Inerrancy and the Bible Essay
Biblical inerrancy depicts that the Bible has no mistake in its teaching and that all the scriptures affirm everything that is true to exist facts. The language of inerrancy was born in the environment of rational and historical positivism when the Bible was believed to teach spiritual truths solely about the relationship between God and man. An international council of Biblical inerrancy was created in the year 1978 by one of the largest groups of protestants that came together to make up a theological document in the 20th century. They believed that true Christian inspiration can only apply to the original texts since they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Their work was developed against the skeptics who were consistently coming up with powerful attacks against the authority of the scripture.
However, According to Dennis Bratcher, the notion of inerrancy is inadequate as a term worth in the Bible because, beyond the affirmation of shared religious beliefs, theology should communicate our understanding of God to other people. Contrarily, this is not possible in the current generation because we need to use terms that are easy to understand so as to communicate effectively. Some meanings of theological expressions have shifted over time and cannot be understood by most people. In this regard, to prevent any misunderstanding and not being heard we need to find terms that communicate to others. Some words in the Bible may mean something different whereas many may end up misunderstanding them. For example, the term making love has a totally different meaning from what it meant one hundred and fifty years ago.
The same case applies to some words in the scriptures which depict some errors. For example, the Greek word houtos was the last in the book of Luke chapter twenty-three verse thirty-eight whereas it was the first in the book of Mathew chapter twenty-seven verse thirty-seven in the crucifixion of Jesus. It is therefore difficult to affirm the use of the Bible in the Church as a guide toward faith and practices. Lately, the Bible is seen to create more controversy than communicating positivity about the scripture and the Christian faith. Biblical inerrancy has become a brand name for people who believe that the spiritual message in the Bible should not be altered and should be passed from one generation to another. Additionally, the notion of inerrancy is inadequate due to the ethical challenges that exist in the modern world. In many cases when one says that he or she does not agree with inerrancy he is seen to imply that it is unreliable thereby creating competition of who is right.
Positivism is driven by the idea that it is the only way to explain the culture and can only be proved through an empirical method. This has resulted in a battle between positivism and inerrancy. Positivism influences the thoughts of people and is seen to completely fight the Bible since it does not believe in the existence of any supernatural force. In this regard, it reduced most of the things found in religion and the Bible which manifests the ability to fight the existence of God. In what the historiographers call pre-written history, they should consider the existence of God. If not they should be able to explain what existed in the pre-written history. It rejects the existence of any metaphysical world and assumes a closed world. It neither did allow nor take seriously the fact that there was the existence of God in the world. Additionally, it did not deal rationally with the existence of the scripture itself and argued with nothing that was in the Bible. It also failed to be consistent with the understanding that human beings have towards theology, especially about the grace that God gives to human beings to enable them to respond to God.
Most of the work in the Bible traces its roots to Greek dualism which views the world as evil. Even if the evil can be forgiven the culture sees the world as an imperfect place where human beings will exist as flawed creatures. Critiquing the authors of the Bible, one would wonder, if God wrote the scripture yet He is perfect, why then does it contain some errors? Why does it not contain some of the facts that we know such as the solar system and matters pertaining to the atomic nature of the earth? If the scripture was written by God then it should have the same characteristics as God such as being perfect and inerrant.
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The defenders of inerrancy in their debates cannot go a long way without involving Calvinism through the use of the scripture solely. For serious Bible readers, inspiration is about the message and power of the grace of God in the lives of people. To serious Bible readers, inspiration may also lead to the production of scripture whereby those who read the Bible deeply and have let the Holy Spirit help them in understanding different verses may tell a story of how God revealed Himself to them in form of a testimony. Inspiration occurs due to continuous actions of God toward man and it is not a one-time action that takes place in one event. Whereas God is static, inspiration is not static and is nonstatic such that it is not in one location as many would expect. Inspiration does not occur due to texts that are inerrant or due to the availability of the internet. It is a dynamic process.
