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Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible

Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible
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   L IBERTY U  NIVERSITY  I  NSPIRATION AND I  NERRANCY  A  RESEARCH PAPER SUBMITTED TO D R  .   E LMER T OWNS ,   D.   M IN  I  N PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE R  EQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE THEO   525 L IBERTY B APTIST T HEOLOGICAL S EMINARY  B Y  B RIAN H ARVEY  L YNCHBURG ,   V IRGINIA  T UESDAY ,   M AY 8,   2012   ii T ABLE OF C ONTENTS  I NTRODUCTION  ................................................................................................................................1 T HE B READTH OF D EFINITION  .......................................................................................................1 Revelation ............................................................................................................................2 Inspiration and Inscripturation   ............................................................................................3 Infallibility and Inerrancy ....................................................................................................4 Authority ..............................................................................................................................4 M AKING A C LAIM ..........................................................................................................................5 Verbal Plenary Inspiration ...................................................................................................5 Inerrancy ..............................................................................................................................6 Authority ..............................................................................................................................6 F ACING THE I SSUES  .........................................................................................................................7 U  NSATISFACTORY V IEWS ON I  NSPIRATION  ...................................................................................7 T HE I  NERRANCY D EBATE  ..............................................................................................................8 U  NSATISFACTORY V IEWS ON I  NERRANCY  .....................................................................................9 A FFIRMATION OF I NSPIRATION AND I NERRANCY  ........................................................................11 C HARACTER OF G OD  ...................................................................................................................12 T HE B IBLE  ...................................................................................................................................13 J ESUS  ...........................................................................................................................................14 C ONCLUSION  .................................................................................................................................14 B IBLIOGRAPHY  ..............................................................................................................................16   1 I NTRODUCTION   There comes a time in every Christian‟s life that one must define the central doctrines of their faith. The eternal battle between orthodoxy and orthopraxy demands significant attention and largely determines the positions on which a person will side. The core of Christian Doctrine is, and rightfully so, the Bible. The attestation of the authority of the Bible as the Word of God, demands an understanding of the belief in the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Bible. Without the God-breathed, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God, the Christian Doctrine has little to stand on. It is time that Christians move from the stagnant battle between orthodoxy and orthopraxy to a position of joining the two with a realization that all authority comes from God and his direct Word is available through the Holy Scriptures. The encroachment of liberalism and modernism has greatly diminished the effectiveness of many Christians, and is sadly creeping into many “evangelical” churches. Doubting the God -affirmed inspiration, inspiration, and authority of the Word of God has caused man to be “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine ,” 1   that has ultimately established him as “a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.” 2  Short of the Resurrection of Jesus, there is no more central belief to the core of Christianity than that of Inspiration and Inerrancy. Without the  belief in verbal plenary inspiration and totally inerrancy of Scripture, the Christian has no rock of faith on which to stand. T HE B READTH OF D EFINITION  Theology is profoundly dependent on terms and how one chooses to define them. In the case of inspiration and inerrancy, they are directly associated with bibliology, the doctrine of the Bible. Therefore, with respect to the above statement about defining terms, it is imperative for 1  Ephesians 4:14 (ESV). 2  James 1:8 (ESV).     2 one to comprehend that “a proper understanding of [bibliology] is crucial to building any sort of argument.” 3  However, take heed that the insatiable appetite for information must be balanced against the fact that it is through the Spirit of God that we understand. 4   Revelation Beginning with the doctrine of revelation, one must clearly establish that the Bible is the Word of God by ascribing God‟s revelatory message to it. Revelation is “all about getting to know God” 5   and is directly associated with the content of God‟s message to humans. Elmer Town‟s states, “revelation is the act whereby God gives us knowledge about Himself which we could not otherwise know.” 6  The recep tion of God‟s revelation is the beginning of relationship with God. God reveals himself to humans through two specific means of revelation, general or natural revelation, and special revelation. With respect to the later, God reveals himself to humans th rough “creation, common grace, and conscience.” 7  As to the former, God reveals Himself “through the Scriptures and finalized in Jesus Christ and relates to God‟s plan of salvation for man.” 8  God is continually revealing Himself today through the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God, the Bible. God‟s revelation to humans is the foundation of 3  Rodney J. Decker, "Verbal-Plenary Inspiration and Translation,"  Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal   11 (2006): 26. 4  Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:11-12. 5  Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears,  Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe  (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2010), 38. 6  Elmer L. Towns, Theology for Today , 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Cengage Learning, 2008), 29. 7  Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears,  Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe,  38. 8  Elmer L. Towns, Theology for Today , 34.   3 Christianity, and specifically the special revelation of the Bible is “the court of highest authority for Christians and their leaders, by which any alle ged revelation from God is to be tested.” 9   Inspiration and Inscripturation Inspiration is “that supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit upon the Scripture writers which rendered their writings an accurate record of the revelation or which resulted in what they wrote actually being the Word of God.” 10   The Apostle Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All Scripture is breathed out by God,” and Peter further attests in 2 Peter 1:21 that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The inspiration, God-breathed, nature of Scripture emphasizes “the divine source and initiative rather than human genius or creativity.” 11   Inscripturation refers to “that period of time in which the entir  ety of the Scriptures came into being.” 12  Therefore, from the srcinal text, to redactional updating, through canonization, God providentially governs this inscripturation  process. He declares the “ autographa ” not only God -breathed, but also inerrant, infallible, and authoritative. In summation, through the process of inscripturation, the Holy Spirit “so guided the minds of the human authors and writers that they chose the precise words necessary to accurately reflect the exact truth God intended, all the while reflecting their own personality, 9  Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears,  Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe,  41. 10  Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd Edition  (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2007), 225. 11  Michael A. Grisanti, "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The Place of Textual Updating in an Inerrant View of Scripture,"  Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society  44, no. 4 (2001): 578. 12  Michael A. Grisanti, "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The Place of Textual Updating in an Inerrant View of Scripture," 578.
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