief in inerrancy. For example, if
God’s Word is errant and eternal, then it is eternally in
I. The Old
1. Isa. 40:8—The
grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God
119:89—Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.
138:2—I will bow down toward Thy holy temple, and give
thanks to Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth;
For Thou has magnified Thy word according to all Thy
30:5, 6—Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to
those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words,
lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.
12:6—The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver
tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
18:30—As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the
Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in
4. Ps. 19:7,
9—The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul…
The judgments of the Lord are true, they are righteous
119:43, 142, 151, 160—The word of truth… Thy law is
truth… all Thy commandments are truth… the sum of Thy
word is truth and every one of Thy righteous ordinances
D. Holy and
105:42—For He remembered His holy word with Abraham His
119:123—My eyes fail with longing for Thy salvation and
for Thy righteous word.
119:140—Thy word is very pure, therefore Thy servant
33:14—…I will fulfill the good word which I have
F. Vital and
59:21—"And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,"
says the Lord. "My Spirit which is upon you and My words
which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from
your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring" says
the Lord, "from now and forever."
Christ and the Gospels
24:35—Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words
shall not pass away.
5:18—For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass
away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away
from the Law, until all is accomplished.
5:47—But if you do not believe his [Moses] writings, how
will you believe My words?
10:35—…the Scripture cannot be broken….
12:49-50—For I did not speak on My own initiative, but
the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment,
what to say, and what to speak. And I know that His
commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I
speak, I speak just as the Father has told me.
17:8—…the words which Thou gavest Me, I have given
16:17—But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away
than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
17:17—Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is Truth.
7:16—My teaching is not Mine but His who sent Me. (cf.
E. Vital and
4:4—But he answered and said, "It is written, Man shall
not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds
out of the mouth of God."
III. The Rest
of the New Testament
1. 1 Pet.
1:25—But the Word of the Lord abides forever and this is
the word which was preached to you.
1. 2 Tim.
3:16-17—All scripture is inspired by God and profitable
for teaching, for reproof, for correction for training
in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.3
2. 2 Peter
1:21—…no prophecy [of Scripture] was ever made by an act
of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke
3. 2 Peter
3:2; 15-16—I want you to recall the words spoken in the
past by the holy prophets and the command given by our
Lord and Savior through your apostles…. Bear in mind
that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our
dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that
God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters,
speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain
some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant
and unstable people distort, as they do the other
Scriptures, to their own destruction. [This shows the
inspiration of the New Testament.]
C. Living and
4:12—…for the word of God is living and active… (cf.
2. 1 Peter
1:23—…for you have been born again not of seed which is
perishable, but imperishable, that is, through the
living and abiding word of God.
1. 2 Tim.
2:15—Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as
a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling
accurately the word of truth.
E. Not Human
1. 1 Thess.
2:13—And for this reason we also constantly thank God
that when you received from us the word of God’s
message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for
what it really is, the word of God, which also performs
its work in you who believe.
2. 1 Thess.
4:8—…he who rejects this [instruction] is not rejecting
man, but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
3:15—…from childhood you have known the sacred
G. Vital and
22:18-19—I testify to everyone who hears the words of
the prophecy of this book; if anyone adds to them, God
shall add to him the plagues which are written in this
book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the
prophecy of this book, God shall take away his part from
the tree of life and from the holy city which are
written in this book.
2. 1 Cor.
2:12-13—Now we have received, not the spirit of the
world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might
know the things freely given to us by God,... in those
[words] taught by the Spirit (See v. 14)
3:2—…they have been entrusted with the very words (Gk:
logia) of God. (Rom. 3:2 NIV)
taken, we think the above verses teach the doctrine of
inerrancy. In fact, we can’t see the possibility of any
great deal could be said about each of the above listed
Scriptures (and there are scores of others), let us simply
ask some plain questions of them. Is it proper to call
errant writings "holy"? How is inspiration divine
if it merely guarantees the presence of truth and error—is
it not then human, and, like every other book, to be
treated like every other book? If we answer "no" by
appealing to its unique theological content, how do we
know such content is true? If God’s Word is eternal, are
we content with a certain amount of eternal error?
What did God mean when He called His word "perfect,"
"true," "righteous," "good," "trustworthy," and "pure?" Is
perfection really imperfection or truth really error or
good really the not good or the trustworthy in fact the
doubtful or the pure actually impure? E. J. Young
revealed to us His word. What are we to think of Him if
this Word is glutted with little annoying inaccuracies?
Why could not the omnipotent and omniscient God have
taken the trouble to give us a Word that was free from
error? Was it not a somewhat discourteous thing for Him
to have breathed forth from His mouth a message filled
with mistakes? Of course, it was discourteous, it was
down-right rude and insulting. The present writer finds
it difficult to have much respect for such a God. Does
He expect us to worship Him? What kind of a God is He if
He has given such an untrustworthy Word to mankind? And
this brings us to the heart of the matter. The
Scriptures claim to be breathed forth from His mouth, if
they partake of error, must not He Himself also partake
course, tells us that His Word is pure. If there are
mistakes in that Word, however, we know better; it is
not pure. He tells us that His judgments are righteous,
but we know better; as a matter of fact, His judgments
are mixed with error. He declares that His law is the
truth. His law contains the truth, let us grant Him
that, but we know that it contains error. If the
autographs of Scripture are marred by flecks of mistake,
God simply has not told us the truth concerning His
Word. To assume that He could breathe forth a Word that
contained mistakes is to say, in effect, that God
Himself can make mistakes. We must maintain that the
original of Scripture is infallible for the simple
reason that it came to us directly from God Himself.4
As the great
London preacher Charles Spurgeon once stated, "This is the
book untainted by any error, but is pure, unalloyed,
perfect truth. Why? Because God wrote it. Ah! Charge God
with error if you please; tell Him that His book is not
what it ought to be...."5
See Feinberg’s comments on the exegetical evidence for
inerrancy based on five scriptural phenomena in Norman
Geisler (ed.), Inerrancy, (Grand Rapids, MI:
Zondervan, 1980), pp. 276-287.
observe here that several excellent texts may be
consulted on biblical inspiration and inerrancy: Rene
Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
(Moody); Norman Geisler (ed.), Inerrancy (Zondervan;
Carl Henry (ed.), Revelation and the Bible
(Baker); Gordon Lewis and Bruce Demarest, Challenges
to Inerrancy (Moody); Clark Pinnock, Biblical
Revelation (Moody); John Warwick Montgomery,
God’s Inerrant Word (Bethany); Geisler and Nix, A
General Introduction to the Bible (Moody); R. L.
Harris, Inspiration and Canonicity of the
Bible (Zondervan); L. Gaussen, Divine Inspiration
of the Bible (Kregel); E. J. Young, Thy Word Is
Truth (Eerdmans); Merrill Tenney (ed.), The
Bible: The Living Word of Revelation (Zondervan).
Clark Pinnock, "Three Views of the Bible in Contemporary
Theology" in Jack Rogers (ed.) Biblical Authority
(Waco, TX: Word, 1978), p. 63.
Cf. the discussion in Geisler (ed.) Inerrancy,
pp. 45-45, 277-282, as to why "all" is the best
translation, not "every"; cf., H. Wayne House, "Biblical
Inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16" in Roy B. Zuck, (gen.
ed.), Vital Apologetic Issues (Grand Rapids:
Edward J. Young, Thy Word Is Truth (Grand Rapids,
MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970), pp. 86-87.
Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible (Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishers, 1977), p. 67.
Copyright 2006, Ankerberg Theological Research Institute