Moses saw a burning bush which was an inspiration from God, He was standing on Holy ground and there was the presence of God. Through this revelation, he went and told his wife Zipporah about it and later at work. Inspiration is seen to have worked in this situation whereby the scribes heard the story when the Israelites were being narrated during the Passover feast and put it into writing. This inspiration is still at work whereby when a preacher reads and tries to interpret the verse for us, God helps us in understanding the testimony. The lessons from the testimonies extend to the communities of faith where God inspires them to respond to testimony in a manner in the construction of laws and doctrines in the community of faith. In so doing, God is seen to be in his work of governing the community of faith through inspiration. In this regard, it is important for each serious Bible reader to begin all sessions of Bible reading through a word of prayer asking God to help them understand what they are reading. After seeking the Lord before reading there are high chances of inspiration where God may bring a testimony to live in the world.
Revelation is a concept that lies in the heart of each and every Christian. It is every Christian’s dream to experience God’s revelation in their life. The scripture exists to show that through the self-disclosure of God a community that was founded in faith was borne. In the history of human beings, God has revealed himself in several situations. When Christians seek God they tend to find Him and he reveals Himself to us. In Revelation, ideas do not come into play but God Himself becomes present to Christians. The self-disclosure of God is what is referred to As God’s revelation. In this regard, God’s revelation means the appearance of God to us in his nature and not in the form of ideas that are in the scripture.
The gospel books contain information about the things they have either heard or seen which creates an imagery of God in our minds. However, in God’s revelation, it is not all about the image of God but the appearance of God to man in the form in which HE exists. In this regard, the scripture comes second when it comes to God’s revelation. The statement shows that God revealed Himself in his nature to early communities who later translated this revelation in terms of the scriptures we have today that reflect the word of God. Since there was no direct access to the events, then this was not a form of God’s revelation. God’s revelation occurs when we have direct access to the doings of the Lord while we can see Him and hear Him. The self-disclosure of the Lord is thereafter mediated as a testimony. Testimonies cannot be a complete sin of God’s revelation since it is driven by factors such as culture, language, ethics, experiences in the past, and ethics. Bible scriptures are therefore testimonies, of the revelation of God told in the literature that is conditioned by the culture of a community.
Inspiration is the work of God in a process. It begins at the point where God enables people by filling them with the spirit. This is to help people understand the meaning of His actions when He reveals Himself. Even with this the manner in which people respond to God’s revelation is according to some cultural traditions in which they are part. For inspiration to work there has to be three elements. These include taking the fact that God is active in the world seriously and that HE cannot be accessed by human beings. Secondly, inspiration deals with the scripture itself. Lastly, inspiration should be supported by a Biblical view of grace. Inspiration occurs when the grace of God is evident to live in the lives of human beings.
Inspiration is closely related to the Wesleyan perspective which has struck the difference between the grace of God. Wesleyans do not use the language of inerrancy to affirm the existence of God. Never in their lifetime have they held the Bible as inerrant. They believe that whatever message is written in the scriptures, it is correct and should be trusted. Those churches who are of this opinion are able to stand together and oppose the baptism positions and the inerrancy debates. They believe in the grace of God which makes it possible to respond to Him and this is the grace that they believe that it transforms people. Unlike Greek dualism, Wesleyans do not believe that human beings are full of sin in such a way that they can neither be righteous nor understand the will of God. God can therefore work with people and enable them to become religious. On the other hand, the Bible is worthy of the believer whereby Christians have the understanding of the sixty-six books of the Bible.
In article IV of the articles of faith, indicate that these books were written out of divine intervention. They reveal the will of the Highest towards our salvation. Anything outside the people is not seen as the action of faith. This form of Christian faith believes that the scripture of God is revealed by God himself and his relationship with human beings. This perspective of faith is made clearer by the free Methodists church of discipline which states that God’s revelation is true in what it affirms. Since it has been preserved faithfully, it proves true to the experience of human beings. Both the Wesley perspective and the articles of faith of the church of the Anglicans are similar in that they reflect the Holy Scripture to be sufficient. They affirm that whatever is not in the Holy Scripture is not a need to man and should only be an article of faith that is requisite to salvation. Relation to what John Wesley obtained from his mother church reflects the authority that the Bible has on us.
