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  • Pastor Karl Hauser

Scripture is Infallible, not Inerrant

You may have never heard of these two words before. That’s okay.

These two words represent two very different perspectives about what the Bible is. “Infallible” means without fault, or completely trustworthy. “Inerrant” means without error, or faultless.

The first looks to the reliability of the Bible’s message, the second focuses on the reliability of the specific words themselves. The Bible is an infinitely complex document, composed over generations, compiled, collected, and remembered. All Christians revere the Bible to be God’s inspired Word to humanity.

Presbyterians believe it was written by human hands in specific cultures and contexts, but the Truth to which it speaks is eternal.

Though it may reveal the dirty fingerprints of the mortal human authors, the central meaning is to reveal God’s divine story of redemption of a rebellious people. Within its pages are found everything needed for salvation.

More fundamentalist traditions use the word “inerrant” to emphasize that the Bible contains no errors from what God originally intend- ed.

Unfortunately, this view negates the historical record that there are textual differences, idioms, and grammar “errors” in the ancient manuscripts. Inerrancy demand an allegiance to the letters while infallible demand allegiance to the message.

I’m pretty sure that what Jesus tried to tell the Pharisees! -LOL

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