Biblical inerrancy is the belief that Scripture, in their original form and properly interpreted, is without error and therefore completely true in everything they teach. Inerrancy is the foundation for the Bible’s authority. Without this belief, our confidence in the Scriptures cannot be secure.
Jesus and the Inerrancy of Scripture
In Matt 4:1-11, Jesus affirms the inerrancy of Scripture where He says, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deut 8:3).'” The word “every” clearly shows that the God-breathed Scriptures are included. That He meant the Scriptures is also strengthened by His immediate use of them, demonstrating that He lived by them.
The Bible and the Inerrancy of Scripture
In 2 Tim 3:16-17 it states that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work”.
That Scripture is God-breathed is what essentially makes them inerrant (without error). Inerrancy is vital to the authority of the Bible, and without it we may as well throw out our Bibles. As John Wesley put it, “If there be one mistake in the Bible, there may as well be 1,000.”
In 2 Pet 1:20-21 it states, “… that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Also, the authors of the New Testament identified the Bible with the living voice of God. In various places, the Scriptures are spoken of as if they were God Himself speaking, for example in Matt 19:4, 5 and Heb 3:7. Elsewhere, God is spoken of as if He were in the Scriptures, such as in Gal 3:8.
The Church and the Inerrancy of Scripture
Many church fathers affirmed inerrancy. For example, Clement said, “the sacred Scriptures are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit.”
Calvin said, “We owe the writings of the apostles and prophets that same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from Him alone…”
Warning against Rejecting or Limiting the Idea of Inerrancy
“The generation of those who first give up biblical inerrancy may have a warm evangelical background and real personal relationships with Jesus Christ, so that they can ‘survive theologically’ on the basis of their limited inerrancy view. But what happens when the next generation tries to build on that foundation?…any denomination or parachurch group that forsakes inerrancy will end up shipwrecked.” – Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster.
Rob Morley (based in part on notes by Gus Martin)