The power to change statements of faith beliefs in the Bible which is the written word of God in the form of sixty-six books that combine the New Testament and the Old Testament. They believe that the Bible was written through inspiration by the Holy Spirit and therefore it is inerrant. However, the movement allows change in the conviction of the doctrine matters so long as the interpretation presented to them solely leans towards the Bible. They affirm the Bible by believing that there is only one God existing in the form of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and He later was crucified so that our sins can be pardoned. After His death, He rose from the dead in the same body and went to Heaven. They believe that Jesus sits on the right hand of God and He is the mediator between God and people thus he is constantly interceding for them.
In terms of humanity, they believe that the nature of human beings is totally corrupted and we always need a renewal al of the Holy Spirit since we are all sinners. Additionally, they believe that salvation is due to God’s grace and not our own efforts as human beings. The moment a Christian becomes saved then they believe that the Holy Spirit becomes a witness giving them assurance to the Kingdom of Heaven. Holy Spirit is the witness since He was sent to us as a helper after the resurrection of Jesus. After the physical death, a non-believer awaits resurrection into everlasting judgment and condemnation according to how one lived while on earth. On the other hand, a believer enters into a fellowship eternally with God. Jesus will come back to the earth again to judge the living and those who will be dead. In this regard, the power of change movement tends to obey what God commanded believers that they should spread the word to the world and be his disciples. In this regard, all their world ambitions should relate to the gospel of Christ.
This movement holds the platonic view which suggests that all knowledge comes from God. This form of belief allows little input by human beings since they cannot be trusted as they are very sinful. They find the Bible inerrant since it was verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is, therefore, a perfect doctrine and if there needs to be any conviction that brings about the change it should come from the Bible itself. Human ambitions are inspired by God and therefore they believe that areas of contemporary knowledge in science and medicine should be inspired solely by God. When He is exempted from these forms of knowledge then they cannot associate with it and they show this as the imperfect nature of human beings. They regard the Bible as answering questions about culture and they mean that the scripture has all the authority when addressing any issue. They cannot, therefore, explain anything beyond what is in the Bible as that would be proving the sinful nature of human beings.
The Bible is one of the greatest books that sell every day. However, many people have struggled to understand and interpret it. If one needs the Bible to speak on its own terms then he or she needs to have a guide to help interpret the ancient Greek words (Thelle,2007). The article on Thelle’s Joshua presents the Biblical conquest account and hermeneutical challenges. The present hermeneutical and ethical challenges should be addressed by Theologians and leaders. The enduring message is that there should be ethics in the use of the Bible. Through the art of hermeneutics, the author of Thelle Joshua tries to show that there is little we know about the Israelite’s culture. Some of the behaviors were not right and she asserts that we should not give authority to some behaviors that we find morally unacceptable just because they are in the Bible. We should learn to condemn what is evil.
When looking into this book we should take into account that Thales appreciates that Deuteronomy varies from the books of Samuel, King, and Psalms in terms of the sanctuary, kingship, and elections. It also takes into account the failure of Deuteronomy to name Jerusalem and just call it a place that making Jerusalem addressed too narrowly. Biblical narratives are at risk of inspiring secular ideologies if caution is not taken. Acts such as land grabbing and polygamy are immoral and we should only borrow from what is moral in modern society. We should understand the Israelite culture and our cultures when determining what is right even when it is in the Bible.
D. B. (n.d.). Biblical and Theological Resources for Growing Christians. The Modern Inneracy Debate, 1-5. Retrieved from he Modern Inerrancy Debate Dennis Bratcher.
Thelle, R. I. (2007). The biblical conquest account and its modern hermeneutical challenges. Studia theologica, 61(1), 61-81.