What Does "Bible Has No Errors" Mean?
What does it mean to say that the Bible is inerrant (i.e. without errors)? There are many people who claim to believe the Bible is the “inspired Word of God” and therefore “inerrant.” But what exactly does it mean to say this? And how exactly do those who hold to this view, deal with criticisms and attacks on the Bible’s authority?
Although there are naïve views of the Bible, sophisticated defenders of the position often agree with the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. This statement was formulated in 1978 by more than 200 evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. The signatories to the statement came from a wide variety of Protestant denominations and included such notables as J.I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and R.C. Sproul.
One of the key affirmations of the statement is that only the original manuscripts of the Bible are considered inerrant, and not the copies or translations of them. This may seem problematic since the original manuscripts have been lost to history. However, scholars of the discipline known as “textual criticism” have been able to reconstruct the originals with a very high degree of accuracy. The statement also accepts that the Bible includes language that is figurative, poetic, and phenomenological. Many of the criticisms of the Bible fall away when these factors are taken into account.
“Articles of Affirmation and Denial,” Moody Bible Institute, accessed August 6, 2020, https://www.moodybible.org/beliefs/the-chicago-statement-on-biblical-inerrancy/articles-of-affirmation-and-denial/.